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Hacking on the iPhone

Many moons ago I blogged about a game idea Graham had called Brain Party. That was some time ago, and since then I ported the code both to Windows Mobile devices and Xbox 360, and managed to sell quite a few copies of it.

But here's what's new: you probably know by now that I'm obsessed with coding, so I took it on myself to port Brain Party from C# to plain old C++, and as of today Brain Party is available for iPhone/iPod Touch users. Now, it's a long way from the old SDL game I made a few years ago - it has 30+ minigames, it's OpenGL-accelerated (shinier graphics - oooh!), and it's actually finished as opposed to kind of hanging around waiting for something to happen - but the core concept is the same: family-friendly brain games that everyone can enjoy.

So, I'm writing this blog entry for two reasons:

  1. I'd like you to buy Brain Party and let me know what you think. Relax, it's in the lowest price category - 59p for Brits, $0.99 for Americans, etc. All bug reports/feature suggestions/hate mail is gratefully received. You'll find it in the App Store with my name next to it.
  2. If you'd like me to send you a big pile of source code so you can do some iPhone hacking too, I'm happy to share. While creating Brain Party I put together a library of code that makes lots of difficult things easy. If you've ever tried my Gloss library for Python games, this iPhone code shouldn't be too hard to get to grips with. I'll package it together with another game I'm working on so you've got a working example. Drop me an email if you're interested.

Regular podcast listeners will know that I previously tried to convert the Brain Party Xbox 360 port to Vala in the hope of releasing it for Linux using a language that everyone doesn't hate. Sadly that idea tanked because Vala isn't quite mature enough yet to handle my needs, but this new iPhone port offers hope of a native Linux release without all the Mono weight that folks seem to hate so much. It would take a fair amount of work to do, not least because the iPhone resolution is a mere 320x480 so I'd have to re-make all the art assets, but the code is there.

To summarise: please go and buy Brain Party and drop me an email with what you think; and if you'd like me to send you over a big chunk of code to kickstart your iPhone coding also just get in touch and I'll be happy to help.

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