Monthly Archives: January 2010

Defining iPhone game app scope

I’ve had a bit of annoying troubles today. Not a whole lot, but a bit. I’ve gone through them after a bit of stress.

Classical music does wonders for slowing down and calming my super-fast reading eyes, that my mind can’t keep up with. It also brings a bit of patience. So tasks may be done.

And I didn’t start listening to classical music until around 7:30pm. heh.  Earlier in the day, I built up a document of screen names (eg. load screen, main front screen, instructions screen) and the contents and behaviours on them, from a number of existing iPhone game apps. Using these notes as a starting point for constructing the outer scope of the game. With them, it becomes much easier to see where everything fits from a top-down perspective.

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Music buying and organizing

Years ago, along with countless millions (and along with more millions right now) I got into downloading music for free over peer-to-peer (P2P) networks like Napster, Scour Exchange, Kazaa, Limewire, and a few others.

I’ve downloaded lots, but I’ve always had a philosophy that downloading stuff as a permanent alternative to buying is a stupid idea.  Buying music that I appreciate is a tremendous thing, like buying socks instead of ripping them off.

Many times before, the music downloaded would be good, and then I would go buy the album.  Problem is, I have downloaded way too much for me to buy in any single shopping spree.  But I’m moving away from downloading and never paying for things.  The biggest inspiration is the desire for people to pay me for my own services in my solo business ventures.  And so, all this music I like and have downloaded so easily, I’m buying.

Now, I have lots of music I’ve aquired through my multi-year paid subscription to eMusic.  Also, many, many CDs purchased and put on the computer (NOT SHARED) into a music library.  Plus my paid subscription to Audible gives me about 10 audio books. So all this combines into my great music collection, which, including the downloaded unpaid-for stuff, is just under 40 GB.  iTunes tells me that if I played every song through start to finish, it would take  almost 20 days, non-stop.  I think that’s not including the audio books, those would take probably another month.

So now, as I’m going to eventually delete all the free music as I replace it with paid music, I am going to start building colossal playlists.

My favourite styles of music are classical, flamenco, classical guitar, classic rock, instrumental.  And now, I am listening to Adagio.FM and recording all the music I like so I can buy it, including it into the start of my playlists.

Gymnopedie, Die Walkurie, William Tell, Peer Gynt suite No 1 Op. 46, the list goes on and on and on.

I’m also learning.  I’d like to learn to play the Concierto de Aranjuez on the classical guitar someday.

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Reign Over Me movie review

The movie Reign Over Me is very good.

I borrowed the movie, and it is one to buy, just so you know.
It is deeply moving, similar to The Soloist, which I just saw not long ago… Both stories are about people who are going through the most extreme life experiences, and surviving (barely), and another person makes a fresh new option take form and beckons the tortured soul thither.

Must see it again.

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UIKit’s UIView Hierarchy

Tonight I decided to put together a printable document built from the iPhone Dev Center’s reference for UIKit.  This document includes three sections (class name + overview section + tasks section) for UIView, plus all subclasses of UIView that appear in the hierarchy tree diagram in the UIKit framework reference.

That’s a mouthful.

Simply put: this document is a condensed, reader’s-digest version of the class references for every visible piece of an iPhone app (not counting custom crazy OpenGL apps and custom drawn stuff. heh)

There are a lot of things available even before getting into the custom drawn things, so to read it all in a nutshell, I copy-pasted all the text and edited it to fit to pages and be nicely readable.   The document is a PDF.

Click here for the UIView class hierarchy plus UIApplication and UIResponder

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Created a new iPhone app

Using iTunes connect, I have setup an app submission. The app is a game whose name is yet to be announced, and is not yet finished. So, the submission will be completed for the review to begin when the game’s design and development are complete.

This is exciting!

Last night or the night before, I installed the iMario app, a free or paid soundboard app. It is too simple, but has a bit of nice images. The sound does not play well, eg. If you press the starman button, the sound plays for several seconds, but if pressing the block smash button, the starman sound cuts out. The playback of any sound is imediately ended if starting a different sound.

Back to the iPhone app: app developers may start the submission process without submitting the product, so I am doing this as an exersize to learn the process now.

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iPhone & iPod Touch apps

Last night I succeeded in enrolling in the iPhone Developer Program.

This permits two major activities:

  1. Installing in-development projects onto a real iPhone/iTouch (compared to only running projects in the iPhone simulator on the macbook)
  2. Submitting developed projects to the Apple’s AppStore.

Soon a few ideas I have will be submitted, but first they need to be designed on paper.

There are some free resources for creating the visual design of an app on the iPhone/iTouch.  Stencils exist for most, if not all major image editor programs like Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator and Omnigraffle. Also I found some graph paper of all things, but with the iphone body printed overtop, and when printed off it’s at 1:1 scale, and it’s just great stuff.  So this needs to be my focus next.

Boat, screenshot from ipod touch

Right now I am still burning through the Blender wiki, learning the 3D modelling program as fast as I can, so I can get a better ship modelled.  Earlier this week, I created a 9 polygon little boat.  two sails, a rudder, a deck, a stern, and a 4 polygon hull.  Wooohooo

The tutorials teach how to build a person, and a mountain range, and then a lot more crazy things.

The objective is creating a couple of 3D content files that I can load into a 3D game engine which I’ve downloaded called SIO2 and use it to build a demonstration first, then a full app after.

Later, I may make a tank game and call it TomTank.  Revisit the dumb but funny days of QBasic in highschool.

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Crazy day

This morning I woke up to the alarm duck quacking at 5:30 am. Having set the alarm a few hours earlier (2:30 am) I was tired and turned off the alarm. Fortunately I set two extra alarms: 6:00 am and 6:40 am. So I really woke up around 6, then was out of bed around 6:20, trying to become sane.

Prepared for the day, and embarked on a day that took me to a great musician jam, followed by a visit to Dad’s home and a visit to a new photography store in downtown Colborne. Finally, a visit to another friend’s home who I’m doing work for.

I arrived home around 6pm, and have been wanting to go to sleep since. Now, it’s 11:50pm and I’m typing the first entry on the new Edge of Thought blog. I have two domains that are joined: and so the branding with the word “The” is optional, but both work.

The music was great. Maybe in a week or two I will play Classical Gas in front of a bunch of people. Or maybe something else… must refer to the list of songs I typed on facebook, I cannot remember all the songs I’ve learned.

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