But I'm not too upset with that, it's a feeling I've had since day three or so. That makes it my fourth game on indefinite hold so far. Three of the four had lousy controls in common, the fourth was supposed to be a co-op developed with another guy, but he never showed any interest.
The next game I'll tackle is going to be the prototype 3D game editor. The absolutely best part about it is dogfooding: I can fiddle with my own stuff until I'm satisfied. If run with it and let it evolve, I'm sure others will like it too. This will be my first great game, and it's not even a game. But it sure aligns with my obnoxious way of developing a homebrew game engine instead of games.
If it wasn't for the App Store Review Guideline 2.7 "Apps that download code in any way or form will be rejected," I could easily add end-user surveys (i.e. rating and possibly optional feedback) where you'd instantly know if the game idea is any good. Sort of like an instant App Store-within-the-App Store but with no money, no big dragons and no polish. I think that part would have been instantly gratifying, like codepen but for 3D games. Oh well, the tool will have to speak for itself.
This is what I'm thinking:
- iterative builds on computer, when you're done you instantly shoot it over to the iPhone/iPad (this will have to be protected somehow or Review Guideline 2.7 will bite me again);
- I'll add a simple Python text editor and interpreter in the iOS version as well, so you can fiddle on the bus (a feature I'd use myself I if I ever went by bus);
- code can also be downloaded from the device to the computer while the app is in the foreground;
- 50 lines of code should be enough for the basic versions of games such as Breakout, Tron or Space Invaders;
- The initial installation will include ~10 examples of various kinds.
The hard part is the API. What I'll try to do is to make some very different games in it, and if I manage to make all of those both small and minimalistic, the API should be good. Less will always be more in this case, it is for game mechanic prototyping only.