2016 - State of the art
At the start of 2015 I mention that there were still issues with Swift, and this was indeed the case, although we really did not expect problems with the existing SpriteKit. Problems started with the beta for Xcode 7 in early June, although Apple added a number of new gaming features to the SpriteKit API they also somehow managed to break a few critical areas that had previously worked well. We have been actively working with Apple over the year to log bugs and to be fair Apple have now fixed (or suggested workarounds) for a lot of the issues that had plagued us over the year.
We have reworked out current project “Lunanaut” a number of times, some areas like the new GameplayKit State Machine have served us well, others like adding Texture Atlases to XCAssets have given us no end of problems. I am happy that we are now on the right track, a lot of what we did in 2015 was developing methodologies and creating workflows that should serve us well for years to come. Also one aspect of indie development that you don’t quite comprehend when starting out as a solo developer is that you are doing everything, writing code, designing gameplay, producing sounds and creating graphics, although hugely rewarding its a lot of work over a very diverse area.
The plan for 2016 is to complete “Lunanaut” whilst at the same time developing concept testbeds for future projects. I also plan to enhance our understanding and ability with Swift, although I now feel completely at home with the language Apple is constantly tinkering, Swift is a living language and that quite often means that new releases are not always source compatible with older (or even current) projects. Its going to be a fun year, in the last 5 years mobile games have gone from simple 1980s style games to near console quality. Currently there is no sign of this trend stopping, as the power of mobile hardware increases so to does what you can do with it, exciting times indeed.