Our Airport Madness series exists on the iOS App Store as Airport Madness Challenge, developed in cooperation with Fluik Entertainment. Airport Madness Challenge is very different from the PC/Mac version on our website. It redesigns the Airport Madness concept from scratch, to fit smaller touchscreen devices. However, we hope to port our other games over to iPad directly, in the same format as the PC/Mac versions you see on our website.
A few months ago, we began this lengthy process. We hit one major roadblock that involved obtaining a special business number, in order to do business with Apple. We got through that, and eventually earned our Apple Developer status. Last week, for the first time, we successfully played Radar Chaos on the iPad. As cool as it was to see our PC game on the iPad, there were several features that needed improvement. For example, in the PC version of Radar Chaos, closing an aircraft’s control panel is automated. As soon as you ‘mouse away’, the panel closes. But since iPad users don’t have a mouse (only fingers) this had to be fixed. We also took for granted the accuracy that a mouse offers, when clicking tiny buttons and dragging little arrows and other control items. We’ve tweaked Radar Chaos to function properly on the iPad, and the end result is a fun radar game that is fairly easy to play with just your fingers.
Radar Chaos was written in Actionscript 3.0 and built with Adobe Creative Suite software. Converting the game for iOS devices was easy – just select iOS as your platform. However, it gets complicated after that. Although our game code required absolutely no modifications, something called a development certificate and provisioning profile are required. Apple does a good job of providing the tools to obtain these, but the process requires some learning. For starters, you need a Mac to generate these two items. Technically, a PC is capable of the process, but it is terribly lengthy, and cumbersome. A PC cannot generate a development certificate or a provisioning profile, the same way that an octopus cannot ride a bike; it has enough arms to reach the pedals and handlebars but the result will rarely be a successful journey from A to B. Even with a Mac, you do need to know what you are doing.
After successfully creating the app, there is a great deal of legal matter to get through, before you are allowed to actually sell your product in the App Store. Bank information and tax information are required. Numerous images and screenshots are needed. We finally ‘submitted’ our app this morning, and are queued for review by Apple.
I wish it was just this simple. But Apple has a responsibility to keep their App Store clean of junk games. Games with bugs, suggestive content, and poor graphics would otherwise clutter the App Store, which isn’t fair to developers of quality games who deserve to be found by willing buyers. So more than likely, we are up for at least one or two ‘rejections’, before finally getting our game up. This is very common. Every game gets reviewed, and this usually takes about two weeks.
So that’s where we are with iOS development. We have our fingers crossed. We are realistic that it might hit the store before Christmas. And if all goes well, expect to see more games such as Sky Madness in the App Store very soon!