Unity: Android Native Crash – [Solved] MP4 Audio Encoding Problem

I’ve been in Beta Testing for a new game I’m about to release on the Google Play Store (the game is called Endless Elevator). I kept having Native Crashes on specific Android platforms in all my builds in the Pre-Launch Reports. Native Crashes can be terrible to work through if you get unlucky so I was a bit worried and figured I’d just have to leave it like it was and release with errors! But being a bit stubborn I threw a few days into sorting through it and am very glad I did. Working through the problem highlighted some things I didn’t know about Android Video support and was an interesting exercise in troubleshooting. So here is the method I followed and the resolution to the problem.

In each case it was always the armeabi-v7a package that was causing the issues. (I split my build into two APK’s for arm64 and armeabi to make it a smaller installation size – I haven’t gone the android bundle path yet).

These are some of my base Beta builds and in most cases there were 4 errors relating to specific platforms.

The Pre-Launch tests are run on a variety of Android platforms but usually they will include these four below in some form or other and my build kept crashing with a Native Error on each of them.

The usual suspects

When I looked at each of them in turn and played the video of the interactive session the fail point always seemed to be about the time when I had a full screen projected video playing or about to play. The video is used as an introduction and tutorial to the game so it was pretty important for me to get it working.

The drill down screen of the crash report where you can see the video of the session and get access to the logs.

I downloaded all the Logcat’s from the console above and looked for any errors or crash reports.

In each case I found this line (which was a bit of a dead giveaway):

——— beginning of crash

A half dozen lines above the likely culprit was writ large:

07-23 04:00:47.862: W/MediaAnalyticsItem(9345): Unable to record: (codec:0:-1:-11:0:3:android.media.mediacodec.mime=audio/ac3:android.media.mediacodec.mode=audio:android.media.mediacodec.encoder=0:) [forcenew=0]
07-23 04:00:47.890: W/Unity(9345): AndroidVideoMedia: Could not create decoder for mime type audio/ac3.
07-23 04:00:47.890: W/Unity(9345): (Filename: Line: 2177)
07-23 04:00:47.906: I/Robo(9288): No foreign elements detected, falling back to original ScreenState.
07-23 04:00:47.910: I/Robo-HyperMultiGraph(9288): New Screen: Optional.of(ScreenNode {Id=5, PackageName=com.ZuluOneZero.EndlessElevator, ActivityName=Optional.of(com.unity3d.player.UnityPlayerActivity)})
07-23 04:00:47.913: E/Unity(9345): Could not allocate memory: System out of memory!
07-23 04:00:47.913: E/Unity(9345): Trying to allocate: 4294705156B with 16 alignment. MemoryLabel: Audio
07-23 04:00:47.913: E/Unity(9345): Allocation happened at: Line:70 in
07-23 04:00:47.913: E/Unity(9345): Memory overview

A bit of googling about led me to believe that as per the error message above the audio codec used in the video was a problem. The AC3 codec is an Audio format that’s used in my MP4 Video. I’d never given it much thought but this format is not supported across all the Android platforms (one of the problems of Android development is that there is so many different platforms out there).

The Video Editing Software that I normally use is called OpenShotVideo. It’s fantastically good for the price (free) and is easy to use and powerful enough for my meagre needs. Turns out the default audio codec used is AC3 (there is probably a way to modify this with OpenShotVideo but I wasn’t in the mood to troubleshoot someone else’s software). I really hadn’t given the audio codec part of the MP4 a second thought.

This is the Export Panel from OpenShotVideo where I confirmed that the Codec was indeed ac3.

While I was doing all this work and after I worked out that the audio codec in the Video was the problem I had a look at the video settings in Unity. I found that there was already a built in transcoder that I’d never noticed right there in the Unity Video Asset Import screen.

Transcode !

That’s pretty cool! Unity has already solved all my problems before I even knew I had them. So I hit the Transcode tick box and waited for twenty minutes while it went to work transcoding. That wait time should have been a bit of a warning. I did the build and uploaded the new apks to the Google Developer Console but while doing that I found that my build size had jumped almost 17 MB!

This was my size before the transcoding:

And afterwards:

A quick look at the Editor.Log confirmed that the transcoding process had made my lovely low quality 7 MB Movie over 20 MB:

Used Assets and files from the Resources folder, sorted by uncompressed size:
22.1 mb 6.8% Assets/Art/IntroMovePlusFoyerClippedSlowLow.mp4

To fix this I downloaded the HandBrake Open Source Video Transcoder and transcoded my original video asset using the AAC Codec for Audio.

The HandBrake Tool

After importing this into my project and rebuilding again I was left with a similar package size and no Native Crashes. Hooray. I’m going to release this Beta Build to Production soon so getting over this little hurdle feels like a huge V for Victory. Huzzah.

Unity: Circular Movement with Triangles

My son asked to do some game programming with me last week. I was super excited. We did an eyeball rolling around in a circular motion (see image below). He did everything from working in Unity to making the assets and materials and I was very proud. I helped with the function to make it circle. It got me thinking how to explain circular movement and the use of Pythagorean triangles and cos and sin functions. They are simple maths but kind of hard to explain without a picture so hence this project about making circles with triangles.

Rolling Eyeballs!

The Basic Idea

To simplify I’ll work in 2D so we only got two Axis. X and Y. The Center of our circle will be on the 0 (zero, zero). So we could think of this as a co-ordinate system with two planes. If we were mathematicians we would call this a Cartesian Plane after Rene Descartes but being a Game Developer with Unity I’m going to call it the Scene view in 2D.

Our circle is defined by it’s Radius (ie. the distance from the Center).

On each Update() event our GameObject gets a new X,Y position on the Radius of the circle.

The Angle of Change

To start with we work out what the angle of difference is between this Update and the last one. The time passed during that period is known as the DeltaTime. Our “speed” is how many Radians we are travelling around the circle in that time. A radian is the length of the radius laid around the circumference of the circle. We multiply the Speed (how fast we are ticking through the radians) by the DeltaTime (time passed since last Update) to tell us that angle size.

# angleInRadians += RotateSpeed * Time.deltaTime;

Convert Polar to Cartesian

After working out the angle we have what is called a Polar Coordinate. That is we define our location by how far away it is (the distance – in this case as it’s a circle it’s always the same i.e. the radius), and what the angle (θ) is. Now we need to convert between that definition of a location in the Scene View to another one we can use in the Unity move function.

