Hooray! My first game for iOS is now published and downloadable in the Apple iTunes Store. ‘Meteor Storm TP’ is a free game for iPad only that I made using Flash and published using Adobes upcoming AIR 2.7. AIR 2.7 has changed how previous content is compiled to iOS and has DRAMATICALLY sped up performance.
First up, I’ll share a link to the game. If you have an iPad check it out, it’s free and it’s made with Flash ):
Meteor Storm TP – http://itunes.apple.com/au/app/meteorstorm-tp/id439117889?mt=8
So why am I offering the game for free?
Experience has taught me that I need to try out a market/platform before committing too many resources to it, and when there’s money involved your players get a bit more upset by simple errors and oversights. By offering Meteor Storm for free it will give me a chance to experience the development, submission, publishing and then release of a game onto the iOS platform with limited risk.
I had to name the game ‘Meteor Storm TP’ with the extra ‘TP’ (meaning Terry Paton) as the name had already been taken in the Apple iTunes Store.
Here’s a shot of a game running in progress …
How was the process of submitting a game and what tips can I share?
Well to be honest, there was little I needed to do in porting over my existing Android version of Meteor Storm. Just simply resize the game area, the menus and screens and then publish. At the time I submitted, just under a week ago I was using the cmd line to compile my content, and since have gotten access to some of the GUI solutions Adobe are about to offer.
Meteor Storm was already optimised for a mobile platform and uses a ‘blitting’ technique for rendering the game objects to the screen. This meant that publishing the game in CPU mode (rather GPU) allowed the game to perform as I wanted it to. The only other major issue I would bring up is Apples application code signing process. It’s pretty complicated and takes a while to get the hang of, but it works pretty well once you’ve got it worked out. I won’t go into the process as others have blogged about how to get setup.
I do have to say, iPad resolution is pretty large, at 768 x 1024 for vertical format. It’s pretty neat making Flash games at this size.
AIR 2.7? Gimme gimme gimme!
Yes its coming soon, Adobe engineers have done fantastic work in improving the performance over the previous versions and want to make sure the end user gets a great product. It takes beta testing to find the bugs in software, Its fun being on this edge of Flash development, but beta software isn’t typically easy to use and can be buggy. Hopefully my launch of Meteor Storm won’t reveal any new bugs, it’d be great to have it work well 😉
Questions about rendering methods …
I’ve been asked a lot of questions along the lines of ‘WIll my game run well if it’s using MovieClips’? Or ‘How does this compare to AIR 2.6?’ and a few others. The problem with answering questions like these is the difference in every developers coding methods. There are varied ways to set up your rendering engine for a Flash game, so I feel that any answer to those questions ultimately ends up being ‘You need to try it out’.
The way you handle MovieClips/Bitmaps/Memory is probably different to the way I do, so commenting about performance of them would be limited or take a very long time to cover all the possibilities – none of which I have time to test. My best recommendation would be, get it running well with AIR for Android 2.5/2.6 and it should run perhaps even a little better on iOS. But that is no promise. Ty it out when it comes out, if your techniques don’t work, make them more efficient.
So where to from here?
Well I’m going to be checking out the developer console for monitoring statistics etc, see if any major bugs or issues show themselves.This is new territory for me, so I’ll be keenly watching what happens here, and blog what I can about it.
I’ll be submitting more games to iOS when I can, and I’ll blog about it too.
Meteor Storm is also available to play (for free):
On Android phones: https://market.android.com/details?id=air.com.terrypaton.meteorstorm
And in web browsers: http://www.mochigames.com/game/meteor-storm_v1/
If I were you, I would definitely start preparing an iPad version of your Flash game 😉
Here’s how the game looks in iTunes store in a browser
And on the iPad itself: