Gaming Your Way

May contain nuts.

Interview with a real live iPhone dev

Our mate Chris has been working away on his first Unity3D powered iPhone game for a little while, and now it's available for free on the iPhone store his mind turned to pimping, and our's to getting an interview so we could pad things out a little without just looking cheap.

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What I do love is the way Chris just ignores the shit in my questions and just answers the core point without rising to my bait, like I'm 12 and best just ignored.

"How did you find moving from Flash to Unity ? They seem to share a common core, but are different enough to make life interesting. How was it for you ( Darling ) ?"

In some ways it hardly felt different at all, as if they were from the same software family, Unity's version of Javascript is so close to Actionscript (for example when working on the Mac now, I even use Unity's code editor 'Unitron' for my actionscript coding) but when it came to structuring the game it really is very different.
Actually building game mechanics, levels, controls etc is really very intuitive in Unity, however there doesn't seem to be any one agreed way on storing things like player data, global game settings.
The way I ended up doing it all is with a 'gameObject' that doesn't get destroyed when moving between scenes (but this
in itself causes problems when testing then, as you don't have to test from the opening scene, and hence the gameObject hasn't been made yet.)
If someone knows a better way way please do tell me  :)
"iPhone dev via Unity, sex or a drunken wank ( Maybe with tears. Why did she leave, why ? )"

Considering what it does I really don't see how it could be any easier. It gets slightly complicated when you finally move the project over to Xcode, but then Xcode is complicated and that's nowt to do with Unity, is it wrong of me to think that maybe Apple have purposefully made this bit hard to keep the kids out?
It really is very complicated and parts of it would try the patience of a Saint, but as I said this isn't anything to do with Unity.
Maybe someone out there can let me know, is it always this convoluted when dev-ing for consoles? Are there just always weird things you have to do due to copy protection / code signing?

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"Tell us about going through Apples hoops to get the game on the store, was it just like a great big hug, or more a spit in the eye ?"

It wasn't as bad as I thought it would be truth be told. From first submission to being live in the App Store took around 14 days. We had one
build sent back to us, as we weren't making it clear that the high score table was storing the user's data remotely and also we hadn't specifically requested the users permission to access the internet.
One amazing achievement is though that we have not received one crash report yet, which is testament to how awesome I really am (or that maybe I am working on a lovely high level piece of industry quality middleware with some brilliant engineers...hmm it's probably my awesomeness now that I think about it.)

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"It's early days yet, but how's the game doing ? Any sort of trend apparent or is it getting lost in the zillion new releases every day ?"

It's done well for what it is, which is a first game, proof of concept. It spent around one week in the top 30 free arcade games and is now in the top 60 or so. It's been installed around 12,000 times and we've had some lovely reviews off people (many of whom commented that is it better and easier to control the Super Monkey Ball on the iPhone).
One interesting point is that we may have got more installs had we charged. This is pure speculation on my behalf, but something I didn't realise is that many of the very popular review sites and magazines for iPhone simply won't cover free games, so even by charging only 59p or something we could conceivably got in pocketGamer, Edge, RetroGamer etc.  So I guess we will be testing my theory on this for
Snowball's Chance in Hell 2  :)

"If badgers had guns, do you think they'd rob post offices ?"

No they'd rob Mash Potato factories.

I hadn't even considered that, damn he's on intellectual fire.

Now you're wet for the game, here's the all important link http://bit.ly/kill5Snowball

Never one to miss the chance to spread the word Chris told me about Kill5's competition. Let's face it, it's not a competition, it's a bribe, but fuck it, who wouldn't want an iPod Touch ?
Read all about it here, http://www.kill5.com/competition/ but come on, I've kinda earned the iPod with this article, so really don't expect to win.
( What should happen if by some fluke I do win ? Everyone is going to think we're big cheaty cheats, I've screwed myself now haven't I ).

A big thanks to Chris for taking the time to do this interview. I'm sure if anyone has some follow up questions he'll be around to tackle them in the comments.

Squize.

Comments (2) -

  • monsiuerError

    6/30/2009 6:29:57 PM |

    ok in order to recitfy Squize's observation that I ignored his childish questions, here are some additions to the above interview.

    1. The first time I opened Unity, I was nervous, but after I saw how powerful it was I quivered, and then, finally allowed it to do whatever it wanted with me and the Earth moved (along more than two axis as well.)

    2. iPhone Dev-ing using Unity was like having a wank with driving gloves on, I felt in control, but it also hurt slightly.

    3. It was like a spit in the eye, but that's what I wanted.

    4. My game has earned me so much money, that I can now proceed with a hostile take over of GYW, that's right I have earnt over twenty whole pounds.

    5. Why don't me and you fuck this interview off and go badger baiting back in Swansea like we used to?

    ce x

  • Squize

    6/30/2009 7:15:23 PM |

    You've had proper grown up meetings in the hot weather haven't you ? I can tell because you needed that blow out of filth and childishness.

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