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Pseudolonewolf`s Avatar Apps 3 Sun 26th Jun 2011 11:05am

Category: Apps

Hmm... I've been doing more research, and I'm unsure whether to go down this new path or not.

I was excited about the idea at first because it seemed that I could just use Flash to make games like I always have, and then they'd be supported on the iPhone if I exported them as apps using Flash CS5... But it doesn't seem to be that simple.

I've been reading conflicting things about whether the app store accepts such things, for one thing; some things have said that Apple banned them, other things said that the ban was no longer in effect, and I'm not sure what's true these days.
It seems though that apps made in things like Flash - which isn't really designed for that purpose - run poorly or something, and they're less likely to pass the approval process and, well, it all sounds like a lot of difficulty and hassle.

So if I want to make iPhone/iPod Touch apps, then I'll need to actually acquire a Mac for like £1000, pay a $100US developer fee, buy an iPod Touch (£200) or iPhone (£500), and learn an entirely new programming language called Objective-C which isn't even very similar at all to the AS3 I've just spent months mastering. Ugghhhh.

I wonder then whether it's worth my time... I mean, maybe I SHOULD move towards making apps, since it could be far more profitable than what I do now, but then again maybe my apps wouldn't even be popular ANYWAY since I'd struggle to make things that are truly appealing to the casual audiences... So I don't know.

I'm willing to think about it rather than dismissing the idea, but it would be costly and quite a lot of work, not to mention being a gamble. It'd delay my progress significantly, so I'd likely not release anything for ages.

I suppose if I did that, though, maybe I could consider the apps to be my 'work' and I can make Flash games as a hobby? Maybe? I want to finish Miasmon, anyway, and maybe work on Beast Signer, in Flash...

So I'll have to think about what to do next.

Also, some people asked me why I said I didn't like Apple, or made assumptions about me disliking them due to them doing everything just to make money, so I'll try and explain my opinion a bit.
For one thing, I didn't even know that they *did* do things just for the money; that's not something that I'm familiar with. Instead, I just dislike their image, their 'attitude', and the attitudes and reasons behind buying their products.

Apple is *trendy* and *cool*; this should be obvious to most people. My step-dad is the type who likes to think he's 40 years younger than he is, that he's cool and can relate to young people or something, and he got a Mac a few years ago, motivated by this attitude, and brags about how cool it is even now. How superior it is to PCs, how all the cool designer people use them, etc.
iPods were a fad once, and people got them because other people had them, and because they were cool...
And do you remember those 'I'm a Mac, and I'm a PC' adverts? The PC was shown as a dumpy middle-aged man in a brown suit, extremely uncool, while the Mac was a casually-dressed thin younger man; obviously much cooler.
There's something very superficial about it all, like they appeal mostly to peoples' vanity or something...

I don't actually know or care much about the technicalities though, the facts like computer power or features or sales or how much the devices actually changed the world... It's like how I don't dislike America due to its politics or anything - I don't know or care about such things - but because of the 'attitude' that it shows off; the same applies to Macs and Apple. I just don't like their 'attitude', their connotations, and don't want to be a 'Mac user'.

It's a fairly 'shallow' way of thinking, I realise, but it is how my mind works, and it is why I dislike Apple. So now you know.

As I said, though, I might have to get a Mac anyway in order to make apps, in order to make money, which isn't exactly a pleasant thought, but oh well...

Anyway, we'll have to wait and see what happens. I'll be back home (and alone, oh so alone!) on Friday, just a few days from now, so when I am, I suppose that's when I'll start seriously thinking about making a decision about what to do with the next few months.


25 Commentson 21 roots

Green Reuben`s Avatar
Rating Orb Green Reuben 16 New Zealand CholericPhlegmatic 167C 2F
7 years ago | (0)
I reckon you should try get in contact with someone who has made apps for iPhones (or the other ones) and then you'll have a better understanding of its capabilities, you shouldn't be relying on the word of people who don't have app making experience, and if that fails maybe try contact apple in some way.