This is where Pythagoras and right angled triangles comes in – to convert from Polar Coordinates (r,θ) to Cartesian Coordinates (x,y) we use cos and sin :
x = r × cos( θ )
y = r × sin( θ )

In Unity there is already a function that does this:

newPosition = new Vector2(Mathf.Cos(angleInRadians), Mathf.Sin(angleInRadians)) * Radius;

But what does this really mean? Cos and Sin are just numbers. They represent the relationship between two sides of the triangle.

For example cos is the value of the relationship between the side of the triangle that is adjacent to the angle (the side next to the angle) and the hypotenuse (the long side on the other side of the angle). We are going to use cos to find the x value (how far along the horizon it is) in our Vector2 position. The same way we use Sin to find the y position (how far up or down).

In the image below see how there are squares built off each side of the triangle. Pythagorean theory for right angled triangles states that the area/volume of the two squares built of the two smaller sides will be equal to the area/volume of the big square built off the longest (hypotenuse) side of the triangle.

The big blue square has a volume of 1 because the radius of the circle is 1 unit on the Cartesian plane and One Squared is One. The volume of the other two squares (Magenta and Yellow) will always add up to one. Their volumes added together will always equal the volume of the blue square. This is the Pythagorean theory of right angled triangles in action. The length of a side of the Yellow box is the x value and the length of a side on the Magenta box is the y value. That’s our current position in (x, y) format which we can pass to the transform.position function.

The two images below show two Updates() that are reasonably close together so you can see in detail and in “freeze frame” what’s going on between the Updates() with all the variables. You can see the angle go from about 8 degrees to 20 degrees and the changing values for sin and cos which result in changing (x,y) values and volumes of the squares.

One Position on Update()
The next position on Update()

That’s basically it apart from some modifications to the values for being on the negative sides of the circle.

The script attached to the moving object is below but I’ve also put it on github here: https://github.com/zuluonezero/MoveInACircleWithTriangles

I’m finding it deeply satisfying to watch the triangles and squares get used to define a circle going round over and over again.

If this sort of thing floats your boat I’ve done some other posts on making curves using intersecting lines:


Also on using sin to use curves in movement: http://www.zuluonezero.net/2018/06/20/fly-birdy-fly-2d-curved-movement-in-unity/.

