Home Forums General Discussion iPhone game dev- Hard Coding vs GameSalad vs other?

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    • #7956

      Hi everyone.

      I recently decided to get into iPhone game development.

      My main goal is to create a puzzle game, and later, a small 2D RPG game. I’m hoping to achieve this within a year.

      I have a background in graphic/web design (front end), and have some basic java, as well as experience with pro audio.

      I had started learning Objective C, and bits and pieces of Xcode, but then I discovered GameSalad, which seems to be a very handy way to make games for the iPhone, without having to learn Objective C.

      Can someone please advise me, are there any caveats to taking the GameSalad route and putting Obj-C and Xcode on the "backburner"?

      Also, is there perhaps another environment which specifically caters for iPhone game development?

      Thanks for any advice.

    • #46513

      I had a quick look at GameSalad, looks quite powerful.

      You probably know yourself that by using a "game maker" like that you might find you can’t tweak something exactly how you’d like it because you’re not working from code and you’re limited by what GameSalad will let you use.

      Also it’d be worth checking out how good GameSalad are at keeping up with the iOS updates. It could leave you stuck with only being able to develop for older devices for a while because they haven’t updated their tools to provide new functionality/patch a bug or something like that.

      david4482 could probably give you some good advice on iPhone development.

    • #46515
      Aphra K

      yes plus the guys in Digital Sideburns and in Redwind software…

      all doing iphone stuff

      see http://www.redwindsoftware.com/

      see http://digitalsideburns.com/about/


    • #46522

      Hey Condra,

      Straight off the bat I’ll tell you, you really should just put in the extra bit of effort and learn Objective-C, if you can program at all it isn’t nearly as difficult as the funky syntax indicates.

      Check out cocos 2d, nearly all of the best simple 2d games on iOS are made with this framework. Personally we build all our games from scratch in pure Objective-C, but we will be looking very seriously at cocos2d in the New Year for a few games we are looking to put together

      If you have any questions or looking for advice give me a mail conor@redwindsoftware.com and I’ll help you out as much as I can.

      Also check out http://www.xcake.org which is the iOS and Mac OS developer community in Ireland

    • #46523

      +1 on Cocos2D

      Hi Condra,
      If you want to eventually be hired as a ios games engineer it won’t do. The company I work for look for C++ first and then experience with Objective C.

      Though for getting quick concepts together in a game designer capacity these sorts of tools are fine. I actually got interested in programming back in secondary school with tools like these – ‘Klick And Play’.

      For just getting something on the store for kicks GameSalad should be fine for the the personal projects you have mentioned, especially if there are similar examples already on the store using it.

      Alternative: I have heard some good things about Corona. But again as Anthony said, you may hit a barrier that it or GameSalad just can solve.

      There are engines (mostly 3D focused) which make life easier on you and would look better on a CV. But are not as easy to pick up and get basic things running like Corona and GameSalad.

      3D: Unreal Dev Kit, Unity, ShiVa3D etc.

      But I think you will hear over and over to persevere with Objective-C if you can.

    • #46524

      Thanks everyone for the replies.

      I’ve also been advised against GameSalad elsewhere because apparently GaleSalad apps are sluggish, limited, and not very well optimized. So I’ve knocked that on the head.

      I’ve been checking out Corona and it is ticking a lot of boxes. Lua seems to be ideal for me because I already have a bit of script savvy.

      My plan of action now is to proceed with Corona for basic games, but learn XCode and Objective C at the same time. I’ve already bought 3 books on iPhone development so they can’t go to waste. I might get into Cocos 2D at a later stage.

      Conor thanks for the heads up about XCAKE. On the way over there now!

    • #46526

      Corona looks really interesting, be good to find out how you get on. I’d recommend sticking to a high-level language if you want to develop games rather then learn archaic languages :-)

      More importantly your game will run on IOS and Android which is going to be the reality for most mobile game devs from now on.

      The one glaring limitation of Corona I can see is the ability to call native obj-c code on IOS / java on android. No abstraction is ever 100% and the ability to call native code means you have a get-out-of-jail card if you really need it.

      If you were looking to do 3D I’d recommend Unity, but the cost of the license for ios/android dev is ridiculously prohibitive.

      Other options would include HaXE (actionscript derivative) and of course Flash which hype-aside is actually a very viable alternative. No really.


    • #46527

      > I’ve been checking out Corona and it is ticking a lot of boxes.
      > Lua seems to be ideal for me because I already have a bit of script
      > savvy.

      If you’re a Lua coder, also check out Shiva at http://www.stonetrip.com if you want to do any 3D work.

      There is a free version, indie and pro. All of them will let you test on iPhone / Android etc.


    • #46528

      I just discovered that Corona might not necessarily be $350 to "own" with free updates for a year, but $350 to effectively RENT per year.

      Can anyone confirm this?

      The text is ambiguous at best.

      I can just about manage to buy an SDK for 350 if I knew I would get good use out of it, but 350 per year would be an absolute non starter for me.

      It looks like I might not have much choice but to go straight down the Cocos route. :x

    • #46529

      If you want to work in 3D for the apple devices you might also like to check out the oolong engine (maintained by Wolfgang Engel – ShaderX series). It mixes objective c and c++.

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