iOS Game From Scratch In 14 Days – Done!

And we’re done! iOS game complete, from scratch, in 14 days. It’s been a fun experiment and I’m not sure I’ve ever written so much code in 14 days before.

So, let me give you the sales pitch and then I’ll talk a little more about the development side of things. *clears throat*

Become manager of your national team and take them to the biggest competition on Earth, the World Cup finals in Russia! Choose your team and staff, then train your players. Every player is unique with his own personality, style and needs.

On Match day, the world will be watching so make sure your players are ready for the intense focus. Perhaps your team will be up against a much better team – what tactics will you choose to surprise your opponent and produce a shock result? Unlike some football management games, nothing is predetermined – the game does thousands of calculations and every player makes multiple decisions every second of the match. During a match, swipe left to see how your biggest rivals are performing in their matches. Or swipe right to change tactics, bring on subs and try to impact the final result.

After the match, everyone will have an opinion – the media, the Chairman, your players. What will your reaction be? Talk to players 1-on-1 where needed. Earn experience points (XP) for shock results and spend action points (AP) – treat your team to a night out or attempt to spy on a rival team, but don’t get caught!

Can you take your team the whole way, to the World Cup Final and perhaps win the biggest prize of all?

 

Well, I’ll work on the sales pitch, but you get the idea. This is the sort of game that I can’t imagine writing without object-oriented programming. Everything in this game is an object – every one of the hundreds of teams, every one of the thousands of players, every staff member, even every moment of the match, they’re all objects. At some point, during the development process, the number of things that were happening became a little mind-boggling but every object knew its own goals, its own characteristics and knew what it had to do.

So, where do we go now? The App Store, of course! I’ve set a release date of 26th June and an introductory price of $1.99 (no ads, no in-app purchases). That gives me a few days to do a little marketing and get an icon made. I’d also like to get the game translated into as many languages as possible. I suspect this is going to be very hard because the game is very wordy. But the game is based on a competition with interest all over the world – it would be nice to have App Store descriptions catered for each major market. For example, the Italians failed to qualify for the competition, which is a little unusual for them – but wouldn’t it be a nice sales pitch on the Italian App Store, to mention that the player could rewrite history with this game?

Last thing, the name – it’s Cup Manager. I hope you’ll check it out when it’s available!

 

Game Reveal and Update

As a change of pace, I’m making a management strategy sim game for the iPhone, in the vein of the Football Manager series but based on the forthcoming football (soccer to my American friends) World Cup in Russia. You choose your players, train them up so they improve their stats and select your strategy for each match. You’ll have to make various other decisions each day of the campaign, such as pep talks for players, dealing with the media and even spying on rival teams (but don’t get caught!)

During a football match, the game does literally thousands of calculations every second, taking into account the location of every player, their opponents, their pace, their skill level, their confidence and much, much more. Each player is a unique entity with his own personality and talents. As a manager, you can still have an impact on things on the pitch – you can bring on subs at the right time, and influence tactics. And your AI rivals will be doing exactly the same thing, reacting to your decisions and doing everything they can to beat you.

I’ve wanted to make a game like this for a while and, a few months ago, I was lucky to reserve a good name on iTunes Connect. I’ll reveal that really soon.

In truth, there’s no particular capability that Xojo has that made me choose it over, say, Xcode and Swift. Anything that I’m doing in Xojo for this game could be done in Xcode. But Xojo’s clean language and object-oriented features are making the logic side of things (which is far and away the bulk of the work) a pleasure. I started moving to working on the front-end in earnest today and a RAD environment like Xojo speeds things up there too. There are lot of games that Xojo would be a terrible choice for – anything is possible, of course, but I can think of many other frameworks and environments that would be a far better choice for a 3D action game, for example! But for a turn-based or tile-based strategy game or simulation, Xojo is absolutely ideal.

This is day 11 of my randomly arbitrary 14 day limit that I set myself. I think we’re actually on course (gasp!) for completion on Thursday as planned and I’ll have screenshots in the next 48 hours.

iOS Game in 14 Days

I’m developing an iOS game. And I’ve 7 days left to get it done and on the App Store.

This is a self-imposed deadline. I spend most of my coding time on apps that you could put into the “serious” category, such as Server Ranger 2 for LibertyApp, and contracting work. These are nearly always fairly long projects and, while I really enjoy software development, it’s good to have a break and do something that will (hopefully) be done much quicker and also from the “fun” category. I started the game one week ago so, if it all goes according to plan, it will have been made from scratch in 14 days.

As well as a change of pace, I wanted to develop an iOS game to push my development environment, Xojo, and see what I can get out of it. I’ve been a desktop Xojo developer since 1998 when I bought the very first iMac, and an Objective-C/Swift developer for almost as long. (By the way, I highly recommend knowing more than one language or tool. It makes you a better coder.) I’ve made several iOS games in Objective C but this will be my first in Xojo. One thing I can recommend, right off the bat, is that every Xojo iOS project needs to have iOSDesignExtensions from Jeremie Leroy installed. Just do it.

I’m half way towards my self-imposed deadline and the game is coming along pretty well. I’ve a lot of the groundwork done now and it’s starting to feel like a game. It’s a pretty complex engine underneath it all but there’s not much to see yet. For the next couple of days, I’m going to turn my attention to the front-end. Will I get it finished in time? I think so and the App Store reviewers are much faster than they used to be, so there’s a good chance I’ll get it done. On the other hand, if you’re a software developer, you’ll know that the best way to judge how long a project will take is to double your estimate, and then double that. If I don’t make my goal, I’ll humbly admit defeat and spend another few days finishing it off.

As for the game genre, I’ll talk about that over the next few days on Twitter, but it’s one of those “love it or hate it” things. You can follow me on Twitter @gvnsmth.