Tag Archives: iPhone

It’s Not Piracy – It’s Free-to-Play

i don’t want to chime in on this SOPA/PIPA stuff and sound ill-informed, alarmist, and adolescent like many of the current commentators do. (“SOPA is BAD because i can’t pirate movies any more … er … i mean, because it takes away my freedom!“)

Braveheart

Who do you think you are – William Wallace?

The truth is that i Am Not A Lawyer, and neither are you, and that makes us (and most laypeople) incapable of reading and comprehending legislation and bill proposals and legalese. We need our lawyer friends to do that for us, and since lawyers burn money to heat their homes, we have to put up with understanding these proposed bills with second-hand, filtered, and often distorted information.

Old Lady

Obama’s new health care plan will boil elderly people down for craft paste!!

As a lawyer friend of mine put it to me recently, anyone who does possess the skill and interest to read a bill like SOPA also brings with him an agenda, so you need to crank your bullshit filter up to High Alert (those last few were my words, not his. And, charitably, he didn’t charge me for his words.)

POPE-A

i liken the way we’ve heard about SOPA and PIPA to the way medieval peasants experienced the Bible. They were illiterate, and Mass was in Latin, so they relied on the liturgy to be retold to them after church let out, in the town square. As i tell my daughters: whenever you hear anything, think to yourself “Who’s speaking? Why are they saying what they’re saying? And what do they stand to gain or lose by communicating it to me?”

Honest Jon

It may sound like a cynical attitude, but hey – welcome to the postmodern age. (Also: get stuffed, Disney copyright)

A bit of what drives me nuts about the current lay “discourse” on SOPA is the standard weaselly excuses people make to protect their ability to steal media. And i will call it stealing, for now, because that’s what it is … taking for-sale or protected goods without paying for them is called “theft”, or “stealing”. i’m not going to argue that. What i will suggest though, as i did to my lawyer friend, is that people constantly push against the boundaries of law in ways that, once the scale tips, those once prohibited behaviours become legally permissible.

People of Wal Mart

There oughta be a law.

Here’s a short list of things you couldn’t legally do a few years back, and can now do thanks to enough people bumping against the boundaries long and hard enough:

- fellate someone (oral sex was decriminalized in Alaska in 1971. True.)
- marry someone of the same sex (boundaries are still being pushed on this one, as you well know)
- sit at the front of the bus if you’re black
- vote if you’re a woman

(the key difference here is that these laws are all about people, whereas copyright and piracy are about ideas and things … and it’s offensive to many of us that theft of ideas and damage to things can be punished as much as or more severely than damage to people)

With that key distinction made, digital piracy is another example of people pushing up against the limits of law, and in great enough numbers, that the law will eventually have to change to meet the demands and desires of the people. There’s a very interesting parallel between video game consumption and linear media consumption. Games can be pirated just like movies, music and teevee shows can. But the gaming industry is younger and more nimble than “Old Media”, and is constantly exploring new revenue models, because the game industry (perhaps uniquely) realizes it needs to Adapt or Die.

Skate or Die

Adapt or Die! Or Skate!

F2P via P2P

Free-to-play is one of these new-ish revenue models. It evolved out of a situation where players were being forced to pay a high price – $60 for maybe 20 hours of entertainment – with a sight-unseen product. They could only determine its value via reviews, word-of-mouth, and brand affinity. If they spent the cash and didn’t enjoy the game, they were out of pocket and out of luck – there was really no return policy. Their best bet was to hawk the disc at a Buy-And-Sell shop (about which the industry complained bitterly).

But now there’s this free-to-play model. The game is free – anyone can have it, no strings attached, and perhaps the file is shared on a peer-to-peer network. You download it, and you play as much as you like. There’s no risk. If you don’t like the game, you get rid of it and try something else. People can pay extra money for added value: new weapons, different levels, and snazzy hats. The hope of the game developers is that the minority of paying customers will subsidize the game’s development costs. Good games float to the forefront, and the best developers who offer the best value are rewarded with the most money.

Introducing Free-to-Watch

Now, think about people who pirate movies, and check this out:

Free-to-watch is one of these new-ish revenue models. It evolved out of a situation where audiences were being forced to pay a high price – $20 for maybe 2 hours of entertainment – with a sight-unseen product. They could only determine its value via reviews, word-of-mouth, and brand affinity. If they spent the cash and didn’t enjoy the movie, they were out of pocket and out of luck – there was really no return policy. Their best bet was to hawk the DVD at a Buy-And-Sell shop.

