Recent Articles In Game Developers » Page 2
January 4, 2009 by mittens on Rawr

I've been plugging away on my iPhone project over my vacation and it's been pretty rad. which I'm actually developing using an iPod Touch but shortening it from iPhone/iPod Touch to just iPhone is so much easier. I do want to record just how absurd application deployment to an iPhone/iPod Touch is, though. Once an individual pays the $99 fee for a development license he/she is given access to the iPhone Development Portal. And in order to get a working xcode project from the iPhone Simulator to an actual device is as follows:

  1. Setup the team. For an individual license the only allowed team member is the person who bought the license. The first thing this person will need to do is generate a Certificate Signing Request; this is done through a system application. Once a request for a certificate from a "Certificate Authority" has been made, then a CSR file will be made on the desktop. This CSR file needs to submitted to the Development Portal to allow a team leader to approve it. Once that is done, then the portal will allow team members/admins to download their certificates and install them to their machine. Each certificate is composed of a public key (which is available to the team leader) and a private key (which is available only for the team member).
  2. The next step is to add a list of up to one hundred possible devices that will be used for testing. This is the most straightforward part of the process. Just add in the device name and its unique device ID.
  3. Now an application identifier needs to be created that will serve as a unique identifier for that application and is composed of ten letters/numbers. This key is then followed by a bundle identifier that the developer can create; for instance, mine is
  4. Then it is necessary to create a provisioning profile which ties all of the aforementioned steps together. Mine is "Trent kaboom," and allows to be deployed to either mittens or Stardock's iPod Touch (which I was using before I bought my own) under the use of my developer license, Trent Polack. Once the form is filled out then a file has to be downloaded to the desktop and added as a provisioning profile to xcode's device organizer.
  5. Moving to xcode, a property list file (Info.plist, typically) needs to be filled out since xcode seems to have issues automating its project name/product name/product bundle through the project settings alone. So various information from the previous steps needs to be manually entered here. The main information that needs to be given is the bundle identifier: com.trentpolack.{$PRODUCT_NAME:identifier}. It seems without that ':identifier' modifier deployment to a device will only work once until that installed application has been deleted; adding it, presumably, gives each deployed executable a unique ID that will allow it to overwrite a previous one.
  6. And, finally, a provisioning profile is linked with a given target (executable) through the xcode project settings and serves as a means of signing that executable for use by an attached device. Deployment is impossible without a code-signing profile in place.
December 23, 2008 by mittens on Rawr

The iPhone/iPod Touch is a pretty rad little platform. It has vastly more powerful hardware and a far greater ease of development than I would have ever expected going into it. The biggest problem for me at the moment is that I don't actually have a Mac to call my very own. Someone deemed me responsible enough to borrow a Mac for the course of the Christmas break so I could finally make good on my long-desired and very loud-mouthed wish to see what kind of independent development environment Apple provided to the public for the platforms. Turns out that if someone can stomach a bit of Objective-C and a lack of Microsoft Visual Studio (the latter being the biggest dilemma), Apple seems to have done quite well for themselves. Even if one doesn't own an iPhone or an iPod Touch, the iPhone SDK ships with an iPhone Simulator which seems to pretty accurately represent the environment (sans the real-world tactile focus). I haven't had more than two days to really experiment with the setup yet, but thus far I'm impressed and I'd like to hear some thoughts from people who have spent more time with the platform.

Hell, from what I discovered shortly before I left for my brief vacation -- where I am so clearly vacationing at this very moment -- it seems that even the Objective C requirement may be negligible. It seems to allow for simplistic integration of traditional C/C++ code into the whole mix. I don't know what kind of exposure any of you readers have with Objective-C but, my god, as far as I'm concerned the less I see of its demonic syntax the better the world will be for it.

The biggest issue I'm facing with the whole iPhone/iPod Touch development experience thus far is that, for obvious reasons, an Intel-based Mac is required for development. I'd love to pick-up a Mac Book Pro or something at some point but, at least right now, that's way above my feasible price point for such a thing. If my short time with the Mini proves productive (and it has so far) I might try and pick up one of those on the cheap. Much like the sentimentality I have for Microsoft's XNA development environment, I think it's another quality step for independent game developers to have such easy access to a prominent and up-and-coming platforms like the iPhone/Touch (and mobile gaming as a whole).

