Hi, Mark Damon Hughes here.
I write neat little strategy and role-playing games for the iPhone.
I also help other people write their apps for the iPhone; if you need a contractor, I can solve any problem for you.
You can reach me by email at
Visit my software gallery at
|The iPhone App Store Blues||2009-08-30 02:42:00 GMT
by Mark Damon Hughes
The iPhone App Store has some great opportunities, but also great problems for developers.
Quick summary of iPhone development right now:
iTunes Connect has shat on me multiple times, and I have a permanently(?) useless "APPLE DELETE THIS DUNGEON DICE" row; they can or will do nothing about it.
The approval process has rejected me once for something sort of valid: Use of a standard control in a way it wasn't meant to be used. The other rejection was for something so completely insane it still baffles me and makes me drink: I can't upsell directly from my free Lite apps to the full versions of Perilar and Castles. I can't say "Hooray, you beat the easy mode, Castles $4.99 version has challenge and nightmare!". Well, shit. Advertising without details on the front of the app has been allowed, but I'm not happy about it, and it doesn't drive as much upsell as I'd like.
Everyone I've spoken to who's published an iPhone app has had equally stupid experiences with both.
Fixing iTunes Connect really isn't that hard. Apple needs to assign a good web developer to it for a month, to rewrite the front end.
The only way to fix the approval process is to eliminate or castrate it.
Let these be the rules: If the app doesn't obviously crash, isn't doing anything obviously illegal, and seems appropriately age-rated, publish it. Period. If Apple gets a bunch of crash reports, or it seems to be flooding the phone network by sending your contact list to Russia, unpublish it. Apple knows who created the app, it's signed with your dev certificate, so they know who to send the FBI or KGB or lawyers after.
"But! What about…?", you ask?
Apple, please see reason. King Canute could not hold back the sea at a command, and neither can you.
|Castles 2.0||2009-07-25 12:30:00 GMT
by Mark Damon Hughes
I originally wrote Castles in a mad panic the month before the App Store opened; the APIs changed often, the entire concept of the device was shifting as I developed, and my Castles strategy game, while I'd invented it some time before, needed a lot more playtesting than I had time for. That resulted in a game which was strategically very tight, nearly but not quite perfect, but the UI wasn't there at all.
I didn't go for animations and sounds in this version. While they might help clarify some action in a tight melee, they would slow down execution of turns, and probably drag the game out from a fun 10-15 minutes to an endless 20-30 minutes.
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