iOS

Taking a little break

Posted by admin on December 20, 2013
Development, Games, iOS / No Comments

I’ve been building my latest MonsterUp game for a few months now. The game has been accepted as part of the AppCademy program from Nokia and Microsoft and will be included in there when it’s done and passes all the necessary certification. Very happy and proud about that, but this is not what this post is about at all:)

The MonsterUp new game is being built using Unity and I’ve been learning a lot about the engine and tools while doing that. This does mean that I had to refactor a few things a few times already, but at some point I wondered what it would be like to make something new with all the things I’ve learned so far. So, I’ve decided to take a little break for a week or so from building the MonsterUp game and make something else completely.

The new game would have something to do with physics and maybe sports, so I chose to do a small archery game. The game set out to be an archery competition game with obstacles and moving targets set in different locations. And it also needed a cool name, where my friend Paddy helped. So the final name of the game is Daryl, from the Walking Dead character of course:)

I built the game using Unity in about one week, including integration with iOS stuff like Facebook and Twitter sharing, GameCenter achievements and leaderboards as well as Everyplay integration for sharing gameplay replays to social networks and youtube. Yes, Unity is awesome and the ecosystem is very well formed allowing all sort of nice things. The game features 5 different themes, Countryside, Beach, Old Castle, Rainy Forest and Snow Mountains. The game will be released shortly for iPhones, iPods and iPads (in both landscape and portrait mode) for free including the first of 5 themes. The rest are available for purchase as a single IAP inside the game. I also added some consumable bonues items that make shots less tricky, since they help with the shaky hands of the archer, the wind that affects the trajectory of the arrows and allow undoing some, ehm, unfortunate shots. None of these is essential in enjoying the game for free, but they add to the experience.

So there you have it, a free game for iOS made in a week using Unity that looks damn good, plays great and is fun! When the game is released, it will be available here.

 

The iOS App Store – Ups and Downs

Posted by admin on July 13, 2013
Development, Games, General, iOS / No Comments

I was asked the other day to contribute to an article by 148Apps.com about my angle on the Apple App Store. The App Store has recently turned 5 years old, and it was where it all started for indie developers on mobile. Myself, I have not been on the App Store from the beginning, but opted to focus more on the Windows Phone Marketplace, which I never regretted as I have said in previous blogs. This does not mean that I have not published on other marketplaces and that I don’t have an opinion about them of course:)

You can read my thoughts, along with fellow developers thoughts about the App Store by heading to the 148Apps article page and reading the article itself, titled “App Store Fifth Anniversary: The Ups and Downs of iOS Publishing”.

appstore5over-wide

Mobile World Congress 2013

Posted by admin on February 23, 2013
Apps, Development, Games, General, iOS, Windows 8, Windows Phone, Windows Phone / No Comments
Mobile World Congress 2013

Mobile World Congress 2013

Tomorrow morning I will be leaving for Barcelona to attend this year’s Mobile World Congress. MWC is of course the biggest event for all things mobile in the world and this will be the first time I attend it. After attending last year’s Build in Redmond, WA and Microsoft Partner Conference the year before in LA, CA I guess I am getting the hang of going to big technology related and non-academic conferences for the first time :) After finishing my PhD last year, this seems like the next best thing, since I’ve been to quite a few academic conferences during my studying time anyway.

So back to Barcelona, MWC will take place between February 25 and February 28 in a new venue, not that I knew the old venue. The new venue is called Fira Fran Via which is apparently an awesome state of the art event space. I am sure the venue cannot possible beat being to Microsoft’s HQ building complex in November, but I’ve been to Barcelona 3 times already and I like the city and the people, so at least it will be much closer to where I live (no more crossing the Atlantic ocean – yey) and in Europe for a change.

