Archive for the ‘ IPad ’ Category

Copteropolis – Canyon Run

[tweetmeme source=”neoRiley” only_single=false]

It’s nearly ready!

Copteropolis (was StuntCopter): Coming Soon

[tweetmeme source=”neoRiley” only_single=false] I’ve been BUSY!  Between IR5 work and my kids sports, I’ve had very little extra time to work on projects.  However, a little while back, I got the urge to breakout Battlefield 1942 and install the Desert Combat Mod so I could fly the helicopters again!  If you played the game, then you know – it’s helicopter controls were the BEST EVER!!  It took me a month to figure out HOW to fly them because of the rudder controls with pitch/roll combined.  But once a friend of mind showed me, I OWNED EVERYONE.  Even the jets feared me.  I loved flying the helicopters in that game!

Well, I finally snapped and decided I was going to try and recreate the controls and feel and see how hard it was to create that sensation in Unity.  It was definitely a bit of a labor, but I had it dialed in in about a weeks time and it rocks \m/

So, of course, I decided to create a game – StuntCopter!


The Refinery Compound

The story line is that we have a helicopter academy and we’ve secured 2 abandoned locations, so far, for helicopter training: Copteropolis and The Old Refinery Compound.  As a pilot, you’ll have the ability to free fly around both locations and learn how to pilot the helicopters.  Take you’re time as you learn in the slow but sure Huey.  Taking off, landing and turning all sound very simple until you have to work with throttle and rudders along with pitch and roll at the same time!  As you become more comfortable and consistent, move up to T.C.’s chopper of choice -Hughes 500D.  It’s quick, is very touchy with the controls, but can take harder landings because of the height of it’s landing gear, and might be the perfect choice for those more detailed courses.  You’ll also have access to the more recent BO 1o5 helicopter – you may have seen it doing back flips on youtube!  This heli is FAST!  Not as nimble as the 500D, but if you’re looking for flat out speed, this is the copter of choice.

And don’t worry – I put in noob controls so you can fly it with 2 thumbs.  However, you’ll be limited to certain tracks and courses, so you just might want to man up from the beginning and fly with the true controls.

There are 3 competition types:

  1. Rescue:  In Copteropolis, you’ll be trained to locate accidents and air lift victims to the nearest hospital!  The closer you land to the middle of the landing circle, the sooner the victim is loaded and you can fly to the hospital.  How fast can you save everyone?
  2. Race:  In Copteropois and The Refinery Compound you’ll have to race through obstacles to beat your best times.  You’ll be ghost racing against yourself!
  3. Car Chase:  In Copteropolis, you’ll have 2 choices of difficulty for a car chase:  OJ’s bronco (easy), or the Ferrari (difficult).  The goal is to block intersections before the car gets to them to force them up on the freeway down to the either end. You have to master the controls to even think of attempting either vehicle chase!

The game functionality is nearly complete and I’m working on create more levels for ghost racing, but it’s nearly there!  I’ll post about it again once it hits the app store, but I’m also considering releasing it as a web game, so I’ll be posting details about that soon!

[UPDATE] – thanks to someone being more heads up than me, it was discovered that an iPad game called “StuntCopter” has just been released! I’m changing the name and for now, it’ll be “Copteropolis”.  Suggestions are welcome!

Until then check out the first demo video featuring footage from all 3 competition types:


iMovie eating memory on iPad

I’m posting this because I found zero information about it and I stumbled upon a solution.

Basically, if you try and export your iMovie after you’ve finished creating it in iMovie on the iPad, it might tell you at the very end (after wasting an hour of your time btw) that there isn’t enough memory to do the export.  Dood, how about telling me BEFORE I SPEND ANOTHER HOUR OF MY LIFE WAITING – SOUND LIKE A GOOD IDEA?!?!?  JUST MAYBE.

At any rate, you might find yourself deleting movies, pictures, apps, music – anything to get enough memory to export your project.  Then, you try again.  then AGAIN it tells you STILL don’t have enough memory.  You go back and look and – WTH?  all the memory you’d just cleared is now magically gone – but you have nothing to show for it.

