AquaWars Development Diary – Week 2

So the second week of development has come to an end. This week was primarily back end work to build foundations for the game, although I did end up adding a few cool front end features as well. I’ll go over one of those first.


One thing I knew I wanted in the game since the very begining: iCade support. And this really took less that 20 minutes to implement but if you have an iCade it totally rocks. The SDK is really simple and is available on GitHub here. If you are developing a game that can work with arcade style controls – you have to implement this. People with an iCade will love you. I may even end up adding iCade support to Rocket Chimp in the near future…

The primary things I worked on this week were backend related, specifically my GameObject class along with my level loading class. This game, unlike its predecessor, is going to be level based and have a cheesy “save-the-world” type storyline to go with it. It will still have a random “survival” mode like the original as well, but I think people will enjoy the levels and characters in the story.

The levels for the game are in JSON format. I chose JSON because of its human readability and compactness, at least compared to other text formats like XML. The added bonus is that I can use a library (TouchJSON) to load the file into a dictionary, so I don’t have to waste time writing some kind of parser. If worst comes to worst and I need to save space or improve loading times I can write some kind of intermediary binary packer/loader. But I don’t think either of those will be an issue.

In my GameObject class I cleaned things up quite a bit and made it a lot easier to create or reuse any object you need by building a factory class. This way enemy ships can easily spawn minions or fire off mines or torpedoes without having to rewrite a ton of code. So the enemy classes have been cleaned up and pared down to the basics, which is a good thing as it will make it a lot easier once I am creating enemies with more complex actions.

Unfortunately this wasn’t the most productive week, but I am also working on another web project simultaneously for what it’s worth. For next week I plan to have a few new things to talk about:

  • The first boss in the game
  • The first level set
  • Some new enemy types
  • Explosions!
  • Some in game character dialogue
  • Maybe some video footage…maybe.

Also, I just remembered that I will be getting my wisdom teeth removed this coming Thursday. So next weeks post might come a bit earlier…or later. We’ll see. 🙂

AquaWars Development Diary – Week 1

So since I have had this blog for nearly two years and barely posted anything I have decided to begin using it. I will be posting weekly updates on my progress with my current project, AquaWars X (Working title). The game is a remake of my second game, AquaWars. I worked on that game while I was in college, so I never really fleshed out the idea like I wanted to.

The game is a retro-styled arcade shooter. Its main inspiration is a game I played on my TI-83 back in the day called SubHunt. In the game you control a boat which drops depth charges to destroy enemy submarines. In AquaWars X you will collect “spare parts” from destroyed submarines which will help you upgrade your ship throughout the game. That is the basic gameplay of the game.

So on to development. This week was mainly spent building up the “engine”. I am using Cocos2D which gives nice Sprite classes, but having a layer on top of this really helps to streamline development. I made a little chart before development of how I wanted the design to look


The design ended up being pretty much what I went with. I tried to stick with strict MVC, but in this case I decided to make a few exceptions. The view is essentially passive. The controller takes input and the model contains and updates the view (CCSprite). This means my code won’t be quite as reusable and harder to switch from cocos2d, but these are not things I care about as my goal is to create a fun game, not code that will be reused for the next 50 years.

I designed some basic sprites, the look of the game now is pixel art based, to go with the retro feel. Here is the first screenshot:


Still a long ways to go! The biggest gameplay change from the first AquaWars is that the screen scrolls horizontally now, so you have a much larger playing field. The game is also going to be level based rather than completely random like the original. This will hopefully allow for some cool boss levels.

Anyways, that is all for this week. Stay tuned till next Friday for week 2!

TargetTap coming to…almost everything!

So the past two weeks I have been porting TargetTap to Android. In hopefully a few days TargetTap will be available on Android Marketplace, Amazon app store and Blackberry App World!

I’ll post an update as it becomes available.

DoneIt and Move updates on the way!

DoneIt for iPhone 2.0.2 and Move 1.0.1 have been submitted to Apple. DoneIt’s update is just a small bug fix for iOS4 devices, but Move adds proximity sensor monitoring to let you use the app while it is in your pocket.

RocketChimp Update Coming

An update to Rocket Chimp is nearly ready to be submitted. This update will be more of a technical update, including many new iOS 5 features. It will add iCloud support for syncing high scores and achievements between your devices. Also it will use the new Twitter integration to make tweeting much easier, no longer requiring you to log-in inside of the app.

Also, instead of getting it ad-free for two weeks you can now get the game completely free just by tweeting the #rocketchimp hashtag from inside the app! This update should be coming no later than next week.

DoneIt for iPhone Brings Simple Task Management to iOS

Raleigh, North Carolina – Independent developer Swift Fox Software is announcing their newest iOS application, DoneIt for iPhone 2.0.0. DoneIt is a simple and intuitive task management application that allows for lightning fast list entry, simple organizational functions and will soon be enabled to use iCloud syncing in a free update.

Quick Update

So I have decided to push DoneIt back till next week. I am working on a promo video and it is taking a little longer than expected. Also with iOS 5 traffic bombing Apple’s servers I think a new app launch will be better off next week.

Long Time, No Update

So yet again I have not updated the site. This is going to change this time, for real.

In the past few weeks I have been working on an complete redesign of an old task management app I called DoneIt. It is now complete and will be released to the app store on Thursday. The app is available for iPhone only right now, but an iPad version is coming soon. When the iPad version is released it will support iCloud sync, which should be really cool. You can find out more about the app on I will post more information on the site once I have set up the app information page.

In other news, I am working on a new game. My goal is to finish by the end of October. More updates on this game will be coming later this week. For now I will tell you that it was inspired by Robotron 2084.