The iPhone and iPod Touch seem to be an especially viable platform for independent game developers due in large part to the superb App Store accessible through the aforementioned devices and iTunes. In the mere two days I've had my iPod Touch I've already racked up about sixteen games ranging from free downloads to $0.99 titles all the way up to $9.99 (the maximum value I've seen). I'm not sure what kind of success the developers of Fieldrunners, Galcon, Enigmo, and Trism (to name a few) have seen but their titles seem to be very popular on the App Store. Galcon, especially, seems to have had surprising success given the very uniquely-nerd sort of gameplay it represents while being crossed with a more approachable and palatable mobile presentation.

If anything, it would seem that Apple made the accessibility of the App Store to independent developers almost too easy. For every great gem I've found hidden in the gaming sections I have seen three or four more titles which seem to present some meager offerings of something that can only barely resemble careful game development or a sound game design choice.

I am looking forward to getting back to my iPod Touch game experiment in a few days. I haven't had nearly enough time to provide much more than these barest of first impressions so, as I said earlier, I'd love to hear from others. I'll surely write some more on this topic as I get a bit more reacquainted with OpenGL (the ES persuation). I hope my first small game test, lovingly given its ridiculous working name of Asplodestroids!, will at least see a glean of the light of day before I find myself Mac-less again. It's also Christmas so feel free to toss a Macbook Pro into my stocking if you're feeling so inclined.

Because I'm sure that was someone's first instinct after reading this.

November 16, 2008 by mittens on Rawr

Short story made shorter: I'm putting my XNA Action/RTS Cubegasm on hold. My framework isn't nearly robust enough to make the kind of game I want to make and, since this is strictly a hobby project, I'd rather not have to put all of the gameplay on hold while I flesh out the necessary backbone in order to get to the "fun stuff." I didn't see this as a reason not to release the current code for the project, though. So I'm doing that. You can get the source package: here.

It's not a very big release. Nor a very done one. It basically doesn't do anything. It'll load up a game map with one fortress firing bullets (that never get destroyed) at the player's five cube-spawning points. That's about it. How exciting!

Replacing Cubegasm is a game that I can actually play alongside development (also using XNA); it's called Brain Snack. I'll post some more information/screenshots when they're not embarrassingly bad.

October 3, 2008 by erathoniel on Erathoniel's Blog
I can buy Spore after-all. Since it's the game making me boycott EA, and Will Wright makes it, and Will Wright donates to McCain, I can agree with Will Wright's politics. Will Wright, ergo, deserves my cash as much as any other developer, and I will give money to Will Wright by buying Spore. Even if I can't run it. Meh. Make it for DS/360, and I'll buy it.
September 29, 2008 by mittens on Rawr

There are, as of my last counting, approximately a gazillion journalistic locales which offer game reviews on the internet or in print. There are not, to my knowledge, any columns which analyze a game mechanic within the context in which it appears along with detailing what is actually fun about the mechanic, and how it could be improved or exploited in the future. This particular edition of Mechanics will do none of that.

Majoring in English in college meant two things: I read a lot and I talked about what I read a lot. There is nothing more self-indulgent and pompous than a bunch of people sitting around a classroom talking about books in the setting of higher education. College students and, more to the point, English majors come up with some of the most absurd talking points based on their interpretations of a given text that it all becomes laughable at some points. I'm talking discussion matter along the lines of absurdity if I was to say that Clifford the Big Red Dog's existence merely served as a metaphor for the presence of communist Russia in the global sociopolitical scene and all of the people he comes in contact with in Norman Bridwell's line of children books are all analogous to various world political figures throughout the 1950s and 1960s. Of course such a theory is absolutely ridiculous, but when intellectuals are asked to find a deeper meaning in a classical text there are instances of such crackpot theories.

