Jesse Venbrux iOS Help

    Jesse Venbrux Blog — Our friend Jesse Venbrux, developer of popular titles such as They Need to be Fed, had left a blog post giving everyone a nice set of tips for when they are developing their games that they hope to be apps. This nice post gives you information about what you can do to prevent your game from being rejected. In short, these are some of the things you have to do, and the things that you SHOULD do.

Let me go through and analyze his post:
All these different devices have different resolutions. iPhone (retina and the “old” 480×320), the iPad, as well as later possibly PSP, Android etc. Unfortunately at the moment it’s not easy changing your game from one res to the other. I had to change the room sizes of a bunch of levels manually which is annoying with a lot of levels. I don’t know whether YoYo Games has a solution for this yet (or whether I missed one) but simply changing view sizes through code doesn’t work; the iOS version takes the actual sizes in the room editor.
For this and other reasons you should be sure to be 100% done before you do other versions. I can tell you it’s a pain changing small details over and over in different versions. Unfortunately this will happen inevitably because you’re never 100% done. : )
Also to keep in mind is that not all devices have the same screen ratio. For example iPad’s 1024×768 is 4:3 and iPhone’s 480×320 is 16:9 (if I’m correct).
    As he said in this section you need to be sure that all your rooms are set perfectly with the resolution of the device that the executable is going to be used for. It think it may be best if you duplicate every room during your development process, that way you can save time later on while you are trying to get your game submitted, you will also save YoYo Games a lot of time since they won't have to go over your game twice!

    He wrote a paragraph on how small rooms can lead to your game feeling claustrophobic. In rooms that you stay in the same room for a long time it is very important to make it feel very free and open. He said that is can be really annoying to feel claustrophobic on a small screen like on an iPhone. So be very careful when doing your rooms.
    He notes that when you are doing your graphics that using vectors are best, as they can maintain good quality while scaling. He explained how the iPhone using the same graphics as the iPad except they are scaled down 1.5 times. He said they were able to use view_scale.
Touch controls
Games actually designed for the touch screen work best on the device. Clicking on stuff, dragging stuff, drawing lines. However when you make such a game keep one thing in mind: Your finger will be in the way! This might not be obvious when using the mouse on your pc. Many iOS games solved this problem by having you interact with the game and then “sit back”, such as in Angry Birds, where you shoot the bird away and then watch, and Cut The Rope where you only need your finger for quick slices cutting the ropes.
     This is a very important thing that I never even thought of while I was working on iOS games. It seems obvious that your hand is going to be in the way of the screen but never came into my mind while developing. Glad that he mentioned it here! Everyone should definitely watch out for this while you are developing your games!
Virtual keys
On iPhone I prefer games that are designed specifically for touch, but of course when you have some PC game concept it’s easy to just port it and use virtual buttons on screen. I’m guilty of this myself! When you do use virtual keys, make sure they are big enough and in comfortable positions. Try holding your hands in the positions on your own device (or any object that comes close enough if you don’t have one) to see how it feels. Especially on iPad I noticed you need to be careful. My hands aren’t small so I had no problems with my initial button positions…. until someone with smaller hands played it. If you don’t have an iPad (like me, I could only test when I was at YoYo) make a paper one!
I recommend making the actual touchable areas much bigger than the button’s graphics. It should be easy to play the game in different situations (portable device after all) and for people with different hands.
    Another very nice thing to talk about! If you didn't know virtual keys would be the ones that you want in the game that replace keys on the keyboard (up, down, a, ect.). These are very important to place in a comfortably position and make them a reasonable size so that people can use them easily. For the iPhone 100x100 would probably be a good size, 80x80 may work as well (if you prefer binary), I'm not exactly sure since I don't own one myself. As for iPad, I would suggest going larger, but not too large. maybe 150x150 graphics would work well depending on the game, in some games you may want to be very large, like 128x128. It really depends on the device and the game.
App Icon
Design a good app icon that clearly shows what the game is about. Don’t just put in the name of your game. The best example of this I can think of is Cut The Rope, where the icon essentially shows you the entire concept in a simple picture:

(You cut the rope to get the candy into the creatures mouth).
     As you read it is very important to make a descriptive icon. It doesn't matter if you are no good at graphics, go to the Game Maker Community and under the graphics category show everyone your game and ask for an icon. Icons are simple and small so people should get it done really fast! I think that app icons are 57x57 pixel graphics, so make sure you tell everyone the size and be specific! YoYo Games requires a 57x57, 72x72, 114x114 and 512x512 size, make sure that you use .png format.

Jesse also provided everyone with some pictures of him doing hard work at YoYo Games:

    If you have any further questions feel feel to ask me at

Hope this helped,
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  1. Hi,
    I have a few problems with your conclusions. Especially with your numbers.

    1) App icons are not 64x64, but 57x57 (and you need to make different sized versions, this is discussed in YoYo's Base Line Spec).

    2) Virtual keys of 32x32 are extremely small. I recommend at least 100 pixels. And what's the deal with multitudes? There's no reason to use 16,32,128 etc, any number is fine.

    I'm not sure I see the point of this article, but thanks for featuring me anyway.

  2. Here's a tip for your writing: try to make your news articles smaller than the original article.

  3. Sorry, I don't own a iOS device, and I was just told to write this article. So I did my best based off what I knew. Although I should've done more research, I have looked through some pages online and edited the post with correct numbers.

    Happy to feature you anytime Jesse!

    Thank you,

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