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Quikthinking Software Blog
  • 0 Superhero Flyer Challenge - Why Is This Game So Hard?

    • Games
    • by Hugh Smith
    • 05/04/2022

    So easy to play it's boring, or so hard to learn it's easy to lose? That's any mobile game challenge. As you know, good games take a few moments to flush out and more devoted time to master winning techniques. Superhero Flyer is a side scrolling action game that looks simple to play but there is significant strategy you must use to get to the top levels. This is our most difficult game. Watch the 59 second video for a quick overview. Here are some ways you can get the most fun out of Superhero Flyer for iPhone and Android. You start the action with Scout and play against the countdown clock. Touch the screen to keep flying. Scout has 5 lives and leads the way. You can't score with Scout. Scout powers up to Blue. When Scout touches the sun, moon, windsock or drones Blue will appear to continue the game. Blue is active for a random amount of time. A short amount of time. Blue will take out the small rockets (enemies) and score points, but will be eliminated by large rockets. In level 1 when Blue touches a balloon, Trax appears (and Blue disappears). Trax (below) can take out all of the rocket enemies but your score won't climb as fast. That's why in the video I avoided making a move to bring Trax into the gameplay. Trax can be used in the game for a random amount of time that is short. Scout reappears when Trax disappears! (level 1 and possibly level 2). In a few of the levels, meet the eagles. They want to and will attack the drones. Don't worry, you or the bomb enemies can't hurt the eagles. Get Scout to touch the drones before the eagles swoop on them if you can, or you lose valuable time bringing Blue back into the game. If you can get to level 5 then you'll control Bambi (left) and Thump (below) as they take the lead. Bambi and Thump can knock out balloons, drones, and rockets. Super tip. In levels 6 - 8 go for the balloons if you can. They have the highest value to score points. Once you reach level 6, strap in. Score by taking out the drones, balloons, and rockets. Good luck getting all the way to level 8! I've revealed just enough to give you an edge. Can you get to 70,000 or more points? Grab Superhero Flyer and play the game to score.   

  • 0 Black History Quiz Trivia App

    History happens all around us: past, present, and future. You can control some of the narrative in your life's journey, but not all of if. People who write the stories in the historic records pick and choose those people or events they deem the most important. Some gate keepers think that "most important" doesn't necessarily mean the most valuable. Traditional history books fall short in creating diverse reference material that reflect the multicultural fabric of our society. Here's where telling your own story really matters. At the time it was created using a fresh innovative digital technology, our legacy project Empower Encyclopedia CD-ROM attempted to build a better bridge to Black History story telling. 2023 will be the 25th anniversary of this massive undertaking.   In 2013 we morphed some of the Empower Encyclopedia content into Black History Quiz trivia for Android. Black History Quiz trivia for iPhone followed in 2018. Lots of valuable Black history quiz questions and answers are presented in these convenient fact based mobile apps. Take a break and watch me share my screen and play these Black history trivia games on both my Android and iPhone in the video below.

  • 0 Top 10 Mobile Apps You've Chosen from Us

    • Apps
    • by Hugh Smith
    • 04/20/2022

    Do you need a million downloads from an app store to be successful? It depends on what audience you are trying to serve. The data scientist studies the trends and tries to identify the opportunities. An artist creates from the soul and puts their craftwork out there for all to see and judge. Why not pull a little bit from the world of research and the world of creativity? That's what we did. There are benefits from serving a smaller but loyal community of followers.  Take a look at these 2022 trends spanning several months. The green arrows pointing up indicate growth over the same period last year. Android:   iOS: (iPhone and iPad) These numbers reveal enough people to fill a large stadium. You've only seen the top 10 Android and top 5 iOS and not the other twenty apps bubbling under from the Quikthinking.com collection. We'll continue to serve you by creating apps, teaching tools, quizzes, and casual games with a multicultural touch.

