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Code Snippet: Easy fading iPhone buttons, images, views

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I was asked by a friend working on their first iPhone app if I could show them how to fade buttons to provide the user with visual feedback.  So I came up with this quick iPhone development tutorial using some source code that is actually from the second app that we I will be showing how to build in my iPhone development videos.

A very quick demonstration of the effect is shown in this video:

Fading a view on the iPhone is very easy you simply specify the ending alpha value, and duration, and commit the animations.  The views will then fade to the chosen alpha value.  Overall it’s a pretty sweet way to fade buttons, and images used in your interface especially if you’ve had to go through more complex techniques.

The code for the two methods to create the buttons is shown here: Source Code Snippet Fading Images, And Buttons On The iPhone

That’s all there is to it, it’s very plug and play so all you have to do is run the methods to perform the effect., and I’ve included some sample code with a project that has various views fading in and out based on which button is selected.  With a little bit of playing around you can make flashing images/buttons etc. 

The completed project can be downloaded here: >>> FadingViews <<<


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8 Sensational iPhone Game Engines (2D and 3D)

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 After finishing up a contract,  I  decided to start work on my first graphical iPhone game title.  Originally I had set out to create to an iPhone game, and tested out several of the engines available, but put things on hold to work on some small contracted apps.  Now I’ve decided to get back to that, and took another look at the iPhone game engines available, so here they are with a small writeup about each engine.

Bork 3D – Bork 3D is a 3D engine specifically for programmers.  No wysiwig tools here.  I haven’t had a chance to check out this engine as I just heard about it, but  Bork 3D was used in the create of the Anytime Golf game.  Something that I find very appealing is that the author provides the full source and the cost for the engine begins at only $49.

 

Cocos 2D iPhone – Cocos 2D iPhone is an extensive open source framework for producing 2D games on the iPhone.  Cocos has been used as a starting point for many developers interested in creating iPhone games, and title after title is produced using this framework.  The feature list continues to grow, and the question is where will it end.. these guys seem to be putting everything into it.  You certainly can’t beat the price at free.

 

iTGB – A 2D game engine with an extremely easy to use visual scene editor.  This is an excellent 2D engine with a very rich feature set.  The full source is included, and I believe this would be an excellent way to get started with game development on the iPhone if not for the cost starting at $750.

 

iTGE – A 3D game engine from the makers of iTGB.  From what I understand this engine uses Oolong at it’s core.  The engine has a visual scene editor and an extensive feature set.  The Torque Game Engine that iTGE has been used in many hit indy game titles on the Windows platform.  The cost starts at $650.

 

Oolong engine – Oolong is a game engine written by author/graphics programmer Wolfgang Engel.  It contains an extensive feature set and a very liberal MIT license.   That being said, it is definitely an engine created for programmers, and requires solid knowledge of OpenGL ES to use.  There is a discussion list, and a nice collection of examples.  The only thing that I don’t like is the lack of documentation. Free MIT licensed. 

 

Shiva Ston3d – Shiva is a game engine with a visual editor for scene design and from checking out the forums it appears as though some very nice games have been/are being created with it on the iPhone.  Shiva utilizies a Lua like scripting langue.  There is one huge negative for me personally which is that the editor runs in the windows environment, it runs in parallels but not too well on my Mac.  The price starts at ~$250.

 

Sio2Engine – SIO 2 Engine is an open source 3d engine with an extensive feature set that utilizes Blender for scene creation.  I’m not the world’s biggest blender fan so I can’t say too much about the engine., but still this game engine has been used in many different iPhone titles so it is worth looking at and the price is definitely right as there is no charge as long as you place a splash screen at the start of your game advertising the engine.

 

Unity 3D – Unity 3D is a game engine that has been around for a number of years, and has grown quite a following for it’s ease of programming.  Unity 3D has it’s own visual editor for scene design, and utilizes the C#, and Boo programming languages.  Unity is well known for it’s ease of use, and has established been used in many iPhone different games.  Costs begin at $199 + $499.

 

Ultimately I have decided not to use any of the current iPhone game engines, but have decided that at least for my first few titles I will attempt to create a 2D game engine on my own, and go from there.  My main reason for doing this is simply because while I have used/purchased some indy game engines in the past for development of freeware/shareware hobby titles I would like to learn how to do this myself, and put all the graphics programming, and math that I learned in college to use. 

If you have any experience using any of the above game engines, or a title you created using one of them feel free to post about it below.

 


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Traffic Ranked Listing Of iPhone App Review Sites

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This is a ranked listing of iPhone application review sites that accept applications submissions from developers.  Getting listed on these sites can be a good way to gain exposure for your app, and every little bit helps.

I have filtered out sites that simply track iTunes feeds and list everything in the store.

