Posts Tagged ‘iPhone’

cocos2d-guide2

Nov 28

A Compendious Guide On Creating A Simple iPhone Game Using Cocos 2D 2.X

The current trend of iPhone gaming apps has taken the gaming world by storm. Almost every iPhone app developer has tried his/her hands on developing a game. Thanks to the availability of highly effective iOS app development frameworks, it has become feasible for the developers to create simple yet fun 2D games targeted at iOS devices. Cocos 2D is a fantastic iOS framework that has worked wonders for developers looking to develop games for smartphones. The following is a simple guide on developing your first game using the Cocos 2D 2.X framework.

Step 1- Download and install Cocos2D

Firstly, you’ll need to download the Cocos2D framework from the official Cocos2D-iPhone home page here. On this page, you’ll be able to choose from different versions of the software program including: Cocos2D 1.X vs Cocos2D 2.x and the stable vs stable choices. In this post, I’ll be referring to the creation of a simple iPhone game using the most recent Cocos2D 2.X. Many companies offering iPhone application development services have already worked on building gaming apps using Cocos2D.

Step 2- Start with adding a sprite

Just in case… A sprite is basically a 2D image that can be rotated, moved, animated, scaled and so on. Prior to proceeding ahead with addition of a sprite, opt for gathering some good game art/graphics. After having downloaded the required resources, unzip the file and drag everything over the Resources folder available within the Xcode. With images ready-for-use, try and figure out where you’d be placing the player. In Cocos2D, choosing the landscape mode means that the upper right corner is (480, 320) and that the game would run on a 3.5” screen. In addition to this, you may also opt for the (568, 320) option which would denote that the game would run on a 4” screen.

Step 3- Open the HelloWorldLayer.m file and replace the existing init method with the following code:

– (id) init

{

if ((self = [super init])) {

CGSize winSize = [CCDirector sharedDirector].winSize;

CCSprite *player = [CCSprite spriteWithFile:@“player.png”];

player.position = ccp(player.contentSize.width/2, winSize.height/2);

[self addChild:player];

}

return self;

}

Step 4- Add moving monsters

On this step, you’ll add some monsters into the game’s scene for the ninja to combat. Here, it is important to make the monsters move. You can do this by simply creating the monsters slightly off screen towards the right side, followed by setting up an action for them, prompting them to move into the left direction. For all this, simply add the below mentioned method before the init method:

– (void) addMonster {

 

CCSprite * monster = [CCSprite spriteWithFile:@“monster.png”];

 

// Determine where to spawn the monster along the Y axis

CGSize winSize = [CCDirector sharedDirector].winSize;

int minY = monster.contentSize.height / 2;

int maxY = winSize.height – monster.contentSize.height/2;

int rangeY = maxY – minY;

int actualY = (arc4random() % rangeY) + minY;

 

// Create the monster slightly off-screen along the right edge,

// and along a random position along the Y axis as calculated above

monster.position = ccp(winSize.width + monster.contentSize.width/2, actualY);

[self addChild:monster];

 

// Determine speed of the monster

int minDuration = 2.0;

int maxDuration = 4.0;

int rangeDuration = maxDuration – minDuration;

int actualDuration = (arc4random() % rangeDuration) + minDuration;

 

// Create the actions

CCMoveTo * actionMove = [CCMoveTo actionWithDuration:actualDuration

position:ccp(-monster.contentSize.width/2, actualY)];

CCCallBlockN * actionMoveDone = [CCCallBlockN actionWithBlock:^(CCNode *node) {

[node removeFromParentAndCleanup:YES];

}];

[monster runAction:[CCSequence actions:actionMove, actionMoveDone, nil]];

 

}

Step 5- Setting the background and logo

With Cocos2D came the concept of ‘scenes’. Each scene within the game can be effectively used for incorporating levels, menus, credits and a variety of other assets that collaboratively work as the backbone of the iPhone game. Within each scene, you can choose to include several Photoshop designs that can have separate properties including animations, background color, a shadow and even menus.

Step 6-Giving the finishing touches

Now that you’re pretty much close to having a workable game, it’s time to add some sound effects and music to your game. For this, you can add the following import to the top of your HelloWorldLayer.m file:

#import “SimpleAudioEngine.h

Also, in the init method, add the code for the background music as shown below:

[[SimpleAudioEngine sharedEngine] playBackgroundMusic:@“background-music-aac.caf”];

Lastly, for the sound effects, add the below code snippet in your ccTouchesEnded method:

[[SimpleAudioEngine sharedEngine] playEffect:@“pew-pew-lei.caf”];

Finally, create a new file using the iOS\cocos2d ve.x\CCNode class template followed by making it a subclass of CCLayerColor and clicking the “Next” button. Now, name this class as GameOverLayer and click on the ‘Create’ button. Replace the GameOverLayer.h file with the following code:

 

#import “cocos2d.h

@interface GameOverLayer : CCLayerColor

 

+(CCScene *) sceneWithWon:(BOOL)won;

– (id)initWithWon:(BOOL)won;

 

@end

Lastly, replace the GameOverLayer.m

#import “GameOverLayer.h

#import “HelloWorldLayer.h

 

@implementation GameOverLayer

 

+(CCScene *) sceneWithWon:(BOOL)won {

CCScene *scene = [CCScene node];

GameOverLayer *layer = [[[GameOverLayer alloc] initWithWon:won] autorelease];

[scene addChild: layer];

return scene;

}

 

– (id)initWithWon:(BOOL)won {

-­————————————– for more, please refer to Google.

