Archive for the ‘ Development ’ Category

Whiskey Media Roku Channel version 2.0 – CANCELED

Due to external circumstances that are entirely out of our control, we are disappointed to announce that our Whiskey Media Roku Channel is dead. There will be no further development on the new 2.0 version, and it will never be released.

We are still very proud of all of the hard work that went into this project. Our Whiskey Media channel would have been the very best thing on the Roku, and it is both sad and unfortunate that it will never see the light of day.

We’d like to sincerely thank all of our users and beta testers, and hope that they have enjoyed using our products.

Here are some screenshots of what could have been:

Whiskey Media channel for Roku DVP – NOW AVAILABLE

We’re happy to announce that the Whiskey Media channel for the Roku Digital Video Player is now available.

Download it for free on the Roku Channel Store today!


Been awhile!

I recently bought a Roku Digital Video Player for an old tube TV in my bedroom. We’ve been using it for a month and I’ve been absolutely smitten with it. I couldn’t be happier with the purchase, and I plan to buy another one for our main HDTV in the living room.

Roku just so happens to offer a free SDK, so that you can develop your own “channels” and distribute them via their official Channel Store.  Nice!

Developers have already created channels for a lot of popular websites, like Flickr, Pandora,, Revision3, and After downloading and playing around with all of these channels, I thought that it would be cool to watch videos from Giant Bomb (and other Whiskey Media websites) on my Roku.

Whiskey Media just so happens to offer a free API, so that you can query a bunch of information from their databases, including all of their videos. Nice!

The Roku SDK and the Whiskey API seemed like a perfect match, so I quickly got to work on developing a channel. After nearly two weeks of nightly coding, I’m almost done with a 1.0 release candidate. You can see the current state of the Whiskey Media Roku Channel in the YouTube video below:

I still have a little polishing-up to do, but I plan to submit a build for Channel Store distribution soon.

It’s Alive!

I have just submitted a new application to be reviewed for the App Store.

Yes. Believe it.

I’ll post more details when it actually gets approved. I’ve had this idea for a long time, but I figured that somebody else would come out with it before I did. At present time, NOBODY has done an app like this, which is very shocking to me. I think it’s perfect for the iPhone and the App Store.

It feels good to have completed another app, especially after so long. I forgot how much fun it could be!

The success (or lack thereof) of this app will probably directly contribute to how quickly I start my next project.


I’ve got some great momentum going.

I haven’t done this much continuous work since back in the day. When I first started iPhone development, I basically worked for two months straight, everyday after work (and even on weekends), nonstop development. In that time I created DDR Compendium, Collage, Fix-a-Pixel, and the iMobilepedia framework.

Quick Tangent: I probably should have picked another name for “Collage”. There are like 20 other apps on the App Store that have the name “Collage”, and they all do some form of collaging. I still think it sounds cool, but so does every other app developer in the Universe I guess. Maybe I could have called it “Tiles”? “Layers”? “Portals”? I dunno, but its too late now.

Anyway, yeah, made more progress today.

I set up bounding-box collision detection, which I adapted from my unfinished Allegro project. I’m happy with the way it turned out, and I especially like the way that I implemented it.

You can see an example of it here:

Things I still need to do:
– Animation
– Tiles (for backgrounds)
– Sound
– Rumble (low priority)
– Accelerometer (low priority)

There’s a bunch of other small things, but those are what jump to mind at the moment.

Hopefully I can keep this fire burnin!
~Stachel Paige

Progression with direction obsession

I’m actually working on iPhone game stuff! Who would have guessed?

Today I implemented Landscape support, so now I can setup a game to run in Portrait/Landscape without much work. This is made non-trivial by the iPhone’s implementation of OpenGL ES in conjunction with the way it handles touch-events. I think I have everything all set now though.

Once I have all of the tools that I need, I’ll probably start out simple. I have big “magnum opus” game ideas that I want to get to, but the bigger the project is, the less likely it’ll ever get finished. By starting off with a small simple game, I’m giving myself a much greater chance of success. I can slowly work my way up to bigger and better things as I get more comfortable with game development, and as my tools become more robust over time.

Should be fun.

I installed Snow Leopard, and its pretty nice. I was most looking forward to Quicktime X, and its new Screen Recording feature. I’m already making full use of it, and I plan to keep a full video journal of my development going forward. It’s a nice way to demonstrate new features as I add them.

Here’s a bug with my sprite rotation that produced some fun results:

…and here is that bug fixed:

Keep an eye here for more videos in the future.

Hello again

It sure has been awhile! Seems like I’ve been starting every post like this lately.

I worked on my iPhone game “engine” a little bit this weekend. I’m not sure where the motivation came from, but I decided to make the most of it. I’m still in the earliest stages of everything, and there’s still a bunch of low level no-fun code to do before I can get to the fun stuff.

I’m currently trying to set things up so that I can easily choose to draw in Portrait or Landscape mode. I’ve got things mostly working in Portrait, but I have to figure out how to get my existing drawing code to work in landscape with changing much. I know it’s just going to be a few lines of initial setup, but I have yet to figure out the right OpenGL voodoo.