  • 0 AA eMojis Installation Disaster

    • Apps
    • by Hugh Smith
    • 04/14/2022

    Not everyone can become a mobile app developer. You must learn a programming language to write code. You might pay someone to script the code for you. Next, pick Android, iOS, or both as the platform to create your project. Using some knowledge along with discipline, your chosen software development kit (SDK) gets you closer to the finish line. You create the app and test, test, test. If your app works, you climb the software trail up the app store mountain avoiding any rock slides during the review process. Your goal is approval for distribution. The App Store, Google Play, and the Amazon App Store all have thorough procedures in place to make sure a developers' app will work on multiple devices just like yours. Every app submitted is reviewed for editorial and technical requirements. If there is a problem, your app is rejected by the store until you fix it. We love the support we've received for AAeMojis, those colorful classy emojis, perfect for texting everywhere. Once in awhile, a comment with the following theme comes in. Randy G. referencing AAeMojis says: "I cannot get the app to save. It loads 159/159 emojis and says saving wait while a green circle spins, but it will not save." The Google Play Store knows what apps work on which devices. You can't download the app if the store detects an incompatibility. Experience tells me that Randy's Samsung Galaxy may be out of storage space. Perhaps the device needs a reboot because of another issue. We certainly don't want frustrated users/followers. All I can do is assist with some solution so Randy becomes a happy camper and enjoys using the AAeMojis just like well over 1,000 other fans who have downloaded and installed it on iPhone and Android combined. That's enough people to fill a large arena. Watch the video below to see our 'how-to' step-by-step walk through. Avoid AAeMojis installation disasters!

  • 0 Puzzle Games: Black History Picture Puzzle, Zodiac Signs Jigsaw Puzzle

    • Games
    • by Hugh Smith
    • 04/08/2022

    Scrambled pictures have always been popular games of skill requiring you to engage your brain. You have to put back together what your mind tells you is an eye perception trick. Once you meet the challenge and solve the visual chaos, your temporary illusion returns to reality! Take a look at these four puzzle pieces: These are four prominent Americans shown in the "easy," scramble mode from our mobile app Black History Picture Puzzle (Android). Each picture lives on a separate screen. You tap each block to solve the puzzle by putting the picture back together. A touch of your finger rotates the block. No swiping is needed. If the "easy" mode looks simple enough, jump right into the "hard" mode with 70 different blocks for each puzzle. Now we're talkin' difficult! Jigsaw puzzles offer another approach to lovers of games with pictures. Here are four of the many images that make up the mobile app Zodiac Signs Jigsaw Puzzle (iPhone, iPad, Android). Once the pictures are segmented into jigsaws, you just put everything back together. This game features easy, medium, and hard modes. When moving old school concepts into new technologies some comprises are made. For a mobile game on a small screen thousands of jigsaw pieces aren't very practical. Zodiac Signs Jigsaw Puzzle has a good balance of game pieces for each of the 150 different levels. Fast and fun is the goal as you roll through the levels. All the signs are here.  Learn more about Black History Picture Puzzle and Zodiac Signs Jigsaw Puzzle. Grab both and leave a review or comment. Watch this video as I play both games.

  • 0 Spelling Runners Literacy: Driving A Game App

    • Games
    • by Hugh Smith
    • 03/31/2022

    Imagine a young twenty-something year old in a densely populated urban area who just loves to drive a car through the lively city streets, without a license. Jose' (not his real name) realized that commercial driving might be his chance to earn an income in a job he was sure to love. Jose' was a high school graduate, but at 21, Jose' could not read at a 5th grade level. This is a true story. I joined Literacy Volunteers of America to help folks of all ages learn to read when I was an undergraduate at Rutgers University. To drive a truck, you need a commercial drivers license. Jose' couldn't get one. He wanted one. Passing the written part of the CDL test was an obstacle for him even though he was granted a high school diploma thanks to forgiving schools. A paper diploma won't help you if you don't have the foundation to back it up. Sometimes, bad education systems move students through, up and out of the 12th grade to deal with the real world on their own.  I wish this story had a happy ending. Jose' was not able to finish the tutoring I was giving him. Family responsibilities, earning money and other obstacles stood in his way. My Literacy Volunteers of America experiences inspired me to consider creating some entertaining teaching tools under our "apps, quizzes, teaching tools, and casual games with a multicultural touch" umbrella. Spelling Runners for iPhone, iPad, Android is a game that just happens to include over 400+ English words that I picked that are appropriate for all ages. Remember, this is a game and not a formal teaching vehicle. Look elsewhere for "best in the world" spelling bee championship drills. If you or young people you know like entertaining word games, here's one that is different. Watch the video and hop on board Spelling Runners game with an instant free download.   

