Getting Production Data Out of Google App Engine And Into your iOS App

This following post is probably going to be useful to an extremely niche audience: anyone developing a multi-user iOS app that has a GAE backend. I’m currently working on Outwitters and debugging turn-based games on the local dev server (dev_appserver.py) is really quick and painless. The problem arises from the nature the game. It’s a multiplayer game, and as such, requires multiple users to function. You can only go so far with creating ‘mock user' accounts, and fake data populating your local server....

September 9, 2011 · Alex

Playing Around With Flash on iOS

About two weeks ago I mentioned I was looking into using the open source library, gameswf to integrate into our little 2D engine for iOS. I was at the point where I needed a UI solution for Outwitters, and I had a few options: Keep doing what I was doing with Tilt to Live and create the UI by handing coding everything and procedurally animating it Create a UI editor to help automate some of the UI features I had created in Tilt to Live Look into gameswf and see if I could go for the whole she-bang and just use Flash for the UI....

May 20, 2011 · Alex

*So* Much Science Has Been Done…

As we’ve announced on the OML site, our new game has a name: Outwitters. It’s been quite busy for the last couple of weeks, but I’m loving it. Being able to tackle new problems and going outside my comfort zone in terms of game development has been pretty fun so far. I’ve never coded a turn-based strategy game from start to finish, so I’m having to learn a slew of new concepts and design patterns to help mitigate the complexity of the game’s rules....

April 22, 2011 · Alex

Adding an Upgrade Path to In App Purchases

Tilt to Live HD’s Viva la Turret mode is now live and people seem to be enjoying it. One of the bigger hurdles in this prior update was getting in app purchases to work the way we wanted them to without violating the standard user experience of IAP. I figured I’d share how I went about solving this for Tilt to Live HD specifically. We had a few business goals in mind:...

February 14, 2011 · Alex

Running Wild with GameKit

I’m still in the middle of finishing up our Co-op mode for Tilt to Live and coding in the last odds and ends to polish up the UI. The gameplay rules have be finalized and it’s been a hoot to play. Yes, I said hoot. We’ll be playtesting the mode in the coming weeks to do any minor tweaking to the physics and balance. The wireless P2P GameKit API has been pretty cool to work with....

February 3, 2011 · Alex

The Tug of War in Content vs. Gameplay

I’ve started holding a particular mindset in regards to game design a little while after I started working on iPhone games, but I could never really articulate what I was feeling without sounding like a lazy game developer or religious nut. Danc’s article over at lostgarden reflects a lot of what I think about games as a medium, and what they can do, and where they are heading (good or bad)....

December 8, 2010 · Alex

Taking the pain out of ad-hoc testing

This post is more of a public service announcement. Prior to Tilt to Live’s Game Center/Retina update we wanted to extensively test the game with a wider tester base. So we ran a small ‘open beta' (as open as Apple’s ad-hoc program would allow us). Prior to iOS 4.0 users had to do a cumbersome dance to get an ad-hoc game on their devices. And by cumbersome, I mean anything dealing with the desktop iTunes client....

November 8, 2010 · Alex

Tilt to Live Post Mortem

Gamezebo was kind enough to host the post mortem I wrote up for Tilt to Live. You can find it here.

November 4, 2010 · Alex

Gyroscope all the way!

Ok, that title is kind of misleading. But for those who caught the reference, *high five*. I actually pulled gyroscope support from our latest Tilt to Live update. I had it implemented into the game at one point but through beta testing eventually killed the feature. I just wanted to go over the details as to why it went the way of the dodo bird. Gyroscope != Accelerometer Alright this a biggie....

October 19, 2010 · Alex

Retina Graphics Caveats

Lot’s going on in OML-Land. TTL HD is out the door. TTL HD 1.1 is already in Apple’s queue (fixing a horrible crash for our international users). TTL 1.5 (iPhone) is in testing right now. On top of some R&D type stuff I’m messing around with so we can transition to our next project more smoothly. So retina graphics are all the rage at the moment. If you were lucky to develop your game assets all in a vector-based format, supporting retina graphics was a bit easier....

October 11, 2010 · Alex