Archive for the 'iPhone' Category

Invader Zurp

September 12th, 2011
Spencer Nielsen Follow snielsen42 on Twitter

So for those of you on my Cannonade TestFlight profile, you might have noticed that I havn’t seeded a build for about two months. I have a good explanation for this.

Lets rewind back to right after my last Cannonade seed build. I was on vacation at the time and had the opportunity to stand back from Cannonade and evaluate things from a different perspective. Sometimes I don’t think I seek out those opportunities to just sit and think as much as I should (just thinking sometimes makes me feel a bit lazy for not doing). At one family gathering I observed my older son playing Fruit Ninja on his aunt’s iPhone. I was aware of Fruit Ninja and knew that it was a definite App Store success. As I watched him play I thought to myself “That just one play mechanic. One. Repeated, millions of times over and over and over.” This is the typical MO of most games that are successful on the App Store. Simple, easy to pick up and well implemented with good production values. With Cannonade I am trying to break new ground on the App Store. I still believe that there could be a place for deep multi-player experiences on the App Store and I think that Cannonade is on the right track. But watching Fruit Ninja got me thinking. Did I have a single, fun gameplay mechanic that I could repeat millions of times? The core fun mechanic of Cannonade is “Knock Your Friend’s Castles Down.” Maybe I could modify that to just “Knock Castles Down.” Even knocking down dumb castles was fun in and of itself. Maybe I could repeat that experience millions of times and put out a more limitedly scoped single player experience? I decided that it would be a really fun exercise and that I would put Cannonade on hold for a few months while I brought this new single player game to market. I call it “Invader Zurp“.

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Startup Grind.app 1.2 (August Update)

August 19th, 2011
Spencer Nielsen Follow snielsen42 on Twitter

The Startup Grind.app version 1.2 has been approved and is live on the App Store! This update features some substantial re-design and refinement. The biggest change has been a complete re-design of the “Questions” pane. Now you can down-vote questions that you don’t like, redundant questions or non-questions. If a question gets to a value of -2 or lower (the equivalent of three negative votes and one positive vote) then the question will no longer be displayed. Remember, you can submit questions to the speaker far in advance of the actual event if you want.

Try it out and let us know what you think of the changes.

Play MAME On Your iPad/iPhone Without Jailbreaking

July 25th, 2011
Spencer Nielsen Follow snielsen42 on Twitter

 

 

As a partial follow up to my previous article “Play SNES Games On Your iPad Without Jailbreaking” I have now made a similar patch to the imame4all project which will allow it to build for non-jailbroken iOS devices. Everything appears to be in order except that I havn’t figured out a way to get the BTDaemon to run on a non-jailbroken device. This means that it can’t currently use Bluetooth controllers like the Wiimote. Digging into the btstack source it looks like you can configure it to talk with a BTDaemon process even if it is running on another machine like a Mac. I havn’t had time to fully investigate that yet though.

How To Get It Working Yourself

I have created a patch and script that will create everything for you automatically and set you up so that you can just build, run and go. Like the SNES-HD- patch before, you are going to need a current copy of Apple’s Developer Tools (tested with Xcode 3.2.6) and a copy of the iOS SDK (my changes assume the 4.3 SDK). You will need to be a paid iOS developer with Apple and have correctly configured your development machine and iOS device so that you can sign code and run said code on your device.

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Startup Grind.app 1.1 (July Update)

July 20th, 2011
Spencer Nielsen Follow snielsen42 on Twitter

The Startup Grind.app version 1.1 has been approved and is live on the App Store! There are some cool new features in this update! Try them out and let us know what you think.

Info Pane

First, we have condensed a lot of information into a new “Info” pane:

  • The complete details about the speaker and event.
  • A map of where the event is being held (touch it to go look it up in the Maps application).
  • A sponsor banner so you know who to thank for your free pizza that night (Wanna be a sponsor? Email Us).

This pane is the new hub of every event and is the pane that you now start in.

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Cannonade 0.5.10 (Wall Street) is now seeded

June 22nd, 2011
Spencer Nielsen Follow snielsen42 on Twitter

So you’re successful right? How successful? Let us count the ways. Let us count them by ranking you against your peers with an Elo ranked leaderboard and achievements. Remember that your worth can now be quantified and compared, so be sure to push your numbers as high as you can. “Greed, for lack of a better word, is good”. Welcome to the Wall Street update.

Complete Changelist:

  • Bumped engineCompatibility to 0.5.10. (this means all games previously created by versions <= 0.5.9 will be deleted)
  • Fixed a bug with the friction attachements that was casuing divergence.
  • Taking another initial stab at redoing the cluster picker menu.
  • Initial stab at 2X UI for the iPad.
  • Added in-game stats panes and leaderboards.
  • Designed the profile page and got initial replay functionality implemented.
  • Made some changes to speed up app initialization.
  • Added more capability to the stat gathering functionality.
  • Added “Judge” capability.
  • Added all the server-side support for interacting with judges and passing judgement on games.
  • Added more stats functionality and judge bug fixes.
  • Refined convex sweeping to only be super aggressive when dealing with the (thin) terrain.
  • Fixed some concurrent loading bugs.
  • Fixed a sound loading bug.
  • Added a pragma to skip the intro.

I described the initial set of achievements that I had come up with in a previous blog post. For this update these are the achievements that are actually implemented and currently earnable:

Boot Camp Rookie’s Luck Start A Fight With A Total Stranger Keep Your Enemies Close…
Finish Him Good Game Battle Hardened Angry Zurps
The General The Old College Try Flawless Victory LOL HAX
Peashooter Moonshot Greased Pig Heh Heh, Fire!, Fire!, Fire!
Rainbow Roll Lucky 7s Sky High Going The Distance
Pacifist One Hit Wonder Jack Of All Trades Critical Hit
Epic Fail McDuck The National Debt All Your Base

Alpha Testing List

Would you like to be one of the awesome alpha testers that help make Cannonade great? Send an email to: [email protected] and I will reply with instructions on how to get onto the Trac server, Testflight list and tester forums.

