The Great Journey – The Fall of cocos2d-xna

Finally, a story to share that isn’t about a new release or update for an app or game. I decided to sit myself down and start telling the wonderful story of how I landed on using cocos2d-x after using cocos2d-xna and Xamarin for a couple years. It’s a bit of a long story, so I decided to break it up into “chapters” or separate posts. (Probably two or three)


About a year ago I ran into a few problems, Windows 10, iOS 9, and an expired Xamarin Subscription.

A few things happened, iOS 9 came out and caused many apps previously made with Xamarin to crash pretty much immediately when you launch the app. My Xamarin subscription had already expired. This was pretty bad, and a sign that “silver bullet” frameworks, like Xamarin, were not what they were all cracked up to be. To Xamarin’s credit, they did quickly get a fix out and offered a very good explanation for the crashes. Unfortunately, it required developers to update their version of Xamarin, and in my case, renew a license just to get the update.

As you might guess, this made writing games natively, far more reliable and affordable, and most importantly, attractive again. These type of issues probably would not have happened if I had originally made the game for iOS using Swift and SpriteKit or Java and OpenGL for Android.

The attractiveness of going away from Xamarin was irrelevant at the time, what was more important was figuring out the quickest way to get games and apps back up and running on iOS 9. This led me to sadly paying up and renewing the license so I could update the apps with the latest version of Xamarin. A $300 bug can leave quite the sting.

After quickly pushing updates out to fix the crashing, I was left wondering “What if this happens again? How can I be better protected from something like this?”. First thing I had to consider, cocos2d-xna. You see, cocos2d-xna was the game engine that was picked because of how easily games could be ported over, using Xamarin and MonoGame.

Truly building a game for multiple platforms under one codebase. It was awesome, it was fun, it made development very magical. Until iOS 9 and eventually, Windows 10 came along.

It was obvious continuing with Xamarin would be expensive, but that also means changing from cocos2d-xna to a different game engine. What could possibly replace this? Could there be another cross-platform game engine out there? After this fiasco, does it even make sense to continue down the cross-platform path? There were so many questions running through my mind, and so many more answers I needed to find. One thing was for sure, cocos2d-xna’s time was beginning to run out and dependence on Xamarin needed to change.

The search was on for the next great amazing game engine, there were a ton of requirements that this new engine needed to fill in: support nearly the same amount of platforms, easy to implement, preferably in a more comfortable language like C#, strong support and community, just to name a few. As I started this search, something else crossed my mind, Windows 10. This is something that I know is going to come out soon and would love to be ready for and have games ready to jump on the platform.

This is where I hit the pause button in this story. I can only write for so long without a distraction, and I’m pretty sure the same is true for reading articles online. Look out for the next “chapter” coming soon!

Dev Diary Updated for UWP and Android – iOS Coming Soon

Woo! Another update out for Dev Diary and here is what’s new:

Windows 10 (UWP) Version

  • Added shortcut to open articles in browser


Android Version 1.1

  • Added support to save app to SD
  • Added shortcut to open articles in browser


Aside from the obvious “fixed minor stuff”, the list is a little short but as you might guess, the app for iOS is on its way out! That’s right! It has already been submitted and soon those of you on an iOS device will be able to download the app 🙂

So just to go through real quick, with a shortcut you can now open articles in browser if you’d like (some prefer this and that’s cool) or make it a little easier to share articles (SPOILER: Feature coming soon!)


Stay tuned for cool updates coming out real soon.


Download for Android

Download for Windows 10 (UWP)

Band-Aid Update Released – Android and Windows (UWP)

It’s been some time now that Band-Aid has been available for Windows, Android, and iOS. And today I’m pleased to announce that there are updates available now, yes right now!

At the moment, the update is available for both Android and Windows (UWP, which is fancy for PC and mobile). Don’t freak out, there’s an update for iOS going through the usual week long Apple review process, that should be out soon and I’ll make sure to post an update on that once it’s out too. 🙂

So you may be wondering…what’s new in this super awesome update?

Well for Windows, the version has bumped up to and Android has bumped up to 1.5. Here are the changes below:

Windows (UWP) Version

  • Fix for Battery Percentage not displaying when Personalization is not turned on
  • Battery theme has been optimized to update more efficiently
  • Seconds have been removed from the timestamp in the Band-Aid tile


Android Version 1.5

  • Fix for Battery Percentage not displaying when Personalization is not turned on
  • Battery theme has been optimized to update more efficiently
  • Fix orientation issues with the Personalization settings
  • Seconds have been removed from the timestamp in the Band-Aid tile


That’s about it folks for this update, be back soon for the iOS update.

Download for Android

Download for Windows (UWP)

Band-Aid Released for Android

Woo! Finally, Band-Aid makes it’s way to Android!

After quite some time, scheduling and other projects, we finally released Band-Aid on Android. It aims to bring the same amazing functionality that exists today that the Windows 10 Universal app offers.

There are some differences under the hood though that I had to keep in mind about when developing the app for Android, biggest difference is Doze. Turns out Doze is very good about putting background services into a “stand-by” state. Which causes background services to not fire off when expected. Instead, we rely on Intents to help kick the service out of its “hibernated” state. One cool thing that Android offers is listening to battery change events, and as you may guess, Band-Aid is a lot about battery changes on the phone. So combined this with a background service to try to deliver a more reliable reading when you view the phone’s battery percentage from the Band.

