iPhone games seem mysterious and complicated to build. They require coding, developing and even registering as an official developer with Apple. But like always, appearances are deceiving. Here are four easy steps to creating a game for your iPhone or your iPad. Happy developing!
Learn Some Code
In order to develop an iPhone game, you’ll have to know a little bit of coding. The principles are based on Objective C, a language Steve Jobs developed at NeXT. If you’re familiar with coding, making the jump to using it won’t be too difficult, since it’s similar to C/C++. If you don’t know any coding whatsoever and you’re willing to spend a while developing your game, go ahead and grab a “Coding for Dummies” book that will get you started. You won’t need a full it degree, but you can take a class or two to beef up your skills and make the developing process easier if you feel like it might be something you’re interested in.
Luckily, there are a ton of great programs for developing apps and games. GameSalad doesn’t require any knowledge of programming languages and will transfer to the iPhone, iPad or even a Mac. They also have an arcade of games available on their website, so users can see and support other budding iPhone game developers’ works. The system works off of HTML 5, which is a text-based animation programming language. What that means is that you can put your game anywhere that uses regular HTML coding. This means you can drop it in an e-mail or even post it on a forum.
If GameSalad doesn’t work for you for some reason, just do a little searching. There are plenty of programs out there for free and minimal costs that will let you build and showcase your game.
Write A Program
Once you know how you’re (or how you’re not) developing your game, it’s time to come up with an idea. Many first time developers choose to mimic an already-popular game like Angry Birds or Fruit Ninja. It’s not a bad idea to get used to the mechanics and create something that you and your friends are guaranteed to enjoy.
If you’re creating an original idea, remember that most iPhone games work best when they’re somewhat simple. Think of Angry Birds. There are only a handful of bird types and structures. The variety comes from the developer combining those simple elements, which puts the weight of creativity on your shoulders. You’re going to want to keep the controls simple too, which will add another layer to your job. You have to create an engaging, varied game with a few pieces and a few user movements. Don’t be afraid to ask friends for ideas and collaborate with them.
Publish and Share
You’ll need to sign up with Apple as an official developer since they’re not an open market like Android. You’ll have to pay $100, but it will allow you to test your game on an actual iPhone, which could be well worth it. If you’re charging even a dollar for your game, you’re almost guaranteed to get your money back.
Sharing your game is almost as important as even publishing it. You need to spread the word that you’ve created a great game so people will know what to look for. The more you talk about it online, the more people will recognize it and download it.