Friday, January 23, 2009

Carpool Round Two

While waiting for artwork and music to be finished by my friends, I started a musical game loosely based on Jam Session/Jaminator ideas. As is my habit, I threw together something with no artwork just to make sure the basic finger interaction was right.

I spent a Saturday morning on it writing the SW and recording a guitar track. Needless to say, neither the code or music was very well tuned.

Still, I turned it loose on the carpool full of eager testers.

The major gamer of the car twiddles with it for a few seconds and says:

"It feels like a free game."

(ouch, stab me with a stylus)

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Carpool Testers

So the carpool to school consists of two 5th graders, my daughter ETC (6th), and one 7th grader They are all pretty familiar with iPhone apps and one, especially, takes his iPhone apps seriously to the max.

Well they were the first to actually use the app and it made interesting listening to overhear their comments as I drove the 25 minutes to school. It was an unfulfilled challenge to actually have them play the game the whole trip -- sadly an 11 year-old doesn't have that same nostalgic pull to Alice that I hope the 45 year-olds will.

It's great to be driving at 65 MPH and hear a tester gleefully announce they froze the app. All you can do is ask them to verbally describe what the screen looks like and see if they remember what they were doing. You try to make mental notes because you know their response to this is to reset the game and launch that dang fishing game or something.

Turns out it was Apple's sound library that kept killing me. Once I replaced that, my crashes were orders of magnitude less.

The day before I submitted it to Apple, the mondo-game-player tapped ahead about 200 times which slows the game down and then it eventually died. Of course I tried to reproduce this and never could. So for all you users that can tap at 200 TPS(taps per second), you may find a bug.


Checked in the first version of the game into Perforce. In other words, there's something worth backing up.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Mac Party on the 24th

Good goal: the Mac 25th anniversary party on the 24th will be a great place to show off the game and get some feedback. I have to remind myself not to listen too much because making the original Alice insanely hard to play wasn't too great for sales. Yes, Joanna, you can play it for 100 hours but no, I won't make it harder. Everyone at the party is too busy with their lives to play it for 100 hours anyway.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Oh, so that's how triangle texture mapping works. Doh.


I hope whoever wrote this sample realized this code would be duplicated a zillion times. Just search for snippets as literal strings in google.

Seems pretty easy to build a sprite package based on OpenGL. Coco3D and others are out there, but it's easier to write something from scratch than plow through a stack of documentation. Also, the tendency for "platform" writers to throw in kitchen sinks is too great (actually Walter has always pointed out that platform writers have a tendency to ship an API that minimally fulfils the requirements of the sample apps and nothing more, therefore signing up pre-alpha developers is super, super important)

Lean, mean, and clean code.

Translating from Javascript is trivial so far; after a while is just getting the syntactical sugar right (le's see, dollar signs for varuiables....nope..., + for concatenation or period or space...luckily the compiler tells me when I'm too slow to type it right.

Ground Zero

Got a macbook pro loaner unit from Michael and started learning objective-c, cocoa, and all that stuff. Sure seems like there are a lot of duplicate interfaces to do the same thing (e.g. just how many ways do you want to create sound -- oops, with 2.2. there's another one)

As is my wont, I'll just learn enough to bootstrap my own world.