Posts Tagged ‘iphone’
5th Oct 2011
If you read Emanuele Feronato’s blog you’ll know that the title of this post is a play on one of his. He detailed in length the process you need to go through to create an iOS App using the Flash IDE. However you don’t actually need the Flash IDE at all. If anything the process is faster and less painful using the completely free FlashDevelop.
The main reason I’m writing about this however is that with AIR3 officially released, I was keen to test the performance of Flixel code running on mobile. And I was shocked to say the least. The last time I tried creating a game for mobile using Flash was back when CS5.5 was still only in pre-release. The performance then was hideous, easily un-usable for any serious (or even semi-serious) game.
That was over a year ago, and a lot has changed. AIR3 and Flash Player 11 were officially released last night, and although they are lacking Stage3D on mobile for the time being, apparently they still bought significant speed boosts to the table. Time to put that to test with a video of results at the end.
15th Aug 2011
Being able to code your game once and then deploy it to a variety of devices has been a programming holy grail for as long as I can remember. When you factor in the huge range of mobile devices on the market today, there must be a massive amount of time spent by devs porting from one platform to another. So I have been following the progress of the App Game Kit (AGK) with interest, especially as this is the very issue it claims to solve.
Created by The Game Creators, a team perhaps better known for development tools like DarkBASIC and their hit iPhone games, AGK was created to solve an internal development issue: basically they were fed-up re-coding for each new device. So AGK was born. It comes in two versions – a BASIC interpreter with game and media specific commands (like LoadImage and CreateSprite) and for seasoned developers there’s a set of C++ libraries to use. Games are automatically scaled to different screen resolutions, and issues such as input commands differing from device to device are abstracted away from you.
According to the press release AGK supports iOS, Mac OS, Windows, Samsung Bada and MeeGo from the get-go. Which means you can target App Store, Mac Store, Samsung Apps and Intel’s App Up Store. Phase 2 of the product will add Android, Windows Mobile 7, Blackberry and WebOS to the mix. I don’t have any technical details on what happens “under the hood” just yet. I.e. is the BASIC code compiled down into a native runtime, or run via some kind of vm or interpreter. I also can’t comment on actual performance once your app hits the device, but the videos TGC have posted to YouTube looked fine as do the game examples, although I admit they are very simple.
It’ll be interesting to see how this one evolves. If you make anything with it, let me know!
More info at the AGK web site: http://www.appgamekit.com/
12th Jun 2010
Ok so maybe we’re sleeping with the devil somewhat in releasing our game Quartet for an Apple device 🙂 But it’s fun, free and TGC have done a good job converting it.
They added a nice feature where you can import a photo from your camera allowing you to use your own faces. Which actually makes the game quite fun (and harder if the faces all look similar!)
We aren’t totally happy with the way the graphics scaled, but we just didn’t have time to modify them (if you look at the Credits screen you’ll see we fixed that one, but got no further). So the lovely pixel graphics look very blurry. But, it’s free, has cool Open Feint integration and I feel is good for killing a few minutes.
The full Flash version will be out very shortly, as we’ve signed an agreement with Gimme5Games to sponsor it.
1st Nov 2009
If you enjoyed playing Kyobi on the web, then why not download the complete iPhone version totally free of charge!
Kyobi on the iPhone is called “Touch & Go”, but it’s the same physics match-3 fun, with lots of added bells and whistles.
This is a fun and innovative “match 3” casual game that uses the touch input of your device to the max. The rules are simple, drag the blocks and throw them together. When three or more of the same color collide they all explode. Just don’t let the blocks pile-up too high. If they stack to the top then your game is over.
Smashing four or more blocks in one go will release one of three special power-ups – a time freeze, a stick of dynamite that blows up half the blocks on screen and a bomb that wipes out all the blocks.
Combo bonus points are awarded if you manage to smash blocks together in quick succession and multiplier points are awarded for four and five block hits. Each level has a set target of blocks to explode and when this is reached all remaining blocks will count against your level end bonus.
As the levels progress the action speeds up and more blocks will fall. From level five small blockers are introduced making the sorting of blocks trickier. From a gentle mind soothing experience the game will develop into a fast paced sorting crisis!
As the game plays you can organize the blocks by tilting the phone to move all the blocks to the left or the right.
See how many levels you can complete!