Wrapping Up

There you have it, all the basic steps that need to create an iPhone game using the very cool Cocos iOS framework. I hope the above guide has encouraged you to keep learning more about Cocos2D 2.X and its varied appealing advantages.

May 27

Game theory: Exit strategies

Whilst playing No More Zombies on the iPhone recently, I found myself trying to set a limit to my gaming. My limit was set to 100 residents. If I get to 100 people in my town I will stop playing, delete the game and get on with my life. Free of the distraction of stocking shops, building buildings and killing zombies I can discover the other delights of the mobile gaming world.

By 99 I knew the end was near and I was making my price with the world whilst secretly hoping that number 100 was far away. To my surprise, however, the illusive centennial resident was really far away. I continued to pack my shops full of goodies, made a shed load of money and killed more than my fair share of the undead. Yet the regular resident that appeared every few ‘minutes’ (in game time, not real time) failed to materialise.

This got me wondering. Is there a part of game theory that deals with checkpoints, achievements and round numbers in terms of exit points. Is there a shelf life for the casual gamer that can be manipulated to extend the general playtime?

In the old days a game had a beginning and an end, whereas now we have downloadable content which can extend the life of a game ten fold . What interest me though is whether game designers or testers look at ‘exit strategies’.  In business an exit strategy is a point in which the investor or owner has got all the best out of a business and leaves the company with money, shares or a general good feeling. I suppose in games with DLC the main exit point is after the main quest or story has been completed but with more endless games such as city builders, when is a good time to unplug?

After some time scouring the Internet for studies or papers to support my theory I was surprised to find nothing that helped. There is a lot online about rewarding gamers in order to keep their attention which I assume is the reaction to losing gamers. However there is little written about when and why they leave the comfort of the gaming world. So for the record, I would like to claim the study of exit theory in gamers as my own.

Gamers leave a good game for many reasons. The top five reasons are:

game completion (main game) most achievable achievements achieved left for newer/better game difficulty to steep time, family and other commitments

With further study and a whole host of questionnaires it might be possible to predict the most likely exit  points of a game and inject these sections with additional goodies to retain their attention. Being aware that you might lose some of your players at 100 residents might encourage game designers to be smarter when it comes to these exit points.

Source: http://www.gamingdebugged.com/2012/09/19/game-theory-exit-strategies/

Oct 28

Indie Developer Interview: Beansprites | Games for Toddlers

When it comes to children’s games, not many indie developers have such an extensive back catalog as Beansprites, a small team from California who have covered cafe culture to dentistry is their myriad of colorful games.

1. What made you want to make games primarily for young children?

The decision to make apps for kids was something that just occurred organically – I’ve always been a fan of all genres of video games, and I especially loved light-hearted platformers such as Castle Of Illusion: Starring Mickey Mouse for Sega Genesis, that could easily qualify as a kiddie platformer.

I was also no stranger to playing games like “Putt Putt goes to the Moon” – which was a 2D point and click learning game for kids. I would experiment with all genres, but the kids app genre is always what appealed to me the most, and also where ideas came naturally.

2. Do you approach children’s game design in a similar way to adult game design, or is the process different?

A majority of the applications you see in my portfolio are geared towards the very younger age group, probably starting at 3 and up. I approach game design in a similar way for the majority of my apps – encompassing a very intuitive user interface where even a 3 year old could pick up and play the game without any assistance from a parent or teacher. I’ve even had reviews where parents have stated it was easy for their kid to get started, and they didn’t require any help. That is my goal for the initial experience – of course, keeping them engaged for long periods, and having them come back to my app over and over is another very important goal in game design – especially for kids of a younger age bracket who tend to have much shorter attention spans than the older kids and “tween” crowd.

3. What game style or type have you found to be most successful in your experience?

It’s difficult to pinpoint one genre, because it changes all the time depending on what consumers want to play – basically I study what is trending in the app store in terms of popularity and try to design an app with a twist, and add more unique features to that app that will make it stand out from the rest. In previous years, food apps have been very popular, but the focus has changed to other app genres, and adapting to that change is crucial to success.

4. You charge a minimal amount for your games, why did you chose to avoid the free to play model?

For the paid model, 0.99 cents is the most I will charge for my apps given their content and genre – namely that they are geared towards kids – I’ve avoided the free to paid model for Nook & Amazon, but institute iAP for iOS – Each App Store is different in terms of what works, and I may institute a free to play model for Amazon and Nook in the future.

5. Which platform do you prefer to make games for and why?

I enjoy working with all platforms – I always prefer iOS as I prefer their operating system, but Android is a market that is booming right now – I think it’s very important to consider all markets, even obscure ones that you think may not be successful.

