App Store Refusal!

23rd Aug 2012

Today we got the unfortunate news that our latest submission of the Bar Fight Live app was refused. This was down to a simple technical issue with the way we were handling video caching. No doubt the way we wrote it was too intelligent for Apple, after all Max’s changelog does say “Some very clever video caching “. Instead of making it less intelligent, this time we gave it some social skills to boot – hopefully this time it’s Apple friendly!

Where Do I Begin: Make an iOS Game

23rd Jul 2012

I sometimes get asked the question “How do I make an iPhone game?” so here’s the answer.

Step 1: Get a Mac. You may not like it, but it’s the only way. (link)
Step 2: Download and install Xcode from the Mac App Store. (link)
Step 3: Download cocos2d-x and install the Xcode templates. (link)
Step 4: Create a new project in Xcode. Pick one of the cocos2d-x templates. I recommend going with the box2d template, but if you’d rather write your own collision detection then pick the plain cocos2dx template. (Help at the bottom of the page)
Step 5: Make the game! I recommend pen and paper to sketch down some rough ideas and then have at it. (link)

There are already plenty of tutorials out there on the specifics of making a game with cocos2d-x so if you’re stuck try a few of them out. What you essentially need to know is that all your graphics will be images that you can create with your favourite editor (flash, photoshop, fireworks, painter, etc). Once you’ve imported your assets you can use them like so:

CCSprite *mySprite = CCSprite::spriteWithFile(“myImage.png”);
mySprite->setPosition(ccp(480.0/2.0, 320.0/2.0));

Providing your app is landscape, this code will create a sprite, center it and then add it to the display.

Help Installing Templates: Using terminal navigate to the cocos2d folder and run “./ -u -f”

Magnetic Man

5th Jul 2012

Making iOS Apps really leaves you with only one option, get a Mac. But which one? I opted for the MacBook Pro and at the time it seemed the most sensible option. I’ve had it the better part of two years now, and in the process learnt some of its quirks.

For those of you who don’t own a MacBook or have yet to get friendly with it, there is a very specific process for using an external monitor. You plug in the monitor, close the notebook and then wake it up with the power adapter attached. This is called “clamshell mode”.

This might work fine if you’re just checking your emails or doing the odd bit of surfing the web, but if you’re doing work that taxes the processor you’ll quickly end up with one very noisy very hot MacBook. The solution seems obvious, just open up the notebook so it can properly cool itself.

The reality however is a little different. There is no option to run an external monitor with the MacBook screen disabled and trawling the forums you’ll find a lot of people with the same issue. There is really only one solution, and that is to put a magnet in a very specific place to trick the MacBook into thinking the lid is closed. Should I have to do this with £2k+ of professional equipment? No. Will I make the best of a bad situation? You bet.

For those of you wanting your own funky looking magnetic man then check at your local steamer trading cook shop. If you were instead expecting some dubstep then look no further.


2nd Jul 2012

Not the kind you smoke, but rather Power Of Two. OpenGL has to have textures as Power Of Two. That means valid sizes are as follows:

Of couse you can have any size image, but once you turn it into a usable texture it’s expanded to the nearest POT. Worst case scenario you have a texture that’s 513×513, and you’ve just wasted 785,407 pixels (or 74.9%) worth of memory. If you can, try and make sure you get as close under one of those values as possible, or better yet create a sprite sheet.

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Injury of the Day

Nurse Long's Diagnosis:

Pulverised Epiglottis

If you can spell it, we'll treat it! If you can't spell it, give it your best shot and we'll try to find it. If in doubt, eat lots of ice-cream: it generally works!

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