iOS Summer of Coding: Results

For many years now, I’ve taken the dog days of summer to tinker on code, my own little “Summer of Code” (yes, that’s a reference to Google’s program, but in all fairness, other people DO program in the summer, some long before Google uttered the phrase). Usually, it’s updating older programs, site tweaking, and such – but this year I decided to finally crack iOS and get something out. And I did.

Of course, the plan didn’t start that way. The plan started early 2012 when I bought a Mac Mini and decided to become rich with a sure-fire, fool-proof plan:

  • Learn iOS.
  • Develop an app (or maybe two, if I felt like becoming Super Rich).
  • Sit back and collect the royalties while sipping champagne from my vacation home/yacht/jet.

Despite the as-mentioned fool-proof nature of this plan, I neglected to anticipate one thing: There are only 168 hours in a week, roughly 70 of which are used for sleeping (what can I say, I’m a growing boy).

And with other projects, business development/maintenance, consulting, and much, much, more, focusing on iOS was not going to happen for all of 2012. Sure I skimmed all the books I could find, but in the end, everything was put on hold.

Now, back to Spring/Summer 2013, and it’s time to crack the books. After a month or so getting into the iOS mindset (and Mac too, since it turns out they do things differently, like lacking Shift-Insert or Shift-Delete, barbarians that they are), I finally got programming during July and August (full disclosure: I did some testing/tinkering with frameworks like Marmalade and MoSync earlier in the year, but gave up and moved to ‘pure’ iOS by May or so).

The result? Even though I actually finished them in August (aside from a bit of tweaking), I’ve just now been approved for the last of my apps, so all four are now online and for sale, and finally merit a post.

Surprisingly, I still own neither jet nor yacht, but I am optimistic. Now with the basics under my belt, I’m digging into Cocos2D-X (the cross-platform C++ version of iOS-only Cocos2D) and working on my next 3 games, plus as time permits, porting the current ones to Android (via the NDK and C++ – I am NOT rewriting my code in Java!)

For those interested (millions, no doubt), here are the first four releases from Aug/Sep 2013:

Bible Number Converter   iTunes Page   Website Page
Straightforward program to convert Bible values into more current/understandable values. How many times have you heard that such-and-such an item from the Bible would be worth X dollars today? I wanted to know just how much, so I wrote the program.

Bible Books Puzzles   iTunes Page   Website Page
Six puzzles in one revolving around the books of the Bible. Things like spelling (Is it spelled Nehemiah or Nehamiah?), placing books in order, pick the Writer (not ‘Author’ of course – it would be a short game, since the answer would always be God!) and unjumble the letters of a Bible book. Different skill levels, and a lot of fun in a handheld format.

CrossMath   iTunes Page   Website Page
I actually first wrote this as a young kid – on punch cards, no less! Place numbers and mathematical symbols so there’s one of everything in any row or column – no more, no less – and match to the totals along the right and bottom edges. The fun comes as you reveal or hide more items at the start – for example, hiding all the math symbols but showing the numbers gives your brain a different workout that the reverse! Or hide just a few, and get a simple game that’s easy to play fast – perfect for a wait in a line…

Accurate Knowledge: The Bible Question Game   iTunes Page   Website Page
First off, I do not call this a trivia game – there is nothing trivial about Bible Knowledge. It is, however, in the same format, with multiple choices, scoring, and (I feel) a dignified game experience. Uniquely, however, it is solely for those of the Jehovah’s Witness faith, with questions unique to our understanding of the Scriptures and such. And if I may say so, some really head-scratching ones, like “Is the ‘Alpha and Omega’ the same as the ‘First and the Last'”? (No) and “Was Abigail a sister or half sister of King David” (Yes)?

From the list, you might guess correctly that I am quite religious – and my goal is clean games for the iPhone and iPad, a market I think needs more attention. Now onward to more apps…

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