6. Do you have any game development tips for those looking to make games for children?

One tip I have is if you’re making educational games for kids, go read up on some activity books you find in the kids section at Target, or Barnes & Noble – buy a few of those, and study those activities, and try implementing them into an app – there are endless possibilities for educational apps in the app store, and apple is always looking to feature new and innovative products! If you have a unique art style, that also helps – games from developers like Duck Duck Moose, and Toca Boca have a very unique art style, and branding that you would recognize immediately if seen on the app store.

7. Which game has been your most successful to date and why do you think it was so popular?

One of my initial, and most successful games that propelled me into doing this as a full-time business was “Fairytale Preschool” – this was a very basic, kids educational app for iOS which featured activities like finding the right color bottle, counting games, memory matching etc. This one was featured by apple under New & Noteworthy, and reached the top 100 games on the app store. It also reached the top 5 position on the education category all by itself, without any marketing. Of course, fast forward 3 years later to present time, and this kind of app would never have achieved the success it did back then.

8. What channels do you market your games on and which drives the best results?

I use Facebook, Twitter as the primary marketing outlets. There are also ad campaigns that you can run to drive installs to your apps, but they work better with free models for applications and games. Free App of the Day is another good example of marketing, but they charge a pretty penny for their services.

9. Like many game designers, do you have a BIG game in you which you will eventually build?

We are currently working on a 2D adventure game which will be released by next year – that is the big game that I’ve always wanted to work on, and it’s the biggest, most daunting project I’ve ever worked on to date.

10. What title(s) do you have in development at the moment?

At the moment, we are working on the 2D adventure game, full steam ahead! I also still make time for the kids apps, and if I see something trending, I will work on a piece for the app store. The holidays are coming up, so holiday themed apps are also in the works!

Finally, what would you say to your younger self when she first started creating games…

Be prepared for many sleepless nights, and long work hours! 🙂

For more information on Beansprites games and apps, please visithttp://www.beansprites.com

30-30-app

Oct 02

10 Essential Free Apps for Freelance Designers and Developers

Being a freelancer can be tough and whilst you might rock at designing and developing we can sometimes let ourselves down when it comes to organizing yourself, project management and marketing. If like me, you need all the assistance you can when it comes to getting organized then these apps are sure to help.

Wunderkit

Project management can be complicated, time consuming and expensive. Wunderkit aims to simplify the process by breaking it down into notes and tasks. First you create a project (of which there can be many) and then you can add various to-do lists and assign them to team members and set deadlines and reminders. The notes section allows team members to add their own notes, comment of the different notes on the project and ‘love’ them to show approval or appreciation.  Projects can be private or shared with the world and it connects seamlessly with Twitter and Facebook. If you have many ‘ideas’ floating about this is a great app to keep them organized and the fact it has both an iPhone, iPad, Mac app and website means it’s easily accessible from wherever you are.

 

Evernote

There is a lot to see and read on the internet and whilst browser bookmarks have their uses, Evernote takes it a step further. We have all been there; we see something which could be useful in the future and we bookmark it. A few days, weeks or months later we need it and try desperately to remember the company or url (we know the gist) and even wade through our browsing history in the hope to see the obscure web address. With Evernote you can collect photos, audio clips, urls and even whole websites to pursue at your leisure and you can categorize them in ‘notebooks’ add tags for easy searching later on. The Mac app gives the user a clear user interface that even lets you take screen grabs of what you are looking at. The mobile app comes into its own when recording audio notes and the combined cloud storage means you have all your bookmarks in the ether to use as and when you please, from any device.

 

Flipboard

Flipboard is my own personal industry press delivered daily to my iPad and iPhone. By connecting industry news websites, blogs and by following useful Twitter and Google feeds I can get up to date news and comments on everything that is going on in the world of design and development. It’s intuitive interface means I can flick through the pages with ease and have a magazine that not only features design stories but also updates from my family and friends in the form of Facebook posts, Flickr and Instagram images.

 

Wordpress

WordPress is one of the most popular blogging platforms on the internet. It is also used more and more as a content management system for websites due to the large number of plugins and skins that are available for it. Any developer worth their salt will tell you that having a wordpress CMS has more advantages than disadvantages. One such advantage is the addition of a mobile app allowing you to manage your wordpress based websites. The app allows you to add multiple sites and users can add pages, news posts, view comments and view the websites stats. Although this is a streamlined version of the full content management system it works beautifully. Casual users can take photos and upload them directly and business users can prepare news articles or work on page content whilst out of the office. All content can then be set as a draft or published live for all to see.

 

Dropbox/Google Drive

In a world where users jump from device to device, it is essential for all businesses in the information age to have some form of cloud storage. Personally I work on a desktop whilst in the office, a laptop when meeting clients or on-site, an iphone when on the move and an iPad when sat at home. Cloud storage allows me to have documents, spreadsheets, photos, and even video files all accessible on every device, meaning what I just wrote on the train is ready for me to complete when I get into the office. Both Dropbox and Google Drive allow you to store and view these files, however Google Drive does have an offline mode which is useful for air travel (or when on the underground). Once you start using these you will wonder why you ever saved things to your hard drive.