But now there’s this free-to-watch model. The movie is free – anyone can have it, no strings attached, and perhaps the file is shared on a peer-to-peer network. You download it, and you watch it as much as you like. There’s no risk. If you don’t like the movie, you get rid of it and try something else. People can pay extra money for added value: the big-screen theatre experience, film festival premiers with actors and directors in attendance, 3D glasses, DVD extras, and a physical product that they can touch and display on a shelf. The hope of the film-makers is that the minority of paying customers will subsidize the movie’s development costs. Good movies float to the forefront, and the best film-makers who offer the best value are rewarded with the most money.

The Patty Duke Show

Oh yes they’re couuusins, identical couuusins …

If movie studios were less entrenched and more willing to try new things like the game industry does, it’s possible that this whole concept of piracy would fly out the window. Laws would be changed, and “piracy” would be seen for what it really is: the agile, forward-thinking film industry’s experiment with their pioneering free-to-watch monetization model.

Flash to iOS: A Step-by-Step Tutorial (Part 5)

Flash to iOS: A Step-by-Step Tutorial

This is the fifth part of our tutorial series by Intern Sina on creating an AIR application for free on a PC using FlashDevelop, and deploying it as a native app on an iOS device like the Apple iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch.

Jump to other parts in the series:

Distribution Certificate

Now that you’ve tested your app and it’s to your liking, guess you want to put it up on the App Store? Never fear, my friend! I will now show you how to get your app uploaded on the App Store so the whole world can ignore it and buy Angry Birds instead.

This process of distribution is a bittersweet one. It’s sweet because it’s extremely similar to the development process that you just went through, so you should be familiar with the convoluted certificates and hoops you have to jump through at Apple’s pleasure. It’s bitter because it’s extremely similar to the development process that you just went through.

Groundhog Day

Something about this seems awfully familiar …

Enough talk. Let’s get cracking!

Generate a Signing Certificate Request

Remember that OpenSSL program that you installed in Part 2 of this tutorial? You have to open that bad boy up again to create another Certificate Signing Request. Now, it is possible to just use your old Signing Certificate – however, just to be super clear and to avoid any confusion or difficulty, we’re going to create another one.

Note: We’ll use this new Signing Certificate Request to get a Distribution Certificate rather than a Development Certificate.

  1. Open a command prompt window. You can do this by clicking the Windows Start button and typing in cmd in the search field. Alternately, you can also hold the Windows key on your keyboard and hit the “R” key (for “Run”), then type cmd and hit Enter.

    Windows CLI

  2. Once you are in the command prompt, navigate to your Open SSL bin folder. Depending on where you installed it, you will have to navigate to a different path than in this example. (i hope you installed Open SSL in a location that you can remember!) Check Part 2 if you need a refresher on Windows CLI (Command Line Interpreter) commands.

    Open SSL folder

  3. Punch this command into the CLI and hit the ENTER key when you’re finished:
    openssl genrsa -out mykey.key 2048

    You should see this response:

    Response

  4. Next, type (or highlight the line, right-click, choose “Copy”, and right-click/”Paste” in the CLI):
    openssl req -new -key mykey.key -out CertificateSigningRequest.certSigningRequest  -subj "/emailAddress=yourAddress@example.com, CN=John Doe, C=US"

    Now, before you hit ENTER you’ll want to edit a couple of things. First, replace “John Doe” with your own name or company name. Then replace the “yourAddress@example.com” email with your own email. Press ENTER.

    You should get a message similar to this:

    Response 2

    You just generated the Signing Certificate Request file that you’ll use to ask Apple for your Distribution Signing Certificate. The Signing Certificate Request file is located in the bin folder of your Open SSL install. It has a .certSigningRequest file extension and should look like this:

    Signing Certificate

Obtain a Signing Certificate for Distribution

You have to upload your Signing Certificate Request file to the Apple Provisioning Portal to get your Distribution Signing Certificate. Onward.

Note: There have been instances where this upload does not work with Google Chrome. Just to be safe, use another browser like Firefox.

