Tag Archives: iOS

Good Blocks is now awaiting App Store approval

We’re excited to report that our latest game app, Good Blocks, is now waiting for approval. Once approved, we will have a confirmed launch date.

From the press release we are currently working on:

The core gameplay of the game app is simple: the players are presented with ‘blocks’ featuring self-talk statements such as “I am useless” – and have to respond as quickly as possible by throwing the ‘bad block’, therefore rejecting it. When given a positive statement, such as “I am reliable”, the players are expected to embrace it by pulling it towards themselves. As the game advances, more blocks appear simultaneously, mimicking a Tetris-like frenzy.

Good Blocks screenshot

More details soon!

Reading Superhero Flies!

Reading Superhero screenshot

 

Learn reading on the superhero lane! Join Elino and Bombo the villain as they struggle for wor(l)d dominance. Play and read as you go, enhancing contextual learning abilities and speed while completing challenging mini-games and tasks.

● Reading becomes fun in a superhero themed game
● Play 25 different fun mini-games
● Read single words and sentences
● Great for preschool, school and 2nd language
● Game Center achievements
● Can be played in short bursts (1-5 minutes)
● Learn a large vocabulary, in context!

About contextual learning theory:

● Both direct instruction and constructivist activities can be compatible and effective in the achievement of learning goals.

● Increasing one’s efforts results in more ability. This theory opposes the notion that one’s aptitude is unchangeable. Striving for learning goals motivates an individual to be engaged in activities with a commitment to learning

● Children learn the standards values, and knowledge of society by raising questions and accepting challenges to find solutions that are not immediately apparent. Other learning processes are explaining concepts, justifying their reasoning and seeking information. Therefore, learning is a social process which requires social and cultural factors to be considered during instructional planning. This social nature of learning also drives the determination of the learning goals.

● Knowledge and learning are situated in particular physical and social context. A range of settings may be used such as the home, the community, and the workplace, depending on the purpose of instruction and the intended learning goals.

● Knowledge may be viewed as distributed or stretched over the individual, other persons, and various artifacts such as physical and symbolic tools and not solely as a property of individuals. Thus, people, as an integral part of the learning process, must share knowledge and tasks.

 

Creating levels for Burning Things

The process of building and editing levels for Burning Things, our upcoming game for Iphone and iPad, incorporates three steps:

1. Creating level story and theme

2. Illustrating the level sprites (characters, buildings, trees, etc)

3. Building the level using the level editor

We had to create our own level editor to unleash the creative power and transform it into fun and intuitive play for… remember? this game is designed for kids.

This means each level has to be fun for any age between 3 and 10. Sounds challenging? Not too challenging if we can dynamically position any element on the course of the fire truck and scale the difficulty so the far reaches of the level are for the more skillful players, while younger players can enjoy the calmer early stages.

iOS development in Flash CS5 – the aftermath

Finally, after the storm, as well as some valuable thoughts on everything including Flash, Apple lifted the ban on non XCode compilation of apps and now there are quite a few apps on the app store originating from various methods.

Steve Jobs and his gang took their posts and awaited the flood.

However, it seems that the hordes of Flash developers flocking the app store have not arrived.  Searching the web, there are various forums and sites dealing with Flash development for the iPhone, however it seems that all in all the reception of this solution has been underwhelming.

What happened?

I have a few theories, and the truth is probably a combination of at least a few.

1. The Flash debate killed the packager for iOS

The media buzz that surrounded the first decision on Adobe’s side to develop a packager for iPhone, then the rejection from Apple, and later on lifting the restriction all generated a lot of buzz, but somehow killed the genuine interest in the actual solution. Moreover, confusion over availability of Flash player on iOS made some people (developers and clients) instantly reject anything to do with Flash for iOS, even as native apps.

2. The flash community is not so much interested in mobile platforms

This is of course a generalisation, however, overall penetration of mobile into Flash development has been slow for years. Since the days of Flash Lite, Flash developers preferred using their skills over larger screens and stronger CPU’s that could let them go wild with their creativity (also read as: ignorance).

3. Flash developer community is not that large

Back in the early 2000’s, you had to really search well in order to find a good Flash programmer. Around mid-decade, things started to change and more developers jumped ship, enriching the community with some hardcore-programmer skills and mindsets. They used Flash for video, for some web 2.0 projects, and for various projects that needed enriched visual interactivity. However, these developers have not evolved with Flash and have no real loyalty to Adobe. They are the first to adopt a new technology once it arrives. We’re left with the original Flash gurus, the titans, designer-developer breed, the ones who haven’t left yet, and we are probably not that many.

4. The packager for iPhone is disappointing

When I first published a Flash project on an iPhone, I was amazed. it was so simple and intuitive. Then came the performance issues and the despair. After some initial tests, some developers started researching into the depths of the solution and found ways of improving performance. Those who survived, seem to learn how to use it effectively, however many developers decided to turn to the real thing and learn Objective C.

5. The general idea of generating native apps from a third party tool with no SDK access is somewhat problematic

Adobe managed to incorporate support for some of the iPhone’s features, such as accelerometer, multitouch and others. That’s great. What about complete native OS support? In-app purchases? Game center? How is Adobe going to keep up to date with Apple’s already extremely tedious race for glory? I cannot really blame them for not being able to do so. Once Apple unveils a new technology, it takes Adobe time to adapt, and developers need to decide quickly whether they want to wait or just download the official SDK from Apple’s developer site and forget all about it. That’s the situation currently with Retina display support, to give just one example.

6. Flash developers are already working on a very strong mobile platform – Android

This has to be confirmed with proper data, but seems that for Flash developers the overall idea of submitting to Apple’s regime is intimidating and they naturally prefer more open and inclusive platforms such as Google’s Android. Adobe is really helping them out adopting that platform by targeting it in the forms of native app supprt, Adobe AIR applications and of course Flash in the browser.

If you have more ideas or interesting insights on the topic, please leave a comment.