Apparently iMovie has created your masterpiece but needs to copy it to the location you specified (the camera roll) – I’m not totally sure if it’s done or not, and it’s making yet another copy for the move?  or if it truly ran out of space and can’t continue, but has left a pile of mung behind.  Who knows.  But the fact remains that it is still taking up precious disk space without any visible way of deleting it, and you have no idea it even exists!

All you have to do is open the project in iMovie, make a simple change – then change it back, and exit back to the projects menu.  Now check your memory – it magically has re-appeared.  Apparently, making a change causes iMovie to cleanup after itself.

Hope that helps!

Couple of GarageBand/iPad2 experiments

Use a bath towel

[tweetmeme source=”neoRiley” only_single=false] So, yeah I got a little side tracked this weekend while doing laundry and kept playing with GarageBand on the iPad. The nice thing about doing laundry is, you’re stuck doing it for the duration, so in between the folding and switching from washer to dryer, you really have a nice chunk of time to mess with the iPad.

I did 2 different songs this time. “Dream Puppet Show” is really a tip of the hat to Dream Theater. The by no means is a master piece, but many of the sections are right out of the DT text book 😉 I wanted to see how GarageBand handled odd time signatures, and the quantization with a triplet feel where a quick straight 4 riff was inserted into the rhythm. I also went completely off the tempo in one very short section, then went into a normal straight 4 feel. The results were mixed. The quantization feature is limited in that it’s applied to the recorded section. So if you apply it to a drum part, and that part happens to be what i described above, you’re screwed if you can’t play it straight enough on your own. What you hear in this piece is not quantized in the first half of the song. It’s not bad, and I was able to consistently play the guitar and bass rhythms the same. The drums however, are still not quite where they *could* be to make this thing great. Their much closer than any other drum app on the iPad, but still inconsistent.  The guitar however, was a ton of fun and I was able to use the note bending feature in a realistic way – that ended up being a ton of fun!

Listen: Dream Puppet Show

Listen: Groove

The next piece is called “Groove”, and this one I wanted to open it up and see what it could do. The First half of the song just loops a main drum part that i recorded over 4 bars. It was very very very very very frustrating to get right. With the other songs (Genesis and Dream Puppet Show) the tempo was much slower, and the parts were pretty straight forward. With Groove, the parts were much more intense and notes were much closer together and required accuracy. When I tried playing the 2nd half of the song with the ride (32 bars straight), I had to record the snare, crash and kick separately, then do a pass with the ride. When I tried to do the ride along side the snare, I nearly punched a hole in my iPad or nearly threw it across the room in fury. Not kidding. Finally, I turned on airport mode, killed all applications, restarted the thing and that helped. But the thing that made the most difference was putting it on a bath towel and laying it flat. I know they use the accelerometer to measure sensitivity, so when I was using the cover to prop it up and play or flat on a glass table, I wondered if that was causing the inconsistency with the snare hits. After putting it on the towel I had MUCH better results. Still, there’s plenty room for improvement, but I’m really encouraged at how good it is now. Not great, but very good.

In the end, I think I’ll actually be able to put ideas down with the iPad for the first time ever. I’ve always just fired up the mixer, played my kit, recorded some guitar, you know – the old fashion way 😉 But considering I’ve put out 3 solid ideas in the past few days, I’d say this actually has a future in music and not just some toy to lower the learning curve for kids who lack the self control to learn how to play a musical instrument.

Wish list so far:

1.  Quantize “selection” – allow me to select a region of recording and select the quantization type

2.  Add a china and a splash cymbal – please.

3.  Allow merging of channels

4.  Let me name my sections – “section A” is a little hard to keep straight

5.  Put Pan over in the mixer controls

6.  Group channel faders – so I can lock the bass/guitar/keys together and move one slider – they would remain relatively the same volume to each other.

7.  Volume and pan throughout the mix – for final mix, I’ve been playing it from the headphone jack into the computer and mixing live for things like fades, solos etc

8.  Assign 1 sound to the entire snare – the areas are a bit small for people who have bigger fingers than Alvin.

9.  Give the option to *not* use the sensitivity per drum/cymbol/keyboard etc.  Sometimes, when i hit the note, I really just want it full blast 😉

10.  Give the ability to move higher up on the guitar neck in Notes mode with no scale selected.

11.  Show the notes on the fret board when a scale is selected.

12.  Allow for setting stomp boxes per recorded piece.  It’s a bit annoying to have to decide whether or not you want it for the entire song on the one guitar.