 

Dragon Dictation

Although this application might be more specialist to certain types of business it is still worth mentioning. Dragon Dictation is great at writing down what you say. Dragon has been at the forefront of voice recognition for years and their latest ‘free’ app gives me the freedom to just think and talk. It alleviates me of the burden of finding letters, worrying about spelling and having my fat fingers podgilly prod the wrong keys. So whether you are transcribing an article or just having a rant about some industry news, let the Dragon do the writing whilst you hold your train of thought. The interface is simple to use with just a button to press to start. Obviously it’s not perfect and may have trouble with some accents but if you are one of the ‘vocally acceptable’ few then this can be a trusted companion in business.

 

Skype

I can’t tell you the amount of money I have saved using Skype for international calls. Not only that but it works as great instant messenger between clients and myself. Emails are great for longer messages and feedback, but when you just have a question to ask Skype is fantastic at finding out information fast. In the office we also use it to share links, send files and chat if there are other things going on in the office such as meetings or presentations. Skype has revolutionized how businesses work and so being connected to the conversations on both your desktop and mobile device is critical.

 

Paypal

Paypal for business is quite simply useful. Most big ticket items and main client payments is done through traditional invoicing and bank transfers, but if you run a small business, or just wanted to offer familiar, secure payment type for small amounts than Paypal is ideal. The mobile app gives easy access to payments in and out, and from the app you can send or request money. A simple password at login means you don’t have to worry about code generating dongles, secret pins, or waiting for the sun to be at the right place in the sky in order to access your account details. Although Paypal’s ‘cut’ is relatively high, it is a useful app to have whether you are getting something for the office on ebay or shopping on requesting payment for a small run print job for a local firm.

 

Hootsuite

Social networking has become a behemoth thundering into all aspects of modern life. People’s lives are on Facebook, their discussions are on Twitter, and their business networks are on Linkedin. Is its vital that in this world of conversations and recommendations that businesses not only have a presence on these networks but are actively involved with the discussions taking place. Hootsuite allows you to post to Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare and Linkedin through an easy to use message panel, as well as, browse the streams from your various social accounts. Keeping up with what is happening in these ‘social spheres’ can not only be useful but profitable. This is an ideal app if you aim to post similar information across the various networks, or if you are mainly on the move.

30/30

The Pomodoro method is a technique which aims to increase your focus and in turn productivity by breaking tasks into 25 minutes of work followed by a 5 minute break. There are many apps which help you apply this method to your work, however, some tasks longer than 25 minutes. This is where 30/30 comes into its own. It is essentially a to-do list with a timer. You can create a list of tasks, assign them a time limit and then press the big ‘play’ button. Lists can be created for jobs that need repeating and you could even use it in the gym to keep your workout on track. In industries where you charge by the hour it is useful to have an app which keeps you on schedule, as it is easy to get lost in the creative process and forget the clock.

Sep 04

5 advertising platforms for your mobile games

The most amazing thing that happened in the 21st century is the advent of user friendly interferences for consumer products whether it is for mobile phones, personal computers or other hand-held devices. Steve Jobs brought something amazing to this world by bringing the revolutionary mobile device the iPhone along with the iOS mobile platform. Following the trend, Google brought android mobile platform to meet the needs of everyday mobile computing. Consumers just loved it when iOS hit the market; it meant that users had complete control of their device. They were able to customize their device to any extent they wanted and later android came to the market and became the first popular open source mobile platform developers. Consumers all over the world entered into the next generation of tech. Developers all over the world started to explore the power of these mobile platforms and built hundreds and thousands of apps. University graduates with software degrees got the highest paid jobs all over and why? Because the newly launched mobile platforms have been popular like never before as compared to previous mobile platform namely the Symbian mobile platform.

With the advent of iOS and Android; developers were equally motivated as they now had the power to develop whatever came into their minds ranging from video players to shooting games, from PDF readers to angry birds; literally every vivid idea that came to developers which were not possible before finally came to reality. iOSand Android brought the most amazing features to the hands of a consumer that were never brought before; notably complete customization of mobile phones, apps market, themes and hundreds of other features. Did I just say apps market? Well, the amazing feature of these mobile platforms is the apps market. Imagine you were finally able to explore imaginations of millions of developers out there. You were finally able to use mobile phones for your daily needs with the invention of mobile apps. Developers were able to share their applications with just few simple clicks and you were able to download these applications in a few seconds and in just a couple of minutes you are using yet another mobile application to make a to do list for you. This is the amazingness of mobile platforms I was talking about earlier.

When it comes to mobile apps; one category that is highly popular among consumers are those interactive rich media mobile games.

Angry birds, Temple Run, Fruit Ninja and many other mobile games are bringing smiles to many mobile users. For consumers it’s fun to use such mobile games but for developers its a tough job to make a app and then advertise it to make sure it get overwhelming response from users so that all those sleepless nights put into building these mobile games is worthwhile.