using System.Collections;
using System.Collections.Generic;
using UnityEngine;
using UnityEngine.UI;
using UnityEditor;
public class CircleMe : MonoBehaviour
public float RotateSpeed = 5f;      // How fast we move through the radians
public float Radius = 0.1f;         // How "deep" the circle is
public Vector2 centreOfCircle;      // The Centre of our circle
public float angleInRadians;        // The angle (in radians) between our position between one update and the next
// A radian is the angle created if the length of the radius 
// is laid along the circumference of the circle (about 57.2958 degrees)
public Vector2 newPosition;         // The new position for every new Update event
public Text displayText;
public float angleInDegrees;
private LineRenderer triLine;
private Vector3 centre;
private Vector3 yLoc;
public float angle4Display;
private Vector3 sq1;
private Vector3 sq2;
private Vector3 sq3;
private Vector3 sq4cyan1;
private Vector3 sq4cyan2;
public Vector2 slopecyan;
public Vector2 p1cyan;
public Vector2 p2cyan;
private void Start()
centreOfCircle = transform.position;
// (0, 0) but could be anywhere
centre = transform.position;
private void Update()
angleInRadians += RotateSpeed * Time.deltaTime;
if (angleInRadians > 6.28319f)
angleInRadians = (angleInRadians % 6.28319f);
// eg.       0 += 5 * 0.25  (answer is 1.25)    // if deltaTime was 0.25 of a second
// and our initial angle was 0 radians. 
// Remember += is short for x = the current value of x plus itself (x = x + x)
// we need to convert the angle and radius into an x, y position
newPosition = new Vector2(Mathf.Cos(angleInRadians), Mathf.Sin(angleInRadians)) * Radius;
//          = new Vector2(opposite/hypotenuse(1.25), adjacent/hypotenuse(1.25)) * Radius;
// (x, y)   =            (0.9997, 0.0218) * 0.1
// (x, y)   =            (0.09997, 0.00218)
transform.position = centreOfCircle + newPosition;   // Adding Vectors
// (0.09997, 0.00218) = (0, 0) + (0.09997, 0.00218)
// this is our starting (x, y) position
// Now do it again for the next Update - the code below has been duplicated for this example
angleInRadians += RotateSpeed * Time.deltaTime;
// eg.       1.25 += 5 * 0.25  (answer is now 1.25 + 1.25 = 2.5)    // if deltaTime was 0.25 of a second 
newPosition = new Vector2(Mathf.Cos(angleInRadians), Mathf.Sin(angleInRadians)) * Radius;
//          = new Vector2(opposite/hypotenuse(2.5), adjacent/hypotenuse(2.5)) * Radius;
// (x, y)   =            (0.99904, 0.0436) * 0.1
// (x, y)   =            (0.09990, 0.00436)
transform.position = centreOfCircle + newPosition;   // Adding Vectors
// (0.09990, 0.00436) = (0, 0) + (0.09990, 0.00436)
if (transform.position.x > 0)
yLoc = new Vector3(centre.x + Radius, centre.y, centre.z);
yLoc = new Vector3(centre.x - Radius, centre.y, centre.z);
angleInDegrees = angleInRadians * 57.2958f;
public void OnDrawGizmos()
// Radius
Gizmos.color = Color.blue;
Gizmos.DrawWireSphere(centre, Radius);
// Yellow square
Gizmos.color = Color.yellow;
sq1 = new Vector3((transform.position.x / 2), (transform.position.x / 2f), 0f);
if (transform.position.x > 0)
if (transform.position.y > 0)
Gizmos.DrawWireCube(new Vector3((transform.position.x / 2), -(transform.position.x / 2f), 0f), new Vector3((transform.position.x), (transform.position.x), (transform.position.x)));
Handles.Label(new Vector3((transform.position.x / 2), -(transform.position.x / 2f), 0f), "Vol: " + (transform.position.x * transform.position.x));
Gizmos.DrawWireCube(sq1, new Vector3((transform.position.x), (transform.position.x), (transform.position.x)));
Handles.Label(sq1, "Vol: " + (transform.position.x * transform.position.x));
if (transform.position.y > 0)
Gizmos.DrawWireCube(sq1, new Vector3((transform.position.x), (transform.position.x), (transform.position.x)));
Handles.Label(sq1, "Vol: " + (transform.position.x * transform.position.x));
Gizmos.DrawWireCube(new Vector3((transform.position.x / 2), -(transform.position.x / 2f), 0f), new Vector3((transform.position.x), (transform.position.x), (transform.position.x)));
Handles.Label(new Vector3((transform.position.x / 2), -(transform.position.x / 2f), 0f), "Vol: " + (transform.position.x * transform.position.x));
// Magenta square
Gizmos.color = Color.magenta;
sq2 = new Vector3((transform.position.y / 2), (transform.position.y / 2f), 0f);
if (transform.position.x > 0)
if (transform.position.y > 0)
Gizmos.DrawWireCube(new Vector3((transform.position.x + transform.position.y / 2), (transform.position.y / 2f), 0f), new Vector3((transform.position.y), (transform.position.y), (transform.position.y)));
Handles.Label(new Vector3((transform.position.x + transform.position.y / 2), (transform.position.y / 2f), 0f), "Vol: " + (transform.position.y * transform.position.y));
Gizmos.DrawWireCube(new Vector3((transform.position.x + Mathf.Abs(transform.position.y) / 2), (transform.position.y / 2f), 0f), new Vector3((transform.position.y), (transform.position.y), (transform.position.y)));
Handles.Label(new Vector3((transform.position.x + Mathf.Abs(transform.position.y) / 2), (transform.position.y / 2f), 0f), "Vol: " + (transform.position.y * transform.position.y));
if (transform.position.y > 0)
Gizmos.DrawWireCube(new Vector3((transform.position.x - transform.position.y / 2), (transform.position.y / 2f), 0f), new Vector3((transform.position.y), (transform.position.y), (transform.position.y)));
Handles.Label(new Vector3((transform.position.x - transform.position.y / 2), (transform.position.y / 2f), 0f), "Vol: " + (transform.position.y * transform.position.y));
Gizmos.DrawWireCube(new Vector3((transform.position.x + transform.position.y / 2), (transform.position.y / 2f), 0f), new Vector3((transform.position.y), (transform.position.y), (transform.position.y)));
Handles.Label(new Vector3((transform.position.x + transform.position.y / 2), (transform.position.y / 2f), 0f), "Vol: " + (transform.position.y * transform.position.y));
// Red Triangle
Gizmos.color = Color.red;
Gizmos.DrawLine(centre, new Vector3(transform.position.x, centre.y, centre.z));
Gizmos.DrawLine(new Vector3(transform.position.x, centre.y, centre.z), transform.position);
Gizmos.DrawLine(transform.position, centre);
if (transform.position.x > 0)
if (transform.position.y > 0)
Gizmos.DrawLine(new Vector3(transform.position.x - 0.1f, 0f, 0f), new Vector3(transform.position.x - 0.1f, 0.1f, 0f));
Gizmos.DrawLine(new Vector3(transform.position.x - 0.1f, 0.1f, 0f), new Vector3(transform.position.x, 0.1f, 0f));
Gizmos.DrawLine(new Vector3(transform.position.x - 0.1f, 0f, 0f), new Vector3(transform.position.x - 0.1f, -0.1f, 0f));
Gizmos.DrawLine(new Vector3(transform.position.x - 0.1f, -0.1f, 0f), new Vector3(transform.position.x, -0.1f, 0f));
if (transform.position.y > 0)
Gizmos.DrawLine(new Vector3(transform.position.x + 0.1f, 0f, 0f), new Vector3(transform.position.x + 0.1f, 0.1f, 0f));
Gizmos.DrawLine(new Vector3(transform.position.x + 0.1f, 0.1f, 0f), new Vector3(transform.position.x, 0.1f, 0f));
Gizmos.DrawLine(new Vector3(transform.position.x + 0.1f, 0f, 0f), new Vector3(transform.position.x + 0.1f, -0.1f, 0f));
Gizmos.DrawLine(new Vector3(transform.position.x + 0.1f, -0.1f, 0f), new Vector3(transform.position.x, -0.1f, 0f));
// Cyan Square
Gizmos.color = Color.cyan;
if ((transform.position.x > 0 && transform.position.y > 0) || (transform.position.x < 0 && transform.position.y < 0))
slopecyan = new Vector2(transform.position.x, transform.position.y);
p1cyan = new Vector2((transform.position.x - slopecyan.y), (transform.position.y + slopecyan.x));
p2cyan = new Vector2((centre.x - slopecyan.y), (centre.y + slopecyan.x));
Gizmos.DrawLine(transform.position, p1cyan);
Gizmos.DrawLine(centre, p2cyan);
Gizmos.DrawLine(p1cyan, p2cyan);
slopecyan = new Vector2(transform.position.x, transform.position.y);
p1cyan = new Vector2((transform.position.x + slopecyan.y), (transform.position.y - slopecyan.x));
p2cyan = new Vector2((centre.x + slopecyan.y), (centre.y - slopecyan.x));
Gizmos.DrawLine(transform.position, p1cyan);
Gizmos.DrawLine(centre, p2cyan);
Gizmos.DrawLine(p1cyan, p2cyan);
Vector3 lbl = new Vector3((p1cyan.x / 2), (p1cyan.y / 2), 0f);
Handles.Label((lbl), "Vol: " + (Radius * Radius));
// Angle Marker
if (transform.position.y > 0)
if (transform.position.x > 0)
angle4Display = angleInDegrees;
Handles.DrawSolidArc(centre, Vector3.forward, yLoc, angle4Display, 0.25f);
angle4Display = -(angleInDegrees - 180f);
Handles.DrawSolidArc(centre, Vector3.forward, transform.position, angle4Display, 0.25f);
if (transform.position.x < 0)
angle4Display = (angleInDegrees - 180f);
Handles.DrawSolidArc(centre, Vector3.forward, yLoc, angle4Display, 0.25f);
angle4Display = -(angleInDegrees - 360f);
Handles.DrawSolidArc(centre, Vector3.forward, transform.position, angle4Display, 0.25f);
// Labels
Handles.color = Color.blue;
Handles.Label(centreOfCircle, angle4Display.ToString());
Handles.color = Color.white;
Handles.Label(transform.position, "X: " + System.Math.Round(transform.position.x, 2) + " Y: " + System.Math.Round(transform.position.y, 2));
// sin opposite/hypotenuse
Handles.Label(new Vector3(1.2f, 0.8f, 0f), "sin opposite/hypotenuse");
Handles.Label(new Vector3(1.3f, 0.7f, 0f), "sin: " + Vector3.Distance(centre, (new Vector3(transform.position.y, 0f, 0f))) / Vector3.Distance(centre, (transform.position)) );
// cos adjacient/hypotenuse
Handles.Label(new Vector3(1.2f, 0.6f, 0f), "cos adjacient/hypotenuse");
Handles.Label(new Vector3(1.3f, 0.5f, 0f), "cos: " + Vector3.Distance(centre, (new Vector3(transform.position.x, 0f, 0f))) / Vector3.Distance(centre, (transform.position)));
// tan opposite/adjacient
Handles.Label(new Vector3(1.2f, 0.4f, 0f), "tan opposite/adjacient");
Handles.Label(new Vector3(1.3f, 0.3f, 0f), "tan: " + Vector3.Distance(centre, (new Vector3(transform.position.y, 0f, 0f))) / Vector3.Distance(centre, (new Vector3(transform.position.x, 0f, 0f))));
Handles.Label(new Vector3(1f, -0.3f, 0f), "Next Position on Update()");
Handles.Label(new Vector3(1f, -0.4f, 0f), "newPosition = new Vector2(Mathf.Cos(angleInRadians), Mathf.Sin(angleInRadians)) * Radius");
Handles.Label(new Vector3(1f, -0.5f, 0f), "= new Vector2(opposite/hypotenuse(angleInRadians), adjacent/hypotenuse(angleInRadians)) * Radius");
Handles.Label(new Vector3(1f, -0.6f, 0f), "" + Mathf.Cos(angleInRadians) + ", " + Mathf.Sin(angleInRadians) + " * "  + Radius + " = " + newPosition);
Using Cartesian Coordinates we mark a point by how far along (x) and how far up (y) it is:
Using Polar Coordinates we mark a point by how far away (magnitude or in this case as it's a circle always the radius is the same), and what angle (θ) it is:
To convert from Polar Coordinates (r,θ) to Cartesian Coordinates (x,y) :
x = r × cos( θ )
y = r × sin( θ )
Example: add the vectors a = (8,13) and b = (26,7)
c= (8,13) + (26,7) = (8+26,13+7) = (34,20)