The listings are ranked based on traffic given by the Compete.com rank.

http://toucharcade.com Compete Rank: 18,238
http://www.appsafari.com
Compete Rank:27,893
http://appadvice.com Compete Rank: 38,515
http://www.appcraver.com Compete Rank: 39,759
http://iphoneapplicationlist.com Compete Rank: 56,764
http://www.appstoreapps.com Compete Rank: 88,622
http://www.gamestooge.com Compete Rank: 121,583
http://theapppodcast.com Compete Rank: 174,360
http://www.freshapps.com Compete Rank: 201,486
http://www.nativeiphoneapps.com Compete Rank: 345,031
http://www.iphoneblog.de Compete Rank: 1,141,082
http://www.apptheater.com Compete Rank: 1,171,181
http://www.appgallery.org Compete Rank: New
http://iphoneappgirl.com Compete Rank: New
http://www.theipodkid.com Compete Rank: New

If you know of any other good sites that accept app submissions for review please post them here.  Thanks.
 


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Big List of Youtubers Who Will Review Your iPhone App

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As many of you may have noticed, I have been updating my older resource lists with updated links that have been shared with me in the last few months since starting this site, and I’ve been uploading tutorials/other videos to Youtube.

One resource which I didn’t really think about was Youtube.  I wasn’t really a Youtuber before uploading my videos, but something I noticed was that there is a massive number of people on Youtube doing app reviews.  Usually developers will upload a usage video to Youtube, and ultimately that’s the end of things, it’s hit or miss, and most videos get very few views.  

Why not send the App reviewers your apps?  Many of these reviewers have already established a subscriber base of 10,000 or more on Youtube (along with nearly as many on Twitter), and I’m sure would be flattered if sent a promotional code.  A couple who I have contacted seemed very excited about the idea.  Also, many of these videos end up being shown on other sites so the effect can multiply.

I wouldn’t be turned off it appears that many of these viewers are members of the younger set, after all this is a large segment of the App market, and especially if you’re developing an entertainment app this likely is your market.

Onto the list, I’ve sorted the reviewers here by the number of subscribers each has to their channels.  If you have an ACTIVE channel that I have not listed here please post it below, and I will add it to the list.
 
http://www.youtube.com/user/AppStoreReviewer 19,040 Subscribers.
http://www.youtube.com/user/TheiPodKid 16,237 Subscribers.
http://www.youtube.com/user/UltimatePhoneReviews 13,420 Subscribers.
http://www.youtube.com/user/iTouchiPodz 12,645 Subscribers.
http://www.youtube.com/user/appvee 8,197 Subscribers.
http://www.youtube.com/user/UniqueApps 4370 Subscribers.
http://www.youtube.com/user/iPhoneications 3,697 Subscribers.
http://www.youtube.com/user/Punisher08 3,504 Subscribers.
http://www.youtube.com/user/HDiPhone 2,892 Subscribers. 
http://www.youtube.com/user/iTouchReviewer10 2,475 Subscribers.
http://www.youtube.com/user/iTouchiApps 2,282 Subscribers.
http://www.youtube.com/user/LoadedAppReviews 2071 Subscribers.
http://www.youtube.com/user/AppReviews101 1447 Subscribers.
http://www.youtube.com/user/iTouchAppInfo 653 Subscribers.
http://www.youtube.com/user/AppReviewer21 552 Subscribers.
http://www.youtube.com/user/TapCritic 536 Subscribers.
http://www.youtube.com/user/iPodAppReviewing 532 Subscribers.
http://www.youtube.com/user/pogochamp113 335 Subscribers.
http://www.youtube.com/user/AppleAppStoreReviews 279 Subscribers.
http://www.youtube.com/user/SuzieQTv 226 Subscribers.
http://www.youtube.com/user/AppSource 211 Subscribers.

Don’t forget to mention if you have/know of an active channel in the comments.

Thanks for reading.

 

 


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Source Code: Particle Based Explosions In iPhone OpenGL ES

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Hi everybody, if you’ve been following me on twitter you may have seen my tweet about an open sourced iPhone version of Space Invaders

If you haven’t seen it yet, it’s a very concise implementation of the classic game, and also a very basic implementation, but I noticed something pretty cool while playing with it, and that was the particle based explosions. So what I did was spend about 3 minutes playing with the code, and I came up with the demo shown here in this video.

To create these explosions a Particle Emitter created by the guys at 71 Squared (makers of some great iPhone game development tutorials) along with a custom texture class. 

To create the explosions a Particle Emitter is first created and initialized using the initParticleWithEmitter class, where you can specify parameters for the color, duration, size, number of particles, and gravity of the resulting display of particles (an example of this is in the EaglView.m file).

To display the particles a time index is created, and the update: method is executed along with the renderparticles method.  I won’t go into the details here as the ParticleEmitter classes are extremely well documented.

Download the source code for the explosion generator here:
>>> Explosion Generator Source <<<

Have fun with the code.

 


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