- Great Casual Gaming fun
- Total touch game play
- Tilt the phone to move all blocks
- Easy to play
- Great time filler
- Cool music track
- High score table
- Score combo bonuses
Touch & Go! is perfectly suited to the iPhone, a truly new touch game experience!
Overall, Touch & Go! is well designed and responsive. For a new take on the standard match and clear block game, the current sale price of just $.99 makes Touch & Go! a worthwhile purchase.
Placing a block is simple. All you do is catch a block out of mid-air, you then have full control of where you place it – and I mean full control. This is what sets Touch & Go! apart from it’s competitors.
3rd Jul 2009
On May 9th I posted the second part of my report on how my game Kyobi was doing. This is the final part of the report, nearly 2 months on.
The Kongregate referral payments have now finished. When I sold Kyobi Kongregate were my Primary sponsor. They offered me $200 upfront on referral payments (basically any time someone clicks one of the Kong logos in my game, I got paid for it). The last time I wrote they had just paid me my first months worth of clicks (just under $800). Since then I received 2 more payments, one for the month of May at $1548 and June at $382. I know that if GameJacket hadn’t died then the June payment would have been a lot higher. That is now the end of the agreement I had with Kongregate, and it certainly was an unexpected bonus to the games earnings.
Of course as we all know by now, GameJacket have gone bust. This means I never got paid the $1000 they owed me, so I have to deduct that from the previous total Kyobi had made.
Kyobi on the iPhone has enjoyed moderate success, and there is still a constant trickle of sales coming in. Between launch in late March and the end of May it has sold 5802 copies (an average of 77 copies per day). Because of the way Apple report sales I cannot give figures for June yet. But I do know that they are much lower than April and May. Summer time, plus now being an “old” game don’t help. It was fascinating to see how the sales changed. Some days it would shift nearly 300 copies, and then drop down to 100 the next day. Chart position played a really important role, as you can imagine. Right now it still enjoys a healthy ranking in European countries and, strangely enough, Japan. Bear in mind that I only get a percentage of sales (the lions share going to the publisher) but it still equated to $1563 to the end of May.
More small sponsor versions
I sold two more sponsor branded copies of Kyobi since the last report. Both were very small scale and only netted me $200 in total, but it’s still all helpful. Incredibly off the back of these sales I also sold two copies of one of my first ever Flash games, Abombinaball, so the knock-on effect was pleasant to say the least 🙂 It also gave me two more portal contacts that I can approach when my new games are ready.
So how does it all stack-up now? Well taking the figures from the last report into account ($10,105). Deducting the $1000 GameJacket will never give me ($9105). Add in the new iPhone sales, sponsorships and Kongregate payments. And the total from my little game stands at $12,798. At the current exchange rate that’s £7833. Of course you then need to deduct the UK tax I have to pay from this.
In “real life” terms after tax that equals what I get paid from my day job over the course of a couple of months. So does this mean I could quit my job and do this full-time? Well, no. For a start I wouldn’t actually want to. While extremely demanding my job is also very satisfying. I work with a great team of talented people in one of the most creative places in the UK. That alone has value to me. The other important factor is that this money came in dribs and drabbs over a period of 12 weeks. That is not helpful when you have fixed mortgage payments, food to buy, etc. I know a lot of people who can and do work like this, and are very successful at it, but I just don’t really have the self discipline needed to stay on-top of all the paperwork. I admire greatly those that do.
And it’s a risk because not every game I make will be this successful. Perhaps I’ll never get this level of success ever again. Of course I’m optimistic that the game I’m working on at the moment is original and fun enough to do well. But that’s like saying I’m optimistic that my lottery numbers will come in next week. Granted it’s not a gamble on the same level, I mean you can’t sit back and look at your lottery numbers and go “damn, that’s a fine piece of work there”. But there’s an element of risk in all game releases, and logic or fairness doesn’t always win. You never know who you are up against that month. Or what the overall feeling of the gaming world will be. And you never will.
So to conclude I just want to say that whatever you do, keep on coding, and keep on making great games. Because there is definitely a market for them. Many people far greater than I ever will be demonstrate every day that there is a life to be made in building beautiful Flash games. And living from those proceeds. If you are one of those people, I tip my hat to you. If you aspire to be one, you have my best wishes for your success.
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