Thursday, July 10, 2008


I just finished my most recent project, a version of Othello for the iPhone. No, it's not the flashiest game on the iPhone, and it doesn't take advantage of the accelerometer or other cool features on the device. But it's a solid strategy game that I hope will appeal to people wanting a game they can pick up and play on the subway, or waiting for an appointment, or, uh, you know, other places you might have several minutes to yourself...

I would have liked to have blogged more about the iPhone SDK like I did with the XNA articles but I wasn't sure how much I could say given the NDA that Apple imposed on Registered iPhone Developers. Frankly, I was thrilled to have even been accepted.

Writing for the iPhone was fairly easy. I'd never written a line of Objective C but had no trouble picking it up. It probably helped a bit that I'd done a little Smalltalk programming in college. But even without that it's not a difficult language if you are used to object-oriented concepts. And X-Code is a full-featured development environment that had all of the tools necessary to take the chores out of coding and debugging. The iPhone Simulator, in particular, is a very nice piece of software that lets you do an amazing amount of development and debugging without even touching the real hardware.

That said, overall I have a preference for developing for XNA. I missed some of the bells-and-whistles in Visual Studio, which is by far the best development environment I've ever used. And Apple's NDA forced a complete lack of community support that, frankly, I thought was a big mistake on their part. Although I haven't done any recent XNA development and I'm no longer posting regularly to the XNA forums, I still enjoy following the posts, blogs, and goings-on in the XNA community and find it to be one of the most vibrant and lively development communities around. Microsoft is to be commended for fostering that.

I'll try to post some snippets of iPhone code before too much longer for any of you that might be interested.

In the meantime, you can check out the Morocco page on Bayou Games, or download it directly from the iTunes App Store.