  • 0 Backpack Bounce App Video: What Kind of Game Is It?

    • Games
    • by Hugh Smith
    • 03/24/2022

    Did you know that Match 3 Games are the most popular mobile games in the world? We have six of them in the app stores responsible for thousands of downloads across Android and iOS. Modern match 3 game design is patterned after the trend setting 1984 game Tetris. This image is an example of a Tetris game. The Tetris challenge features horizontal rows and vertical columns of equally sized blocks. As blocks fall down from the top of the game screen, players move the blocks from left to right (or rotate them) to score. The early home for Tetris was on the Commodore 64 and IBM PC computers. Next to jump on board was Atari (1988). In 1989, Nintendo added the game to their hand-held Game Boy portfolio. Most match 3 games evolved using this familiar row and column layout with the following gameplay rules... You the player either swipe to move images up, down, left or right to create three or more matches. A second style allows you to just touch your screen without swiping to score matches. We've used both approaches. Our first match 3 games were developed using LibGDX, an open-source game-development app framework written in the Java programming language with some C and C++ components. C and C++ are two to the world's most popular programming languages. We switched to the software development tool kit Unity for our latest match 3 games. Our two most successful match 3 games are Thanksgiving Match 3 (Unity) and Thanksgiving Retro Match 3 (B4A - Basic for Android SDK). Xcode (SDK software development kit) is used for our iPhone and iPad versions. In addition to the Thanksgiving games, players agree that all of our other match 3 mobile games are fun to play. Here's what you've said...  ---------- "Just incredible...!! Superb visuals, smooth as butter...and very addictive... fun to play" - Ashish Kachrola (Thanksgiving Match 3) "Thanksgiving Match 3 game is a really fun game." - Shirley Conners  "Love this on my commute"- Anita Johnson (Pizza Burger Match 3)  "Fun little spaceship game. It's simple but enjoyable to play." - Joe Willmott (Spacehip Match 3)  "The game is very nice, good pastime!" - Adriano Ferraro (Backback Bounce Match 3) ---------- On your phone, tablet, console, computer, laptop or other hand-held device, match 3 games grab you and don't let go. That's entertainment! Watch the video to see non-stop Backpack Bounce Match 3 Game action (with my comments) and grab the free app. 

  • 0 Empower Encyclopedia CD-ROM Flashback Video: Building A Bridge To Black History

    When computer floppy discs were kicked to the curb, a new portable software storage unit inherited its place. CD-ROM (Compact Disc Read-Only Memory). James Russell was the visionary behind the CD-ROM concept in the 1960s. By 1980, the first disc player was made. Sony - Phillips licensed the concept and had their units in the marketplace between 1982 - 1985. CD-ROMs use a laser to read and playback information. Between 1993 - 1998, we developed a Black history resource, Empower Encyclopedia for CD-ROM distribution (1998 release). By today's standard, this relatively small 72 megabyte sized program could easily reach your hands through a digital download. Back then, slow speed dial-up modems were a deterrent for digital distribution. However, technology always marches on as does the Empower Encyclopedia story! Graduate school advisers rejected this project proposal as part of the body of study I needed to receive my second degree. This didn't matter to me. They could keep the degree. The project was more important, so I did it anyway. Empower Encyclopedia was developed from the ground up using the Visual Basic programming language. The software included hundreds of biographies, many with pictures of the people. You could print out all of the biographies from your personal computer. There were videos, animations, internet links, slideshow, a sound "name pronouncer" and other useful features that benefited users. When we pulled the CD-ROM off of the market in 2005, some of the content was already there to morph into the various Black History mobile apps that we started releasing in 2011 and continue to develop today. So now you know the backstory. Watch this video with my comments about Empower Encyclopedia. See it in action. A throwback gem that's gone, but not forgotten.