I will arrive on Sunday and attend the Mobile Sunday event, where apparently will be lots of cool people and free beer tasting. The event  will begin at 6pm, look for me there if you want to meet up and discuss games over beers (what better way is there?). I will be wearing my MonsterUp t-shirt if it’s not too cold:) I will try to where these everywhere (I have a few of them) so you can find me:)

On Monday I will be attending Nokia’s separate event all day long. There is a keynote at 11am where I hope we get to see all new shiny awesome Lumia phones and (why not) the first Nokia tablet. That would be awesome ;) There are quite a few interesting sessions throughout the day, including game development sessions which I will make sure not to miss (in both Track 1 and Track 2) but the main thing I will try to do is talk to Nokia people about working with them for more Lumia games from Karios Games.

Tuesday will be a bit more relaxed. I think about going to Connected Living and Clicksoftware sessions about HTML5. I already have a couple of games on Facebook and Chrome Store using HTML5 so there might be a few things to learn there.

On Wednesday there are a few interesting things. I will try to attend the Generation ‘M’ session as well as the App Planet Open Forum.  After the congress, I will also try to be at WIPJam and Mobile Mixology parties. They are not very close to each other but I will do my best!

Finally, Thursday is going to be WIP-ADC day. Many interesting topics there so I will most likely spend the whole day attending these. After this, straight to the airport.

So if you are there, drop a line! I will try to tweet and otherwise write about the event here and on my twitter account (@marioskar) so if you are interested about WMC, make sure to follow me!

MonsterUp rises again:)

Posted by admin on January 11, 2013
Development, Games, iOS, PC, Web, Windows Phone / No Comments

To celebrate the release of MonsterUp for iOS devices, I decided to dedicate a website only to MonsterUp branded games. I have 3 games already using the MonsterUp brand, the original MonsterUp, its sequel MonsterUp Adventures and a kids’ memory matching games called MonsterUp Memory. Since I plan to use the brand on future games as well, a dedicated simple website for all things MonsterUp seemed like a good idea. So I bought the domain monsterupgame.com, installed wordpress and presto – I had a website in about 4 hours :)

monsterupgame

It has most of the things I wanted to have, like reviews and screenshots showing on devices’ pictures. I had to hack the template a bit to support multiple platforms, since it was originally supporting only iPhone apps, but I think it works the way I want it to work now.

So, take a look and tell me if you like it :)

www.monsterupgame.com

Galaxium is now also on the iPhone

Posted by admin on August 10, 2012
Development, Games, iOS / No Comments

With summer in full swing, it is actually most likely preferable to head to the nearest beach to cool off, than stay in and play some good old fashion video games. But wait! That is why we have mobile phones these days, it seems, so that we can take gaming wherever we go, right? Well, many people have Windows Phone devices, and have been enjoying Galaxium, my space shooter, for a little over a year now. So I though it was time to give something to the even more people who walk around with iPhones, iPod Touches and iPads in their pockets these days. And I did, Galaxium has been in the App Store for a little more than a week now, and people from all over the world have been downloading it already. If you have an iOS device, you can do the same, by following this link. Galaxium on the iPhone has the exact same gameplay, bonus, enemies and bosses as the Windows Phone version, and there are a small differences as well, like the different menu layout and the Game Center support for the iPhone.

But how did we port the game I hear you ask, since Galaxium has been developed using XNA and C# which are not available for the iOS platform? Did we rewrite the game in Objective-C? The answer is no. The game is a direct port, even using the exact same code, using the most excellent tools provided by MonoGame, MonoTouch, Mono and MonoDevelop. These tools allow game developers to use their beloved C# and XNA skillset to write games that write in oh-so-many different platforms, including Linux, MacOSX, iOS, Android, PlayStation, Windows 8 and more. It’s every XNA game developer’s dream come true! It’s not perfect, but it’s stable enough to port most games already written in XNA to any of the platforms above. And you don’t have to take our word for it. We did it with Galaxium, we will do it with more games in the future and there are also some very nice examples in MonoGame’s website. There you can also find tutorials and documentation to get you started. What are you waiting for?