Codify. Make Games on your iPad

Discussion in 'iPad Apps' started by TwoLivesLeft, Oct 22, 2011.

  1. TwoLivesLeft, Oct 22, 2011
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2011

    TwoLivesLeft macrumors newbie

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    Adelaide
    #1
    Hi Everyone,

    Edit: Codify is now Available

    I want to share an app with you that I've been working on. It's called Codify. It's the most beautiful code editor on iPad and lets you make just about any visual idea you can think of using iPad's features.



    Who's it for?

    Anyone who is interested in trying out their ideas on an iPad. I use it personally to test interesting game ideas, mechanics and interactions in order to decide whether or not to use them.

    Do you need to know how to code?

    Yes. But Codify is designed to show you results fast, it makes it very easy to experiment and learn. Codify also uses Lua, one of the simplest and most readable programming languages around. Full documentation is built right into the keyboard. It also comes with all the example projects demoed in the video, and more.

    When is it out?

    Codify is approved by Apple and will be released on Wednesday 26 October. Pricing will be $7.99.
     
  2. saberahul macrumors 68040

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    USA
    #2
    From what I can tell, this looks very interesting and I think is the first of its kind on the iPad. Well done, really. Any idea on the pricing or promotional codes?
     
  3. TwoLivesLeft thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #3
    @saberahul pricing will be $7.99 – just edited the OP to reflect this. Thanks, forgot to mention it.

    Do you mean giving promotional codes away on this forum?

    If so, I'm considering giving some away in the appropriate sub-forum – but I'd rather give codes to people who will actually find Codify useful. If you have any suggestions for how I can do this I'd be happy to try.
     
  4. VPrime macrumors 68000

    VPrime

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    Dec 19, 2008
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    London Ontario
    #4
    Looks like a very interesting product... Infact we're working on something similar, but very different..
    Curious, what is the scripting language? Something you created or are you using something like lua? Does the app include documentation for scripting?
     
  5. dugbee macrumors regular

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    Jun 15, 2009
    #5
    This does look interesting. While I have a programming background, I've never done anything with iOS. So is this something that could be used to prototype application interfaces? (would it allow one to access GUI elements like spinners?)

    I guess I'm wondering how much of the iPad's capabilities are accessible via your app. Will the scripting documentation be available outside of the app?

    Thanks!
     
  6. TwoLivesLeft thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #6
    @VPrime Codify uses Lua - full reference documentation is available in-line (the video shows a bit of the in-line documentation browser.)

    @dugbee: Codify is more about creating visual ideas or sketches rather than UI based apps. With regards to iPad capabilities: you have access to Multi-touch and the accelerometer. Codify provides you with a vector and image rendering engine, an audio sfx generator, and a parameter system that you can use to rig up your simulations and games.

    Scripting documentation is available here: Codify Reference Documentation. This is the same documentation that pops up in-app from the reference button on the keyboard.
     
  7. saberahul macrumors 68040

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    #7
    Thanks for the update on the pricing. I was hoping you would just PM me a promo code as this is something very useful to me :)
     
  8. psonice macrumors 6502a

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    Jul 22, 2005
    #8
    Damn, that looks like fun! Maybe not something for 'serious' use for me, but I can see this getting a lot of use on a long flight (and I have 2 of those coming up in December!)

    Couple of suggestions:

    1. Sharing. I guess you already have this, but how does it work? If you have something server based with charts and stuff, I can see that being popular :)

    2. More flexible graphics options? Just thinking this could easily be an iPad equivalent to processing. With core image you have a very convenient 2d engine with pretty easy to learn syntax (at least compared to glsl). It looks like what you already have gives you enough for 2d layout and interaction, add in some effects (and maybe a simple FFT beat/level detector for audio reaction) and you have a whole new aspect to the app, and a whole new bunch of potential customers.

    Anyway, best of luck with it. I'll very likely pick a copy up for those flights.
     
