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iPhone Game Dev

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Hey Folks, I'm getting a team together to develop various Apps for the iPhones (about 8 person team). I'm not a programmer, I'm a web guy. SEO, Web design, yadda yadda. I own the company, small but I have a lot of capital to invest in iPhone apps and I've watched a few development videos. Anywho. I know the main framework (not sure if that's the correct term) is Objective C. And C/C++ is possible and most (if not all) web languages are allowed. My questions are Game Development for the iPhone. Should I hire someone who knows C++ but what else? Like I know the iPhone uses OpenGL ES but I'm not fully sure how to split up the work. -What kind of skills does someone need for the coding involved on the iPhone (other than Objective C)? -How do you develop 2D and 3D graphics? Is this knowing OpenGL ES? (if so, I'm gonna have to pay someone to work on the job, not a problem, but they should know at least C++ right?) Thanks for your help. I hope I can make you some fantastic apps.

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8 people seams to be quite a large team for iPhone development. A a good C++ programmer and artist is all you need. OpenGL ES isn't anything to worry about as it's a simple API for any experienced programmer to pick up.

Your programmer will need to have some understanding of 3D graphics programming and a background in mobile device development may help PocketPC, BREW, Symbion, NDS or PSP.

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Quote:

SEO


so whom did you hire to turn on your computer?

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Original post by Buster2000
8 people seams to be quite a large team for iPhone development. A a good C++ programmer and artist is all you need.


yeah - and thus the artist and the programmer both don't need a SEO/webguy to tell them what to do. they'd be better off working on their own :)

and there's no real big investment to start writing iphone apps so there's no need for a financier.

that SEO scum is annoying enough when you search something on google. there's really no need for SEOs to spam the appstore.

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Original post by jrk
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SEO

so whom did you hire to turn on your computer?

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. It's not a misspelling of CEO.

Quote:
yeah - and thus the artist and the programmer both don't need a SEO/webguy to tell them what to do. they'd be better off working on their own :)

He's not saying that he's qualified to head the business because he's an SEO/web guy; he's explicitly stating that he's not technically qualified to run the development since his expertise lies elsewhere (SEO/web), but he's financing the outfit so that makes him the boss. He just wants some advice for his entrepreneurial endeavor.

Quote:
and there's no real big investment to start writing iphone apps so there's no need for a financier.

No, there's no real big investment to start writing iPhone apps, but if you want to write a substantial application requiring sustained development from a coordinated team, then you might want to offset the living expenses of said team by, oh, I don't know, paying them salaries.

What are you, an idiot?

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Original post by Flying Monkeys
Hey Folks,

I'm getting a team together to develop various Apps for the iPhones (about 8 person team).

Cool. 8 is probably too many, though. One programmer, at the beginning, and one artist, with licensed sounds if any, sound like a solid start. You can add more people as it becomes clear that you need them.

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I know the main framework (not sure if that's the correct term) is Objective C. And C/C++ is possible and most (if not all) web languages are allowed.

Well, let's clarify a few things.

First, the iPhone SDK is an Objective-C SDK. Objective-C is a strict superset of C, so all C statements and idioms are valid. A variant of Objective-C exists called Objective-C++, and the compiler shipped with Xcode supports it. Objective-C++ is a (general) superset of C++, meaning that you can use C and C++ in iPhone app development, but you will still need to use some Objective-C for interfacing with Cocoa Touch.

Further, web development languages, by which I presume you mean PHP, Perl, Python, Ruby, etc, do not at this time run natively on the iPhone. If you were referring to HTML, JavaScript and CSS, note that they are used to write traditional web apps - executed in the browser, Mobile Safari - as opposed to locally executed programs.

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Should I hire someone who knows C++ but what else? Like I know the iPhone uses OpenGL ES but I'm not fully sure how to split up the work.

For your graphics and presentation, you'll need someone who knows C or C++ (C++ is probably a better option) and can learn OpenGL ES and Cocoa Touch. Neither is hard to learn, and anyone who has already demonstrated expertise with C++ possesses the ability to get up to speed with them quickly. Someone familiar with OpenGL or Direct3D graphics programming may be a good idea, because they'll know how to structure your graphics architecture for better design and performance.

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-How do you develop 2D and 3D graphics? Is this knowing OpenGL ES?

For a game of any visual sophistication on the iPhone, yes, you're going to want to use OpenGL ES. Even for 2D graphics, you'll want to render your sprites and tiles, etc, using hardware-accelerated routines which give you the potential to implement sophisticated special effects more easily than otherwise.

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IMO you should find a iphone programmer, and let him/her decide the work flow.

You arent a programmer, therefore you can only hinder a programmer. Dont micro manage. If you really have "funds" then get 2 iphone programmers, and have them both do the same thing seperatly. Then publish the best version, or the only working version.

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8 is definitely too many to start unless you're running concurrent projects. More than 2 programmers and 2 artists per game is revenue death. And you're probably spinning wheels with more than 1 programmer and 1 artist to start.

You want, primarily, people with game development experience. I'm a programmer in the games industry and do iPhone stuff as a hobbyist. It took about 4 hours to get the first game framework running (with no experience in Objective-C, or mac programming for that matter). First game took about 4 weeks working just a couple hours a night. It's fun and easy but, especially if you're trying to do this as a business, you need people at least with experience in games; otherwise they'll be learning a new platform and a new way to code which == FAIL.

OpenGL ES is the easiest for games. If you're doing 2D apps/web-apps it's worth looking into the UIKit framework. The API doesn't make sense for the first 2 days but then all of a sudden it clicks and is easy-mode.

-me

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why does everybody says that 8 is too much? you dont even know how big the project is.

Also, everybody says 1 artist and 1 programmer. And what about the music? and the designers? and the producer?
He says he is not technically qualify, so, unless the artist and the programmer can do EVERYTHING, he will need a designer and a producer (maybe the designer could be the producer). That would be a 4 people team at least.

And maybe he plans to get ready as many games as fast as possible.

Anyway, back to the subject. You should give a look to Unity game engine.
Its awesome!! Thats what we use:
http://unity3d.com/

cheers!

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Identify and hire at least ONE experienced iPhone development guy - on a full time basis or as a remote consultant. Then and only then build up a team and begin training them. Make sure you make them sign "bonds" of some sorts - committing them to work with you for at least X number of years, or you will find them taking all the free training and knowledge they have gained to go and develop their own iPhone app / game. Another way to make sure you don't lose while training them - is to adjust a "training fee" with their monthly salaries. Most of them will not mind this as they are learning a new technology and also because there is a global recession and for them some job is better than no job - specially one that increases their skill sets. Thats my 2 cents!

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