Last week we were very pleased to announce our work on the Infurious “appController”. This was a means to remote control our gaming apps allowing you to sit in comfort while playing the game. In that article we briefly mentioned having the game screen reflect its contents onto a large screen display. Today we have managed to get the final touches put together to tie the appController with your BIG screen television, and boy does it look good.
Apple products are all about simplicity. The way things just seem to work, without a whole load of configuration settings, fiddling about with various parameters, etc. We at Infurious love that approach and have been looking at ways to include the same philosophy in our gaming system.
We had to overcome two main areas of problems in order to keep things as simple as possible. The first was syncing the appController with our chosen game and the second was syncing the game with the large format television.
We looked at various ways and techniques employed to help achieve this, while keeping the amount of setup to a bare minimum and this, we hope, we have achieved.
The appController - Apple provide a nice simple and clean interface to help developers connect multiple iOS devices together in the form of GameKit. Though it looks well, it seemed to us to be an unnecessary step, given the fact that we know what is the game and what is the controller, so we were able to dispense with this formality and let the game act as a first come, first served basis.
We did however create a console mode with any of our supported iPad games. This searches for any controllers looking to sync with the game, and provides checks if the Apple Game Center is active on the players controller and if so, automatically downloads their username and Avatar.
Once completed gaming information is passed back and forward between the game and controller and as long as the controller can access the game then everything just works. You do have to be careful with battery dying while in play, and allow the game to sort problems when they arise.
The BIG Screen - Connecting the gaming iPad to your BIG screen proved to be a bit of a no brainer. Once you see it up there, you just stand and stare. The colours pop out at you and the crisp detail is superb.
We found it was easy to just allow the user to control how and when the BIG screen can be connected. Everything is automatic. Simply plug in the screen and the game moves control from the iPad to television. Unplug and the action return back to the iPad screen again. What could be simpler. No need to worry about over/under scan from your television, the gaming system takes care of all that for you.
The Future - So what does this mean for the future of our gaming apps?
We are currently still developing the final pieces of the puzzle before getting the appController to the Apple App Store. Our DestructANT game for the iPad has been our main testbed and as such, will be the first game to be made available for the appController and attaching onto the BIG screen. This should be quickly followed with the lite version of Tanks 1on1. The full version of the game may allow up to six players to take part at the same time, but we’ll wait and see first.
We have a number of great ideas in the pipeline, two of these are major works in development.