Tom Whipple

WWDC Day 2: Games, Networking and More

Today, I attended a session on networking and a couple of game overview sessions. The networking session was interesting, though not in a way that any non-developers would care about. The games sessions were interesting, since I haven’t done much in the way of game development in the past, though this may change. The capabilities of the new OS, especially with the new hardware are absolutely fantastic. We’ve had accelerometer control since forever, which is just neat. Now, we add peer to peer gaming via bluetooth or WiFi so that users can have multi-player games across the room or across the world. The new phone adds a GPU, allowing amazing video effects. The addition of OpenAL means that 3D sound can be part of the game experience as well. (There’s also a magnetometer/compass, though it isn’t clear how that helps game development, but I’m sure someone will do something cool with it.) In one of the sessions yesterday it was mentioned that a high percentage of the apps up on the App Store are games. It is clear that Apple recognizes that the iPhone is not just a smart phone, but is poised to become a leading mobile game platform as well. In many of the sessions, I find myself pulling out my iPhone or MacBook to jot down another idea for an application or product. Apple has provided developers with a lot of tools to express their creativity without having to keep track of minor details. It makes the idea of going back to the day job even more depressing, since I know that my employer has no incentive or motivation to explore these technologies, even though they could be tremendously useful. (No doubt there will be a post on this topic at some point in the future, though probably not soon.) On an unrelated note, I was able to fix a serious bug in an app I have in development after talking to some of the Apple engineers in a lab. And, we don’t even have to mandate 3.0 for our users as I first feared. Now, I just have to re-submit the fixed version and then off to find a party…