Image File Size in Unity and their Impact on Start Up Time on Android

Xander here…

We have been Beta Testing our soon to be released game The Dog Run and it’s been mostly OK but we had a number of issues with memory on smaller or older devices.  We made some gains with modifying our audio files (See this post) but were still running into niggling crashes on start up and longer than normal load times.

We were getting feedback like:

“Hey, I installed the game and couldn’t run it. When I started it there was a black screen for about 15s and then it went back to the launcher. Then each time I went back to the game there was unity and game logo fading out and again the app crashed/hanged and I was sent back to the launcher.”

(Thanks slomoian and the_blanker for all your help testing)

Obviously feedback like this is a little disheartening and far from ideal.  The game was running fine on every device and emulator I had access to but it’s only when you send something into the wild that you realise the full breadth of the spectrum that is the Android platform.  I guess this is another lesson in the importance of proper Beta testing.  One we hadn’t learned last time we released an app (see this old post on the perils and difficulty of finding Beta Testers).

We were using adb logcat to monitor our start up problems but not finding a “smoking gun” that solved every case. It seemed to be a memory problem and often with the graphics cache so again we went back to the Unity Editor build log to investigate our image files.  The game uses multiple large files to ensure that our animated sprites were always in the right spot. The game is dependent on the titular Dog hitting the ground line accurately on every frame to achieve the look we wanted when he runs and the paw breaks the ground line and appears as a gap.  We used a “flip-book” old fashioned style of animation where each frame sits exactly on top of the old frame and everything lines up on a transparency like in classic animated movies.

By using this schema we had to keep to a certain scale that fit within the constraints of a typical Android device format. This meant that when the images were imported the POT was not going to be something we could play with easily to get performance gains.  (Image files that have a width and breadth that is a power of 2 are faster and easier for the compression functions to work with – so 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, 64, 128, etc).  If I had the chance to do this again this is something I would probably start doing right from the beginning of development. When going through the Editor Logs we did find something interesting (get to the Editor Logs by right clicking on the arrow or tab near the Console and selecting it).

We found that some of our image files were 10 MB and a few were 2 MB.  Which was a little weird as they were all exported as layers from the same Gimp file so I must have done something in the import settings or the editor to change them.

This is a comparison of two files of the same dimensions and basically the same content but with two very different file sizes:

10.6 mb 0.8% Assets/artwork/RunOnSpot6.png

2.0 mb 0.1% Assets/artwork/DogSitHeadWag.png

The difference that I found was MIP Maps.  I’d selected to use MIP Maps fairly early on as it made the art work look smoother in the Editor.  MIP Maps are generated in the engine to make smaller more compressed versions of your artwork that can be used at longer distances from the camera where the detail is less visible. My game is 2D and has everything running at pretty much the same distance from the screen so really MIP Maps should not be required.  My art did look a bit better in the editor with them turned on but on a smaller device like a phone I couldn’t really tell the difference.  See below the difference in a file with MIP Maps selected and a file without.

With MIP Maps turned on (see the file size at the bottom and that the type is RGBA 32 bit):

The same file with MIP Maps removed (down to 2 MB and using ECT2 compression):

This is the difference that generating those MIP Maps makes. Your file is converted from the Android default compression to a larger (harder to process) 32 bit compression format.

So by turning off MIP Maps across the three hundred plus image files in my game reduced my application start up time to under a few seconds and reduced the APK file size by over one thousand MB.

This is the Build Report from the Editor Logs that shows the larger texture sizes and final build size:

Uncompressed usage by category:
Textures 1292.3 mb 94.6%

Complete size 1365.9 mb 100.0%

Compare this later Build Report with MIP Maps turn off to the original one above:

Textures 284.5 mb 82.6%

Complete size 344.6 mb 100.0%

It’s a considerable difference with little or no quality loss on most devices.  When I say most devices there were a few cases where the running dog did look a little tatty.  On very small emulated devices (3.5″ screens and low memory) the images were being scaled down quite a lot and the results were a lot less enjoyable but still an acceptable compromise considering previously the game would not run on these devices at all.