Download Band-Aid for Android

There will be an update coming out soon, as well as the iOS app! So stay tuned!

Band-Aid Update Released – New UI and More

Greetings and salutations! 😀


This is an exciting announcement for me as I get to introduce the new and improved UI for Band-Aid on Windows 10!


The new UI shows off more of the new Windows 10 Universal app design. Now you’ll see a hamburger menu which elegantly expands the side menu. And another cool thing to notice are the icons that are now included in the menu items!

There much to explore in this new design and I hope that those that are using the app really like it and those that haven’t discovered it yet will find it very pleasing.

Download Band-Aid for Windows 10

As always, stay tuned for more to come!

Band-Aid Updated and Released for Windows 10

First off, wow it has sure been a long time since I last posted on here. Going to try to fix that with more frequently updated content, maybe something out weekly and see how that goes.

So as you can guess, Band-Aid has been updated! And it has been released for Windows 10 as a Universal app.

Today we are looking at the release of version 1.5.6 and what’s new since the last post. Of course, there is improved stability and performance and bug fixes and any other generic change log items that people usual say. So what’s cool? We have added support for the Microsoft Band 2 for Windows 10, sorry Windows 8.1 folks but don’t worry support will be coming very soon. I promise 🙂

Another cool feature, at least to me, is a new alert which lets you know when your phone is low on battery. You can specify the percentage for when you would like to receive the alert, for example when your phone drops below 10% push out an alert to your Band to let you know that you may want to charge your phone.

The design for the app has also changed slightly, there is now just the left pane with the main app sections, versus that weird left/right pane, which unfortunately still exists for Windows Phone 8.1, again sorry guys but you can always upgrade at any time to Windows 10 by joining the Windows Insider Program.

Suppose I should talk about the Android and iOS versions of the app too before wrapping up. So they are still totally happening, it’s just been a little challenging with some of the other projects that had to take priority. Believe me, it’s a lot harder to start a new project than to update an existing one. (In case you were wondering why there have been updates for Windows and nothing yet for the other platforms.)

That’s mostly it for now, there will be much more coming soon. And please check out the new update for Windows 10 below:

Download Band-Aid for Windows 10

Thanks for reading and as always, stay tuned!

Band-Aid for Windows Phone Released!

Hey everyone! I’ve been working on something pretty neat for the past few months, Band-Aid! Currently it’s released now for Windows Phone, but soon to come to Android and iOS.

Band-Aid is an awesome app made to make the Microsoft Band even better and aims to bring in more features for both the phone and Band! It has two main features for right now, “Battery” and “Move It”.

So let me go ahead and tell you a little bit about Band-Aid 🙂 starting with the two main features:

– Battery – lets you quickly see your phone’s battery percentage on your Band by either making the theme of your Band change color based on the percentage level of your phone and displaying the actual number within a tile on the Band. It’s pretty cool 😉

– Move It – lets you set a reminder for how often you should be told to get moving when you’ve been idle for too long. Very useful for those of us that sit in an office throughout the day :\

There are a ton of other features that I’m planning on releasing soon and also make the app available for Android and iOS. Stay tuned!


Download Band-Aid for Windows Phone

All-New Dev Diary Released!

Just about a week ago now we launched an all-new version of our Dev Diary app for Windows Phone to replace the existing (unstable) version that was made by FollowMyFeed.Net (which appears to finally be down, so great timing huh?)

From the last post about the status of the Dev Diary app, we mentioned that it was going to be made from scratch, from the ground up. So you’ll noticed the UI is much cleaner and simpler, and it should show the direction we are planning to go with the app.

Also I would like to announce Dev Diary for Windows! Yup, you know that means, Dev Diary has been turned into an Universal app! The best part of rebuilding this app has not only been able to take advantage of some of the cool Universal app projects but also to provide better quality and better features.

So look out for more updates in the future as we continue to enhance the app.

You can download the apps below:

Windows Phone

Windows Store

Enjoy! More coming soon.

Swapping Google Weather for OpenWeatherMap API in Weather Livepaper

Oh boy, the long…very longly anticipated update for Weather Livepaper is finally in development. Mainly to swap out its current use of the now gone, Google Weather API which was used to power the also gone iGoogle home page.

What are we replacing that wonderfully gone API with? Well..OpenWeatherMap!

It really has been a long time coming and I do feel terrible that the state of the app has been pretty unusable for almost a year :X but this change isn’t the only thing I’m planning on releasing for Weather Livepaper. There is also a new feature and some bug fixes that were very much needed too 🙂 and with this update I also plan to try my best to keep the development going.

So look out for the update to be released within this week (which I know is almost half way over already), there will be an announcement soon though once the update is officially out.

More to come so stay tuned!!


Dev Diary Updated to


Dev Diary app produced by has been updated!!

This update actually went live about a week ago, just wanted to announce some of the things we were hoping for in this update.

  • Stability
  • Reduced Notifications
  • Better Quality

Seems FollowMyFeed does not support Windows Phone 8 or newer, that being said this is probably the last update from them that we will release.


Please download the app below:


I’m currently looking into developing our own reader from the ground up so that we can provide better support and quality and not have to worry if a third party is keeping their service up to date.


All that said, we were able to at least update the app with up to date assets so it looks much better and current 🙂

More coming soon!!

© 2016 Dev Diary

Theme by Anders NorénUp ↑