Monday, October 26, 2009

Development Blog #12

iPhone App Game Development Blog #12

Sigh. It is late, and I am tired, and I still have some fonts to look at (and a car to park) before calling it a night. So this will be a quickie.

As usual, lots to say but I am gonna pare it down and try to get to the meat. Overall, things are going really well. A ton of developments going around at HcG lately, which is always good, and our new game "180" is coming along very nicely. The biggest point to note is that as of late last week, the last crucial gameplay element was implemented at last (it required a fairly substantial rewrite of a lot of older "proof-of-concept" code) and as such it was hanging out for awhile, but now that's settled and we have a very near-final gameplay experience in our hands over here. Some tweaks and adjustments need to be dealt with - and the whole issue of overall presentation, which now comes into the fore - but overall I am very pleased. The game was quite addictive before, and with this new version I am there all over again. Now we just need to do it justice with the layers of polish, and it's off to the races!

I am spending a lot of time investigating other apps at this phase, to see how ours holds up (gameplay and aesthetically) to them. In my travels, I've come across some games worth mention - here's some (controversial) thoughts to chew on:

- Mr.AahH!! - cool little game, nice presentation. Pretty thin, you play it for a few sessions and then you never need to see it again! But, a great "feeling." Swing on ropes, tap the screen to try and land on a target.

- Gangstar - chugs on my old device. Extremely impressive - I would love to make a game like this!

- I Dig It- people rant and rave about this game. I couldn't make myself play it long enough to get the gist, I don't like games where you have to go back and forth and buy equipment immediately.

- Canabalt - I only played the flash version on the PC, it's not bad but I was over it pretty quickly

- Swingaling - I had expected this to be more immediately captivating. I'll go back to it, but the controls were a big turn-off.

- Line Up - after my own in-development game, this is the one I keep coming back to. So rock-simple but addictive. If you can make yourself play longer than a few rounds, this game will grip you and won't let go without a fight. Marred by some slight tech issues but not enough to be a buzzkill.

- Peggle - heard of this game for ages, between the name and the screenshots it was a huge turn-off for me. I wanted to examine their interface so I gave it a DL. Oh boy - great game.

- Horror Racing - was described to me as RC Pro-Am-ish (Pro Amish!) Yuck. The controls are unwieldy, at best

- Stoneloops of Jurassica - best "marble popper" I have seen on iPhone in awhile, looks like this just got pulled off of the App Store. It's a scary landscape out there right now with this stuff happening, and yet - if your game is a very close rip of someone else's work, should you be able to get away with it? Several other games I have been intending to look at have similarly disappeared - sketchy times, indeed.

Other notes - we have a local iPhone App Dev meetup in Hollywood coming up Wednesday night, hope to see you (that's YOU!) there! Every time we do it, always a blast -

Also, heading into the office for the startup I am helping out with, so I will be double-time busy these days. Whew - exhausting! I guess that'll have to hold you for now, I need to wrap up some things and try to get some shuteye. Thanks for tuning in, keep following us and spreading the word - we appreciate it!

-Ron & Ben

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