  • 0 Black History App Choices: Making The Cut

    In December, 1999 Ebony Magazine published "The 100 Most Important Blacks In The World in The 20th Century." The Four mobile apps we created below represent nearly everyone on their list, but not 100%: Black History Quotes Express (quotes) Black History Express (knowledge base & trivia game) Black History People (quick, concise knowledge base) Black History People Game (fast, entertaining hand - eye action) Why not 100%? Because in the app world editorial decisions must be made based upon space limitations dictating who can be included if the finished concept ever hopes to reach you. Certainly pre-20th Century folks have to be represented too. We get lots of suggestions to add 21st Century achievers into these mobile apps and we continue to do so. I always thought of these Android and iOS apps as a starting point for you to discover more about these important Black history people on your own. You can do it and be successful at it. Continue to offer suggestions. That's part of the reason why specific new people join the collection of entertainers and entrepreneurs, inventors and instructors, politicians, publishers and other notable success story winners. 

  • 0 Building Black History Quotes Express

    What does it take to create a valuable mobile app? Here's a recipe. Generate some creative energy, conduct some consistent research, and tie-in some technical knowledge to put it all together. For our highly successful Black History Quotes Express project, we started with a storyboard listing the quotation categories: Love, motivation, inspiration, instruction, Friendship, Humor, Family, Reflection, leadership, Empower, Faith. Next, over seven months from June, 2018 to November 2018 we curated the quotes. Here are running totals during a sample 5 day period: Quote total = 1,922 (6/28/18) Quote total = 1,978 (6/29/18) Quote total = 2,079 (6/30/18) Quote total = 2131 (7/1/18) Quote total = 2,211 (7/2/18) Quote total = 2,251 (7/3/18) At the end of the process there were 2,688 quotes. Many more have been added since. Each author was collated into a massive list. We assigned a category to each quote. Here's an example for historian Lerone Bennett Jr....   1  "An educator in a system of oppression is either a revolutionary or an oppressor" - reflection  2  "History is knowledge, identity and power. History is knowledge because it is a practical perspective and a practical orientation. It orders and organizes our world and valorizes our projects" - instruction  3  "It is difficult, if not impossible, to understand American history without some understanding of the Black experience" – reflection   Finally, the Software Development kit Android Studio was used to create the app for Android. We used the Xcode SDK for the iOS (iPhone and iPad) version of Black History Quotes Express. After the apps were complete, we created the promotional material to support awareness. The last step was to submit the app to three app stores (Apple, Google Play and Amazon). Watch and listen to the video below to see more quotes in action. Learn how you can download the free Black History Quotes Express, a mobile app you can use all year long. Use the quotes yourself or easily share them.  

  • 0 Hate is No Game

    Cyberhate and extremism is hard to avoid if you are a part of a demographic that plays online multiplayer games. I was fascinated by the Anti-Defamation League report about this crisis. Some in the press did report on the ADL summary when it was released in early 2022. However, not many in the press followed this story. Reading through the report in January was distressing. I finally decided to expose some of their research here. All of these facts are from ADL surveying done in 2021: Five out of six adults (83%) ages 18-45 experienced harassment in online multiplayer games—representing over 80 million adult gamers. Three out of five young people (60%) ages 13-17 experienced harassment in online multiplayer games—representing nearly 14 million young gamers.   8% of adults ages 18-45 and 10% of young people ages 13-17 reported being exposed to discussions in online multiplayer games around white supremacist ideology, the belief that "white people are superior to people of other races and that white people should be in charge." 71% of adult online multiplayer gamers experienced severe abuse, including physical threats, stalking, and sustained harassment...The largest increases in identity-based harassment occurred among adult respondents who identified as women (49% in 2021), Black or African American (42% in 2021), and Asian American (38% in 2021).   Even the Quikthinking Software YouTube channel is constantly getting hit by haters who leave their vicious anti-Black comments among our videos thinking their thoughts will be published. They won't. Solutions involving government regulations are proposed by the ADL to address cyberhate and extremism. Sadly, you may know that legislating morality has never worked. The ADL suggests: Regular reports about hate and harassment Independent audits Better reporting systems Addressing workplace toxicity Number 4 seems to be the most valuable idea for adults. I'd extend this to work-at-home teams who share remote duties. For the 13 - 17 year old crowd a better approach might be to establish an anonymous feedback loop direct to the online multiplayer game app managers. These decision makers controlling organizations can make it clear through their social media channels that cyberhate and extremism won't be tolerated inside of their game platforms. Scan through the whole ADL report yourself on their website. It is well worth the time, and well worth the read. If the summary disappears over time just do an online search to find it: Hate is No Game: Harassment and Positive Social Experiences in Online Games  

