In Gamasutra's first iPad postmortem
, Magnin & Associates developers Paul Schorn & Ed Magnin detail both the complications and surprisingly easy victories had in developing Skittleball
, which released on the App Store in time for the new platform's launch.
"Very often in game development, the things you think are going to be easy turn out to be much harder than expected, and the things you thought were going to be hard turn out to be easier than you thought," writes the duo, before outlining surprise successes with the game's sound and the iPad simulator, which was the only testing platform available prior to the hardware launch.
Unfortunately, not everything was so simple for the team. "You would think that having a ball roll on a surface would be a trivial problem. It was fine along all four walls of the room, but once we started testing it diagonally it started wobbling annoyingly," they write. The solution lay in increasing the complication of the simulation.
Experience with other platforms, such as the Nintendo DS, also caused problems when working with the iPad's graphics: "As the code got more complicated, it took a larger and multiple models to keep it from corrupting the ball."
"We finally put our rendering code under a microscope, caught some coding problems, and switched to using const arrays in our graphics header files. Having worked on cartridge games, we were used to having large amounts of graphics data that remains in the ROM where a pointer simply references it."
To find out more about the development process for Skittleball
, you can read the full postmortem
, live now on Gamasutra.