Game Development for iPhone: 5 Things you need to know

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Game development for the iPhone is one of the most interesting areas of iPhone app development. iPhone is a great platform for indie developers, as it lets you develop a game and make it available for download on Apple Store in a relatively short period of time. However, this doesn’t mean that your efforts will be instantly rewarded and your game will become massively popular like Angry Birds overnight.

There are several things you need to keep in mind when developing for iPhone and other iOS devices. And even when your iPhone game is developed, you need to think about how to promote it and make it sell. In this article, we are going to share with you five things you need to know about game development for the iPhone.

1. Consult the iPhone Development Center
If you are just starting getting into iPhone 2D game development, then the first thing you need to do is go to the iOS Dev Center and have a good look around. The Dev Center has numerous tips, tutorials, videos and other resources you need to get started with iPhone app game development. And if you are serious about game development for iPhone, then you should consider joining the iOS Developer Program. Membership costs $99/year. Joining the Developer Program bumps up your initial iPhone game development cost, but it’s really worth it because you get access to all sorts of resources you wouldn’t be able to access otherwise. Joining the iOS Dev Center grants you access to the iOS SDK and other technical resources, including XCode, iOS Simulator, Interface Builder, and Instruments. You will also have unrestricted access to forums, getting started videos and tutorials, the developer library and even coding examples.

2. Get the right hardware
If you are serious about game development for the iPhone, then you should invest in the right hardware. The minimum requirement is a Mac running OS X 10.5.3 or higher. And you will need a second computer – a Mac running on Intel. It’s very important to have a Mac running on an Intel processor because you won’t be able to use all the software you may need for developing your game on Apple’s platform.

3. Know your device
Developing apps and games for iPhone and other hand-held devices from Apple means that you need to know their functionality really well. The tell-tale sign of a successful iOS game is that the game uses the device in the way it’s meant to be used. Do not put barriers between the game and the environment and try to use as many of the native functions as you can. Your goal should be to make your game as similar to other Apple apps as possible – the less interfacing and the more use of direct manipulation, the better. A lot of iPhone game development companies neglect this and put a virtual d-pad between the user and the playing environment. But if you look at hit games like Angry Birds, you will see that they use the touch environment to the maximum.

4. Choose the right SDK
Choosing the right SDK to develop your iPhone app or game is of crucial importance. Get this wrong and you will only waste a lot of time developing your game or produce a low-quality game that nobody will ever play. So before you start coding, check out the different SDK choices and decide which one is best for you. XCode seems to be the obvious choice, but it’s not the best tool for beginners. The one thing you need to know about Xcode is that game development for iPhone using this SDK won’t be easy and it will take quite a lot of time. Remember that Xcode is the tool for professionals, so make sure you are one before using it. If you don’t feel confident developing iPhone games with Xcode, check out iStencyl. This SDK combines ease of use with advanced options and is a great alternative to Xcode. Another good option is Corona SDK.

5. It’s quality that counts
If you are an iOS device user, then you know that a lot of the apps and games that hit the App Store are not really finished and polished. And nothing can frustrate the user more than that. An iPhone app or game that keeps crashing or is buggy is not something that will become popular. You will be flooded with negative reviews and your game will get a really low rating. As a result, you won’t make any money in the long run and your reputation as an iPhone game developer will be seriously damaged.

When developing iPhone games, you need to make sure everything is polished before you submit your game to the App Store. Make sure the game works seamlessly, looks good and is thoroughly tested before you release it to the public. The higher the overall quality of your game, the better its chances to become a success. And even when you succeed in your iPhone game development efforts, remember to issue frequent updates and be responsive to user feedback. This will help your game to receive a consistently high rating.

These are the five things you need to know about iPhone game development. Follow these basic principles and your game development for iPhone efforts will pay off.

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