Shell Shock – now a +Plus app!

Well, as you can guess from the previous post, I’d been waiting for an app to clear review with the app store – that time has FINALLY come!

Shell Shock is now a +Plus application – you can install and play it on iTouch, iPhone, iPad (iPad, iPhone 3Gs/4, iTouch 3rd Gen only)!  Same price, multiple devices!

Shell Shock now supports retina display as well and the controls have been reconfigured to match across all devices.  The Angle and Power handles have been made larger for easier control as well.


iPhone Main Menu

Level 21!

Level 28!

iTunes Review Process – Pissing me off again

I know I know, Keith’s probably shaking his head right now (because I continue to make apps for the Apple products) and right now I’m beyond pissed off.

I submitted the update to Shell Shock (paid, then free version – in that order) to the review queue on Nov 17th. The FREE version, which was submitted AFTER the paid version, was reviewed in 30 minutes and approved. The Paid version FINALLY went into review last Wednesday ( 2weeks later ) and has been there ever since… IN REVIEW.

Then I received a notice that apple needed more time to review my app. I asked “why?” – and got the customary form letter back. I asked “Why?” again, and again, I got a form letter back.

So I’ve written another email today (another rant) and am now asking for a phone number or someone I can actually “talk” to at Apple. I doubt they’ll pony up that information btw.

Seems crazy that I’m giving them 30% and bending over backwards to cater to “their” ideals when it comes to creating the software, but when it comes to *my* ideals (you know, crazy stuff like approvals in a reasonable amount of time and IN ORDER that they were submitted), they’re ignoring me (duh, what else is new)

So, is there anyone out there with a phone number or email contact that I don’t already know about that I can call and complain? I would LOVE to get someone on the phone 😉


PS> the new version of Shell Shock is now a plus app and has retina display support!

Shell Shock makes “New and Noteworty”

[tweetmeme source=”neoRiley” only_single=false]I was seriously stoked this morning to wake up and find that “Shell Shock” was listed in the “New and Noteworthy” section of the Featured games section of the iPad appstore!  BIG thanks to everyone who passed it along and tweeted about it, I really appreciate the help!

Shell Shock ( new iPad game) just released!

[tweetmeme source=”neoRiley” only_single=false]Well, good ol’ Apple too their time with the review process on this one.  40+ hours the game sat in “In Review” status – really?!

If you like the video/screenshots, please pass along to your friends who have iPad’s and might like the game pretty please!  Thanks much!

★★★★★ Shell Shock!

★ Shell Shock is the classic angle & shoot game where the player uses angle and power to fire shells over obstacles at their targets.

★ Created from the ground up exclusively for the iPad, this game brings a solid game concept to an entirely new level!

★ Work your way through 20+ levels of full 3D environments along with a beautiful sound track and sound efx!

The first 10 levels are training levels. Safe in the confines of your home planet, you sharpen your skills until you’re ready for the REAL battle field!

★ BATTLE(Campaign #1: The Veil of Darkness):
The NEXT 10 Mission levels are spent in Battle! In this first campaign, you find yourself immersed in a twisted and sinister world full of darkness!

★ BATTLE(Campaign #2: Coming VERY soon):

★ BATTLE(Campaign #3: Coming Soon):

★ BATTLE(Campaign #4: Coming Soon):

v1.0 Features:

★ Classic Tank Arcade Game Play
★ 3D environments
★ Realistic physics
★ Powerful sound efx and music score

First seven people can use these promo codes for a free copy – but you must give a rating, and only if it’s positive 😉


Anti-Trust investigation officially launched on Apple

Apparently, the anti-trust investigation is official – thanks to Andy for pointing this out on the Unity forums:

“Not speculation any more. FTC and Justice Department now acknowledge that they have, in fact launched an anti-trust investigation specifically targeting Apple’s new TOS. Slot that one right next to the already ongoing investigation regarding alleged collusion with other major tech firms over not hiring each other’s developers in order to depress wages. Disappointing from what was once an admirable company. Between them and Google, I guess they’ll have to learn the hard way that being Shiny Cool and Not Being Evil doesn’t give you a free pass to do whatever you want. At least Microsoft was always despicable….

