Development of our first bit of iPhone goodness is coming along nicely. The game is an actual working game now, and plays quite well. As you can see the look & feel has taken a major change in direction from the first screenshot the other week.
The glow look & feel just looked toilet. Without being able to use Blendmode.ADD like you would on a normal Flash game and other feedback effects it just wasn't working. It looked like someone had just discovered the glow filter and was dropping it onto everything.
So after a bit of feedback I decided to go for the faux GameBoy look. It's what I was planning originally anyway for the game I shelved. As it progressed I realised the game was missing some character, so out came the JBJ Sisters
. They were characters in only my 4th ever Flash game and the only real character based IP I think we've ever done ( You should know by now we're more big slabs of metal and big lazers than identifiable characters ).
Straight away the game got an injection of life, which I'm really pleased with. And the best thing ? I did a remix of the original JBJ Sisters, the "Milk it mix", and that was my first flirtation with making something look like a GB game. So I've got all these GB coloured assets that hardly anyone has ever seen which weren't doing anything and needing a home.
One other major plus is that all the images are 8 bit, there's no alpha blending going on there, which really improves performance. The change has been a major win all round.
The game itself is based on the skeet shooting event in HyperSports. Not the first time I've coded this game, we did a version at preloaded back in the day called Shootin' StarZ
, so I knew it worked as a game, and fits the device nicely ( Those two gridded areas you can see are your thumb buttons, it just feels nice in terms of input, straight forward and direct ).
When it comes to changing my game structure for the iPhone, it's really not been too bad at all. I'm still developing it in Flex3 ( And thanks to Rich I've got auto-complete on the new API stuff too, which is really rather lovely ) and doing all the testing with a normal swf with keyboard input, and just publishing it for the device to test performance and new graphics ( They do look different on the ipod than onscreen ).
This means my workflow hasn't been hit by long publishing times, which would have stopped me working on this long ago.
The major change was to do with when to trigger my constructors. I normally don't create class instances until I need them ( Ususally in the startGame() method ) but this was causing a noticable pause when going from the title screen to the game, so I call them during the "preloader".
Basically when an app first runs a bitmap is displayed straight away, then once the app is loaded it cuts to the app itself. All I've done is made the first screen in the game match the initial bitmap ( A big GYW logo, naturally ) so when it cuts from the bitmap to the game there's no change. I can then call all the constructors there under cover, and they set up all their object pools etc. before fading that logo down to the title screen. Nice and simple and effective.
Next up is fleshing out the presentation and giving the game some love and we should be good to go.