DruckX – A Mobile Game built with the Telerik Platform

Drück X means Press X in German.
How quickly can you find and press the X? You have just seconds to find out!
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DrückX is a game with a simple concept: press the “X” as quickly as possible. It is available for free on the iOS, Android, Windows and Amazon app marketplaces. DrückX is our very first Telerik Featured App as it was built with the Telerik Platform and Telerik AppBuilder.

About this app

We interviewed Sylvain Courcoux, a developer who commutes between Germany and France, asking him to tell us about his process for developing DrückX.

Sylvain Courcoux

What inspired you to create DrückX?

“Four years ago, I didn’t really know how to program, but I learned on my own and have been a Visual Studio addict ever since. Last October, my friend Justin Hodnett had just started to learn on his own as well. One evening, we got on Skype for a screen sharing session and he showed me what he was trying to do: he was working in XCode and had put 20 tiles of various colors on the screen of the iPhone simulator. Most tiles were blank and some had a 10 in them. I asked to see the source code and sure enough, there were 20 identical functions, one for each tile. I opened jsFiddle and showed him a better pattern: one function that creates a row of 4 randomly colored tiles and another function that creates the whole board by creating 5 rows. He had been struggling with XCode for days and was amazed at how easy it was to rewrite the code in just a few lines of JavaScript. So I went on to show how to handle events with jQuery. The obvious event to demonstrate was the click event and since there was a function in place to create new rows, I created a simple click handler: click a tile on a row and replace that row with a new one. When we both saw this, it hit us like a flash: that was a game mechanism in place, DrückX was born.”

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How did using Telerik AppBuilder help you move the project forward?

“In less than an hour, the bare bones version of the game was essentially done. I added the timer and a condition on the click so that only tiles with the 10 would respond to the click. And then came the obvious conclusion: this will become a game for smartphones, all we need to do is just deploy it. I worked over the next few days to refine the game and complete the HTML5 application. Since the game was a really simple HTML5 application, I initially thought the best option was to deploy it within a WebView. So my friend in the UK turned again to XCode but XCode is not very user-friendly when you’re just starting out. And same with the Android SDK: I wasn’t making much progress either. So then I decided that instead of deploying the game in native WebViews, I was going to deploy the game in PhoneGap. After all, the value proposition sounded appealing: build an HTML5 application and deploy it on several mobile platforms. My initial option was to use Adobe Build’s CLI tooling. It seemed pretty straightforward but it took me a day to get the first build running on my Android. When I wanted to add plugins, I felt stuck and then I knew that icons and certificates would be yet another roadblock. Simply put, this game was my first mobile app and I felt lost in the CLI world.”

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“It’s not about knowing how to program, it’s about knowing what to program”

“We were stuck. I even considered hiring a mobile developer: why spend days figuring out what other people can get done in a few hours? And then I came across the Telerik Platform. It had a simple premise: “PhoneGap Development Made Easier”. Easier sounded appealing because at that point, deploying on PhoneGap just seemed hard. My experience with computers and programming is that everything is easy the second time but the first time around, you’re going to be struggling. The Telerik Platform helped a lot and I quickly figured out debugging and testing. Deploying on the Google Play Store wasn’t terribly hard but when it came time to deploy on the iOS App Store, going from an app that’s working on a simulator to an app that’s submitted for review is also quite a challenge. First, creating the application certificates seems to require more than 50 steps. Second, I’m a PC guy and deploying on Apple devices technically requires a Mac. But then again, the Telerik Platform saved me: after a few days of struggling, I realized that I can upload the binary straight from the platform! Sweet! The Telerik Platform made it possible for me to deploy DrückX.

And so that’s how DrückX went live: a flash of imagination and the Telerik Platform. Thank you Telerik.”

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Comments

  • Michael Duddles

    Interesting how a simple jQuery UI concept can translate into being a game mechanism, just takes a slight shift of the imagination. Just downloaded it on Android. Flappy-bird like in it’s simplicity, and similarly annoying to play ;).

  • Jen Looper

    Have fun, Michael! 🙂