Between the two investigations, it’ll probably only cost Apple, what, $50-100M, which will be nothing but a footnote in their annual report three years from now, but it will definitely be good for the us developers. By the way, DOJ said their move was in response both to claims by Adobe and others as well as complaints from numerous developers. So for those who were yelling loudly on our behalf, hats off to you.”

I don’t think Keith realized HOW much popcorn we’re going to need for this showdown…

Successful iPad Game experiences and what we can expect

Well it’s been a full month now that I’ve been on the iPad and I’ve spent alot time researching and testing what types games are really going to do well on this new device. I don’t know that my findings will shock anyone, but I think it’ll help serve notice to people thinking they can take their iPhone offering, slap some new images in, call it HD and charge $4.99 for it.

Experience, Depth and multiplayer ( in the same room )

So after playing all of the fps games that came out and all of the driving games and quite a few iphone favorites, I’ve come to realize that depth and experience are what’s expected on an iPad (except where board games are concerned). Given the size of the screen and how the iPad fits into your daily / nightly routine, I think you’ll start to see what I mean. Especially since we have a screen size that warrants the respect of a laptop, the size of a large iTouch – you can easily see why a gamer thinks he’s holding a computer in his hands and then begins to expect the experiences they enjoyed on a regular computer.

One thing the iPad does is put the iPhone / itouch in a much more defined role. Used to be that I’d carry my phone all over the house to check email and play games. Now, I carry the iPad all over the house. Thing is tho, now that I have the ability to do a lot more on the iPad, I actually take time to sit and DO something with it, and the phone has been relegated to a gadget and the alternative when I leave the house – it’s a time waster that helps me get passed the 20 minutes I have to wait at the dr’s office. The iPad has become something of an option to spend time with and therefore, I look for games that have depth, experience AND great graphics.

Board Games

If you’re playing a board game, then the expectation is vastly different. But get this: I’ve played just as much with my family on multiplayer type board games as I have with other types of games. And games that were never intended for multiplayer (like Bejeweld2) we’ve played like crazy together.

If you get anything out of this post – believe this: multiplayer/board games are going to do VERY well in the app store. When you can switch games easily, play nearly anywhere you go and have features like saved games, history etc, you can easily see the allure. I wouldn’t be surprised to see many of the favorite board games make their way into very nice HD iPad games or to see traditional game companies opt for making an electronic version along with the store bought version. For example, monopoly on the iPad will do extremely well, while playing on the iPhone i think was a bit of a stretch – people still like to crowd around a board and yell at each other 😉


One thing that seems to be a steady trend so far is the price per title. Where as something was .99 on the iPhone, it’s likely to be $1.99 for the HD version, which in 99% of the iphone games I tested on the iPad, this is ridiculous. It’s the same game, just higher Rez images, so you might as well save your money and buy the iPhone version and use the 2x’s button to play fullscreen. Seriously.

Now, some of the games coming out that are truly targeting the iPad are coming out at $4.99 with most actually starting around $7.99. Coming from the iPhone prices, you might be shocked, but I think that when you start to realize *what* type of gaming experience you’ll start expecting to get on the iPad, I think the prices start to make a lot more sense -IF the game delivers on the experience.


So you can imagine the disappointment as I see a ton of games that are being released for the iPad with the scope of an iPhone game with a higher price tag. That just doesn’t work at all – not at all. If you go in and look in the app store and go into categories > games and sort by release date, you’ll see all 3 of these apps in the first 2 pages. These games are exactly what I’m talking about. Stick bolt creators should be ashamed – $2.99 for that?! Get real. And the first 2 pages are just the tip of the ice berg. Continue looking and I think you’ll be disappointed at the list of available games as well, if you’re a serious gamer looking for a great experience on a great new device. And to be fair, I know there was very little time to get apps ready before the iPad store opened, so I’m hoping we’ll see new immersive titles show up soon.

Fruitful2: $2.99 - what, are they completely nuts?!

iFall 2010 HD - at least it

Stickbolt HD - $2.99 - you MUST be joking? what the hell does this game do?!