Startup Grind. The app.

June 15th, 2011
Spencer Nielsen Follow snielsen42 on Twitter

So my friend Derek and I have this really cool event that we run called the Startup Grind. It has been great to watch it blossom into a vibrant, well attended meetup over the past couple of months. The other day we sat down and talked about ways that we could add even more value to what we think is the best free startup event in silicon valley. One thing we wanted to try out was to see if there was some sort of technology solution that we could come up with to make the networking at our event even easier and more valuable. Thus the concept of the Startup Grind app was born. First concept to App Store submission was exactly three weeks to the day. Now that you can get it in your hands, let me give you a tour of it’s main features.

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Achievement Brain Chemistry

June 4th, 2011
Spencer Nielsen Follow snielsen42 on Twitter

One crucial aspect of my game that I have been thinking of for a while has been that of in-game achievements. There is just something about the hormones that get secreted in your brain the first time that sound or notification goes off that hooks you like the first line. I have come up with an initial set of 40 achievements that I will hopefully have implemented by the next seed. Your challenge: tell me what you think in the comments below, let me know of any cool ideas you have for achievements and bonus points for anyone that can name all the movie, video game or cultural references below.

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When Bullets Move Too Fast…

June 1st, 2011
Spencer Nielsen Follow snielsen42 on Twitter

Did you know that bullets (and other quick moving objects) in video games sometimes exhibit magical properties if they move too fast? If they gain enough speed, sometimes they can even pass completely through other objects without leaving a scratch or affecting them at all! You might have seen this happen occasionally in games that have a lot of complicated physics simulation. Sometimes fast moving objects just seem to pass through the ground or other objects. Unfortunately this is not a desirable user experience and it quickly breaks the illusion the game is trying to convey. This phenomenon is called “tunneling” and game developers attempt to deal with it in a variety of different ways. I thought I would share my unique combination of techniques to deal with it that I used in Cannonade. I have not seen this specific combination of techniques explained or suggested anywhere and so I thought it might be beneficial to share what I have learned with others who might also be suffering from object tunneling woes. First lets explain how most modern game physics simulation works and investigate why this problem crops up.

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Cannonade 0.5.9 (Primer) is now seeded

May 23rd, 2011
Spencer Nielsen Follow snielsen42 on Twitter

I have decided to give names to all of my alpha updates going forward. I have chosen to follow a movie theme naming convention. I am therefore proud to announce the “Primer” update (Cannonade 0.5.9). Aptly named, this update finally adds the timeline scrubbing feature! This feature allows you to pause and restart the game at any point in the past by dragging the timeline slider and hitting the play button. Perforated glass doors quickly shut and you hear the low hum of time travel occurring in the background. Once the universe has temporally moved to your desired point the doors open and you can watch history repeat itself!

Complete Changelist:

  • Bumped engineCompatibility to 0.5.9. (this means all games previously created by versions <= 0.5.8 will be deleted)
  • Got the timeline scrubbing working!
  • Added a neat glass door progress indicator when you jump through time.
  • Moved auto-camera to only be active during opponent’s turns.
  • Did a top to bottom redesign of the cluster menu
  • Added basic OpenGL lighting to blocks.
  • Added an initial pass of the intro sequence.
  • Moved the castle picking view to one-quarter height up.
  • Used glPolygonOffest to correct decal the friction splatter.
  • Changed the editor so that it moves the camera to the half-height everytime the blocks change.
  • Baked the current levels and fixed some bugs related to baking.
  • Added history grabbing functionality.
  • Fixed a lot of bugs related to observing various points in the timeline.
  • Modified the project so that I could submit a dummy IPA to iTunes Connect so I can keep my identifier (I hope).
  • Made a new Pad+Phone based experience.plist.
  • Changed the level’s info format from a serliazed file to an NSDictionary/plist.
  • TONS of changes aimed at making it easy to integrate art.
  • Removed the individual block textures now that the atlas is working everywhere.
  • Pulling demo/intro values into the experience.plist.
  • Initial demo intro game type implementation.
  • Added a dummy account loging pragma (LOGINASAORENTEST1).
  • Minor tweaks.

Alpha Testing List

Would you like to be one of the awesome alpha testers that help make Cannonade great? Send an email to: [email protected] and I will reply with instructions on how to get onto the Trac server, Testflight list and tester forums.

Cannonade 0.5.8 is now seeded

May 9th, 2011
Spencer Nielsen Follow snielsen42 on Twitter

The focus of this update is the new in-game tutorial! Now when you first launch Cannonade if you have never run through the tutorial it will prompt you to do so. The tutorial level is meant to teach new players how to use the battle interface and get them some target practice with the fundamentals. Give it a whirl and let me know what you think!

Complete Changelist:

  • Bumped engineCompatibility to 0.5.8. (this means all games previously created by versions <= 0.5.7 will be deleted)
  • Initial implementation of the tutorial game type and level.
  • Made some menu refinements and added a “Wiki/File A Bug” menu option.
  • Made it so that you are prompted to run through the tutorial if you havn’t before on that device.
  • A few quick menu sound effects.
  • Added detailed statistics gathering.
  • Fixed lots of little simulation execution bugs.
  • Tons of leak hunting.
  • Added friends info to the game server packets and cleaned up the server code a bit.

Alpha Testing List

Would you like to be one of the awesome alpha testers that help make Cannonade great? Send an email to: [email protected] and I will reply with instructions on how to get onto the Trac server, Testflight list and tester forums.

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