Below is the list of the Top 5 mobile apps/games advertising platforms to get the most out of your game apps:

AdMob

Admobscores highest on every list. Google premium advertising network for app developers should be the first platform when you choose to get your game app being heard. AdMob allows you to integrate your ad across iOS,Android as well as the Windows Phone platform making it the first choice of app developers to advertise their apps. Further, you are able to select from a wide range of ad formats available for mobile phones as well as tablets. Since its Google which is managing the platform you get to analyze your campaign from various viewpoints and you get a hold of advanced advertising tools available online.

Millennial Media

Millennial Media is our second top choice after Admob. The platform uses intelligent tools to let you advertise your game apps around the word. The best thing from mMedia is that it allows you to grab your campaigns and ads from other advertising platforms too such as AdMob; that means you can utilize the power of the two platforms and make the most of your advertising campaign for your games app. Furthermore, you can target your ads based on location. Experts see it as the best combination for premium apps advertisement needs and monetization of your games apps.

Adfonic

Adfonic is another top most choice for game app developers. The platform looks after all your advertisement needs. The amazing thing about Adfonic is the promise that 95% average fill rates on both iOS and Android.

Chartboost

While all the other above mentioned platforms are holistically to advertise apps including games app too, Chartboost is our favorite platform because it talks all about gaming apps and promotes similar apps on its platform. If you ask me one which platform you should use to start your gaming app advertising I would suggest you to go for Chartboost. This amazingly powerful platform connects game developers all over the world. You can socialize with other developers and look out for cross-promotions along with direct deals. One great thing in Chartboost is that you only need 5 lines of code to get your gaming app ad online.

Tapjoy

Why we brought Tapjoy into the list is because it offers you the power of a new phenomenon which they call incentivized download. You can advertise your gaming app to over 1 billion registered devices and over 77 million monthly active users. The best thing we found about Tapjoy is that you get sure short results i.e. for example if a user is playing a game that requires 10 more coins, to continue the game the user can buy it from the store or get the free coins needed by installing your app or viewing your gaming app advertisement (you can specify what you want users to do in-return to get more coins). This is an excellent platform for gaming apps advertisements.

Above all these, there are a few sure short guidelines for your games to get noticed. But before going into it that there is only one rule you need to remember in order to get heard. All the others are just fillers to your campaign; that is to make sure your content is engaging and for the right audience. Don’t ever use false marketing ways to get heard, good work is always appreciated though it may take more time at the start.

Make sure your content is interactive (engaging games) Define your target market and design content accordingly (make sure you get insights on your target market before designing content) Start advertising your game app in your social circle, ask your friends and family to rate your application and write reviews on it. Make sure you have a hybrid marketing plan for your game app i.e. that includes social media as well as other paid advertisements on different popular apps. Make sure you enlist your games on various showcase forums so that other like-minded people can review your apps. Socialize within your developers circle, cross-promote each other games/applications to make the most out of your game apps.

 

 

 

 

gaming-buzz

Jul 17

How To Create Buzz In The Gaming Community

Let’s say that you are creating a game and you want to build anticipation among the gaming hordes. Furthermore, let’s say you’re not one of the giants, and thus your resources are limited. Regardless, you and your partners have designed this awesome game for the iPhone, and you want to generate excitement about it, which in turn will morph into paying customers, thereby allowing you to continue in your dream job of designing games. How do you go about achieving this dream?

All You Need Is Blog

First and foremost, creating a blog, especially one told from the point of view of the designer, is essential, as in mandatory. Not only does it get your company/product name out there, it gives people a chance to take a peek behind the curtain, and get excited about what they see. If you do in fact create a blog from the perspective of the game designer, people can follow along and see the progress, and anticipation builds as the release date gets nearer. If you can fit in a few sneak previews, screen shots, advance details, then so much the better.

Hooray! A company I never heard of is coming out with a game I know nothing about!

Let’s Be Social

Put together a Facebook page dedicated to the game. This is even easier to do than a blog, and considering the strong gamer community on Facebook, you have an instant audience. Don’t forget Twitter, either. When it comes to financial outlay and time, it doesn’t get any easier than social media.

Conventional Thinking

Okay, now we’re getting into a pricier realm here, but as the old adage goes, you have to spend money in order to make money. If you have an advertising budget set aside, then it’s time to start dipping into it. The thing is to not wait until after the game is released; you need to generate advance buzz. Naturally, in order to do so, you must already have a good idea what the game is about and how it’ll turn out. And you don’t even really have to go all out; get some cheap t-shirts printed up, or colorful information handouts, something that stands a good chance of sticking in gamers’ memories. Booth babes may be out of the question, but hey, there’s always a booth sock puppet. When you stop and think about it that would be pretty memorable, right?

Get a Trailer

No, not one of those that are pulled by your car. Movies generate excitement and interest by showing trailers before the main feature. You know, right before they warn you about smoking, using cell phones during the movie, and where the exits are located. It’s the same with the world of gaming. Put together a good trailer, or even multiple trailers, to show players what all the fuss is about. This idea fits neatly with the idea of blogs, since that’s where the trailers would ultimately reside. See? These things are interrelated.

