Porting My Game Code To Mac OS

I’m still working on prototypes. I’ve spent the last six months going through different game ideas and working on prototype after prototype. Along the way I’ve made over 20 different prototypes on iPad or iPhone. I’m sure a lot of those prototypes would have made decent iOS games, but I wasn’t particularly excited to develop them all the way and take them to completion. I’m looking for something that’s both very interesting to develop and something I can proudly point to after it ships.

Right now I have a couple of game ideas in hand that I’m pretty excited about. I prototyped one of those, but I quickly realized it might be a game better suited for desktops rather than iOS, so I decided to write my next prototype for that game on the Mac. Maybe another day I’ll write a post about prototypes, but what I want to write about today is my experience moving over my prototyping code to the Mac. Continue reading

iCloud Demystified

Play a game on a device, put it down, pick up another device, and continue playing exactly where you left off. This is the future of games.

That future is a reality today for some games and apps (Netflix, Kindle), and I’m convinced that players will expect that in most games in the next year or so. So obviously, the next bit of new iOS tech I decided to try was iCloud. I would love to turn Flower Garden into that kind of seamless experience, independently of the device you use to access it.

As a quick spoiler, it turns out I won’t be able to make Flower Garden quite so seamless without a lot of extra work. But I learned a lot along the way and I should be able to take a small step in that direction. Continue reading

URL Shorteners In Under Two Minutes

This morning I added the goo.gl URL shortener to Flower Garden, so I thought a quick post with sample code might be helpful for other developers looking to do something similar.

I use the URL shortener in Flower Garden to send bouquets through SMS. Space is limited in a text message, so the message just contains some text explaining what is it and the URL pointing to the bouquet image. (Yes, I would much rather send them through MMS, but Apple isn’t exposing that yet to developers).

Sms

In this case, the full URL is http://flowers.snappytouch.com/sms.php?id=949618b4b3c6f3d76e32b45446e238a0 which gets thankfully shortened to http://goo.gl/IV5cq. Continue reading

Analytics For iOS Games

Unlike a lot of console and PC games, most mobile and web games keep evolving over time [1]. It’s up to a game’s designers to ultimately decide how to change and improve the game, but the more data about players’ habits they have, the more informed a decision they’ll be able to make. Having good analytics on iOS games is simply essential these days. Continue reading

Writing Reusable Code

Some people asked what I meant by a “toolkit architecture” in the previous post about my middleware fears. It turns out I wrote about that in a previous Inner Product column that for some reason I never reposted here. I think at the time I wrote this (late 2008), I already wasn’t very concerned about writing reusable code, and I was focusing it mostly with respect to using other people’s code and how I wanted it to be architected.

Continue reading