Sunday, April 18, 2010

iPadDevCamp Hackathon

So I'm at iPadDevCamp, doing their hackathon. I entered this camp kinda thinking that I'd be doing a little coding, mostly listening to lectures.

Instead, I may have stumbled across the most brilliant idea for gaming on the iPad. Here's my little spiel on my revelation:

So what makes the iPad unique? Most simply, it has a large touch screen. The iPhone/iPod touch screen is small, making it primarily a solo experience, maybe accommodating one other player. The iPad is huge in comparison, allowing for many people to view it at one time, and can handle up to ten touches. With just fingers, the iPad provides an excellent platform for gaming. There are plenty of games coming out which tend to use iPhones as controllers. Although it's definitely cool, I think that might be a mistake. Not everyone has an iPhone/iPod on them (as much as we'd like to dream), but everyone has fingers. The iPad has a touch screen, people. It is a controller in of itself.

So what resulted over two days of intense coding was Whorl'd Champions (many more whorl'd puns incoming). It currently supports two game modes, Twisted Whorl'd and Whorl'd in Motion. Twisted Whorl'd is a variant of Twister for the iPad (players have to keep their fingers on circles of a given color). Whorl'd in Motion has players trying to keep their finger on a single moving circle, all the while bumping and colliding against other enemy players.

Code for it can be found at:
http://github.com/davidliu/Whorl-d-Champions
However, the code is extremely shoddy, and probably should be reworked from the ground up. What you SHOULD take away from this app is the core idea behind this: Multiple people, multiple fingers, one screen. I think this is a complete shift in design that many of the iPad game companies are completely missing, and I hope that everyone will take to heart as iPad development continues.

Edit: It won Honorable Mention, behind Tank Or Die. A little sad, but kinda expected it. A lot of other projects had a vast majority of polish behind it, especially Tank Or Die, a top-down tank shooting game with iPhone controllers, very nice graphics and some chiptune music that I recognize and adore (though the title escapes me). Ours was really dinky. One look and anyone would choose Tank Or Die.

I'm just glad that our dinky little hack got some recognition. I'm hoping that more game companies will catch on. Either that or I start creating some more polished hacks and get some extra side cash from the App Store.

Edit 2:
Here's me, doddering through my presentation:
http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/6284262