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Swift based iPhone Game Development Process

by Juned Ghanchi on 11/16/17 09:28:00 am

The following blog post, unless otherwise noted, was written by a member of Gamasutra’s community.
The thoughts and opinions expressed are those of the writer and not Gamasutra or its parent company.


Why do game developers prefer ios (iPhone OS)?

Developers who develop games on the iOS platform do not need to worry much about the compatibility of devices. Mobile game developers also believe that the iOS platform is easy than Android platform as it is fast to wireframe, code, and test new apps on iOS platform.

Moreover, it has been observed that over the year’s iPhone users spend considerably more in applications and games making iOS game development more financially rewarding. However, you need to stay updated with the latest generations of iPhones to prevent your new, sophisticated gaming app from facing any challenges.

You need to integrate all the latest mobile gaming technologies and user-friendly features with iPhone’s innovative and advanced features to provide the best iPhone games across different genres and categories. Integrating attractive graphics and an exciting gameplay makes the game more interactive and helps monetize an addicting iPhone game. Cutting-edge gaming tools are now available for minimizing the time and cost of iPhone game development.

Game development process for iPhone

With the release of a large number of games, you need to beat the competition with your game, so the very first step is to pick an original game idea. It may take hours or even days or months to get an original idea. But you should start only when you have an original idea. However, keep the game challenging. Once you are satisfied that your idea is lucrative and original, layout the groundwork and detail out the finer aspects of the game. Choose the game design that is right for your game and finalize it. The actual game development process starts after this. You need to create all the game assets by coding. These include mainly the game objects, background, sound effects, and animations. For this graphics, resources can be assessed. The most helpful graphics resources include OpenGameArt, Unity Asset Store, GameArt2D, Scirra, Game Assets at Reddit. Then the U/UX design elements, wireframe, prototype, and architecture are finalized. The levels need to be defined and integrated with the game assets and design components. This is followed by QA and testing followed by debugging and change management based on user feedback after deployment.

When you want to develop games on the iPhone, Apple’s Swift programming language is the most preferred choice. Thus, iPhone app developers have at their exposure, the ease of Swift programming language, the power of Xcode8 development environment, and revolutionary tools and features of Apple’s technologies, to develop the most innovative games ever.

Try to include maximum features of the iPhone such as the accelerometer, touch screen, and other unique iPhone controls for making successful games exclusively for the iPhones. It is also advisable to break the game into parts, build or modify game engines, and publish multiple games.

iOS gaming tools

Now Apple is providing powerful suite of game technologies like the Metal (for maximizing graphics), SceneKit (enables creation of 3D animated scenes and effects), SpriteKit (helps create power efficient and high performance 2D games), ReplayKit (for sharing gameplay recordings or broadcasting live games), GameplayKit (tools and techniques to implement latest gameplay algorithms), Model I/O (for managing the 3D assets), Game Center (for helping users/gamers track tracking scores on leaderboard, comparing achievements, and starting multiplayer game by auto-matching), Game Controller (for designing game controllers), On-Demand resources (for optimizing on-demand resources).

Certain developers, however, found Flash much easier than Objective C (used before Swift) for writing games. However, a new programmer can use a ‘drag and drop’ game creation library, like GameSalad that is designed specifically for creating games for the iPhone. Other development platforms that may be used by independent game developers include Construct 2, GameMaker, Styncyl, Multimedia Fusion 2, Gideros Mobile, Livecode, Game Editor.

Game engines

Game engines provide the basic elements of the game through software programming. You may use either iOS specific game engines such as iTorque (MIT open source software 2d game-editor), Sparrow (free-to-use and open source, Objective-C based), Oolong (written in C++, free-to-use), Newton (free, open source life-like-physics simulation library), DragonFire (C++ 2D iOS development), NinevehGL (3D engine built on OpenGL ES with Objective C), Cocos2D (for 2D games), Bork3D (low cost 3D game engine), Kobold2D (easy and powerful version of Cocos2D).

Alternatively, cross-platform game engines and libraries may be used. These include Unity Mobile (mobile version of 3D Unity engine), Corona SDK, Edgelib (2D and 3D middleware game engine), Emo, Unreal Development Kit, JMonkey Engine (free, open source JavaOpen GL engine), ShiVa3D, Libdx (free, multiple use), Papaya social game engine (2D engine), MoSync (light weight tool), PhoneGap, NME (free, open source), SIO2 (2D and 3D gameengine, OpenGLES based), Marmalade, BattryTech, App Game Kit, Antiryad Gx (multicore 3D and 2D game engine).


With such exhaustive resources provided by Apple you can dive into iOS game development with ease, thus making iOS game development not only a paying hobby but also a successful career. All you need to do is to take it seriously while keeping yourself updated with the latest developments in the field.


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