5 Tips for Beginner iOS Game Developers
At Betable, we are interested in helping game developers, so when we stumbled across this great writeup of iOS development tips by HungryHelga today, we wanted to share it with you all. There’s some great nuggets in that post that you could only get by dealing with the iOS development process. We could have just posted it, but we wanted to take it one step further to improve upon. First, we checked some other sources, including CoreJ2Me and ManiacDev, and then figured out which problems came up most often and which tips were the most helpful. Then we boiled down the result into the top 5 tips for beginner iOS game developers. Enjoy!
1. Build well within the phones processing limits
The amount of memory available for your game to run on is usually much less than the 256MB processing power touted in Apple’s marketing. This is due to the phone’s necessary background operations and has been made worse by apps that use multitasking unnecessarily. Which leads to our next tip..
2. Turn off multitasking.
While many apps don’t need multitasking, the majority of them still have it enabled on iOS. It might be convenient for a user to be able to jump back into your game, but often times slows down the user’s phone and can complicate the development process. Luckily, turning off multitasking is pretty easy: just open the info.plist file, add the key UIApplicationExitsOnSuspend or select Application does not run in background, and then set the new key to YES or fill in the checkbox. This shouldn’t dramatically harm the user experience of your game unless your game takes forever to load, which segways nicely into our next tip..
3. Optimize for quick game launch
As you build your game, try to trim fat whereever possible. This means tightly cropping your images and sprites, using rgb4444 textures when appropriate (HungryHelga notes that it’s great for detailed textures but awful for smooth gradients), and using the Ogg-Vorbis audio encoding format. All of these are small corners to cut that can minimize your download size and load time.
4. Mix with caution
If you can avoid it, don’t mix Objective C and C++, but if you use both then make note of which is which and where they interact. Mixing code languages is a bit tricky, especially for first-time developers, so take good notes and maybe even color-code your code. Also, you can get a crash in the Objective C memory cleanup from your mistakes in C++ memory allocation and de-allocation, so if that happens don’t necessarily go hunting for Objective C mistakes.
5. Be thorough and patient when submitting to the Apple Store
Submitting to the Apple Store takes a long time, and it doesn’t give you much indication of what’s going on. Be patient: your app has to go through multiple approval processes and these can take several minutes after you click Submit. Also, be sure that all of the data that you are entering as far as your bank account, your information and your app are all accurate the first time, because some of these things are impossible to change once they’ve been submitted.
We hope that helps, and definitely check the sites linked above for more iOS developer resources. If you enjoyed this article, you can subscribe to our blog, where we will be posting helpful game development tips every week. (Source: Betable Game Monetization)