Snow Leopard is currently somewhere in between Amazon’s distribution center and my house. I’m looking forward to using Quicktime’s new Screen Recording feature, so that I can start a YouTube video journal for my development. Making demo videos will be fun, and will hopefully give me more motivation. Once my first game is finished, it will be fun to look back and see how it progressed from month to month.

I uploaded a few more iMobilepedia apps. No big story.

That’s about it for now.

I’ll keep you posted if anything else happens.


The computer calculated it.

Nothing new to report sadly.

Had a run of misfortune with all-things-iPhone about a month ago, and it was enough to completely extinguish what was left of the fire in my belly. I’ve been trying to rekindle it lately, and while there have been a few sparks, there’s not yet enough to roast a marshmallow on.

Up until now, I’ve been focused mostly on small throwaway apps as a means to learn the iPhone SDK and Objective-C. This has been successful for the most part, but I think I’m ready to move on to something a bit more satisfying.

This leads me back to video game development.

I have a bunch of FANTASTIC ideas for games, but i need to find the time and motivation to get started. I have the very beginnings of a 2D OpenGL ES based engine, but nowhere near what I’m going to need to move forward. This means a lot of low-level tinkering and API design, neither of which I’m in the mood for. Ah well, no guts no glory.

Look for more coming soon.

Retain and release,

Hi, this is Steve from Apple, calling from California…

Crazy thing happened yesterday.

I had a new voicemail on my iPhone from a phone number that I didn’t recognize. I load it up, press the speaker button, and listen.

“Hi, this is Steve from Apple, calling from California. We wanted to talk to you about one of your apps, so if you could call us back, that would be great.”

It sounds just like Jobs.

I listen to it again. And again. And again.

After about five listens, I determine that it’s probably not Jobs, but it sounds pretty similar to him. And his name is Steve. And he works for Apple.

So I call back. It turns out that one of my apps in the review queue, Gold (iMobilepedia), had an issue. They had called me because it was listed for the price of $99, and not 99 cents, and they wanted to know if this was a mistake.


I also had to double check, so I asked him “So uh… this isn’t Steve Jobs is it?” This was met with an outburst of laughter, and the confirmation that it was not Steve Jobs.

Well come on. You get a call out of the blue, from Steve, from Apple, in California, and it sounds pretty similar to Jobs!

Ah well.

I learned something very valuable from this call, as well as some previous experiences with the store. App name, App Description, and App Price all factor into the App Store review process. They don’t just review the actual binary, they review the whole package.

My Fix-a-Pixel app got rejected no less than 4 times, from them claiming that diagnostic tools were not allowed on the App Store. From previous posts, you’d know that there already ARE similar apps on the App Store, but I won’t get into that again. So I just renamed it to “Crazy Psychedelic Disco Squares!”, and changed the description to remove any pixel-fixing text. No change to the binary. Accepted.

I wish I knew if they reviewed and approved each change to App Name and App Description after the binary has been submitted. When you change either of these, it only takes a few hours to show up in iTunes. I had been assuming that they don’t review these at all, but I’m not really sure.

iMobilepedia is doing well. Single iMobilepedia apps are outselling Collage on a daily basis, which is discouraging.

I’m going to add a few more features to Collage (like a unique take on Bookmarks), and then put out a Lite version. Then I’ll shop it around, and send some promo codes around. I don’t want to do it yet, because its not feature complete. Version 1.0 and all.

What’s goin’ on Mekon?

Nothing super new to report.

My web browser app still hasn’t been approved yet. My first review took 8 days (a pretty reliable average for review time), and resulted in a rejection (a pretty reliable result for review). Their complaint was annoyingly small, but legitimate. I wasn’t doing any checking for a lack of network connection, which “could result in user confusion.” Fine. After a quick fix, a new binary was submitted on the same day that it was rejected.

Over two weeks later… still no word from Apple. I’ve emailed them asking for a status update, but emailing the App Review team is like yelling into the wind. I haven’t gotten the dreaded “your app will require additional review time”, so I guess that’s good. There just hasn’t been any feedback yet, at all.

The App Review process is still a thorn in my side, for all of the reasons I’ve already written about. I submitted a “stuck pixel” fixing application, which was rejected for some BS reason. They were essentially saying that they don’t allow that kind of application on the App Store, but of course, they ALREADY HAVE apps like that on the store. They’re basically telling me “no pixel fixer apps in the app store”, and there is a pixel fixer app in the store already. Of course, I emailed them to alert them of this contradiction, to no response.

You can imagine the frustration.

iMobilepedia sales have been relatively brisk lately, thanks largely to the new “Health & Human Body” series. I’ll be trying a bunch of different topics in the near future.

I have a few new ideas for legitimate apps that I could make, but I’m holding off for awhile.

I love developing for the iPhone OS. It’s great. It’s fun. I’m a fan. But the App Store review process is SO BAD, that it almost completely ruins the whole thing for me. That factor alone has single-handedly made me reconsider moving forward with any and all iPhone development in the future. It’s a shame that such a great development platform has distribution that is so uneven, subjective, shady, and possibly even corrupt.

It’s that bad.