  9. porcupine8 macrumors 6502a

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    Mar 2, 2011
    #9
    This sounds awesome! I have an idea for an app, but haven't programmed in years and I'm not sure I want to lay out the $100 for the dev kit when I'm not totally sure I could actually do it. This would be a great way for me to dip a toe in the app dev waters to see if I really want to dive in. I'll be on the lookout for any promo codes you offer!
     
  10. TwoLivesLeft thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Adelaide
    #10
    @psonice wow, great suggestions!

    I've used Codify on a couple of 8 hour flights just recently. I'm always paranoid my laptop will get crushed by the person in front of me when they lean back :)

    1. I am trying to just get basic sharing (emailing and opening projects) past Apple in the first update. I plan to look into a web based solution too, but these features will have to come after seeing what sorts of things Apple will accept.

    2. Very good ideas. At the moment the engine is GL ES 2.0 for vector graphics and sprite rendering, the API is extremely similar to processing (Codify Docs). CoreImage and image support in general, including being able to read from the iPad 2 camera, is something I would really like to include after some of the more rudimentary updates.

    Regarding audio projects: one of the example projects is a pretty cool, though admittedly simple, drum machine made with the sound generator. (Visible right at the end of the demo video.)


    @porcupine8 Programming is great fun when you can get results quickly, I'm sure you'll pick it up again with some experimenting. Hope Codify helps you get back into it :)
     
  11. phreebsd macrumors regular

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    Aug 6, 2010
    #11
    using Codify, would i be able to make my own app for my forum -basically a mobile version of my website ?
    (just a vbulletin site)
     
  12. TwoLivesLeft thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Adelaide
    #12
    phreebsd Codify is more for making games, visual ideas, trying out interesting touch controls. That sort of thing. It won't be able to build websites.

    There are some mobile web frameworks, like Sencha Touch, that you can use to build mobile web apps. Sorry I can't help you more.
     
  13. dugbee macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2009
    #13
    Just a note, and perhaps it's me: I'm only able to open the Codify reference page via Chrome. Firefox 7, IE 8, and FF under Ubuntu render a blue page with the Codify header, but nothing else. (this is on a PC)

    Anyway, I'm with porcupine8 on wanting to dip my toe into iPad development. To help us better grasp the concept, maybe a SDK vs Codify comparison table? (obviously promoting any rapidity and/or ease of learning with Codify :) ) Are there elements of Codify that would help us get into real iOS development?

    I suppose I'm looking at Codify as something that will help me look at the "fun" stuff while I'm simultaneously getting past "Hello, world." of native iOS programming. Is that a fair assumption?

    Thanks!
     
  14. psonice macrumors 6502a

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    Jul 22, 2005
    #14
    I think it's important to know that this is NOT a replacement for the iOS SDK in any way at all - you won't be able to build "true apps" that you can install separately or sell on the store. You'll need the codify app to launch anything you write (unless there's a separate 'player' app that just runs them but doesn't have an editor? If not, why the hell not? :D) Perhaps a separate tool to create a true iOS app package from a codify project is possible though.

    Think of this more as a fairly simple environment where you can sketch out ideas, learn to program, and just generally have some fun. For a beginner this is a nice way to start (the iOS SDK on the other hand is very much "in at the deep end", you're much better starting with something a little easier if you don't want to give up after a week!) For an experienced coder something like this is a fun tool for playing around, making experimental games and so on. I used something similar a few years back for a "lunch break games" project - I made a complete game during my lunch hour each day for a week. Fun :)


    @TwoLivesLeft: Good point about the sharing, technically you're "running external code" in a way, so definitely get clarification from apple on that before writing a big sharing system. If they'll allow it though, I think you have a very big opportunity with this. I'll send you a PM :)
     
  15. TwoLivesLeft thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Adelaide
    #15
    Edit: I forgot to mention – Codify is now Available

    That's a good question. Codify is far more about expressing your ideas than learning the technical aspects of iOS (or even Lua) programming.

