iOS indie developers writing every day about their stuff.

Deadlines, and Indie Experience

Greg Holsclaw
skejo.com

Deadlines. Love them or Hate them. Evil things that demand overtime from underpaid artists and engineers, or the only thing producers can use to nail down those creative types to actually deliver assets. I don’t want to get into the pros or cons of deadlines, I just want to share my perspective as an indie, and how some deadlines helped us ship our latest free to play, iOS title, Block You. As an indie developer, the ‘It ships when it is ready’ mentality is very prevalent. Not constrained by typical oversight, with costs less than visible than normal (didn’t get […]

Phases of Level Polish on Lab Bunnies

Greg Holsclaw
skejo.com

Having not taken a regular course of level design outside those offered by the experiences of life and trial and effort, I now endeavor to document the phases of level design and polishing that went into Lab Bunnies, now available in the AppStore. Steps in Brief Hand Drawn Designs Constructed in Level Editor (at times by another person) Game Tested and Tweaked for Playability by original designer (in case the original design was untenable or not fun) Level replayed many times to gauge correct time and movement bonuses Decorations were added (by original designer or another) After all this, a […]

The App Store Playbook – My Interview

Greg Holsclaw
skejo.com

Earlier this year I was glad to offer an interview with Shane Lee at Beginning iOS Dev while I making Lab Bunnies. He has packaged my interview, and 8 other indie developers including @DeneCarter Creator of Incoboto, @ADAMATOMIC Creator of Canabalt, and @davekalina Creator of Spider: The Secret of Bryce Manor. Here is an excerpt of the interview that I participated in: read more

Operation: Eradicate Financials Three Months In

Greg Holsclaw
skejo.com

Operation: Eradicate, has been in the AppStore a bit over three months now, and I wanted to give a report of the ups and downs regarding the financial outlook of the game. Eradicate was a great game for us to create, laying a good foundation for our studio both from production & technical standpoints for which we can launch our newly announced game: Sheepo (A Kickstarter just started to help our artists). For a bit of background please read about Post Launch Marketing Analysis and our game dev Post Mortem. Quick Take: Not a Flop, Not a Success According to […]

Marketing Post-Mortem, Operation: Eradicate

Greg Holsclaw
skejo.com

Following up on the Development Post-Mortem I wrote for our new iOS game, I wanted to give a quick look into how our marketing push was planned and how the first few weeks of sales went. Though I am a coder first, I have many spare cycles in my brain to approach the business side of things, and I knew I didn’t want to neglect the marketing and promotion side of the app. A failure to launch is many times cited as a source of frustration of independent developers and I wanted to give my new game a fair shot […]

Operation: Eradicate Post Mortem

Greg Holsclaw
skejo.com

For four or the five months, I have been working on Operation: Eradicate, an iOS turn based strategy game. With my graphics designer, we at Skejo Studios have revisited the last few months, and wanted to write about the highs and lows, and lessons learned for next time. First I wanted to start with our initial hoped for timeline: Initial Timeline * Sept 2011 – Start * Oct 2011 – Code fleshed out and Art assets started, first round done * Nov 2011 – Dev and art near finish, start beta testing * Dec 2011 – Wrap up loose ends, […]

The One Day Help System, in Cocos2d for iOS

Greg Holsclaw
skejo.com

Since we are developing a strategy game for the iPad/iPhone at Skejo Studios, we were in need of an in game help system to quickly tutor the player with the different controls and game options. We had been putting off this mechanism for a while, since it was figured it might take a while, but surprisingly it was rather easy in Cocos2d to accomplish. Game Layer Code I am assuming you know how to add the correct definitions and import class headers, so I am not showing that part. Placing the below code in your init method for the Cocos2d […]

Should indie game devs do it all?

Greg Holsclaw
skejo.com

Running in the game dev circles for the last three months has exposed me to a ton of one or two man shops that undertake the entire development and production of a game on their own. Some are doing well, but others are struggling. It almost seems like some developers purposely handicap themselves by ‘doing it all’ just so they can claim the elusive ‘indie developer’ mantel. I don’t want to touch the What is an indie game developer? topic again, but I do want to target the thinking behind doing it all yourself. Is going it alone wise, productive, […]

iOS Game Center Achievement Display

Greg Holsclaw
skejo.com

In one of my projects, while I waited for some art work, I wanted to get ahead with my Game Center integration. This tutorial is about how to get Achievements to be displayed in the Game when the achievement is sent to Game Center. I will further explore how to get the achievement images also included. A few simple frameworks will be used. Also, I am taking it for granted that Game Center is up and running on your app. I was able to get it up and running in a few hours using the methods found in Learning Cocos2D […]

Cocos2d Menus and arguments

Greg Holsclaw
skejo.com

I was toying with the idea of writing a post about why I went independent, but I figure that wasn’t appropriate for the wider audience of iDevBlogADay.com. Check my blog for those posts. So I decided to post a more technical piece regarding cocos2d menus and how to pass arguments through the Cocos2d menu system. But I was facing two issues. One I hated rewriting similar code over and over again. Second to make menu items more reusable, I needed to be able to pass arguments to the selector of the menu, which wasn’t readily apparent how to do this. […]