Saturday, October 1, 2011

History, Part 2

To continue from History, Part 1.

Originally we developed Mad Pig Klondike for Facebook. The Facebook version is much further along than the first version we'll be releasing on the iPhone. There were awards and card backs that are unlocked with achievements. We'll get those into the iPhone version in time, but we decided to ship the game as soon as it was playable and then keep adding more features. We've even got some really cool ideas we are keeping for a surprise.

Mad Pig Klondike pretty much sat on the shelf for a year when we were waiting for the server-side, backend stuff to be written. At that point, we decided to ship on the iPhone, as I was interested in learning how to code for iOS. I wasn't  (and am not) too interested in server backend programming. If you know a super-genius client/server, Facebook programmer that has some free time, let us know! We are still going to release on Facebook eventually, but for now, we are focusing on iOS.

The Facebook version was done completely in Flash. One thing I've noticed is, I can get much smoother animation on the iPhone. We also changed the interface and design some as we reformatted for the iPhone.

Here are examples of some of the differences in the design and art...

Facebook version:

iPhone Version:

With the iPhone version, we wanted to simplify the interface on the game board. There are only two buttons and they can be hidden. Well, actually there are three... you can tap the score area to zoom in and out a bit.

Mad Pig Klondike is programmed in Objective C and uses the incredible Cocos2d for iPhone framework. Cocos2d is free, actively developed and awesome! When I was researching and deciding whether to use one of many frameworks, or to build my own, I found Cocos2d to be very similar to Flash's AS3. Another big plus is it's all written in Objective C, so I would be using the same language as if I were programming from scratch.  Cocos 2d also has an excellent support community with forums and Riq, the developer of Cocos2d for iPhone, is very active on the forums. I have to say, the framework really is nice and saved me a lot of time.

Some other cool products I'm using that are worth a mention, and a purchase, are...

Texture Packer - sprite sheet creation tool.
Glyph Designer - a bitmap font creation tool.
Particle Designer - a particle system editor.

These tools help immensely and are reasonably priced.

It's been slow going, but we are finally getting close to launch. Our day-jobs are very demanding, we've had some false starts and a bit of a learning curve. Many times, the day jobs become day and night jobs, so free time for working on the game can be hard to come by. There is also family, a dog, a girlfriend, friends and other real life stuff getting squeezed in there. We have a lot of ideas for Klondike, and even more for other games. We hope you bear with us and enjoy the fruits of our hard work. We also love to hear feedback, so contact on if you like.

One more thing...

We've had beta testers for awhile now and the good news is, we don't seem to have to keep asking them to play the game! I'm thinking that's a good sign.

Next history post, I'll bring out some early concepts, tests and drawings.


No comments:

Post a Comment