I’ll Alert The Media

It may seem obvious, but let’s be complete here. Fire off e-mails to periodicals, websites, trade journals, any media source that fits the gaming nice you’re going after, and introduce yourself. If you’re not a known quantity, forget targeting the mainstream media, and focus instead on the smaller outlets that specialize. And while you’re at it, generate some good word of mouth by notifying gaming bloggers. Try to cultivate a rapport with them, and let them help spread the word. But again, make sure that the blogs cover the type of game you’re developing. A blog dedicated to paper and dice gaming will be a bad choice to market your new iPhone game that features steel cage death matches between pieces of sentient produce.

Recruit An Army of Dark Minions

If you find yourself in the position of having both an awesome new game release and a shoestring budget, consider gathering together a dedicated group of gamers that you’ve given a preview of your game and they happen to love it. This loyal army may get paid in merchandise, free copies of your game, or any other benefits you can think of, and in return they spread the word on websites, forums, at conventions, whatever. They are your evangelists. Remember that the most effective, the most trusted advertising is word of mouth!

Final Thoughts

There are so many independent developers out there that it’s easy to get lost in the crowd. You need to stand out, build a rep, and give the people a killer product.

 

Photo Credit: Photos.com

 

Jul 09

Building an App: Dos and Don’ts from Fueled

You have a problem. You create a solution. You want to share it with the world via a mobile app. How the heck do you build one?! No need to fret, your friends at Fueled have compiled a quick reference of some dos and don’ts for the app building process.

DO your research, and have a strategy. Not every app idea has been thought of, but a lot of them have. There is a very good chance that your idea could already exist in some capacity. Search app stores, read tech blogs, find rumor mills; due diligence can save you time that would otherwise be wasted creating something that already exists. If you complete the research and find there is a need for your app, have a strategy for how to proceed. We at Fueled take great pride in our ability to build winning strategies for apps, from concept to launch and beyond. Organizing thoughts, setting deadlines, and paying attention to details will make the app building process flow much more smoothly.

DON’T forget the execution. You have your idea, done the research, and have a strategy; now what? Proper execution. Even the simplest idea can become a great app, as long as the follow-through of the plan is on point. Instead of imitating another app’s layout, enhance the best qualities and make it better. Focus on developing an intuitive UX and responsive UI. Users want apps that work well and serve their needs the instant it is downloaded. This is also where a well-thought-out strategy can come in handy as it will help create checkpoints throughout the dev process, allowing you to evaluate the progress. Ideas are a dime a dozen, execution is key.

DO focus on building a product that you will use. If you have no interest in or don’t have a use for your own product, you will likely end up with an inferior result. Having a passion for your design and function will show and be important to investors and consumers. Additionally, constantly test any assumptions you have throughout the design and dev process. Updated layouts, additional functions, anything you think will improve the app overall is worth a test because you can always go back to the way it was. This process will ensure that you are building an end product that makes sense and has value to users.

DON’T rush your launch. Everyone is excited about their product and wants to launch as soon as possible. However, here are many reasons why you shouldn’t do this. For starters, it takes time to build a quality app. No matter how simple it may seem, design, development, and testing all take time. Even when the app is completed, work must be done to properly market the product prior to the launch. You will want to build media relationships if you do not already have them, launch a website, and build a buzz around the product. Weeks are not enough. Months of planning, organizing, and action are needed in order to have a successful launch.

DO take the time to test. Simply having a couple of your friends play with the app does not count as testing. Friends and family are not your target market, they will download your app simply because they love you and want to help out. Seek out agencies or other professionals in order to get useful feedback. Outside testers are potential consumers, they should be using your app. The goal is to gather constructive criticism, opinions, and relevant data that will allow you to make little tweaks based on user feedback during beta before your big app store launch.

DON’T think it’s done just because it’s in the App Store. Being in an app store simply means your app is accessible, not that people will be able to easily find it. An app store optimization strategy will be needed to increase visibility. This should be a big part of the strategy. Additionally, the app will likely have some bugs, need to adjust to user complaints, and have new feature introduced at times. Updating too frequently is not necessary, but no app is ever complete at version 1.0.

DO make sure you work with the right partner. Whether it is a friend, a freelancer, or a shop like Fueled. Depending on your goals, it may make sense to partner with different people. Typically for a prototype, working with a freelancer may make sense so you can demonstrate proof of concept before investing in really polished design and high caliber development which will serve as the foundation of your product after its commercial launch.

Written with love by the editorial team at Fueled, a premier Android app design agency in New York City.

Related articles iOS App Marketing Strategy Guide App Store SEO: The Inbound Marketer’s Guide to Mobile A Crash Course in App Store Optimization Nearpod Announces the Launch of “Nearpod Business” How To Navigate NEW Ranking Factors in Apple’s NEW App Store Want to publish an ebook for iOS? Surprising tips from iPad publisher Open Air [GigaOM]
stencyl game development engine

Apr 27

10 Game Development Tools You Should Know About

Game Engines are an important element for game developers. It eliminates many of the technicalities involved in developing a game and offers game developers the flexibility to focus on building the game. A game engine typically offers wide range of time saving tools for game building. If you are a beginner or a professional developer these top 10 Game development engines will serve as a guide for you to choose the best game engine for your gaming needs.

