I’ve decided to open source PicSlide, which was one of my first iOS games. It isn’t selling enough to make it worthwhile updating for the iPhone 5. When I looked at the code I didn’t find it too embarrassing and it didn’t make me want to vomit, despite being written in 2009, so I decided to share it. Some pieces like scaling & slicing images and doing Quartz drawing may be helpful as sample code.
The source code is now available on Github at https://github.com/mike3k/picslide.
I’ve had a Nexus 7 for two weeks and there are lots of things I love about it and some things I really dislike.
- I love the size. After using it, I really want a 7″ iPad.
- I really like the universal back button at the bottom of the screen.
- The soft home button moves to the correct position when you use it in landscape mode.
- Rearranging icons is less annoying than in iOS.
- Widgets can be placed on the home screen.
Not so good:
- UI is ugly. No rounded corners, shadows, or gradients. Everything looks flat & square.
- Endless march of notification icons across the top of the screen.
- Many of my favorite apps aren’t available for Android. The only Twitter app I use is Echofon because it’s the only one that syncs my mute settings as well as unread tweets. It isn’t available on Android, which seriously limits my ability to use Twitter on the Nexus 7.
For a long time I dismissed the rumors of a 7″ iPad, but after using the Nexus 7 it makes perfect sense. A 7″ tablet is a lot more comfortable to use than a 10″ tablet, yet the amount of screen real estate is just as usable.
I’ve submitted a minor update to Sugar Rush which changes the FaceBook SDK to use the latest API so sharing will continue to work. It also adds support for built-in Twitter accounts in iOS 5 or later and updates the Kiip SDK to the latest version.
Sugar Rush Free gets a much bigger update. In addition to those SDK changes, I’ve renamed it to Sugar Rush Lite and added in-app purchase to get rid of the ads & height limit. You can also buy Donuts, which will make it functionally equivalent to Sugar Rush Pro. Both Sugar Rush Lite & Sugar Rush Pro now share the same Game Center leader board & achievements.
Sugar Rush 1.2.5 and the new Christmas bonus pack is now available. The Christmas pack adds a new theme with new candies and high-scoring new bonus items. In addition, special bonus power items and premium items such as donuts will appear more frequently, making it easier than ever to get new high scores. Sugar Rush is still free. The Christmas pack is available as an in-app purchase for $0.99.
I’ve submitted Sugar Rush 1.2, which adds support for a new Halloween candy pack, as well as internal changes to support multiple themes or candy sets. Also, if you bought donuts, you now have two varieties with even more power.
The Halloween pack gives you a new spooky background, candy corn, pumpkins, and candy apples. You can pick the theme from the main menu screen. Each theme has its own leader board in the game center to keep the scoring fair, since the amount of candies & their distribution frequency differs in each theme. If you also bought donuts, they will remain available in all themes.
Sugar Rush 1.1 is now available and it’s now free. Current users who upgrade from version 1.0.5 won’t see ads, but new users will see a small unobtrusive ad when no special powers are in effect. If you prefer, you can purchase an upgrade that removes the add. Premium items will be added for sale in the future. You can now buy donuts, which give you a big energy boost. Soon we hope to have a Halloween candy pack available.
I’ve submitted Sugar Rush 1.1, which is a major update.
Our sales have been pretty low, but our free promotions, including the one last weekend, have been wildly successful (18,000 downloads in a single day). Therefore, I’ve made the difficult decision to move to a “Freemium” model, and I’ve made an effort to avoid pissing off existing customers.
Here’s the deal: Nothing will change for existing customers. If you upgrade from 1.0.5, you won’t see any ads, although you will still be able to purchase other premium items. New customers will see ads, but will have the option to pay $0.99 to get rid of the ads. The ads will work the same way they do in the current free version (which will be removed from sale), occupying the bottom of the screen when no bonus power is in effect. Unlike the current free version, there will be no limitation to the game.
You will also be able to purchase additional premium content. The first new item is donuts, which give you 3x the jump boost of cupcakes and occur much more frequently. You just have to buy it once and it will remain available. We will also be offering holiday themed packages and other items in the future.
Note that version 1.1 will require iOS 4.0. Anyone running iOS 3.x will need to continue using 1.0.5.
I have a major update planned for Sugar Rush later this month.
I just submitted a minor update, version 1.0.5, which fixes some problems with the settings not being saved and updates the settings format in preparation for in-app purchase in the next update. Version 1.0.5 is the last version that will support iOS 3. The next update will require iOS 4 or later. I’ll post more details about the major changes coming after version 1.0.5 is approved.
For some reason I don’t understand, iDjembe, which is my least interesting and lowest-rated app, is outselling my other apps, including Sugar Rush. This is not good because the low ratings brings down my average app store ratings, despite Removr & Sugar Rush’s much higher ratings.
Last week I tried to kill iDjembe by quietly raising the price to $1.40. That did stop iDjembe sales, but at the same time it brought down the sales of my other apps. Rather than kill it, I tried the opposite by making it free. That experiment seemed to work, and I’m now getting 700-800 free downloads a day, so I decided to keep it free and use it to help sell my other apps.
To go along with the pricing change, I submitted a minor update to iDjembe, version 2.1.2, which updates the info screen with the description & app store link for Sugar Rush, and makes the info button a little more prominent with a cute sugar rush player icon.
I’ve been able to test my apps in iOS 5 and the only one that has an issue is Removr. Sugar Rush is 100% compatible with iOS 5 and doesn’t require an update.
Removr immediately returns to the menu when you tap play or try to go to a level. I’ve already fixed it and will submit the update after some further testing as soon as Apple accepts iOS 5 application updates.
There seems to be a change in SQLite’s behavior under iOS 5 which affected Removr. I’m storing the level maps as a SQLite database in the application bundle. In the current version, I’m opening the database as follows:
int err = sqlite3_open([self.dbpath UTF8String], &db);
Under iOS 5, that fails unless readonly mode is specified when opening the database. The simple fix was merely to specify read only mode as follows:
int err = sqlite3_open_v2([self.dbpath UTF8String], &db,SQLITE_OPEN_READONLY,NULL);
I will release a Removr beta in the next few days to anyone whose device ID I have (I can’t add any new devices until July 16).