  • 0 Quick Thinking with Critical Thought About Game Design

    Pick your favorite game. What was your first impression? Did you play it to experience some fun with friends? In the digital diversion world did you accidentally discover a new title for a gaming console? During a period, I wrote independent reviews for around 80 mobile games that I actually played for a legit review service that is no longer active. Many of the games were cash grabs. Some of the games didn't work. Several games were just trash. I have a certain perspective as an app developer. If you enter the mobile app space as a consumer looking for leisure you probably just want a seamless easy to use tool, game, or app that doesn't frustrate your patience! There are game developers, game users... and then there are game journalists. These professional writers offer their take on what makes a good or bad game. Long time game player and author Josh Bycer @GWbycer searched online for information about game mechanic systems but he couldn't find a strong knowledge base. What did he do? He started compiling research based on his own experiences eventually translating them into books stressing game mechanics over game story telling. Through this effort Josh Bycer's Game-Wisdom, game design critical thought process was born. I talked with Josh in the video below about a unique way in which he uses video games. He explains why he wants to see more Android games on the PC (Amazon says some of their Android mobile apps may be coming to Windows 11). Josh breaks down his game design philosophy along with what he likes best in successful games. You'll also discover what element Josh believes is crucial to making a video game a hit. We talk for 14 minutes. Here's a photo of Josh giving a presentation about the history of video games at the M Allan Vogelson Regional Branch of the Camden County Library in Voorhees, New Jersey on September 24, 2018. Photo by Kingsley H. Smith.

  • 0 Parker, Spikes, and Boykin Score Invention Patents

    Morristown, New Jersey resident Alice H. Parker detailed in her July, 1918 U.S. patent application a creative new way to use gas to power a heating device.   She received a patent on December 23, 1919 for an improved heating furnace. Parker's goal was to heat houses and buildings using independently controlled ducts in rooms. Heating units raising the temperature of a common cold air box in the furnace supplied the warmth to different floors. The unit above represents a 19th to 20th century design rather that the actual Parker gas furnace itself. Richard B. Spikes from San Francisco, California thought out the complex mechanics of the automatic car gear shift. Here's what the inside of a modern transmission looks like. Spikes applied for his patent in 1931. He describes it's operation: A "driver can manipulate levers representing the various speeds, these levers being mechanically or otherwise connected to mechanism which will throw in the clutch of the desired gear train, the clutch operatively connecting the drive and driven shafts together when the automobile clutch pedal is depressed." That's a mouth full! Today we'd call this "automatic gear shift" a manual transmission. Spikes' patent was awarded in December, 1932.   Resistors, pictured below are used in electric circuit boards to control the flow of electricity. The electrical resistance of a resistor is measured in ohms. German physicist Georg Simon Ohm mathematically worked out how the flow of electricity through a conductor is computed. Chicago, Illinois African American inventor Otis F. Boykin reasoned in his 1956 patent application that the manufacturing process of resistors up to that point had limitations. He designed a precision wire wound lower cost resistor with higher tolerances to relieve some stress factors. Modern resistors are shown here. Boykin received his patent in February, 1961.   Alice H. Parker, Richard B. Spikes, and Otis Boykin are just three of the creators featured in our Black History Inventors mobile app for iPhone or Android. We include a brief audio anecdote about each patent holder describing what they've done. Learn more about Black History Inventors and watch the video below.