The next thing I started playing with was the different texture compression variables available for Android. I tried all of the settings (see screenshot below) in a different build and tested them against at least ten different devices with various architectures and screen dimensions and Android versions.

In each of the cases but one there was at least one test device that failed to start the game.  Once again exposing the issues of working with so many platform variables on Android.  Even when I built the APK with the (default) ETC selected one device failed the start up test.  So in the end the final build used the “Don’t override” setting which seemed to work on all devices.

Hopefully this is helpful to someone else out there and if it is try hitting the “Like” button below or sharing the link (the feedback keeps me going).

I found these references useful when troubleshooting my start up issues and learning more about compression on Android:






Unity Editor Tool Tips, Headings and Clamping Ranges

Hi Xander here…

Firstly a reminder that we are Beta Testing The Dog Run. If anyone would like to join please opt in here: https://play.google.com/apps/testing/com.ZuluOneZero.TheDogRun

(Apologies in advance for the pop up on this site advertising for help! It should only come up once)

The Dog Run has just been reviewed by Daikon Media if you are interested in reading what they thought please follow this link: https://daikonmedia.com/the-dog-run-review/

This post is about how to help yourself organise scripts in the Unity Editor using Tool Tips and Headings.  When you are developing as an Indie there can be long gaps between coding runs.  There is never enough time and so much to do so using anything that can help you quickly understand what those behaviours are supposed to be doing is a godsend (and adds to your godspeed).

Take this script for example from our game currently in development Endless Elevator.

This is the raw Editor display before beautifying:

I come back to this after a few days and have no idea what all those things should be and as they are so terribly unorganised it makes it all the harder to work it out.  Sure the code is commented and hell I wrote the stuff but it still takes time.

This is the same script with the addition of Headers and Tooltips (unfortunately the Tooltips are a bit hard to capture in a screen shot but you all know what they are).

Much Easier!

How to Make and Do!

I’ll use a quick example project to demonstrate how to use Tool Tips and Headings. They are super quick and easy.  I’ll also go over another extremely useful Editor function which is the Range. The Range can be used to clamp down a variable between a maximum and a minimum. This allows greater control over it’s setting while working on your game in Run Time so that you can tweak the variables easier.

Have a look at this example script:

HandyEditorTips Class

using UnityEngine;
public class HandyEditorTips : MonoBehaviour {
[Header("Speed Settings")]
[Tooltip("Speed value between 100 and 500.")]
// Show this float in the Inspector as a slider between 100 and 500
[Range(100.0F, 500.0F)]
public float speed = 100;
[Header("Point to Rotate Around X Axis")]
[Tooltip("Location Across the screen on the X axis")]
public float vector_x = 0;
// Update is called once per frame
void Update () {
// Rotate the object around the given point
// (Point to rotate round, direction of rotation, speed * frame rate delta)
transform.RotateAround(new Vector3(vector_x, 0, 0), Vector3.forward, speed * Time.deltaTime);


This script is added to the Sphere in the project and the Slider is a huge help in setting the required speed of turning.

Juxtapose this with the other setting for the X Axis vector variable and see when I try and use that when it’s not clamped into some sensible settings. It sends my Sphere cycling all other the shop.

It’s not groundbreaking stuff I know. But it’s easy to implement and does make your coding job easier in the initial phases.  Once you’ve got all your scene elements into some kind of decent shape you can start moving those variables that shouldn’t be exposed into a private scope and setting them to static.

Here is the Unity API Documentation Links if you want to do more reading:




Unity Debugging with ADB for Android

Hi Zulu here… (First of all … sorry for the cat)

Let me say straight off that your first port of call for any Unity debugging should be the Unity Console.

Though sometimes you need more low level operating system logging for Android. This is where ADB (in lower case) comes in.

On Windows this is a command line tool to view the logs from a connected Android device.

The command line is not the only way to use the tool sometimes it’s better to use the Android Studio interface (a bit more graphical).

You will need to have your Android device connected to your workstation and USB debugging turned on  (Google that if you need to). You could also use an Android emulator on your desktop.

I use Leapdroid or KoPlayer.  (Leapdroid have now joined Google and no longer support the emulator but it’s still available to download on the internet).  I guess you could also use the emulator that comes with Android Studio.

When your game is installed and running on your device go to the directory in your workstation (PC) where the Android SDK Tools are.

On mine they are here:


In the tools directory open the monitor.exe (this tool was depreciated in Android Studio 3.0 and replaced with profiler.exe mine is still on the lower revision).

This documentation on the Android site is a good start investigating the profiler:


You can also get into LogCat directly from Android Studio (if you have it open):

Go to  View | Tool Windows | Android Monitor

At the bottom of Android Monitor in it’s own tab is the LogCat console window. This contains all of the information about what’s happening in the Android operating system.

As you can see the LogCat console contains a lot. It logs everything.

To filter it type “tag:Unity” in the textbox at the top to see messages that relate to Unity.

Using adb logcat from the command line

Open a command prompt on your development workstation and find the location of your Android SDK platform-tools folder.

Mine was here:


If you get this error when you run adb.exe using the command prompt:
‘adb’ is not recognized as an internal or external command operable program or batch file

You can add ‘adb’ to the $PATH environment variable (and restart the command prompt).

setx PATH "%PATH%;C:\Users\AppData\Local\Android\sdk\platform-tools"


To run logcat through the adb shell, the general usage is:

[adb] logcat [<option>] … [<filter-spec>] ..

This is the official Android Developer Logcat Command-Line Tool documentation:


but you can get –help on the command line.

It can be handy to know the device id of your Android phone/tablet whatever. This command will help:

C:\Users\<user_name>>C:\Users\<user_name>\AppData\Local\Android\sdk\platform-tools\adb.exe devices
List of devices attached
ce10171a5c19853003 device


You can specify that the log spew into a file instead of into your console (the console is pretty much useless as there is too much to scroll through).