Good luck, if this goes well I'll buy an iPhone.
Solar`s Avatar
Rating Orb Solar 20 United States SanguinePhlegmatic 3C 0F
7 years ago | (1)
I think the idea is interesting. But if you dismiss the idea of making an app I really don't care. But if you do make an app I suggest making it available for both Apple products and Androids
Vlemich`s Avatar
Rating Orb Vlemich 23 United States SanguineCholeric 9C 1F
7 years ago | (1)
New member to the site, but a long time fan of the games Pseudo. I've read through the comments on here and I'm sorry to say I wasn't around on here early enough to vote in the poll. From all I can tell in the developer world though, it seems android devices offer the most accessibility to users and the most control by developers. Not only could you release the "app" through your own site, but you could add it to any of the various markets out there as well to get the game more notoriety (android market, amazon app market, etc.). Not to mention, you could also in theory release the game through Kongregate's mobile site as well. Though it would be free though Kong's site, it may be a good way to throw a test game out there and see how it goes. I know that the android markets and devices are growing more popular each day (seeing as I just purchased my own android device and can vouch for their growing fan base). IF you do indeed decide to enter the world of creating games via apps for mobile devices, it would seem the android route is the right choice for any developer.
Vlemich`s Avatar
Rating Orb Vlemich 23 United States SanguineCholeric 9C 1F
7 years ago | (0)
In addition, as far as I know, Android runs compatible with windows technology AND Flash. I could be completely wrong on this, but since Android is owned essentially by Google I would think the cross-over would be less difficult and arduous than switching over to iOS with apple.
Smurfton`s Avatar
Rating Orb Smurfton 22 United States CholericMelancholic 53C 2F
7 years ago | (1)
You are in a predicament... why don't you at least have a test of just how well subscriptions would work? I've been looking Objective-C up, and it looks like one of the most confusing things ever. Good luck learning it. There supposedly are tutorials for AS3 developers that want to learn Objective-C, but I can't find them. Maybe you will have better luck. I just hope that you continue making games in Flash, as I don't have an iPhone/iPod Touch, and never plan on getting one.

(damn you Apple for making it so that only your products work with your products)
EricLightscythe`s Avatar
Rating Orb EricLightscythe 15 India MelancholicPhlegmatic 53C 51F
7 years ago | (1)
Or,otherwise,If not Apps,Why not PC games?Games like MARDEK are just suited for the PC platform,why not try that? RPG games are a huge success in the PC game market,I am sure it would undoubtedly be a good(and profitable) venture.I am reasonably confident that it would work,and I think it would be a good option for you,Pseudo.
Good Luck..
bahamut53`s Avatar
Rating Orb bahamut53 15 Spain Melancholic 11C 0F
7 years ago | (1)
darkninjaabc's methods are pretty goods,at least that's what i think.And i think that you should finish your projects before starting other things,because then they get very confusing
hlbeta`s Avatar
Rating Orb hlbeta 22 United States CholericMelancholic 144C 131F
7 years ago | (0)
It occurs to me that something like Beast Signer would be ideally suited for an iPhone social or freemium game depending on your final decisions on how to monetize it. I'd still recommend getting the flash release completed first as a means of testing the game's reception and handling balance issues within a familiar and easily managed environment before taking that step. If Beast Signer does anywhere near as well as it should, you'd just need to develop a new interface and redesign some of the community aspects (such as allowing local matches between players) to have a pretty potent product for the app store. You could stand to make a pretty substantial amount of money off of it if played well, especially if you can manage a quick enough turnaround to launch the app as the flash game is peaking on the portals. It may seem illogical to launch on both platforms, but I'm confident that the advertising benefits of the flash game would outweigh loss of sales from the versions competing internally. With sponsorship deals and ad revenue, you'd be getting paid to advertise you product. It doesn't get much better than that.
hlbeta`s Avatar
Rating Orb hlbeta 22 United States CholericMelancholic 144C 131F
7 years ago | (0)
My understanding of Apple's approval process is that it's not a terribly hard thing to pass. At heart, it's just a legal liability check. They want to be certain that the app functions as described, doesn't violate copyrights or other laws and doesn't simply replicate one of the phone's default functions. So long as that basic criteria is passed, they shouldn't trouble you over anything you want to publish.