Unity 3D

The unity 3D game engine is free and comes with a wide array of assets for game building. The WYSIWYG tools offer the flexibility of easily changing or adding things. The Unity3d comes in different programming languages including the C#, Boo and JavaScript. You have the flexibility of combining any of these programming languages during your project and developers can easily play games in the editor. The Unity3d has a user friendly publishing feature. It essentially builds a complete game package with the click of a button. The game engine supports web applications, Mac and Windows. There are available upgrades for iOS and consoles.

Gamesalad

The GameSalad development suite makes game building simple and easy. You don’t need to wade through complex codes to develop a game. The GameSalad features check boxes, dropdowns and the oddlist similar to features you will see when using utility software like Photoshop. GameSalad can be published to multiple platforms like the Mac or iPhone as well as to devices using the Android platform like the Nook. The game engine has a real-time editing feature enabling scenes to be edited while the game is in play. The game preview feature allows the testing and debugging of memory usage and performance of games. The scene editor makes it super easy to manipulate actors in a scene. All you need to do is to drag and drop actors to alter how they are visualized in a scene.

Torque 2D

The Torque 2D features a powerful and user friendly 2D game engine. It offers a lot of the features of the 3D game engine which is custom-made for 2D gameplay. This game engine can be published to Mac, Windows, Xbox 360, Wii and the iPhone. The Torque 2 D’s intuitive and powerful editor makes game creation simple and easy, making it is ideal for individuals with little or no experience. The Level Editor features a host of WYSIWYG tools for game designing and editing. The Level Editor is built into the Torque runtime and offers complete access to the entire Torque subsystem. The powerful rendering of the Torque 2D is great for achieving an excellent artistic style.

Stencyl

This is a game engine that can be used to create 2D video games for the web, mobile devices and computers.. Stencyl has extensive platform support. Games built in Stencyl can be released to the web through the Adobe Flash Player and HTML5, to PCs as executable games and can also be exported to various mobile platforms like Android and iOS applications. Stencyl projects use the Haxe programming language and offers flexibility via the NME game framework by using the write once, run anywhere style of game development. The Stencyl application has several modules that can be utilized to create games. These include the Behavior Editor, Tileset Editor, Actor Editor as well as the Scene Designer. Power users are able to import existing code libraries, create and share their own blocks and create customized classes that seamlessly interact with block based behaviors.

Pygame

This is a suite of Python modules designed for game creation. With its functionality and excellent SDL library, pygame enables the creation of fully featured games in the python language. This software is free and allows you to create free open source. It has an inbuilt sillness that makes game creation fun. It does not require an open GL and uses either directx, windib, X11 in addition to various backends. The Multi Core CPUs can easily be utilized. Pygame is compatible with many operating systems and does not require set up tools or ctypes for installation and its simple and easy to use.

Corona

Corona is a robust game engine that features industry standard technologies including Lua, OpenAL and OpenGL. The Corona comes with the Box2D physics engine, Game Center, Facebook Connect and sprite sheets. With the Corona you can access a wide array of features you will need to create an exciting mobile game. You can easily monetize games via advertising and app purchasing. The Corona can be used on the various platforms including iOS, Kindle Fire, Android and NOOK. Games can easily be built with a single codebase and eliminates the complexities involved in game creation. The Corona SDK starter offers free building and publishing of apps for users.

GL Basic

This game engine offers a user friendly, flexible fast to write programming language. GL Basic offers the easiest and most intuitive programming language available making it ideal for writing high performance programs. No need to change the source code when starting your Linux, iPhone development GP2X/Wiz and PocketPC after writing a program, allowing users to concentrate on essentials when building games. GL Basic game engine is free for personal projects on Linux, Windows and Mac OSX. It is ideal for beginners who want to learn programming as a hobby.

Eclipse

Eclipse is a 2D game software based on the FMOD and SDL programming making it ideal for usage across different platforms. This game engine is easy to use and takes care of all the tedious tasks, enabling game developers to focus on other areas during the creation of the game.

RPG Maker VX

The RPG Maker VX features a simple operation that offers game builders the flexibility to create original role playing games with little or no expertise, making it an excellent game engine for beginner developers. The software comes with pre-made features so there is no need to learn the code. Simply build a game by pointing and clicking while adding a little creativity.

Related articles Intro to Game Design – Officially Endorsed by Stencyl! Leadwerks Developer Blog – Leadwerks 3 Brings Native Code to Mobile Games Develop Games for BlackBerry! Unity 4 Game Engine Becomes ‘Massively Multi-Platform’ Making a Game: Part 1 – They Are Who We Thought They Were
iPhone Gaming

Mar 21

How iPhone rules the mobile gaming world

Everyone has an idea in mind of the key features and functionalities that they desire in their phones. For iPhone consumers, one of the top key features them our driven to be games. With a higher interest in games, iPhone is crowned “mobile device king” by an end of the year study this past year. Data driven from users of popular platforms such as Androids, iPhones, and Blackberries, iPhone conquered far above its opponents when it came to devoted gamers. This provides interesting feedback about iPhone consumers.

