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Tim Cooper

Member Since 17 Aug 2005
Offline Last Active Apr 02 2014 06:14 AM

Topics I've Started

Game Competitions and Awards - How do they work?

08 February 2013 - 06:59 PM

So I've written and released my first game. It occurred to me that there are competitions and awards for games. You know, like best game of 2013, best new game, etc. I have a vague memory of seeing some of these before Christmas, I think.


How do they work? Not that I think my game could win, just curious about how you even get in the running (my game is on the iPhone, if that affects things).


1. What sort of game awards and competitions are available?

2. How do you enter your game for consideration or will that just happen?

3. Are they worth looking into or just a nice to have if you happen to win?


Any info would be helpful really.





Aeolus Lite Released

08 February 2013 - 02:38 AM

Aeolus Lite, a free version of my first iPhone game has just gone live on the app store. Play the entire first chapter of levels for free.


Please have a look and let me know what you think: Aeolus Lite





Lite App - Link to full version or unlock levels?

10 January 2013 - 04:17 PM

What's the current opinion on Lite apps and providing access to the full game?


Apple just rejected the Lite version of my game (Aeolus) because they didn't like the way I attempted to show the levels available in the full version. They also suggested making all the levels available via in-app purchase instead of re-directing to the full version.


Here was my first effort at the chapters screen:

Aeolus Lite - Chapters


and the levels screen:

Aeolus Lite - Levels


While it's annoying to have it rejected (I thought it was obvious what was going on, but meh!) it did get me thinking about how these things are handled nowadays. There are two real options I can see:


1. Separate lite and full versions - put a "buy full game" sticker on everything that's locked in the lite version, show a confirmation window with more adverts showing how good your game is before linking to the full version on the app store. E.g. Angry Birds Star Wars (Free). Downsides - slower to get full version?


2. Lite version with option for in-app purchase to unlock all levels. Supposedly easier for the user, plus they can keep their progress from the game so far. Downsides - I'd originally made levels available to try throughout the game, while the full version has to unlock every level in sequence. Would need to find a way to keep the original progression without annoying the unlockers, or change the selection of levels in the trial version. Plus the name would then be wrong (Lite but containing all the levels), which bugs me for some reason.


Has anyone here got any experience with Full v's Lite v's unlocking Levels in mobile apps? Which do you prefer when buying games?







Aeolus Updated

06 January 2013 - 11:36 AM

Hi All,


Exciting times on the game development front this week (for me at least) :) 


The first update for Aeolus is now available on the app store. It fixes a couple of bugs spotted over Christmas and tidies up and few things that didn't quite make it in for release. Have a look on iTunes.


The Lite version of Aeolus was also submitted for review yesterday so, fingers crossed, it should be available next weekend. It lets you play 9 levels from the full game, spread across the first 3 chapters, so you can get a feel for what it's like. I'll let you know when it's out and hopefully you'll all enjoy playing it.


Next in the pipe-line is to make both the paid and free versions universal apps. Hopefully by the time that's finished I'll have received the new graphics for the next chapter(s) of levels.


As always, if you have any feedback please get in touch.





Objective-C and Animation Images

03 January 2013 - 03:02 PM

I'm after some help in optimising the way I handle images in my game (Aeolus, on the iPhone app store).


At the moment I use a number of images to display hot air balloons as the player pushes them around the screen. The balloon tips in the direction it's pushed and there are 17 images used for the effect.


Currently I just load the images using [UIImage imageNamed:@"red-balloon-<xx>"] as needed, partly because the performance appears ok and partly because I read somewhere that method stores images for later use (and they're used a lot).


Attached File  chapter 1-small.png   367.27KB   40 downloads


This isn't the only layer of images, in total there are four layers for each balloon on screen:

  • The balloon itself (17 images)
  • A symbol on top of the balloon (17 images)
  • Ropes (4-8 images depending on type)
  • Basket (17 images)


While this works pretty well (I tested on my iPhone 3GS), it always seemed like a lot of images, especially as there are currently four different types of balloon and I'm looking to expand the game. Is there a more efficient way to handle this sort of image use / animation in Objective-C?


If anyone could point me in the right direction for what to read up on it would really help.