C:\Users\<user_name>\AppData\Local\Android\sdk\platform-tools\adb.exe -d logcat > adb_logcat_out.txt
-d use USB device (error if multiple devices connected)
logcat show device log (logcat --help for more)
-s SERIAL use device with given serial (overrides $ANDROID_SERIAL)


The default Log Location on my machine was:

A few seconds of output got me a 6.5 MB file so a bit of filtering is advisable

If you run into trouble with the adb server just kill it and restart.

C:\Users\<user_name>\AppData\Local\Android\sdk\platform-tools\adb.exe kill-server
C:\Users\<user_name>\AppData\Local\Android\sdk\platform-tools\adb.exe logcat -s ce10171a5c19853003 DEBUG
C:\Users\<user_name>>C:\Users\<user_name>\AppData\Local\Android\sdk\platform-tools\adb.exe logcat -s ce10171a5c19853003 DEBUG
* daemon not running; starting now at tcp:5037
* daemon started successfully
--------- beginning of main
--------- beginning of system


If you want further help check out these pages from the Unity Manual and Tutorials:




As a final word I’ll also direct you to this package called Device Console on the Unity Asset Store. I’ve not used it but it looks really good and for fifteen dollars might save you a lot of hassle.


Key Quest! Google Play Store Key Signing and the Pain of a Long Slow Death

Should Google Manage Your Keys for Games built with Unity?

We recently had a problem that caused weeks of pain and struggle and it had nothing to do with coding. It was the damn java keystore signing process that we signed up for on the Google Play Store.

The basics are that the Google Play Store requires that all APKs be digitally signed with a certificate before they can be installed.  Apps must use the same certificate in order for users to be able to install new versions or updates.  This is a good and secure system. No issues here.

If you lose your key you cannot distribute any updates to your app/game. This would be really bad for some companies so Google offers to keep your keys safe so that you if you did lose them you can ask to have the key sent to you which gives you authority distribute again. Yay for Google!

But our problems start here in Unity when you build your game for Android the keystore is defined on the Player Settings tab of the Build Setting (CTRL+SHIFT+B).

In the first case when running your project from Unity the package (APK) is automatically signed with a debug certificate generated by the Android SDK tools. The debug keystore and certificate are in $HOME/.android/debug.keystore.

This debug certificate is insecure by design and can’t be used on the Google Play Store for publishing an Alpha release but you can upload it for Beta releases.  I think this is where we started going wrong.

When you upload an APK to the Play Store you can opt in to app signing by Google Play. They recommend it but it’s optional. If you prefer, you can continue managing your own keys.

The advantages of opting in to the Google Play Store App Signing program is that 1. You ensure that the app signing key is not lost. 2. If your app signing key is compromised only a user with an account linked to your app can manage an upload key which makes it harder to do something malicious. (If you sign in your apps are signed with an upload key proving your credentials – Google then manages your APK and assigns it the correct and valid signing key).

To quote their documentation: “When using Google Play App Signing, you will use two keys: the app signing key and the upload key. Google manages and protects the app signing key for you, and you keep the upload key and use it to sign your apps for upload to the Google Play Store.

When you use Google Play App Signing, if you lose your upload key, or if it is compromised, you can contact Google to revoke your old upload key and generate a new one. Because your app signing key is secured by Google, you can continue to upload new versions of your app as updates to the original app, even if you change upload keys.

If you lose your keystore or think it may be compromised, app signing by Google Play makes it possible to request a reset to your upload key. If you’re not enrolled in app signing by Google Play and lose your keystore, you’ll need to publish a new app with a new package name.”

Alright. Read that last bit again. It’s important and why app signing might be a really good idea. If you manage your key yourself and you lose it and want to make an update to your app then you have to publish your whole app again under a different name. Again just to drum that home … If you lose your keystore, the only solution is to upload a new instance of the app to the Google Play Store with a new key, a whole new store listing like it’s a different product, as it will not accept an APK signed with a different key.

See: https://support.google.com/googleplay/android-developer/answer/7384423?hl=en
(Manage your app signing keys) The support team only accepts key reset requests from the Play Console account owner. The account owner can fill out a form and attach the upload_certificate.pem file. Then you can update your keystores and API provider registration.

It seems easy and if you want to read funny people on the internet slagging off the Byzantine process check out the comments under this tutorial:

I was a little lost so I started looking for the help of my peers and of course from Unity.

I found a post from one poor soul who was in the same boat as me and the response from Unity Support was: “What do you want to be supported from Unity side? I see this unrelated to our build process.” So someone needs to have a little talk to that chap.

There are more than a few forum posts around this for Unity (and that last one is for andromo but the subject is the same issue).

Look – and this is really the bottom line – it all got too frustrating and annoying trying to work out what the hell was going on and since I was only in my third release cycle I just opened up a new App on the Play Store and ditched the old one.  But that’s just not possible for anyone who has an App out there and has no other option. So this is the process to getting that pesky key back.

In the Google Play Store you can see your App Signing Keys here:

You got your App signing certificate – this is the one that actually signs your app.
SHA-1 certificate fingerprint (above)
SHA1: A8:C0:F2:25:E6:A4:17:A3:F7:13:7B:96:37:FB:B8:59:69:72:9B:8C

And your Upload certificate – this is the one that you use to upload with your APK so that Google knows it’s you.

Your upload key is only registered with Google and is used to authenticate the identity of the app creator.
Your upload key is removed from any uploaded APKs before being sent to users.

SHA-1 certificate fingerprint (above)
SHA1: 74:5A:11:31:6E:2E:C0:DD:8C:F5:6E:65:24:5F:77:B8:2C:EA:6A:9A

In my case the upload certificate was from the default android debug keystore (that I shouldn’t have used):

C:\Program Files\Java\jdk1.8.0_111\bin>keytool.exe -list -keystore C:\Users\<user>\.android\debug.keystore
Enter keystore password:

Keystore type: JKS
Keystore provider: SUN

Your keystore contains 1 entry

androiddebugkey, 10/08/2016, PrivateKeyEntry,
Certificate fingerprint (SHA1): 74:5A:11:31:6E:2E:C0:DD:8C:F5:6E:65:24:5F:77:B8:2C:EA:6A:9A


To generate and register a new upload key, follow the instructions in the Android Studio Help Center.

You don’t need to use Android Studio you can also do it on the command line (which is easier I think).