It’s All in the Numbers

iPhone gamers come from a wide spectrum of interests and tend to be very loyal to their playing time. It is recorded that iPhone gamers play their games of choice typically 743.1 minutes on a monthly basis. This number far exceeds the Android gamers who clocked in at 484 minutes on a monthly basis. So iPhone attracts their consumers to their games and then captivates them into playing on a more regular basis than any other mobile device platform.

And the numbers are just rising! With more mobile consumers turning towards smartphones, gaming popularity is just increasing among Americans. In a couple of years, estimation 2016, more than half of mobile consumers are going to be dubbed iPhone gamers.

The most striking data derived from the increase popularity of iPhone gaming is that it has been determined that iPhone game features are used significantly more than any other feature on the iPhone. Popular features such as texting, social networking, and even the basic phone call, all fall short of the minutes used by iPhone games and their devote gamers.

iPhone even Appeals to Game Developers

It is true that the market of Android is open source; however, top notch game developers prefer developing their product on iOS versus Androids. Think of the iPhone as a “playing field.” Most extremely popular and successful games that people of all interests flock to be probably introduced on the iPhone first. After the game proves in its success, it may then be converted and developed into an Android game. So die hard mobile gamers, who typically want “it” first, tend to migrate to the iPhone knowing they can get the latest and greatest from top game developers first.

Game developers have even been stumped into thinking that with the high success of their product on iPhone it would do just as well or better on the Android. However, in some cases this is proven false. This all relates deeply on that iPhone gamers are more devoted to their favorite games and out play an Android gamer any day. I phone devices themselves are much more advanced devices than that of most android driven devices. Apple has created the iPhone in such a way that it utilizes each aspect of the device and typically out performs the Android. What this means is that for the most part iPhone game developers can experience their game on a better platform and device to get the full experience of their game.

In conclusion the iPhone is the best testing and developing platform for mobile games. Expect big things from our iPhone game developers and even bigger things from our iPhone developers themselves. This is not a hard thing to imagine considering the iPhone consumer expects big things so under delivering is not an option.

In the near future we should expect machines that are faster smaller and capable of allowing the gamer to experience a much more lifelike streamlined gaming experience than ever before. iPhone developers know that game developers and consumers are counting on them so look out and expect the unexpected.

 

Related articles Here’s why the iPhone 5 is the best gaming phone Fund this: An iPhone game controller that’s also a case New Accessory Turns an iPhone into a Satellite Phone iPhones in Disguise ! Infinity Blade II: the best thing to happen to iPad/iPhone games?
airplay games

Mar 11

List of 5 of the Best Airplay Enabled Games for Apple TV

Airplay Enabled Games for Apple TV has increased in numbers considerably. Many third-party developers are taking up the challenge to create games that can be appealing and easy to play on Apple TV. These developers have made the games so that they could be translated smoothly from small screen to the bigger screen. There are 4-5 million users of Apple TV. Here is the list of games for Apple TV.

Real Racing 2 was one of the early ones that got used to IOS Airplay and still one of the best games. The game is also available in HD version. The price without HD is $4.99 while with HD is $6.99. It is like bridging the gap between the mobile games and console games. While one is playing the game on TV, the iOS device shows the tracks.

Touchgrind BMX is another favorite game that people would love to play using Airplay. Touchgrind was already there in the market but now it has got the support for AirPlay. This game has the cost $4.99. It allows the player to control the MBX. There are 3-D visuals that give amazing effect and the game is worth purchase. The iOS device can be used to control the ride on the TV through AirPlay.

Modern Combat 3:Fallen Nation is one of the most interesting game that was released earlier on iOS and is now available on AirPlay. The graphics are excellent and are comparable to that of the Console game like Call of Duty. With AirPlay , this one of the best first-person shooter games is just superb. The game which has the cost of $6.99 allows the player to go on a long mission from Los Angles to Pakistan.

FIFA 12 is the game for all. Whether a person like soccer or not, this Airplay enabled game which has the cost $4.99(the normal version) and $9.99(HD version) is fun filled. The players can enjoy everything that happens in the real soccer world. Right from trading of players to jersey changing, all the activities that can happen on the soccer ground and the backstage can be found in this Airplay enabled game. The players would need EA’s Gamepad from the app store to control the players on the TV using Airplay on the iOS device. Two iPhones can be used at the same time so one can have a head-on-match along with the friend to enjoy the maximum out of FIFA 12.

Finally, Chopper 2 ($2.99) is the sequel of the popular Chopper game for iOS device. It has got unique game play with about 35 missions that are planned over 12 locations and 2 choppers. The price is much more reasonable and it looks great on the big screen but with only two choppers and no downloadable content it has limited game play.

With the Ouya on the horizon, Apple TV have a great opportunity to get a console in the home. With rumors of blue tooth connectivity on future Apple TV boxes this opens up the possibility of peripherals to be connected and more games to be added. We wait with baited breath to see what the technology giant is going to do.