Apple sells some very solid computing equipment. I've got a $2,000US Apple desktop that's about four and a half years old. It still runs smoothly, better than my peers' home machines, and I love the interface design. There's an acclimation period to be dealt with in switching over but I find it's a great deal easier to simply do things on a Mac thanks in large part to the sensible mapping of command functions and the dock. The ability to set up multiple screens (in terms of display, not hardware) of applications while switching windows and your view between them freely is a boon to programming projects and quite possibly the only reason I was able to stay sane through the process of teaching myself elementary programming. Apple simply has superior interface design in most every area, which matters to me since I do most of my work on this machine.

On those occasions that it's necessary to forcibly terminate an application, Mac OS immediately jumps to termination of every process associated with the errant program instead of the Windows task manager approach of starting up a crappy data preservation protocol that inevitably hangs and often manages to strain the system enough to induce a lock-up. Considering how much time I spend troubleshooting computers, that difference of approach is a major point in favor of Macs since it's one less reboot I need to sit through.

As far as maintenance goes, the automated backups run well and shouldn't even be noticeable unless you're running them via network, where they can and will hog your connection for the five to ten minutes needed. Unlike a Windows system, a Mac will run just fine right out of the box since it ships with the current updates pre-installed and will need to update less often since the OS is far more stable and secure. I ended up switching to Macs after setting up my last Windows XP box took four days just to download and install all the necessary security updates and it still ran badly after that. My current system is far less prone to crashing and lock-ups than any windows terminal I have ever used, averaging somewhere around one hard reboot every 6-8 months I have owned it, compared to roughly every other week on the current generation Windows machines that I use.

My only real complaint is that the prepackaged mouse cannot perform a simultaneous right- and left-click, which can be a problem at times (I'm looking at you, Mass Effect 2). One trackball later, I am a very satisfied customer.
DeNovo`s Avatar
Rating Orb E β DeNovo 24 United States MelancholicSanguine 244C 201F
7 years ago | (1)
Mm... I couldn't find the official word from Apple, but it continues to seem to me that Flash CS5 (as of press time: [LINK] ) advertises the ability to compile ActionScript 3.0 into iOS-compatible executables. It's certainly the case that support was in flux, but from what I've read Apple ran into legal trouble for trying to keep Adobe from finding a way to allow people to develop iOS software through Flash.

I think it's still worth a try, if you have Flash CS5 handy! There's a whole lot of helpfully titled links, which I think should answer all your questions, especially the ones about app approval, performance issues, and development logistics. I don't think Adobe is allowed to lie to you on their official website! [LINK]

Furthermore, even if you don't target the iOS-based devices, I'm pretty sure trying out the Android Market should be relatively pain-free and, if nothing else, a worthwhile learning experience. Lots of indie developers have successfully handled the ordeals of getting an app submitted to the iTunes store, and I honestly believe that the types of games you make can find a very substantial audience on the iPhone (and other iOS devices). It's important to remember that your games don't even really target the people who are playing it on the Flash portals: the same people who can't afford to buy a game are the ones who you're worried aren't going to pay for it. It's true that you'll need to get attention for your games, which is certainly different from developing for Flash portals. I've seen quite a few games use their Flash-based media attention to lure app sales, and I think that if you can find additional value to include, there are probably plenty of people who aren't vocal members of who might actually be interested in what you make!

Best of luck, of course. :D
Hubay`s Avatar
Rating Orb Hubay 21 United States MelancholicSanguine 48C 23F
7 years ago | (0)
I think you're not giving Droid enough credit. I know it's less organized, and it's harder to suit one game for all the different phones (as opposed to apple having a few very similar models). But it's a lot more accessible and I think it's gaining a lot of momentum in the marketplace. If apple is too much of a hassle, maybe do more research into android? I'm not sure how much you've investigated it, though, so maybe it really is a dead end.

As for the cost of production: Does anyone know if it's possible to run MacOS on a pc, like Boot Camp can run windows on a mac? That would cut down the cost very quickly. I also have an ipod touch that I got for free with my laptop a year ago and don't really use. I would consider selling that to you for pretty cheap/for some kind of fighunter benefits since it was free.

Otherwise – and sorry if someone's suggested this to you already – have you ever considered selling a flash game through something like the Humble Indie Bundle? It would help gain publicity and maybe get people used to the idea of paying for your games.
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