The Ur-Quan Masters Discussion Forum

The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release => General UQM Discussion => Topic started by: ybakos on October 08, 2008, 08:05:23 pm



Title: iPhone version?
Post by: ybakos on October 08, 2008, 08:05:23 pm
UQM could make a great moment-by-moment iPhone game. Would you like to see an OS X port specifically for the iPhone?



Title: Re: iPhone version?
Post by: guesst on October 13, 2008, 11:08:40 pm
Of course I'd like to see an iPhone version. You know anyone who can do it?


Title: Re: iPhone version?
Post by: Nixon on October 23, 2008, 11:39:33 pm
Would love to c this on my iphone! seriously !!!!


Title: Re: iPhone version?
Post by: untogether on December 03, 2008, 01:57:58 pm
I'd love to see a version for the iPhone. Given that it's OSX-based I would imagine that it's not too difficult from a technical viewpoint. The issue would be UI, which clearly needs a lot of changes to be usable.

On a larger scale, I think something like an iPhone version could do a lot to promote UQM to the masses- it's very popular (when you include the iPod Touch too) and the App Store has few truely compelling games. I imagine a lot of people would give it a go if it turned up in the free section of the App Store.


Title: Re: iPhone version?
Post by: Novus on December 03, 2008, 03:11:06 pm
I'd love to see a version for the iPhone. Given that it's OSX-based I would imagine that it's not too difficult from a technical viewpoint. The issue would be UI, which clearly needs a lot of changes to be usable.
SDL has been ported to the iPhone and Apple seems to distribute an SDK (http://developer.apple.com/iphone/program/) free of charge. However, distributing to the public requires developer registration and a Developer Program membership ($99) (due to Apple requiring binaries to be signed).

The best user interface I can think of involves an on-screen gamepad/keyboard (as a bonus, this could be context-sensitive, showing only the currently available features); multi-touch would, I guess, make this sort of usable. You could use the accelerometer, but you still need more buttons. With a 320480 display, you could use the bottom half as an input device (avoiding the problems of obscuring the display and scaling).

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On a larger scale, I think something like an iPhone version could do a lot to promote UQM to the masses- it's very popular (when you include the iPod Touch too) and the App Store has few truely compelling games. I imagine a lot of people would give it a go if it turned up in the free section of the App Store.
The problem here, like with many hand-held and console devices, is the lack of developers who actually have one of these devices and care about developing for it. Making developers jump through hoops to distribute their work isn't going to make it easier, either.


Title: Re: iPhone version?
Post by: untogether on December 03, 2008, 07:42:39 pm
SDL has been ported to the iPhone and Apple seems to distribute an SDK (http://developer.apple.com/iphone/program/) free of charge. However, distributing to the public requires developer registration and a Developer Program membership ($99) (due to Apple requiring binaries to be signed).

I know, I've looked into it myself before for other projects... I am tempted to sign up at some point, irritating though it is.

I'm a C# man (boo hiss) by the nature of my job, but I've long been keen to take a dive into something a little more cross-platform. Maybe I'll start looking at the source code- I'm sure it'll be months before I even know what I'm doing with it, but still.

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The best user interface I can think of involves an on-screen gamepad/keyboard (as a bonus, this could be context-sensitive, showing only the currently available features); multi-touch would, I guess, make this sort of usable. You could use the accelerometer, but you still need more buttons. With a 320480 display, you could use the bottom half as an input device (avoiding the problems of obscuring the display and scaling).

I got as far as thinking about SuperMelee- acceleration button on the left, primary and secondary fire on the right, and accelerometer for steering. Combine that with the iPhone's internet capabilities and you'd have a pretty compelling multiplayer game. What kind of connection speeds are needed for the internet multiplayer, as is?

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The problem here, like with many hand-held and console devices, is the lack of developers who actually have one of these devices and care about developing for it. Making developers jump through hoops to distribute their work isn't going to make it easier, either.

No doubt. As I said, I'm going to take a peek at the source code, mostly out of my own curiosity really, so no-one reading this message should think I'll ever have anything to show for it.

...but wouldn't it be awesome? Hah.


Title: Re: iPhone version?
Post by: argonux on February 01, 2009, 01:39:08 pm
I am considering porting it with accelerator support.
Would you guys hunt me down and try to kill me if I'd charge 0.99$ for it on iTunes?
I will ofcourse release all the sources as required by the license but I also want to add several gaming servers to match players and act as intermediaries for players behind firewalls.


Title: Re: iPhone version?
Post by: meep-eep on February 01, 2009, 04:02:34 pm
The game content is released under the CC BY-NC-SA license, so commercial distribution of that is not permitted.


Title: Re: iPhone version?
Post by: Novus on February 01, 2009, 04:18:10 pm
The game content is released under the CC BY-NC-SA license, so commercial distribution of that is not permitted.

Quote from: sc2/COPYING
The content may also be copied freely as part of a distribution of The Ur-Quan Masters.
Isn't this supposed to mean that commercial unmodified distribution is OK?


Title: Re: iPhone version?
Post by: meep-eep on February 01, 2009, 06:27:59 pm
Oh, good point. You're right.


Title: Re: iPhone version?
Post by: argonux on February 01, 2009, 09:43:11 pm
Regardless of the legal question, which doesn't seem to be an issue,
What are your personal thoughts?
I don't want to be a piranha and I understand that this is a community project, but the port to iphone seems to require quite a bit of time and effort in terms of code changes to adjust the controls.


Title: Re: iPhone version?
Post by: pnakotus on February 16, 2009, 12:57:27 am
Plenty of iPhone games use virtual sticks, it's not  a big deal.  For fine control, however, I'd suggest use a virtual stick on the left side of the screen for turning, and have three buttons on the right for thrust/primary/alt.  A virtual stick isn't precise enough to handle both thrust and turning in a game like SC2 where it has to be both fast AND accurate.  Look at Dropship for examples.  The non-melee sections should just use regular touch control, which might require some coding for menus.

Since the game isn't widescreen, there's plenty of screen real-estate to put buttons in in a thematic way, and multi-touch could even suggest other implementations.  There's plenty of scope for options and configuration - the excellent Blue Attack can use either accel or touch controls, for instance.

Let's not forget that iPhone = money.  If you charge $1 everyone will buy it; if you charge $5 the fans will buy it, and if you charge $10 nobody will buy it.  The 'no-brainer' range is about 1-3 dollars, so port it, but it up at the lowest price you can live with, and watch it pay for the app dev licence in the first day.

In short, the controls are practical, the platform is good, and it's potentially profitable (or at very least not expensive).  So long as someone is prepared to work with the code to get controls working, I think it's a great idea.


Title: Re: iPhone version?
Post by: quux on February 28, 2009, 01:05:00 am
I looked into doing an iPhone port a few months ago, but at that point SDL for iPhone was in a very early state so I didn't get very far with it. Dunno how mature SDL is now...

If some people want to work on a port I'd be willing to help with development and testing on a real device. I've already payed the $99 for a developer account with apple, so I'd be willing to distribute UQM via my account for free.


Title: Re: iPhone version?
Post by: quux on February 28, 2009, 05:01:48 am
I've posted a question on Stackoverflow about SDL on iPhone and how to best do a port of a project like UQM to iPhone. We'll see what the Stackoverflow guys have to say:

http://stackoverflow.com/questions/597459/how-mature-is-sdl-for-iphone (http://stackoverflow.com/questions/597459/how-mature-is-sdl-for-iphone)