Lean iPhone Game Development: Day 10

July 20th 2011

It’s the night before I’m supposed submit this game to the iTunes App store. I don’t have a starting menu, I don’t have an icon, or a splash screen, and I only have some basic game mechianics working. What’s a developer to do?

What went wrong?

Aside from my own hubris, a few cards were stacked in the deck against me. I had forgotten about family obligations in this last half week of development. This took time away from development, and also writing updates about the project.

Also, Victor the designer had a busy week at work this week. So the character design for the game has been pushed back (beyond the original end date).

Changing Gears

Since Victor couldn’t help out with the character design, It was up to me to produce the artwork for the game. And I’m not artistic. So I had to simplify things.

While my PhotoShop skills are limited, my MSPaint Skills are amazing. So I decided to make the game pixellated and have a retro feel. That means the general theme for the game would have to change. So now instead of Bastard Bricks, it’s now Bit Bricks.

What went right?

After several days of fumbling around with Box2D and not making much progress, some advertisements on raywenderlich.com caught my attention wile I was reading through a tutorial. So I clicked on them.

They took me to the websites for LevelHelper and SpriteHelper. LevelHelper is a desktop application that lets you drag, drop, and customize objects in a level. This can then be exported and loaded into an Objective-C application. This is everything I was trying to do programmatically, but failing miserably at.

SpriteHelper takes an image, detects sprites in that image, then exports them in a format that allows you use them within LevelHelper. It also exports them into a format that allows you to use them directly in Cocos2D as well.

These two tools are amazing. The UI is a little clumsy to use, but for the pair, I paid less than $35. I definitely got my money’s worth.

In addition, I found a tool for authoring bitmaps bitmaps pixel by pixel called Pixen. I haven’t used this much yet other than creating squares, but it looks promising.

Demo

Although I’ve been quiet for the past several days, I have been working hard on Bit Bricks. I still need menus, and bosses. But so far I have a functioning Breakout clone.

You can see the progress that’s been made here: Unable to display content. Adobe Flash is required.



Submission to the Apple Store

Tomorrow, I’m going to try to cobble up a menu screen and submit Bit Bricks as a “light” application. Since it’s very light on features, I don’t want to start charging for it quite yet. But I also don’t want to back down on my goal of submitting this on the 11th day.

It’s going to get rejected on the initial versions. So, to make lemons out of lemonade, I will be posting updates about the Apple Rejection process.

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