Monday, May 04, 2009

Reinventing The Leaderboard

I've been working a lot recently on the iPhone/iTouch version of Megadev's Knightfall it's coming along well so expect some teaser videos to be released soon.

As mentioned previously we've had Time4Cat developed to a reasonable level for a while but I've been waiting to establish an overall strategy before we finish it off as I'd like to make sure our games cross-promote themselves properly.

Getting a game written and released for iPhone can be done in a pretty short time (Bomboozle is proof of that!) but realistically most games now require some server side "App Services" such as Highscore Leaderboards, Adverts, and Downloadable Content to deliver what consumers expect. 

For advertising, we had some mild success with AdMob but I think the adverts look amaturish and there's not enough creative control (a tiny poorly resized icon and a snippet of text).

With leaderboards there's a lot of noise about OpenFeint recently but I don't feel like it offers the kind of integration that we want and at the moment I'm not sure what the terms will be once it's not free anymore.

So with a case of not invented here syndrome I've decide we can do better so I'm going to roll our own Mega App Services platform for casual games.  This will culminate in a re-release of Bomboozle 1.2 including leaderboards, cross promotion of apps with a high degree of customisation (and a great user experience) and other tbd online functionality.

The same platform will then be used to release Time4Cat which we will be a free title in the lead up to the Knightfall release.  All of the new releases will use the latest version of our Objective-C/OpenGL development library which includes some pretty special stuff for handling gestures and XML->Object mapping (Obj-c has some great features in this area).  I'm in the process of sorting out my own website where I'll start posting technical articles on the development of all the apps for anyone interested.

Quite a lot of work ahead but hopefully the 1.2 release of Bomboozle wont be too far off, stay tuned for more updates...

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