News, Updates and Other Stuff

Well, the dust has settled and TemPic has been staying ranked in the mid 30s for free social apps and the mid 400s for all apps. Not bad. Still not making enough money from the ads to pay for the backend servers but I'll give it some more time.

I released an update, a couple weeks ago now, that fixed lots of performance issues for people that have large friends lists or lots of messages. It even lessend the load on the servers, so that's a good thing. But it did introduce a bug where your friends list will not be synched properly if you get a new phone. So if you get a new phone before the next update, let me know so I can make your friends list download completely!

The current update I'm working on is mainly bug fixes, there is some weirdness around the camera interface that I'm trying to take care of. I'm going to add a rating reminder so I can try to convince people to give TemPic good ratings, or just ratings, either is fine. I won't ban people that give bad reviews. I swear.... ;)

I'm also trying to find a good way to get iOS and Android users in on the fun as well, so we'll see how that progresses. I'll give more info as soon as it's a little more done.

And I guess that's about it for now, have fun with TemPic and my other games!

TemPic is climbing the charts!

Another day, another jump in the charts! TemPicis now #8 in the all apps new+rising list, and #2 in the social apps new+rising list!

The reviews are mostly positive, but a lot of people just can't get over the fact that snapchat isn't out for Windows Phone and want to take that frustration out on TemPic by giving it a bad review. :(

It's ok though, we've got a ton of users that are sending TemPics and having fun with the app so if those reviewers want to sulk around waiting for snapchat we'll let them. We'll just keep having fun with TemPic!

On to more official business, I've been trying to request lots of friends (add me, I'm jjStowe) and gather feedback on where TemPic's active users want the app to go, and how it should grow and improve. And I've had lots of great ideas sent my way, some I'd already had planned and others that are great ideas I'd never thought of!

So here are the ideas I'm working on right now for the next update:

  • Cache your friends list on your phone, so it takes less time to refresh the app for users with lots of friends.
  • A button to reply to a TemPic right from the view screen, it will take you to the new TemPic screen with that friend already selected!
  • Update the live tile counter when the app closes, should fix the inconsistencies with the counter when you get new TemPics and view them all while staying in the app.
  • Some UI tweaks that I've noticed while using TemPic.

I'm trying to keep the list short so I can get the update done and out to you users as fast as possible, because let's face it I'm only one guy and I do this in addition to my full time job so time and resources can be thin (especially when you add in a 1 year old at home)!

I want to thank everyone for downloading TemPic, and I hope you are enjoying your time with the app!

Don't forget to add me (jjStowe) and say hi, send feedback on the app, tell me about bugs, or any ideas you think would make TemPic even better!

And if you haven't downloaded it yet, what are you waiting for?

TemPic is out now!

TemPic for Windows Phone 7/8 is available for download right now!

I released it on Saturday afternoon even though I had planned to wait for this coming Friday so I could get some attempt at marketing the app together, my impatience got the better of me though thus why this post is just now being written more than two full days after release...

But my hastiness has paid off, or maybe it still shot me in the foot (we'll never really know), because TemPic looks to be turning into quite the success. So much so that it made it to 18th on the All Apps New+Rising list in the Store!


So, what are you waiting for? Go download TemPic for Windows Phone 7/8 now!

And don't forget to rate it!


I'm still here, I swear...

Well, I've been really busy working on stuff the last year or so but not really getting anything done...

I've neglected Bubble Blaster, my only really successful game. I know there's a bad bug that causes random crashes (related to how Ads are displayed) and another that I think is related to the spike bubble, I have ideas on how to fix them, but I've been distracted by shiny new ideas (see below) and let it go for far too long. I'm grateful for everyone that still plays it, there are quite a few of you out there, and I'm going to really focus on Bubble Blaster and only Bubble Blaster for a while in the very near future.

Strategery, my most ambitious and original project yet, spent about a year in development and play testing before I realized I needed to shelve it for a while and rethink a few of the game play mechanics before it's ready. A year. Gone. Wow. Makes me think I need to stick to smaller ideas for now, I am only one guy and I work a full-time job outside of this little game development hobby I have here.

And finally, about a month ago after making the hard decision to let Strategery go for a while, I jumped back on the "remake popular games/apps either better than others or that aren't on Windows Phone yet" bandwagon and decided to make a Snapchat clone.

It's called TemPic, and it will be ready to download very soon! Read more about it here, and watch for another update when it's ready to download!

How to get WWAN working on a Vaio Z2 in Windows 8

I have been pulling my hair out, and not making any progress on my games for a week and a half now becuase I decided it was time to put Windows 8 on my Vaio Z2. I tried a clean install, but a lot of things didn't work. I restored it to factory Windows 7, upgraded to Windows 8, then ran Sony's own upgrade helper utility to update all of the drivers and apps and that got it 90% of the way there.

The big problem being that the built in WWAN was not working, it was not even visible as an installed device. Being that I do most of my game development while on my lunch hour at my real job, this really threw a wrench in my productiveness.

I finally gave up and asked Sony support for help, and after a 45 minute phone call (25% of which was trying to explain to the rep that I was talking about mobile broadband not wireless) I was told that it was not supported in Windows 8 and would not work. Deflated, I accepted defeat and was planning on going to AT&T today to get a MiFi hotspot.

But, not wanting to get locked into my AT&T contract for two years, I figured I would give it one more shot this morning. I found a nice guide in the Notebook Review forums, that was able to get all the function keys working and keyboard backlight, and thought I could use it as a base for my own attmept.

So, here it is, step by step (these links are to the VPCZ21CGX model, but mine is a VPCZ2190X so they should work for most VPCZ21 models). I take no responsibility for your data or laptop should you follow this guide, use at your own risk!

  1. Do a clean install of Windows 8.
  2. Qualcomm® Gobi™ Firmware Driver (set Windows 7 compatibility, run as Administrator, reboot when done)
  3. Huawei™ Gobi™ 3000 HS-USB Modem Driver (set Windows 7 compatibility, run as Administrator, reboot when done)
  4. Sony® Firmware Extension Parser Device Driver (set Windows 7 compatibility, run as Administrator, reboot when done)
  5. Sony® Shared Library (set Windows 7 compatibility, run as Administrator, reboot when done)
  6. Sony® Notebook Utilities (set Windows 7 compatibility, run as Administrator, reboot when done)
  7. AuthenTec® FingerPrint Driver (reboot when done)
  8. VAIO® Power Management Software (reboot when done)
  9. VAIO® Control Center Software (reboot when done)
  10. Synaptics® PS/2 Port ClickPad (reboot when done)
  11. VAIO® Smart Network Software (set Windows 7 compatibility, run as Administrator, reboot when done)

And you're done, and should be ready to connect to your mobile broadband network! Or, at least, I was able to at this point.

There are some other things left to install like the AuthenTec software for Windows 7, if you want to use the fingerprint reader. Or some of the other Sony apps like Vaio Care, or Vaio Update if you want them but all your built-in devices should be working at this point.

Hope this helps someone else from banging their head against a wall for a while, or giving up and getting a MiFi device instead.