Yet another iPhone/iPad app question
July 6, 2012 12:31 AM   Subscribe

Point and Click Games for Ipad/iPhone. Hello, yet another app dream. I want to create a fabulous point and click game that is addictive and is playable on the iPhone and iPad. I have the concept and idea down for the game. Now it's time to sit down and start prototyping. Only i have no clue where to start.

I used to be a programmer. Can code proficiently in C/C++ and Java. I assume I will be able to pick up new languages such as objective C if needed. Eg. of the games i like are 1. machinarium. 2. Please google "versus flash game tvigle"

1. Help me plan my prototype.
2. I can do rough photoshopping to get my idea across.
3. Any tutorials?
4. Any open source games to start off on?
5. How should i think about architecture such as server/client.
6. Who should i follow/read to learn more about this space.
posted by gadget_gal to Technology (8 answers total) 20 users marked this as a favorite
I'm actually working my way through my first iOS app at the moment as well (though coming from a primarily PHP background; I "knew" C and C++ years and years ago but have never really used it all that much). I've actually had good luck with the Apple-provided stuff; it's quite good. (this will be fairly generic, I don't do games.)

the first step is (and would be even if you don't go with the Apple docs) getting a dev account set up with Apple. you can sign up for one at you will need this to get at official documentation and all that, and you'll need it to sign up for the full-on iOS Developer Program, which you will need to actually run apps straight up on the device and submit them to the App Store for sale.

secondly, if you're not familiar with Xcode or how it works with regard to OS X/iOS app development, you really ought to run through the Your First iOS App tutorials in the dev center. the starting point there is an article named "Start Developing iOS Apps Today". these are pretty simplistic but they will get you used to how to use things like Storyboards (where you lay out the app's screens and whatnot) and connecting interface elements to actual code and what all the buttons in Xcode do and things like that.

thirdly, plan on picking up Objective C. it's the native tongue of all the frameworks and stuff that allow you to build an iOS app. there is an excellent document on the dev center called "Learning Objective-C: A Primer" that covers the basics. Obj-C is an OOP language but it works a good bit differently than straight C (and the syntax is a bit.. weird if you're used to a C-style language). the primer guide does assume you at least know something about OOP and C so you're not going to be stuck reading a bunch of stuff about what #import/#include means.

I was also reading iOS Programming: The Big Nerd Ranch Guide, which was good but I forgot I had it when I restarted the project I'm working on. (sometimes Kindle books are not as useful as the real ones.) Aaron Hillegass's and the Big Nerd Ranch series of books are pretty universally good. they also have Obj-C specific books and things on regular Mac OS X development if you end up going that route too. depending on how graphically intensive your game is going to be, you may also want to seriously think about picking up a book on OpenGL too, as it'll give you the ability to do 3D sorts of things. the machinarium link seemed pretty graphically intense so that may be a good thing to learn about. you'll also probably want to look at things like GREE/OpenFeint or Game Center (Apple) to add social whatnot to the app too. there are also available 3D game engines too - the most popular seems to be Unity but I can't say much about it personally.

also, I've found myself using StackOverflow a lot more than I ever have; there's a lot of good information there (especially relating to the "it really seems like this should be a thing" or "I wonder if there's a better API for this" questions I tend to have).
posted by mrg at 1:26 AM on July 6, 2012 [6 favorites] has a ton of resources and tutorials for this.
posted by backwards guitar at 3:41 AM on July 6, 2012 [2 favorites]

There is a course on iOS app development from Stanford on iTunes U. I went through the first few lectures and it looks good. It starts from your level - proficient in object oriented programming but not obj-c or mobile.
posted by scose at 5:00 AM on July 6, 2012 [1 favorite]

I'd recommend not going with Objective-C for this sort of thing: 99% of your programming time will be spent on building yourself a game framework, and there are already several excellent game frameworks in existence that are used to build best-selling games. I haven't personally used any but I hear about Cocos2d, Unity, and others. Google those as well as "iOS game engine" and you can probably get a good idea of what's out there or perhaps somebody else who does have such experience can chime in.

Now of course if you're just doing this for fun and you're wanting to learn Objective-C and learn how to build a game engine (which would certainly be interesting and fun tasks!), then by all means go that route. But if the main thing you're interested in is building the game itself (story, graphic/sound assets, interface, etc), you can get started way quicker (and very likely end up with a better product in the same amount of time) by building on top of an off-the-shelf engine.
posted by glhaynes at 7:27 AM on July 6, 2012

You should take a look at GameSalad.
posted by evariste at 8:13 AM on July 6, 2012 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Game tutorials in iOS are greatly appreciated. I am pretty familiar with iOS developer and xcode.
posted by gadget_gal at 1:45 PM on July 6, 2012

You're familiar with iOS development / Xcode but don't know Objective-C?
posted by glhaynes at 2:55 PM on July 6, 2012

Response by poster: Yes because I open it to compile other people's code and run it on the simulator or my iPad. I can do hello world kind of programs but have not done anything super involved in Objective C.
posted by gadget_gal at 3:56 PM on July 6, 2012

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