Game Theory Applied: the puzzle of designing a puzzle game

Today’s post is going to be the fourth in the series “Game Theory Applied”. You have the previous ones here:

Today I would like to talk about the tricky concepts around puzzles and puzzle-based games like New Sokoban. Puzzles are often considered to not be games at all. This means that designing a video-game entirely based on puzzles implies some issues that need to be addressed to minimize the inherent problems that puzzles have and maximize their benefits. We will see it applied to New Sokoban, a puzzle-solving game.

Game Theory Applied: puzzle games

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A Twitter reusable class. iOS 5.0 ready with iOS 4.x retrocompatibility

Today I would like to share with you a little but useful class to post highscores  to Twitter on your games. This tutorial is the perfect companion for the Facebook one I wrote some weeks ago. It basically adds a new abstraction layer to the MGTwitterEngine from Matt Gemmel and the OAuth Twitter Engine from Ben Gottlieb providing the needed UI to send tweets to the user timeline.

The tutorial also shows how to figure out the iOS version and use the Apple’s Twitter API for iOS 5 if available.

You can download the entire project at the end of the article.

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Guest post: Creating Opuss

by Jeff Hodnett (@jeffhodnett)

Opuss is a new service that i’ve been working on with Adam Neilson(@adamneilson) and Chris Knight(@chrisknight2) for the past 2 or so months. It’s a new and exciting way to read, write and share all the best words in the World.

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The pressure of money

In today’s post I would like to share with you some thoughts about surviving as an indie iOS developer. I started my iOS journey in August 2009 with the development of paintingWalls. However, I went full-time indie one year later, on August 2010. So currently, I’m living from the incomings produced by the apps you can see in the Projects page of this blog.


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A reusable localization manager class for iOS

Today I would like to share with you a very simple and specific little class that may be very helpful if you encounter the same situation than me. Imagine that you need to manage the language of your app or game independently of the system language settings. It is kind a weird requirement but it is indeed a mandatory requirement for the iOS project I’m currently working on.

So, today I will share with you a little handy class that allows you to change the language of your app’s interface within the app and without the need of restarting. Moreover, the class uses the same dictionary system and files than the localization support offered by Apple. Continue reading

An update management handy class

Today I would like to share with you a little piece of code that I find very handy. A class that helps you managing “updates”. I use it in my apps that work with cached data. You could encounter the situation where you need to develop an app that queries a web service to obtain the data to be shown on the device.

However, sometimes the information you need to access doesn’t change so often and it is not necessary to bother the user with a loading message only to end up showing the same information than 2 minutes before. If being up to date accurately is not critical for your app, the code I’m going to show may help you.


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Game Theory Applied: Endogenous Value

Today’s article is the third one in the series “Game Theory Applied”. You have the previous two here:

In the previous two articles I talked about game design aspects that I think that were well addressed in New Sokoban. However, today I’m going to talk about a very difficult and tricky topic that should be better applied to New Sokoban: endogenous value in games.

Endogenous Value

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Game Theory Applied: A Layered Game Rewards System

Today’s article is the second one in the series “Game Theory Applied”. You can find the first article of the series here. Today I would like to talk about game rewards, and how I applied them on New Sokoban.

Game rewards are a very important concept in game design. Actually, in some sense, players play games to be rewarded. It is a human need. Players need to be evaluated favorably. That’s why a well designed and balanced game rewards system is key in any game, even for the simplest one.

Layered Game Rewards System

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Developing tools for creating a game

Some months ago I wrote an article on this blog titled “Tools for creating a game“. On that article I talked about the tools I used to develop my first iOS game New Sokoban. The message of that article was summarized with this mental note:

Mental note: always use existing tools. If there is a tool that barely fits your needs use it. You will be amazed about how quickly you adapt yourself to that tool and how your productivity increases.

However, currently I’m working on a new game that needed a very specific and game dependent developing tool. So, unfortunately, I spent about two weeks developing, testing and refining a development tool for my new game. In today’s article I’m going to share the experience.

Xcode icon

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A Facebook reusable class

In today’s post I’m going to share a piece of code that allows your games to easily connect to Facebook. It is a singleton class designed to be reusable, very simple to use and with only one task in mind: post new high scores on Facebook. You can find the example project source code at the end of the article.

The aim of this post is not to teach you about how to use the Facebook API to connect your iPhone games to Facebook. There are a lot of articles covering this topic and the official Facebook developers site. In this tutorial I would like to put the emphasis on the reusable and simplicity to use aspects. It is very easy to integrate in your projects the piece of code I’m going to show you.

Facebook icon_big

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