  • 0 MLK Day Quotes Galore Video

    Martin Luther King Jr. was born on January 15, 1929. Dr. King has been honored with a national holiday in the USA on the third Monday in January since 1986. MLK Day of community service encourages you to get involved locally to help your neighborhood, town or city deal with important civic issues. Here's a 3 minute video that I produced featuring some of King's quotes in text. We posted it on our sister YouTube channel Black History People. Discover more Black History quotes in our mobile app Black History Quotes Express. All images and film in the video were taken during a personal visit to the King Memorial in Washington, DC.

  • 0 The 7 Best Mobile App Blog Posts of 2021

    Did you miss our 7 best mobile app blog posts of 2021? Take a look below and then jump right to the complete stories. New research published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine and conducted by investigators at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), Vanderbilt University Medical Center and the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine reveal this: Those who believed that smoking increases the risk of getting COVID-19 or having a more severe case were more likely to quit, while those who perceived more stress tended to increase their smoking. See Blowing Cigarette Smoke During a Pandemic and the related mobile app. What kind of mobile phone do you have? From a game developers point of view, if your phone is iOS, we celebrate. Why? iPhone and iPad models add up to a few dozen variants so designing a visual layout to accommodate these devices is straight forward. Unfortunately (for app developers) there are thousands of Android device models with design features that challenge our screen layouts! Read the rest of Sizing Up Thanksgiving Match 3 Game App Screens. iPhone 13 has just been released. As a follow-up to the disclosure about Android screen sizes in Sizing Up Thanksgiving Match 3 Game App Screens, here's a quick look at the same mobile app on iPhone. Although it is easier to design screens for iPhone and iPad because there are many less variants than Android, the iOS screen design process is still tricky. We reveal why in Sizing Up Thanksgiving Match 3 Game App Screens IOS. Three familiar faces: President Barack Obama, former Secretary of State Colin Powell, and former first lady Michelle Obama. Custom portraits of the Obamas sketched for Quikthinking Software by artist Julia Liberali. General Powell passed away on October 18, 2021. Powell (1937 - 2021) was born in Harlem, New York on April 5. During his distinguished career, he served as a four-star general, National Security Advisor, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Secretary of State, and as the mastermind of operation Desert Storm (against Iraq). Learn more in Black History Express App Stories. Entertainer Sammy Davis Jr. was drafted into the U.S. Army's first integrated unit. Hazel W. Johnson served her country as Chief Nurse for the Army Medical Command in Korea. Army, navy, air force, or marines. All veterans including prominent African Americans have served their country. We salute them and those who have made the ultimate sacrifice. Film maker James Edwards served in the army, and after service enrolled in drama school under the G.I. Bill. Actor James Earl Jones was another army vet who studied theater after military service under the G.I. Bill. Discover more in the Veterans Day Appreciation post and why this information is included in our app. Andrew was a former co-worker who constantly swapped his mobile phone for a different model so frequently that it was not unusual to see him with 3 different phones within a 3 month period. A mobile phone of the month club didn't exist. Andrew was just in pursuit of his ideal cell phone. Suppose you want the latest and greatest device to run that cool new app but getting a fresh iPhone or Android is questionable thanks to supply chain issues. Know what to do by reading The New Mobile Phone Shortage Quick Fix. What would you do after years of collecting African American artifacts and memorabilia? Here's what Jeffrey A. Fletcher did. He decided to share his curated history with the community of Stratford, Connecticut. Even though the last two pandemic laced years have been a challenge for all of us, this obstacle didn't stop Jeffrey A. Fletcher from opening the Ruby and Calvin Fletcher African American History Museum in October, 2021. Find out in the rest of the story How African American Artifacts Inspired a Collector. Even more within the museums app.  

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