Sunday, March 29, 2009

I-NVADERS Released !!

Hi Folks

Yesterday, march 29th 2009, our "I-NVADERS"application got released. At this time, I has kindly supported by my wife. I had to realize that by myself I was not going to be able to deliver this app. I consider myself an OK developer, however, I really stink on building Digital Graphics.

My wife is a Physiotherapist Practitioner, however, I think that she got the digital virus from me :-). One of her hobbies is painting. She has already painted several frames, bringing her talent to the world of Digital Content was critical to build I-NVADERS. Without her, any of you, who bought the game, would be playing with a black/red ()square as the defense ship and a bunch of "50's"-style ships as the invader ships ( ) on a blue background. All the great backgrounds and ships that you see now are on her :-).

Well, the game is inspired on an old arcade game that I loved. In our version, there are about 8 ships flying on the sky and you are a defensive ship. Your objective is blowing all the alien ships. The alien ships fly in random directions on the sky. Every once in a while a few of them try shooting you.

From time to time, the cargo ships reveal themselves. The cargo ships are carrying different gifts. When the cargo ships get destroyed, the gifts are dropped and can be used by the defender ship. The gifts are:

- SHIELD: Recharge your shield
- LIFE: Gives you a new space ship
- Triple Shot: Let you fire three shots at the same time
- CANON: Gives you a special cannons that shoot larger bullets.

The alien ships get faster and smarter in each level. This way, you will be continuously challenged in each new level.

As things move forward, I intend adding new levels, bosses and building a multi-player environment. I'm evaluating the new Iphone 3.0 OS. The new features seem to make the multiplayer development much easier. I will keep you posted in case I find anything interesting on that end.

By the way, I forgot to include this information on the help windows. In case you want to mute the game, you just need to tap on the top/right side of the window where there is a representation of a speaker (well, everything that us ugly is mine, the nice stuff is my wife's). When you tap there, the game goes on mute. A second tap would bring the sound back.

I hope you enjoy it. Let me know if you find any problem with the application and I will do my best to fix it.

BTW, next week I will start posting again on some of my PhD activities. This time, I'm taking a very interesting class. I'm attending classes on Artificial Intelligence. This is a very hot field. Our first subject is about Neural Networks. There is going to be lots of posts about this here in the future.


Thursday, March 5, 2009

iMess - My First iPhone Application has been released

Hello Everyone

I'm glad to share that my first iPhone application has been released. Its name is "iMess". I'm still a newbie on iTunes apple store, so I'm not sure what to expect. The status of my application has just changed from "In Review" to "Ready for Sale".

According to Apple documentation, this means that the app should be available on the App Store by now. However, I cannot find it anywhere yet. Hopefully it will show up soon (after the servers get refreshed).

Anyway, this is a fairly simple and fun application. I have chosen it because it does not require an advanced AI engine or special Graphic Effects. It is a puzzle game and it is very popular among Brazilian people.

It is composed by a background image sliced and applied into several squares. The difficulty level is based on the number of squares and on how much you ask the system to mess the pieces up. The system will iMess the board and the challenge is getting all pieces back on the right places by moving them around. The only move strategy is via an empty slot on the board.

From the developer side, I have included a feature that I wish existed when I was a kid. Believe it or not, I have never been able to win this board when the pieces were REALLY messed up. Because of this frustration, I have included an IA feature that can tell the player all the right moves to organize the board. This way, even I myself can play with the game :-) .

I will post some screen-shots later on so you can see what it looks like. If you have any interesting ideas for iPhone Apps, let me know and I may be able to make it work.