iPad Game Programming

Friday I had a spirited conversation about what sort of widgets and toys I need to really make game-based iPad apps. I came up with a list that looked like:

  • Handle Playing Cards (backs, fronts, turn, flip over, etc.)
  • Handle Game Tokens (rotate, pass around with a gesture, etc)
  • Handle Dice (roll dice, move dice around, support pools)
  • Handle Game Play Surface (game boards, playing surface)

I sort of skuttled around the Internet for a while and found Cocos2D. I downloaded it, installed the Xcode 4 templates, built the library, and worked through the first two tutorials (of about 20). I have to say, other than my brain tried to fold itself into unnatural corners of space time trying to remember basic geometry* from High School — which I just blanked on — I was stunningly impressed with the library. If you’re following along with what I am doing, I encourage you to go look at the library and start thinking about the possibilities. Will it work for rendering screens for card games and board games and dice based games? As soon as I figure out how to get dice to roll without having to use Cocos3D (although I may have to) then yes, I can build up a library for making interactive games on the iPad.

Current plan is with my new knowledge of Cocoa Programming and the way it handles stuff is to expand into mastery of Cocos2D, persistence libraries (for saving game state), networking, and some Core Data for something I’ll talk about at length tomorrow — I had some deep thoughts over the weekend for how a certain kind of app should work and I’ll delve into it.

Meanwhile, as sort of a joke, I was trying to come up with a name for an LLC since these apps need a name of a company. In my throbbing brainmeats, the current forerunner is Naked Llama Games, LLC after my friend the poor, shaved llama who gave up its downy undercoat to be blended with cotton to make a sublime wool for those who really want to make very expensive hats. Sadly, my copy of Adobe Illustrator is insisting my license is no good despite having the CDs and the license, so for a logo I will have to use Inkscape. Not that there’s a single thing wrong with Inkscape.

* I am going to need to pick up some sort of geometry refresher. Perhaps wikipedia can help me out here.