These games are right out of the “hey lets make as easy of an app as we can and strike it filthy stinking rich with 1 button, 2 colors and advertisements using stick figures!!” – please, stop trying to do this. Keith Peters did it with Falling balls, and did it extremely well. But even Keith will tell you, it was about the timing – he came out with the game when the app store was still relatively new, and people were marveling at accelerometer and “free” apps. Since then, we’ve seen every one and their football humping monkey trying to strike it rich with stick figures and worthless non-sense. Keith’s the only one that ever did non-sense right, so can we just leave it at that and move on? 🙂

BTW – falling balls on the iPad rocks. Just sayin…

The interesting thing to watch out for in the future is to see how this affects the quality of iPhone games – do we see less depth and more gimmick games in the iPhone while the serious offerings start going to the iPad? I’m sure its conceivable that the “lite” version will be released for the iphone while the full featured game is sold for the iPad, and thereby possibly thinning out nicer games for the smaller devices. Also, considering the cost of producing an iPhone / iPad game, and being able to charge considerably more for the iPad games, I think we might see alot more emphasis on serious game offerings for the iPad.

The good stuff

Ok so what games DID I like? All of the driving games were fun. Those translated extremely well, but my favorite has been Need for Speed. It was $14.99 and I can honestly say it was worth it and I’m still playing it.

I’ve played all of the Gameloft FPS shooters. NOVA by far was the best out of all of them. It’s the only one I finished, it’s the only one I went back and played again at a harder setting, it’s the only one I tried to play multiplayer online and it’s the only one worth the $$. They put things in like having you place your fingers in the door and turning them to open it on screen. Sound silly? It’s not, it kicks ass to have that next level of immersion into the game – yes, a small addition, but damn it was cool. There was also a scene where there was a half-open set of doors that you had to “pry” open with your fingers – that too, was very cool ( 3rd screenshot down ). The graphics were very well done and even when the performance dropped in certain locations because of the beauty, I didn’t care one bit 😉 it was a great experience and I was taking notes on how they created their assets and scenes 😉

pry open the busted doors

Now, gameloft put out 2 other titles and I’m sure they were using the same game engine for both as they used in NOVA, but they were not at all in the same league as NOVA. The most irritating thing was the right side controls. On Brothers in arms 2 and Sandstorm the shooting / action controls were too low, making looking around and shooting impossible. Why not keep it the same from title to title?? Didn’t much matter anyway. Game play and graphics seemed like they were churned out quickly for release. BIA2 is terrible. It’s clunky with the controls and you continually have to reach “spots” to get the game to continue. Problem is, it’s hard to get in that little location to get the game to continue. I stopped playing after 10 minutes and I’m about to delete the game in disgust because of the price tag ($7.99).


Geometry wars

Geometry Wars and other Arcade style games seem to also translate very well on the iPad.  Geometry Wars did a GREAT job with visuals and playability.  I think the reason why this does so well is that it takes you closer to that original arcade game experience.  Just remember back ( if you were even alive in the early 80’s ) when you played Tempest, Defender, Asteroids, Pac-man etc – you were upclose to this console TV screen with minimal controls and it was a fun experience.  Because of the iPad’s screen size, I can easily see why these games will do very well.  Geometry wars is also one of the games I constantly go back to play over and over again.

Geometry Wars features several different game play types


With the focus of the iPad in a typical household likely to be that of something you sit down to spend time with and use, the games at a single player level have to be immersive, deep and beautiful. The player will want an experience, and soon enough, the larger game companies will be able to deliver that experience. The prices will go up to reflect the cost of production but I think people will be ok paying for the titles knowing that they’ll be getting the experience. I would naturally expect then, that the smaller development shops and the single developers will do better on the iPhone front (since they wont have the time/budget/ability to churn out a competitive offering) but this remains to be seen.

Board games and in-house multiplayer games will do extremely well and we’ll see many popular titles be released from the major game companies. Could we also see digital versions sold with the physical board games? not that its really possible, but maybe a download from the appstore with a code provided in the store bought box to unlock it – you never know 😉

Anyway, i’m encouraged for sure about the iPad and other tablet offerings that might be coming soon this year. This type of device has definitely provided plenty of entertainment for me AND my family and I think there’s plenty of gaming in store for us as we see them mature in power/speed and capabilities.