Archive for February, 2009

The comedown

February 24, 2009

It had to happen. After spending a good 24hours with Unity3D, where I got rather over-excited about the possibilities of mobile interactive entertainment,  there had to be some form of comedown. Today is it albeit a mild one.

There was some sweating overnight over how to best resource this game with the available budget. It’s a pretty simple idea but the money is pretty tight considering we’re dealing with an unknown quantity. The memory of lessons learned from doing Horses for Courses are fIooding back. I need to flesh out as much of the spec as possible before getting other people involved. Given that we are looking at using a proprietary game engine, I see my job upfront as to get to grips with its constraints and limitations and make sure our spec is achieveable. It’s very promising how many of the game features I was able to mock up in the space of the weekend but the devil will be in the detail. I particularly want to make sure that any art pipeline issues are understood early on in case they impact on how artists work on this.

Waiting for Apple to respond to my iPhone Developer registration. Waiting for Unity to respond to my iPhone publishing trial request. So no new developments on the game front. I decided to go sideways and dive into ObjC last night. Eew! After a few too many years using modern object languages the verbosity of this one is a tad unpleasant. Nevertheless I do get through Hello, World quckly enough only to find out that without my $99 Apple iPhone rego, I don’t get to put _anything_ of my own on the device. Bracing myself for some pain when my code signing profile arrives. There seem to be a fair few people complaining about code signing but at least one blogger has taken the time to explain how the signing certificates work.

I’ve also been investigating the HRM SaaS (Human Resource Management Software as A  Service) marketplace today in anticipation of there being more than a few eager participants when the job ads go up. If there is one thing I don’t particularly enjoy as a producer, it’s wading through job applications without a system in place. Registered for an open source one called OrangeCRM.

Unity3D rocks

February 22, 2009

Spent the day installing Unity3D tutorials and learning the basics of this 3d game engine. I’m impressed. I haven’t looked at engines for a few years and they have come a long way. I particularly liked the Island and Lurpz demos. I think I can now confidently say that our baby game can be done in Unity Indie. The physics engine is going to make the balancing act some fun on the iPhone.

I’ve also sent off for my Unity iPhone publishing trial. Looking forward to seeing my tute creations on the handheld.

Kick-off

February 20, 2009

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I’ve been staring at this litte shrink-wrapped box for a few days now. Clearly not a hardware geek. I think it’s time to open it and get this iPhone game on the road. My reluctance to break the seal comes down to knowing that this thing is going to be a time-sink and I’m bracing myself for disappointment. Apple and its weird approach to customer relations really leaves me cold.  I expect to fall in love with the device, have been tweeted constantly about this thing, but at the same time I’m no Apple fan-girl. I never bought an iPod. It took me eight years in the industry before I bought my first Apple. But this week I’ve grabbed a 16Gb iPhone 3G and it’s an exciting milestone. My first game project has been greenlit and if all goes well, we will have something on the iPhone App Store before too long!

I’ve been mucking about with game code since the mid-80s, written various designs, but never actually shipped a title. It’s all about product placement folks. And as anyone in the industry can testify, there are a lot more unexecuted game ideas then there fun games to play. Game design is hard work. After many an interactive production, but never an arcade game, I’m looking forward to the challenge of making some cheap and cheerful mobile entertainment.

Without revealing too much about this project I will say that I’m really chuffed to be working with an iPhone 3G. I was determined not to buy one of these little things until I had some real use for it. Working on a fun little game is a great way to kick off the so-called Year of Doom and Gloom.

I’m not quite sure where this blog is going to lead but I thought I should start putting down some thoughts as I go. I’ll be getting the team to post updates here as we go where possible as well.

So far so good. My E.P. has come up with a cool concept and I’m happy with the game design docs as they’re progressing. Now I need to get an iPhone dev environment set up which involves upgrading my Macs to Leopard.

So first, time to rip off the plastic…