iPhone Emulator / Leopard Questions

Sage
Posts: 1,066
Joined: 2004.07
Post: #1
[Feel free to move this. Figured I'd just make one post instead of two, but I couldn't find a good place to stick this.]

So I'm looking to get back into Mac game development more and I'm thinking the iPhone is going to be a part of that. I'm not going to be getting an iPhone until October (when AT&T will let me have one at the $199 price point), so until then I was considering just using the emulator that comes with the SDK. Now currently I only have Tiger so this would require an OS upgrade as well.

So my question is basically is it worth it? Is the emulator good enough that it would be worth upgrading to Leopard now knowing I won't have an actual iPhone for another three months?

On a somewhat related note, moving back to OS X game development, how is Core Animation for making 2D games? Is it possible to make, say, a full 2D sidescroller using just Core Animation or would it be better to just use OpenGL for that? Just trying to see what I'm going to want to start (re-)learning as I move back to OS X (part time, of course. I could never leave my XNA for good. Rasp).
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Moderator
Posts: 508
Joined: 2002.09
Post: #2
The simulator (not emulator) is good enough for basic development. If you need to use the MediaPlayer framework or the accelerometer, then the simulator won't be o any use to you.
However, for my game, it turned out pretty well.

As for you CA question. It should be doable, the CA API is quite easy to understand and to develop for. However, since a sidescroller is usually constantly animating. I don't know if CA is your best option because AFAIK you can only use CA to animate from point A to point B.

"When you dream, there are no rules..."
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Moderator
Posts: 3,577
Joined: 2003.06
Post: #3
The simulator is pretty good. It can definitely get you by for a while, and even though I have a device, I still use it for probably 80% of my builds because deploying to the device takes longer. Just keep in mind that there are significant differences to deal with in terms of performance, and especially with how it's actually used (finger size vs. mouse cursor, no accelerometer in the sim, etc.). A couple months with the simulator will definitely help you get used to iPhone development in general.

As far as Core Animation, I've been using it a lot for animated interface elements. I am not sure how much a person can use it for as far as games. A side-scroller might be too much for it, but I think it's definitely worth learning because it isn't very complicated to pick up.
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Sage
Posts: 1,066
Joined: 2004.07
Post: #4
So I'll be able to start working OpenGL ES (2?) using the simulator? That's one of my larger concerns. I want to make 3D games on the iPhone and want to make sure I'll actually be able to start learning that when I can.
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Sage
Posts: 1,232
Joined: 2002.10
Post: #5
Yes, the simulator supports OpenGL ES.

However be warned the simulator performance is nothing like the device. Use the simulator to develop algorithms and build up ideas. Then, you must profile and optimize on the device.
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Moderator
Posts: 3,577
Joined: 2003.06
Post: #6
We can't say what version of OpenGL ES the iPhone uses without violating NDA, so the best thing to do is sign up for a free iPhone developer account and investigate it yourself. But yes, the simulator does great with OpenGL ES. I would *highly* suggest that you very carefully read some of the suggestions in the introductory (or however you want to look at it without giving it a name) iPhone docs. Pay particularly close attention to the "other" reading material suggestions about the actual hardware used for rendering on the iPhone. I found those suggestions (links) to be extremely helpful. Sorry for being vague, but that's how we gotta roll until NDA is lifted (if it is ever lifted).

[edit] Oh yeah, arekkusu brought up a good point: It can't be stressed enough how important it is to get into the habit of regularly profiling your iPhone apps.
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Sage
Posts: 1,066
Joined: 2004.07
Post: #7
Sounds good. Once I get my next paycheck I'll likely have to pick up Leopard and start poking around. Thanks, guys.
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