Rank the difficulty: Animated object's appearance/value change

Posts: 2
Joined: 2009.11
Post: #1
Hi all, wow, am I glad I found this board! Seems like a great resource.

I'm brand new to iPhone app development, but not to programming (experience is confined mainly to scripting languages and a smattering of database-related stuff, though--and no C experience of any kind except for having read a book or two on it). What I know about coding iPhone apps is confined to having read a couple of beginner books and some of the materials on the Apple Developer's site. I've not yet actually done any coding (still waiting on funds to purchase Mac).

However, in classic cart-before-horse behavior, I've conceptualized an iPhone game I'd like to develop. Since I'm ignorant, I'm wondering how difficult some of the design features would be to code. I would appreciate some feedback on how hard it is to do the following:

Picture a bingo ball with a number displayed on its face. As this ball animates across the screen from point A to point B, the number displayed on the ball (and the coded value associated with it) swaps for another at some random point in its travel--accompanied by either a brief visual or audio cue.

Keeping my noobness in mind, how hard is it to do something like this?

1--Straightforward and easy.
2--Somewhat more involved but pretty routine stuff.
3--Tricky or complex, but still doable.
4--This will challenge even a pro.
5--This is impossible in the current environment.

Also, game design question: My idea is that if the user clicks the ball, the current value associated with/displayed on it is used and the ball then goes away (in some visually clever way...pops or something). But it's possible the user may click the ball a fraction of a second after it changes and thus end up selecting a value different than the one they expected. I tend to view this possibility as one of the fun challenges (get it before it morphs, you slow user!) but is it a bad idea from a game design perspective?

Thanks for any and all feedback. Haven't really been too excited about coding for years but this iPhone app business has made it magic again.
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Posts: 3,591
Joined: 2003.06
Post: #2
I'd say it's about a 1 on the difficulty scale for any of us that already know how to program games for iPhone. However, being as how you don't know C yet, and you don't know OpenGL yet, nor any of the dev tools, etc., I have to say you're looking honestly at about 10 on a scale of 1 to 5... Yeah, it's going to be that hard.

Don't read me as trying to discourage you though, because we all had to learn this stuff at some point. Wink

If you're planning on making a lot of money on iPhone, I would tell you that the honest truth is: It ain't easy earning money on iPhone. You literally could earn between zero, to a couple hundred bucks -- even with a good product. The market is overwhelmingly saturated. Of course you could be more fortunate, but you've already heard about those stories, so I don't need to repeat that here.

If you plan on doing this using 3D graphics, I would recommend checking out Unity.

Other than that, if you want to do it from scratch yourself, be prepared for a long journey. First step is to learn C. Next step would be to learn OpenGL. You don't need a Mac for learning either of those. Then you can prepare to jump onto iPhone.

Good luck Smile
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Posts: 2
Joined: 2009.11
Post: #3
Make money? LOLs. No. I'm more realistic than that. This is about learning something fun and new...it's all about the journey Smile Thanks for your feedback and suggestions. I will follow up.
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Posts: 3,591
Joined: 2003.06
Post: #4
Heh... Sorry about that. In your last statement, I read the "business" part wrong:

Quote:Haven't really been too excited about coding for years but this iPhone app business has made it magic again.

and it got me to thinking you were another one of the many thousands of iPhone gold rushers -- which would be no problem by me either, just that, well, it's pretty crowded so it's hard to get rich!

Yes, if you're in this for the journey you will succeed Smile Game programming on the iPhone can indeed be fun. I enjoy it from time to time myself. Plus, it *is* possible to pick up some spending cash from it too, although you'll likely put more into it than what comes out. That possibility does add a little extra fun into it, admittedly. Wink

I will say, it can also be very frustrating at times, even for those of us who already had previous devlopment experience.

For your next step, learning C, you might want to check out: this online C book.
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