First generate a private key using keytool. For example:

# keytool -genkey -v -keystore my-release-key.jks -keyalg RSA -keysize 2048 -validity 10000 -alias my-alias

C:\Program Files\Java\jdk1.8.0_111\bin>keytool -genkey -v -keystore D:\ZuluOneZero\Demo-Unity-Android-key.jks -keyalg RSA -keysize 2048 -validity 10000 -alias Demo4Unity
Enter keystore password:
Re-enter new password:

What is your first and last name?
[Zulu]: ZuluOneZero
What is the name of your organizational unit?
[Unknown]: TheDogRun
What is the name of your organization?
[Unknown]: ZuluOneZero
What is the name of your City or Locality?
[Unknown]: Melbourne
What is the name of your State or Province?
[Unknown]: Victoria
What is the two-letter country code for this unit?
[Unknown]: AU
Is CN=ZuluOneZero, OU=TheDogRun, O=ZuluOneZero, L=Melbourne, ST=Victoria, C=AU correct?
[no]: yes

Generating 2,048 bit RSA key pair and self-signed certificate (SHA256withRSA) with a validity of 10,000 days
for: CN=ZuluOneZero, OU=TheDogRun, O=ZuluOneZero, L=Melbourne, ST=Victoria, C=AU
Enter key password for <Demo4Unity>
(RETURN if same as keystore password):
Re-enter new password:
[Storing D:\ZuluOneZero\Demo-Unity-Android-key.jks]

Note: keytool is located in the bin/ directory in your JDK. To locate your JDK from Android Studio, select File > Project Structure, and then click SDK Location and you will see the JDK location
C:\Program Files\Java\jdk1.8.0_111\bin\keytool.exe
(I used this one but you will have a keytool for every JDK and JRE on your machine – doesn’t matter which one you use)

Then, export the certificate for the new key to PEM format:

# keytool -export -rfc -alias <upload> -file <upload_certificate.pem> -keystore <keystore.jks>

C:\Users\<user>\AppData\Local\GitHub\mingw32\bin\openssl.exe x509 -inform der -in C:\Users\<user>\Downloads\deployment_cert.der -out D:\ZuluOneZero\deployment_cert.pem

Add the certificate to the signing keystore:

keytool -export -rfc -alias Demo4Unity -file C:\Users\roderick\Downloads\upload_cert.der -keystore D:\ZuluOneZero\Demo-Unity-Android-key.jks

C:\Program Files\Java\jdk1.8.0_111\bin>keytool -export -rfc -alias Demo4Unity -file C:\Users\roderick\Downloads\upload_cert.der -keystore D:\ZuluOneZero\Demo-Unity-Android-key.jks
Enter keystore password:
Certificate stored in file <C:\Users\roderick\Downloads\upload_cert.der>

If you want to inspect the certificates (on Windows) right click and open with Crypto Shell Extensions.

Or you can inspect the certificates like this:

C:\Program Files\Java\jdk1.8.0_111\bin>keytool.exe -printcert -file C:\Users\<user>\Downloads\upload_cert.der
Owner: CN=ZuluOneZero, OU=TheDogRun, O=ZuluOneZero, L=Melbourne, ST=Victoria, C=AU
Issuer: CN=ZuluOneZero, OU=TheDogRun, O=ZuluOneZero, L=Melbourne, ST=Victoria, C=AU
Serial number: 3e64dcd1
Valid from: Thu Sep 13 16:28:59 AEST 2018 until: Mon Jan 29 17:28:59 AEDT 2046
Certificate fingerprints:
MD5: F8:D3:CF:84:88:8E:16:EA:3D:74:F0:7E:9E:18:13:C9
SHA1: BD:1B:A2:99:05:11:0E:F6:A0:B5:1A:7B:7D:EB:01:3C:8B:A7:98:6D
SHA256: 7C:24:86:CD:58:1A:2F:74:21:B0:A6:9B:3D:DF:BC:BE:2A:15:F3:23:B9:44:7F:98:5D:8D:FB:24:98:37:82:9C
Signature algorithm name: SHA256withRSA
Version: 3


#1: ObjectId: Criticality=false
SubjectKeyIdentifier [
KeyIdentifier [
0000: 21 44 48 FA 63 97 2D B0 A4 92 2B 38 41 E4 2F 7D !DH.c.-…+8A./.
0010: EA 26 E0 10 .&..

You can inspect keystores like this:

C:\Program Files\Java\jdk1.8.0_111\bin>keytool.exe -list -keystore D:\ZuluOneZero\Demo-Unity-Android-key.jks
Enter keystore password:

Keystore type: JKS
Keystore provider: SUN

Your keystore contains 1 entry

demo4unity, 13/09/2018, PrivateKeyEntry,
Certificate fingerprint (SHA1): BD:1B:A2:99:05:11:0E:F6:A0:B5:1A:7B:7D:EB:01:3C:8B:A7:98:6D


All the detail above are dummy one’s for demonstration purposes only.

The Dog Run – Game Play Demo

Hi Harmony here…

Today I did some game play testing of the new game we are beta testing right now.

If you want to do some beta testing you can opt in here:   https://play.google.com/apps/testing/com.ZuluOneZero.TheDogRun

Feedback can be posted on the website in the comments or directly by email at


Do NOT Restart Unity After a Crash!

It all started when my laptop went into sleep mode.
I was doing some play testing of my Dog Run game and had to take a work call.
I know I know “real” work getting in the way of my real life.

Something happened and the laptop stopped responding. Wouldn’t come out of sleep mode and had to be restarted.

Now normally Unity is pretty stable. I actually can’t remember any time when it caused a crash or stopped responding or has died on me but I guess being in run mode while the laptop was asleep may have been a contributing factor.

When I restarted my machine and opened my Game again in Unity the editor barfed and gave me an error in the console like:

GetPathNameExtension(path) == “unity”
GetPathNameExtension(path) == “unity”
GetPathNameExtension(path) == “unity”
Unknown error occurred while loading ‘/Scenes/MainScene.unity’.

Then it asked if I would like to open the default scene which I promptly took to be My default scene. But sadly it wasn’t. It was the Unity default scene that you see when you open up a new project.

All of my assets and settings were gone. All those hours of tweaking objects’ positions and rotations getting things just right were wiped off the board like an angry chess master.


This is the big lesson of today.

If the Unity Editor or your operating system crashes do NOT start Unity again without making a backup!