    Native iOS programming has a lot of overhead, if you want to see your results you might have to spend days building your framework and then you can start implementing your content and ideas.

    The philosophy of Codify is more about eliminating the excess and giving you the simplest possible path to getting interactive ideas on the screen. Why? So you can throw out the bad ideas and keep the good ones.

    In Codify you're encouraged to drop all pretense of good code design, doing things the 'right' way. You just do them, no matter how, so you can see them and try them and decide if they are worth your time to explore.

    How you take them further from that point is up to you, but at least you can be sure your idea works.
     
  16. scarnie macrumors newbie

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    Apr 12, 2008
    #16
    Well done

    I'm sure you had some challenges getting it approved (we had ours with C64) :)
     
  17. psonice macrumors 6502a

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    #17
  18. MicroByte macrumors 6502

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    Jul 10, 2008
    #18
    This is fantastic, I'll have to give it a download tonight. I used to do some LUA scripting on the PSP (yes, that PSP) and it was simple enough to get a quick homebrew or concept going very quickly.

    Can you import your own images or do you only have access to a preset library?
     
  19. psonice macrumors 6502a

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    Jul 22, 2005
    #19
    Just went to purchase it - it's now #12 in the uk (top overall chart), and it was #6 in the US. That's a seriously fantastic start :D

    I'll give some feedback when I've had time to play with it (got a really evil bug to fix in one of my own apps today unfortunately!)
     
  20. porcupine8 macrumors 6502a

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    #20
  21. wortek macrumors newbie

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    Oct 28, 2011
    #21
    Hi, I am thrilled with your App, being a professional iOS developer myself I want to try it out. Could you give me a promocode to try out your app?
     
  22. psonice macrumors 6502a

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    Jul 22, 2005
    #22
    I've had a bit of a play with codify over the weekend and written a couple of things with it, so here's a few 'first impressions'.

    First, overall impression of the app: Brilliant. It's beautifully made, very well thought out, and lots of fun to play with. For such a complex app, and for the initial release, I'm really impressed. I'll be using it a lot - normally with a few spare minutes and the iPad, I read a bit of the news or a book, or play a quick game. Now I fire this up and start messing about :)

    There are a few bits that need work still though:

    - Text. There's no way (that I can see at least) to put text on screen. So you can make a game, but not add a score counter. This is a bit frustrating, but it is possible to write text to the little output/debug window on the lower left so you can see what's going on.

    - Editing. Actually the editor is great, I've been using it with the on-screen keyboard only without any real issues. It could get better though - switching between letters and numbers is annoying. There's a brackets button which is useful, but only supports regular brackets. How about tap-hold for [] and {} ? The += button too, tap-hold for *=, /= etc? Also the +*/ etc. button could remember the last symbol for a tap, and use tap-hold for access to all the others.

    - Graphics. You can pick from the provided (and high quality) graphics easily, but they're quite limited. An option to load a graphics set would be useful (iTunes sharing or maybe web download - make a zip, filename is the name of the set, fill it with .pngs (again filename is the image name) perhaps?) A font set would be useful until some text support is present :)

    - Autocomplete. It's really useful, but it'd be more so if it added brackets and space for the parameters (Xcode style), or at least put commas in e.g. "rect(,,,)". It'd be helpful if it completed function/variable/class names too.

    - Sharing, of course - good luck with that update! :D

    The app seems pretty solid so far, I've encountered just one bug where text layout got corrupted a bit, nothing of too much concern. Again, for an app this complex it's a very good sign :)

    Overall, I think this is a great app. It looked potentially great in the video, and it's not really let me down. The criticisms I have aren't major, I'd say it's already good but should get even better with updates.
     
  23. master-ceo macrumors 65816

    master-ceo

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    #23
    This app is the future of what iOS should be. It should only get better. The music apps, emulators and now Codify pushed the envelope. :cool:
     

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