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Posts Tagged ‘Apple’

My first puzzle game KeyCell is now in the App Store

posted by Duncan at 11:13 am on October 9th, 2009

After the fun I had building my last iPhone app, I thought I’d have a go and writing a puzzle game. I bring you KeyCell.

KeyCell is based on a puzzle game I remember seeing in a ActionScript book about 8 years ago. It’s a kind of reverse Tetris. Touch a cell that has adjacent cells of the same colour to make them disappear. The more cells that you remove in one go, the more points you get. The challenge is to try and clear all the cells and achieve the highest score.

Now this appears simple, but actually, to get the real high scores you really have to think about it, making sure you remove the cells in such away that they setup the next bunch of coloured cells to remove. Here’s a screen shot of the game in action:

KeyCell for iPhone and iPod touch

You can also share your scores with the world. This option is off by default, as I wanted the game to be as simple as possible out of the box, but you can turn on the feature via the settings page. The score are then submitted to cocosLive. Check out the scores.

Thanks once again go out to David Wilson who created the wonderful App Icon. I asked him in passing if he’d be interested in creating an icon, and a few days later it popped into my inbox, thankyou again David.

The game is written using the iPhone cocos2d game framework. This was something I’ve never used before, but has been a very enjoyable experience to use. If you want to write iPhone games, this is certainly a good starting point.

Fun with Quartz Composer in Snow Leopard and the BBC Radio Schedule

posted by Duncan at 12:34 pm on October 7th, 2009

I’ve just posted on the BBC Radio Labs blog about some tinkering with Quartz Composer I’ve done. Please read the full article there, but in short, I’ve created a Quartz Composition that you can install as a Screen Saver, that reads in the BBC National Radio Schedule and rolls through each station showing who’s on and displays a pretty picture. Oh, and I think it all looks very pretty.

BBC Radio Screen Saver

Head on over to the Radio Labs site to download and install on your machine. Please note though, it’s for OSX 10.6 Snow Leopard only.

Hydrate – An iPhone app that helps you manage your daily water intake

posted by Duncan at 9:05 am on August 15th, 2009

My train journey to work over the last couple of months, plus help from a couple of friends, has resulted in my first iPhone Application. Hydrate is in the App Store now.

It’s a simple concept. Hydrate helps you manage your daily water intake. Something I don’t do, hence the app. You can use it to keep track of how much water you drink a day. Every time you have a drink, you just log it with the app. You set goals, get a summary of your drinking habits as well as being able to look back over previous days. Simple!

Coming up with a new app idea that isn’t in the App Store is pretty much impossible now. When I started mine, there were no others that did the same, but there now appears to be a couple.

So, please give it a try. I’d love to know what you think.


Oh and if you didn’t click on the links, it has it’s own website:

I need to thank my friends David Wilson and David Johnson for their help with the app, as well as everyone who helped with the different language translations.

Mr Wilson helped me realise the design of the app, and was very patient with me. Although I had a picture of what I wanted the app to look like, and how I expected it to function in my head, without his input and ideas, it wouldn’t of looked as polished as it does now. He also created the new app icon that will be in V1.1.

That counts of Mr Johnson too. He rendered the glass tumbler and sliced it into manageable layers to allow the water to be seen inside. Again, I knew what I wanted but did not have the skills to make it. As you can see from the final rendering, he did! He also created a great transition animation, which I hope to incorporate.

I really enjoyed the experience of developing on the iPhone, so I’m now working on a couple of new apps which will be completed at some point during future train journeys to work. One is a game using the cocos2d library and the other is for teachers. I’ll leave it there. Stay tuned.

Experiments in Quartz Composer #1

posted by Duncan at 10:39 am on December 12th, 2008

I was playing with Quartz Composer about 6 months ago, and created a couple of compositions during my learning’s. I never really posted up links to them, so I’ve now rectified that below. I have to say I really enjoyed playing with QC and look forward to the all new more powerful version in Snow Leopard.

1. BBC ScreenSaver : This was my first and is an image attached to a layer, that is cloned and skewed over time, with muted colours and alpha transparency added.
OSX Screensaver

2. iTunes Flames Visualiser : This only works in iTunes and will pulse the flames based on the sound frequencies in the currently playing track. It also shows the now playing data.
iTunes visualiser

A simple way to speed up your iPhone web app

posted by Duncan at 12:04 pm on June 22nd, 2008

Reduce the size of each component to 25 Kbytes or less for optimal caching behavior


iPhone simulator seems to send the wrong user agent

posted by Duncan at 1:40 pm on March 7th, 2008

The new iphone simulator (part of the iphone SDK) doesn’t seem to send the same User-Agent as a normal iphone, so any sites that use content-negotiation don’t appear on it. I would have thought it should send ‘(iPhone; U; CPU like Mac OS X; en)’ but instead it sends ‘Aspen Simulator; U; Apsen 1_2 like Mac OSX:en_us’. This seems like an oversight? What do you reckon?

iphone simulator

New Omnigraffle stencil for Rails

posted by Duncan at 2:43 pm on July 22nd, 2006

Ruby on Rails Omnigraffle stencil by metaskills.netMetaskills have created a new Omnigraffle stencil for Ruby on Rails. Omnigraffle is a great OSX tool for creating visulisations of any kind. If you use OSX then its a must for this type of thing.

It says it’s semi-complete but it seems to have the basics you’ll need to create a rails project model schema.

My first run using the NIKE+iPod pedometer

posted by Duncan at 12:49 pm on July 15th, 2006

UPDATE: Do you also need those special Nike Trainers? NO, see below.

I got the latest product from Apple and Nike yesterday on the way home from work. I do a bit of running and use a Heart rate monitor but the having a pedometer is much easier for pace setting. I did a quick 2.5 mile run this morning and I love this thing already. Just plug it into your ipod and press go, and you’re off!

My first run using the Nike+Ipod pedometer

You can choose your distance or run free and once you start your run you get feedback straight away from either a male or female voice. Once I had finished my run I just plugged in the ipod and itunes asked if I wanted to sync with the Nike site. The photo you see above is the result. As you can see I overcooked my run a bit and petered off at the end. As time goes on it will be intersting to see if my running improves.

Nike ipod puck in non-Nike shoe

UPDATE One thing I forgot to say was that I don’t own and did not want a pair of those special Nike trainers that have the hole in the sole for you to stick your pedometer in. I just used my normal running shoes and manged to fit the pedemeter to them with a bit of persuading

Puddle screensaver on OSX

posted by Duncan at 7:53 pm on November 23rd, 2005

I’m not normally a follower of screen-savers per-say, but my colleague Tristan had this great screen-saver on his Mac when I walked pass his desk today.

It’s called Loadsawater and is completely free. It makes the screen go into pool of water mode and looks really nice.

Safari with Omniweb style thumbs

posted by Duncan at 10:43 pm on September 27th, 2005

This Safari plugin is the king of all plugins. Thumbnails in the side bar a-la Omniweb.

Pimp My Safari

Just so cool. I’m not sure how long this plugin has been around but I’ve only just spotted it.

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