September 20, 2008 by kurtin on kurtin
I was excited to discover that Level-5, the game franchise, will be holding a press conference and announcing something big on the 26th of September. My hopes are that this big news has something to do with building anticipations over the release of Dark Cloud 3. I've loved each installment of the classic Dark Cloud RPGs, so a third one has been on my wish list for a long time now. It will give me a major reason to purchase a PS3 system. However, I don't really want to jump to conclusions or cer...
August 11, 2008 by CariElf on Girl Geek
So it's official, I'm a Guest at Dragon*Con 2008!  I don't think that I mentioned that before, although I've known that I would be a Guest since about a week after I posted the first article mentioning Dragon*Con.  I have been waiting to see what panels I'd end up doing, because they hadn't gotten back to me at all.  I finally got an e-mail from the programming comittee with my tentative schedule today (they may still make minor changes to the schedule).  So her...
July 31, 2008 by Nequa on myuser
It appears watch dogs groups have something else to bark about, it appears they now think that playing zombie vido games may make children canniblistac. They also talk about the usuall stuff,"Vidoe games are ful of sex, blah blah blah, the children are going to become murders, blah blah". I mean really? How often does this stuff they talk about actually happen? Here is a link if you want to read the article,2933,177090,00.html.  
July 10, 2008 by mentor07825 on All that is me
Hot off the press, because it's a done deal now. Activision, the game developer that brought us Call Of Duty and Guitar Hero has now merged with Vivendi, the same company that owns Blizzard Entertainment. Blizzard Entertainment is recently famous for their MMORPG World Of Warcraft.  Vivendi is a company based in Paris and is a corporation, owning Universal Music Group, Canal & Group, SFR, Maroc Telecom and Vivendi Games. Vivendi Games also owns Blizzard Entertainment. Vividi Ga...
June 30, 2008 by silolauncher on terraquad
What is happening in the gaming world? All games developer always tend to make better new games but they always forget about the most important factor of the game that is the polish and bug fixes. Gamers hate to play games that is not ready to be release and use. For an example, do you like to play a game that always crash eventhough it is a great game. Absolutely the answer is no.I hope the game developer will always remember about polishing the game to the best effects a...
June 24, 2008 by mittens on Rawr

In lieu of actually doing any development tonight I, instead, chose to write a gaming article (still no Metal Gear Story; I'm still thinking about that) and then a particularly-lengthy Daily. Now, since I've given up hope of getting work done tonight and have accepted the idea that Battlefield: Bad Company will dominate my nights for the next few days, I'll write about what I'm actually working on for the moment.

I've never worked on a project that had any sort of physics simulation occurring within it before; when I found out that Havok released their SDK that could be used by hobbyists and by any commercial product that retailed for less than $10, though, I retreated from my previous stay at Hotel XNA and back into C/C++ Direct3D9 Land. I didn't want to spend months writing a framework and a rendering engine, though, since I'm currently in the kind of mood where I want to put out a game every two-three months -- a timespan which is variable based on game release dates, occasional social interests and obligations, and work schedules. It is a direct result of this mindset which led me to using OGRE. I spent a few days configuring my project, the engine (and all of the modules for it which I planned on using), and Havok in Visual Studio and then got about implementing a basic Havok simulation and rendering aesthetic worked out.


May 18, 2008 by rootdown on rootdown
  This is my first attempt at making a spaceship.  It's not done yet, so don't nitpick too much. I've been noodling with 3d software for about four years now (Started with some Maya classes in college, though these days I use Silo for the modeling stage) so it's sort of a wonder why I didn't try making one sooner; I am going to go ahead and blame my buddy Matt for putting me off taking a crack at it earlier: Spaceships, he says, are cheap.  Without even addressing the qu...
As the more attentive might notice, I have changed the version number of my mod from v0.3 to v1.0. This was a decision I made a while back (but I forgot my self-decided version change before writing the previous developer diary ). Reason for the version change was simply because to reflect the fact that my mod releases aren't really beta (they are throughly tested for skirmish / online use) with the only potential beta area being the single-player campaign which is untested. Also, the mod an...
Today marked the first day I spent on furthering development on my mod for World in Conflict for some time. I was forced to put it aside for some time because of university and lack of personal time in general. Now that I have some time to myself again I figured why not dedicate some of that to Realmod once again. The World in Conflict mod kit. Its what makes it all happen. Since it was a while since I last worked on my mod, I decided to conduct a reevaluation of things and ideas I had i...
April 27, 2008 by mittens on Rawr
For this update, my role in Asplode! was absolutely minimal. While I'm in the middle of a mild crunch for The Political Machine 2008 and then away at Rochester, New York for a Paramore concert, Josh was working asininely hard on version 1.2 of Asplode!. As started, my role in this update was purely peripheral as, in my spare time, I've been working on the start for Bipolar and taking some of Josh's code for his game and turning it into a more generic library that both of us can use in our curren...