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Socoder -> Off Topic -> Jayenkai's Arcade Slots

Wed, 08 Sep 2010, 04:16
Hi Jayenkai,

Its been a while since I last posted, mainly because I've been looking for a job; but also because I'm still learning iphone development and its much harder than I originally planned.


I recently saw your blog post on https://idev.agameaweek.com/ regarding your Arcade Slots for iphone.

And I also saw your post on Platdude for ipod

I'm interested in learning more on how you did this; did you use Cocoas2d, or did you use something else?

Did you use sprite sheets, and bitmap fonts?

I'm really interested in learning more about how you got from where you were to where you are (developing simple 2d apps for iphone).

Oh, also -- do you have any source code examples?

Thanks for your help

Wed, 08 Sep 2010, 04:51

Yes, it's a complete arse trying to get into this thing.. Even 1-game-in-store, I'm still baffled by half the stuff that it's expecting from me.


Open XCode, and click on "View Based" thingy, that's pretty much what I'm using. In some ways, I'm only using that because I'm still learning.. I tend to work my way up, slowly!
It doesn't give you 1000s of sprites, and it doesn't give you millions of neat effects..
But it does give you what Blitz2D on a shit celeron could give you, and after years coping with that, I think I can near-enough wrap my head around it.
The fact that Arcade Slots already has great big spinning reels, filled with images, is testament to that!

View on YouTube


So, nothing special, but learning enough tricks that I can make it look half-assed!

Meanwhile, as a kickass side-effect of only using the phone's basic "View" routines, I've managed to keep the battery usage super-low.
If you run Cardagain, and just keep it going, you should have the same battery life as if you were looking at the browser..
or, you know, thereabouts!!

Compare that with "It's only 2D, why the hell is it using the 3D functions" Scrabble, which sucks the crap out of your battery, and pretty much lets you play one single game per charge..
stupid EA..

So, yeah, keep it "simple", and you'll keep the battery going longer.

For fonts, since I'm using views, I can just slap a UILabel on the screen, so that's not hard at all, and sprites are originally a large image that gets sliced into component pieces during loading, and those are then used where needed.
Of course, I could've just loaded "Sprite_001.png" -> "Sprite_050.png", but if you've attempted that, you'll know it's taking up about 10 lines for each and every one!!

Instead, one array, one slicer function, job done..

For my reels I did the opposite. Once the sprites are chopped up, I slap them back together onto a really big image, and then those are replicated for each reel.
It's simple enough..
... 'ish!

I've half written a tutorial (2nd attempt!) but even that's grossly out of date, as far as the tweaks I've recently made are concerned.. I'll probably rewrite all of that AGAIN at a later date..

''Load, Next List!''
Wed, 08 Sep 2010, 05:47
Oh thanks for that. Yeah, I understand your frustrations with the language/syntax, etc; I've been trying to get myself an internship or a job, or something, anything to get a handle on the language, but to no avail.
Fri, 10 Sep 2010, 16:36
Decision time..
"Arcade Slots : JNKPlat Edition" is now about 95% done.
Or, to put it another way, if I do a few sprites and add/remove buttons, I can now build up a multitude of little Arcade Slot minigames.
The engine is done, the one game is going, and anything else will (... should.. .... ..) be plain sailing.

Now, the decision.

Do I shove JNKPlat Edition (The Free version) through the Apple churner now, or do I leave it until the full thing's ready?

.. Do I use it as a hype machine, or do I wait until the whole thing's ready?

.... If I wait, will it annoy folk that they can't yet buy the full game?!

''Load, Next List!''
Fri, 10 Sep 2010, 18:09
Is the iPhing JNKPlat version easier to win than the DS one? If not, don't release it separately. It's no fun.

If you wait, and feel the need to tell them there will be a full game, make sure only to leave them waiting for a month or two; and add an extra bonus functionality to the JNKPlat one (not just a new tile, something that really changes gameplay) for the people who decide to buy the full version. Make sure to let the free version people know there's something they don't have by adding a button to enable the new feature that they can't tap until they buy the full version.
Sat, 11 Sep 2010, 02:39
I've got a toggley switch at the bottom to enable Easy/Medium/Hard modes, with easy being too easy, and hard being the DS version.
So, that's not an issue.. or, rather, shouldn't be.
I've also upped the scoring a bit, so that walking, climbing and even falling gets you a few points, so even if you take your first step into a spike, you still get 5 points for it!

I'm also planning to add a "JNKPlat+", where you have four clickable direction buttons, and can actually "play" the thing, more than the normal "it just goes" method, but I'm going to be leaving that for the full version.

I won't be doing "Here's a button that doesn't work until you pay", since that's actually against the Apple guidelines.
As it stands JNKPlat Edition is a fully playable game, if not a little small!

''Load, Next List!''
Sat, 11 Sep 2010, 03:55
Just do what most people do and have a 'buy full version' button that takes you to the app store.

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