Archive for the ‘iphone’ Category

Corona SDK

Saturday, February 19th, 2011

Corona’s new unlimited trial period really makes the product something much much better. I tried their limited version for a couple hours, got busy and came back to it being expired. The price was too much to warrant (especially being subscription based) something I wasn’t sure about so I kinda forgot about it. It always seemed like an interesting framework, but now that I can not have to worry about paying for it until I want to submit an app it is 100% awesome.

In general I am finding using LUA to be a really nice workflow. Opening up Corona and coding feels like a break from work. This works out perfectly for the niche side things you may want to work on in your free time. The way that ansca has structured their framework also feels really nice. I guess most of these guys all used to work on flash and it really shows. The product has the same “flavor” that flash used to have before it became the big honkin imareplacejava product that it is now. Overall I would say that opening it you will be focusing on doing more creative things with it, instead of worrying about header conflicts, and compiler settings.

Another huge seller is that I can work with a broader developer base on small projects. This is huge for me. The learning curve is so low on Corona you can be started in like 1/2 hour of reading the basic docs. There are a lot of things baked in that are very similar to flash so that type of workflow can be communicated to animators to make some magic.

This all said it does have limitations. It does not feel like a good solution for data driven apps. I think something like PhoneGap is a really good choice for those if you don’t want to do ports. If you want a feature not yet implemented you will be stuck as well. In some ways though this can be advantageous as you can focus on what you do have to work with and build something fun in an hour, but it would be hard to base your entire development plan on the framework unless you decided you were going to do nothing but 2D casual games. The things you do get (and get well) are zippy animations, physics, cross platform compilation and facebook.

Overall I think the decision to give an unlimited trial was a great decision. Seems like more companies are adopting this model. It’s a more modern approach to software, where you get the tools to create for free, but you gotta pay to make some dough back. I would encourage anyone who wants to goof around with mobile development, or just wants to try a different flavor of coding to go download Corona and have some fun.

IOS file browser

Thursday, November 11th, 2010

After wondering why there wasn’t a file picker in IOS I decided to just make one that I could reuse in my projects. All it does is open a file dialog that puts you in the application’s documents directory and lets the user create folders and manage their own structure. Implementation is simple, the steps are:

1. Pass in either a file you want to save, or a list of extentions you want to load.
2. Present the file browser as a modal view controller.
3. Add delegate methods to handle the response of the file browser.

I tried to build it to be modified as easily as possible. All of the buttons are dealt with in a couple of .xib files so that anyone who would like to use it could easily skin it.

You can grab the source here.

Texture Atlas Creator

Monday, November 1st, 2010

Daniel over at Sparrow wrote up an article on how to use the flash based texture atlas creator I built. I figured I would at least put a public link in here so that folks can find it. Here’s the link

Sparrow Framework

Wednesday, September 22nd, 2010

I’ve been playing around with the Sparrow framework which is pretty amazing. I like Apple’s framework for dealing with forms and data driven content, but when it comes to graphics their stuff on it’s own feels really mixed up. Most of the time I am wondering if I should be using Quartz or Core Animation and end up finding that what I need to do is just best handled in OpenGL. Sparrow handles a lot of boilerplate things, it’s very fast and best of all it integrates well with apple’s other components. If you just want an interactive scene that does a lot of 2D stuff you just add it as a subview and start/stop as needed. It has easing, audio, fonts and movieclips, is modeled off the flash display hierarchy (which I think is flash’s biggest selling point) and even adds in event listeners.

The code for Sparrow is very very cleanly written, and is lean enough to look through but seems to hit all the core features I would want. I also found it a lot easier to start tinkering with their libraries than I did with cocos2D. The start up documentation gets you up and running in a matter of minutes. With all the drama about flash and the crap performance this is really a nice solution that plays nice with the rest of Apple’s framework.

Kudos guys.