New Look

You may have noticed a new look for the website. We’re gearing up for the next release. Most of the features going into this release are complete, just tidying up to go. Later today we’ll be doing some screenshots, so check back. I’m preparing the server to take the leaderboard live as well. Time to get excited!

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This is the year…

I know its already the end of January, but this is the year that the game will gain some traction. This year, the game will be available in the app store for your iPhone. But PSP owners, don’t fear. The iPhone launch will be (hopefully) simultaneous with a PSP release. It’s been a long time since we last did a release for PSP, hopefully we haven’t been totally forgotten. I loaded up the last release version (0.04a) and played it the other day, wow, we’ve come a long way.
I’m working on a new look for the website, which will probably launched around the time we take the online leaderboard live – probably in around a week or so. Hopefully around then we’ll get time to put some teaser screenshots (maybe even a video *gasp*) of the latest build. Watch this space.

Progress

We’ve made some good progress on the iPhone port of the game. Last night I completed the port of our sound engine to OpenAL for the OSX and iPhone builds. Our list of outstanding items is getting shorter.

One of the things I’ve set up to help us get a build out sooner is a continuous integration system. It hooks up to our SVN server hosted by Assembla and every time someone commits a change, it builds the iPhone, PSP, Mac OS X and Windows builds. I’m using TeamCity, which I can’t recommend enough. It’d be cool to have a traffic light on the website that shows the status of each of the builds, but I don’t know if I’ll ever get that setup.

Who’d Believe It?

I never thought I’d get on the twitter train, it just seems too gimmicky, yet today, Justin made an account and I posted to it (http://twitter.com/codetactics). That instantly raised the question about the use of personal pronouns, so we’ll have to work on that one.

Basically the whole twitter idea seemed like another way of keeping people interested in the game, despite (or because of) the fact that it’s been 6 months since our last release. There’s a good chance that someone interested in putting homebrew on a PSP will also have a twitter account; maybe I’m mistaken. Twitter seems like a decent way of measuring how many people care about what we’re making.

On the development front. Upgrades, Airstrikes (now called Tactical Support), online leaderboard.

That is all.

(Yes, tragically abrupt)

November Update

Another month, more code, yet the feeling of being no closer to the end goal. Time just melts away it seems, which proves that we’re too busy with life’s other demands, such as our real programming jobs, those other jobs that pay that aren’t programming jobs, and then just those other jobs that have to get done to keep life in order.

It’s a month on and we still have no new name for a game, although a thread we started at QJ at least allowed us to bounce a few ideas around.

Progress wise, Justin’s been making an online leaderboard and I’ve been extending the airstrike system so that we can have more than just an A10 wreaking havoc.

Random observations for the last month include observations from Indie iPhone devs that the piracy rate for their games are as high as 90% which is quite impressive. When/if we finally get this thing on the app store, I’d love to know how many players are too tight for 99c. Anyway, it’s not like we’ll ever charge for the other platforms though, unless someone stupidly offers us a large wad of cash for our code or something.

What’s in a name?

…quite a bit I reckon. Not as all important as an actual playable game, but you want something that is memorable and somewhat flexible. By flexible I mean you don’t want to inadvertently tie yourself to particular game concepts. i.e. maybe the game will evolve so that you don’t necessarily fly an AH-64. What happens if the game suddenly becomes some great big sandbox where you get to land your helicopter, then be able to cruise around in a tank?

Why do I bring this up? Well, a short look at this shows that ‘Apollonia iPhone’ has pretty much been taken. The original reason I came up with this name as it seemed exotic and bad-ass. My enthusiasm for it wained when I realised there were many other interpretations and stories around the name Apollonia, so it started to seem less bad-ass.

So now we’re trying to find a new name, and it isn’t easy. If anyone of you guys out there want to spin some ideas past us, then please let us now with a ‘comment’.

And no, we’re not going to call is heli-pwnage!

Apollonia: iPhone Port

It’s been over a month, so about time I made another status update. In between work and more work, Justin and I have been working at getting Apollonia going on the iPhone. Unfortunately this means we’ve totally ignored the PSP for quite some time. In fact, I’ve basically broken the PSP build because I was playing around with model rendering code. PSPGL requires some workarounds which I need to investigate.

But it’s not all bad for the PSP. I’ve noticed that Apollonia on the 3GS runs comparably, if not a little slower than on the PSP. This means we have to optimise the heck out of game in order to ever get it accepted on the app store. Those optimisations can then be caried forward to the PSP. So hopefully no more overwhelming particle effects. I was working on that now until I got distracted by this.

Here’s a screen shot of the game running in the iPhone simulator. The HUD is just a mockup so that we had something to push.

Apollonia on iPhone