Friday, July 27, 2007

Arkonoid Game on the iPhone?

Somewhere I found after fishing around on the internet, an Arkonoid clone done completely in DHTML. Although not perfect, this game by Scott Schiller I consider it well done.

I did notice that the game did not work in IE6. I haven't tested it in IE7 yet. It worked fine in FireFox and Safari running on a Windows XP box.

And, what I'm really trying to get to is it runs on an iPhone (sort-of). Scott mentions that he modified the game to work on the iPhone (sort-of), so, Wednesday night after dinner, I bid my wife ado and went off to the Apple store at the Oakbrook Centre. In my pocket written on a yellow index card was the URL listed above. I entered the URL into an iPhone there and tried out the game. Below are a few comments I have regarding it:

  • First some positive things... The game is playable, unlike the one I'm working on. But bearly so. More on this later.

  • The ball / paddle speed in the game is good. I have a ball and paddle in my game but they move much too slow on the iPhone.

  • The graphics for the game (on the iPhone or in a regular web browser) is very sharp and professional looking.

  • Despite self-effacing comments at the top of the main Javascript file, I think the coding is pretty well documented (not perfect but still pretty good). There is alot here that a Javascript developer can learn from.

  • Now the negative... I had to do the finger-pinch (or is it unpinch) move to zoom the page big enough to play the game.

  • The button to start the game is way too small for iPhone usage. I had to zoom the page even more just to get it so I could barely press it will my finger without pressing buttons on either side.

  • The hack he implented for the iPhone is that you can press a spot on the x-axis to move the paddle to. You cannot slide the paddle back and forth. This works rather clunky.

I plan on studying the Javascript for this game. The main reason, I want to find out how Scott kept his game performance good even on the iPhone. I have some ideas on how to track paddle movement based on a post I read on the iPhoneWebDev Google group. I want to create a test event page more suitable to my needs and post it on Chomer.com. Then I will go to the Apple store again and try out my test page to collect more detailed event information. And, finally (I hope), I will update my game so that it actually works correctly!

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