I know there are a few other lessons here like: 1. Always backup your project, and 2. Use source control, and 3. Backup your project again, and 4. Save your project regularly during your workflow and 5. Save the scene and the project BEFORE hitting Play when you are testing your game.

But I want to say it again because opening your project up after a crash in Unity is a really easy thing to do and seems like the right thing to do and is normal and natural and good. But it’s NOT!


Not without first backing up your project folders.

Now I know backup is a whole subject in itself and I’m going to make an entry on that soon but there are some simple ways to save the day here.

When you hit the Play button in Unity the scene and all the running elements are saved in the project’s Temp directory.

If you have a crash and want to restore your scene file, you cannot re-launch the Unity Editor after the crash.
If you do it will blow away the Temp directory and you will lose the last saved scene and all your progress with it!

Inside your Project directory folder there should be a Temp/__Backupscenes directory. If you are lucky in here you will find a file called either 0.backup or “__EditModeScene” (depending on Unity version) which is your saved scene file.

First! Make a backup of your Project directory. Take the whole thing. Easiest quickest way is to copy the whole project folder to another directory.

Then all you have to do is to copy this file back into you project and replace the broken scene file with the copy. Set the file extension to .unity in order to make this file recognizable as Unity scene file.

Please backup your project folder before making the change.

When you Run Unity and open the Scene you just moved from the Temp folder hopefully all or at least most, of your changes are there and the scene is restored.

So Unity is saving your scene every time when you hit the play button, but not over the original scene file, instead it is saved in the project’s Temp directory.

But be careful. You cannot start the Unity editor after the crash. This is by nature a Temp directory whose content is created dynamically when working in Unity.
If you restart you will lose the scene file and all the progress with it.

Once you have done this start using a new workflow.
Take regular backups.
Use source control.
Hit Save regularly while working in Unity.
Hit Save before you hit Play when testing in Unity.

Animating the Running Dog with Unity and GIMP

I finally got the game I started in November into some semblance of how I wanted it to look.  The running dog animation anyway.  Still playing with different backgrounds but this one is sure “fun”.

It took a long time to get all the dog actions done drawing each one by hand and getting a lot of unsatisfactory results.  The animation is all “flip-book” style with each frame a different drawing.  There were between 70 to 80 pictures for the entire set.

The art was done in gimp with the help from some nice veterinarian manuals on the dog gait.

I mocked up a few transitions from an opening scene to a nice zoom down to playing position.

Then moved between a sedate walk to a running gallop and a little jump.  She looks like she’s really flying now!


During this time I also had a big problem with corrupted a scene after playing in the Animator window.  Big tip and future post – do not restart Unity if it crashes without taking a copy of your temp directory first. It took me about two weeks to rebuild everything but more on that later.

How To Get Beta Testers

Yay! We Are In Beta!

When ZuluOneZero published NumBlocks on the Google Play Store we went through the requisite development phases.

The game has been released now – have a play:
NumBlocks published on the Google Play Store for Android.

Click to Play:

Also on the Amazon Play Store for Android and Kindle.

Click to Play:

This was our first app that we thought looked good enough to give away to real users.
I was very proud of the artwork and how the game played on screen.
It’s a simple no-frills game but it was a perfect test platform to scope out what’s required to get a game published.
Which incidentally is a little daunting but in reality the whole process of publishing a game on the Google Play Store was pretty easy.
The Google Play Console was easy to use and there were plenty of official and community references to help us through it.

Uh Oh … Problem …

We went through several development iterations and found a revision that worked on most Android platforms.
We were running Unity 5 and targetting all mobiles above Android API 15 4.03 called “Ice Cream Sandwich”.
Not being a big shop our test devices were old personal phones that were around this API version. It was running well and looked great an a VM but once we started using our physical test devices we found a few issues dealing with different screen resolutions and one phone didn’t have enough resources to run the random number generator so that the same numbers kept spewing out.

Then we upgraded to Unity 2017.1.0f3 and lost support for those older API’s. Oops no more supported hardware to test on! We really needed to get some Beta Testers who could trial the game on a variety of different platforms that we couldn’t access. We could test thoroughly with virtual machines but as we found when testing on real phones there are some things about how the game looks and plays that can only be reproduced on the real platform.

Solved! (Not!)

So our marketing team (Harmony and Felicity) and I did some research on recruiting Beta Testers and we quickly realised that we couldn’t affort to pay for the service.
We did find a wealth of paid services out there which I’ll list below in case someone can make use of that information.

Not all of these services were paid but most of them required some sort of effort or buy-in up front that we couldn’t match.


Ready to introduce your startup to the world?


Contact us


Submit Your StartUp


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Social Media Save Me!

So we turned our attention to the online communities that might be able to assist us.
We did some more research and found that social media is literally teeming with sites and groups that want to Beta Test your app. Awesome. Problem solved.

We published a Beta version of the app on the Play Store and mocked up some Beta Testing campaign ideas along with a set of goals that we had for Beta Tests. We were looking for technical testers as opposed Marketing and I can tell you I was pretty excited about getting some feedback on the game. When we pubished the Beta version of the game we could choose a number of Beta testers that the game would be released to. The interface gave us a minimum of 1000 users so we went with that and given the number of social media sites we found thought that this didn’t sound all that unreasonable.

This is a brief list of the social media sites and lists and groups that we advertised for Beta Testers on….

Google Communities:
Android Beta Tests
Android Game Developer
Indie Game Developers
Game Developers
Game Developers
Game Programmers
Mobile Game & App Developers



We even did a big call through our Facebook Page and Blog.

Big Reveal!!!

Guess how many Beta Testers came flocking to try out our great new game…..

None. Zero. Zilch. Nada. Not one.

We checked around the boards on these sites and groups and actually found very little actual Beta Testing going on.
After a few weeks of interacting with these communities and even testing a few apps ourselves thinking that we might get some kind of Beta Testers Karma we still found that no-one really wants to test your app (unless maybe if you are building a huge free MMO that’s going to be awesome – anyone doing that?).

Free Advice!

So there you have it – Beta Testing using social media groups doesn’t work. You don’t get nufin’ for free in life.

So my advice to you is that if you don’t have one already, start building an email list now. For a startup game dev studio with no support framework it’s pretty hard to come by free help when you need it. Ideally, start collecting email addresses before you even have an app, and keep at it! Because even a handfull of Beta Testers is better than none.