Best Engine/Framework For iPhone Turn Based Strategy?

Apprentice
Posts: 6
Joined: 2010.08
Post: #1
I am relatively new to programming games for the iPhone, but I'm a quick study! Rasp

I want to make a turn based strategy game where you trace out your moves before the round starts, and when you hit play you get to watch how your pawn interacts with the board and other pieces.

What would be the best and/or simplest game engine to do this on? Could Cocos2d handle it, or even iTorque 2D? I notice most of the games developed on those engines are action games.

If you guys get a chance, could you please point me in the right direction as I begin my great long journey? Thanks so very much!
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Moderator
Posts: 916
Joined: 2002.10
Post: #2
If you're doing simple 2D, Cocos2d could more than handle it. I would suggest downloading cocos2d and the iPhone SDK and giving it a whirl. Once you've set that up, build the project and check out some of the test demos.

For this, I would pay special attention to the TMXTiledMap demos (at least I think of tiled maps when you talk about turn based strategy).

Asides from framework and engine, I would also suggest you draw out your ideas on to-scale iphone paper (notepod.net or your own drawn on notebook paper will work). I suggest this because when developing in the simulator, you often forget the actual size of this thing and how scrunched up a UI can get.
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Sage
Posts: 1,482
Joined: 2002.09
Post: #3
For a UI and text heavy game, I would seriously consider just using the normal iPhone UI elements. This makes it easy to lay out your UI, update text and respond to button presses. Just skin all your buttons and backgrounds with images. If you only have a few objects moving on the screen at once and no scrolling around, the hardware accelerated compositing will do a fine job of drawing everything.

Text rendering in Cocos2D is more performance oriented instead of easy to use. You'll end up laying everything out in code by typing in coordinates by hand. Similarly, handling touch events and such will be more difficult as well.

If you want to have have big, scrolling, layered scenes with lots of particles and sprites this will be more difficult to do with Cocoa and probably too slow. You can still always use Cocoa for the UI and Cocos2D for the game rendering.

Scott Lembcke - Howling Moon Software
Author of Chipmunk Physics - A fast and simple rigid body physics library in C.
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Apprentice
Posts: 6
Joined: 2010.08
Post: #4
Thanks so much for the advice! I've been playing around a bit in TGB demo because it seemed the most polished and was impressed. The initial price tag is a bit off-putting, but it seems like a very powerful engine and worth it ultimately.

The game's levels shouldn't be too large, essentially a game board, and not many layers to the graphics either. Minimal particle effects as well, at least as far as I'm envisioning it. So maybe it's overkill for what I want.

I've quickly discovered that coding this is going to be way over my head, and am in need of a developer who is interested. I can probably handle the vector graphics as well as the marketing since I run my own marketing and web design company. What's the best way to go about this? What should I budget to get a game developed?

After reading the "Want to make cool iPhone game" sticky in the classifieds thread, I know you guys are very experienced, and I'd love to hear your advice so I don't make the same awesome mistakes.

Here's a quick outline of the game:

• Relatively simple concept, focusing on fun pick up and play gameplay, easy to learn but hard to master, emphasizing fun and casual gameplay.

• 2D Top down turn based strategy

• Computer AI / Pass and Play support / Multiplayer support via bluetooth and online (openfeint?)

• Up to six players/computers enter in moves before the round starts then push play and watch all the moves play out at the same time

• Points awarded successful completion of objectives, which can then be used to purchase upgrades and enhancements for future rounds

• Future iPad support

Essentially that's it, though likely that's already complicated enough. I'm trying to avoid feature creep with this project, though I've got plenty of additional features like in game purchases that can be added if it proves mildly successful and profitable, so it could be a nice long term project.
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Moderator
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Post: #5
(Aug 23, 2010 11:24 PM)Brawnydt Wrote:  Here's a quick outline of the game:

• Relatively simple concept, focusing on fun pick up and play gameplay, easy to learn but hard to master, emphasizing fun and casual gameplay.

• 2D Top down turn based strategy

• Computer AI / Pass and Play support / Multiplayer support via bluetooth and online (openfeint?)

• Up to six players/computers enter in moves before the round starts then push play and watch all the moves play out at the same time

• Points awarded successful completion of objectives, which can then be used to purchase upgrades and enhancements for future rounds

• Future iPad support

Essentially that's it, though likely that's already complicated enough. I'm trying to avoid feature creep with this project, though I've got plenty of additional features like in game purchases that can be added if it proves mildly successful and profitable, so it could be a nice long term project.
These are very high level requirements, and only one or 2 make any affect on what "engine/framework" you want.

My best suggestion is to start getting dirty and whip up some prototypes. Refactoring later is trivial once you have an idea of the complexity, and a deeper understanding of the requirements
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Member
Posts: 54
Joined: 2010.10
Post: #6
We're getting a sane frame rate out of our in development game (in my sig) for iPad and we've not finished optimising the display code yet. I'd say that anything you have working on the phone should run at least as fast on the pad if your engine is any good. Might be worth checking that fact with the vendor if you're considering buying one in.

Paul Johnson
Great Little War Game
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Post: #7
(Aug 17, 2010 12:13 PM)Brawnydt Wrote:  I want to make a turn based strategy game where you trace out your moves before the round starts, and when you hit play you get to watch how your pawn interacts with the board and other pieces.

Going just by the description, there's a more-than-passing resemblance to my iPhone game! :-)
http://www.mindthecube.com/games/pawns-for-iphone
(Mine's a puzzle game, not strategy.)

Anyway, I'm using Unity for this game. If you don't want a 3D look, then maybe Unity isn't the way to go just yet (though their 2D kit is expected in the coming months.) For desktop or browser I would consider it anyway; entry level Unity license is free, and you could do much of your development that way, even release for the desktop/browser. The iPhone license does cost money though.

Good luck..

Measure twice, cut once, curse three or four times.
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