  1. Navigate to the Apple iOS Provisioning Portal within the Dev Center.

    Apple Provisioning Portal

  2. Log in with your developer account and click on Certificates.
  3. Click on the Distribution tab.

    Apple Provisioning Portal

    Note: In our previous tutorials, you requested a certificate from the Development tab. An app signed with a Development certificate cannot be successfully submitted to the Apple App Store.

    If you have an old Distribution Certificate because you’ve made a prior app, and you’d still like to follow along, you can go ahead and Revoke it. Revoking the Certificate will not affect your apps that are already on the App Store, because the Certificate is primarily used during the upload process so that Apple can identify you.

    Note: I recommend revoking an existing Certificate because Apple seems to issue only one Certificate per Team Agent. You must revoke any existing Certificate to be able to request another. Why is it set up like this? I have no idea.

    Revoke your Apple Signing Certificate

  4. If you don’t have a pre-existing Distribution Signing Certificate, you can just go ahead and click Request Certificate.

    Request your Apple Signing Certificate

    On the next screen, you will upload the Signing Certificate Request file that you generated in the previous section.

    Request

  5. Click the Browse button and navigate to the OpenSSL bin folder.
  6. Select the Signing Certificate Request file and click Submit. When you are finished, you’ll see your Distribution Signing Certificate ready to download from the web page.

    Your Apple Signing Certificate

Don’t download your Distribution Certificate quite yet. You still need to create an App ID and a Mobile Provisioning Profile.

Create a New App ID

When deciding what you want your App ID to be, you have two choices:

  • Create an entirely new App ID
  • Use the Existing App ID that you create in Part 2

If you want to use your existing App ID, then just skip to the next section. If for some reason you don’t like the name of your App ID, go ahead and make a new App ID, following the steps outlined in Part 2.

Create a Mobile Provisioning Profile for Distribution

Now that you have an App ID, you can create your Mobile Provisioning Profile.

  1. Within the Provisioning Portal website, click Provisioning in the sidebar.
  2. Click the Distribution tab.

    New Provisioning Profile

    In previous tutorials, you created a Development profile for testing. You won’t be able to upload your app to the Apple App Store unless you create a Distribution profile, so make sure you select the correct tab.

    You can either create a new Provisioning Profile, or modify an existing one. Modifying an existing profile if you want to switch between App Store and Ad Hoc distribution. If you’ve never created a Distribution profile, read on. Instructions for modifying a profile are in the section following.

  3. Click on New Profile.

    New Provisioning Profile Button

    Note: You’ll only see this option if you are the fee-paying Team Admin.

  4. In the next section, you’ll have to fill out a bunch of options. The first option is the Distribution Method. As you can see, you can choose between App Store and Ad Hoc.
    • Choose App Store if you are completely satisfied with your app and you want to submit it to Apple for review. If all goes well, then your app will be released whenever Apple deems it worthy.
    • The Ad Hoc option can be thought of as a closed beta for your app. When you choose Ad Hoc, you are able to release your app to a maximum of 100 people, and only they will have access to it. Your App will NOT appear in the public App Store if you choose Ad Hoc.

    Note: Notice when you choose App Store, the “Devices” option is greyed out. When you choose Ad Hoc, it allows you to choose a number of devices that you have registered. The App Store option releases your app on the public App Store, so it doesn’t make sense to target specific devices.

  5. Your Profile Name is the name that you want for your Provisioning Profile. The Distribution Certificate that you created should be visible here.
  6. Finally, you have to choose which App ID with which you want to register your Provisioning Profile.

    Profile Options

  7. Click Submit.
  8. You should ee a list of the Provisioning Profiles that you’ve created. Click download on the Provisioning Profile that you just created, and save it to you computer.

    Save Your Provisioning Profile

Modify your Provisioning Profile

Note: If you’re not modifying an existing Provisioning Profile (say, from Ad Hoc to App Store), skip over this section.

  1. Within the Provisioning Portal website, click Provisioning in the sidebar.
  2. Click the Distribution tab.

    New Provisioning Profile

  3. Click Modify on the Provisioning Profile that you want to reuse.

    Modify Provisioning Profile

  4. Switch to either Ad Hoc or App Store. The distinction between these two options is explained in the preceding section.

    Edit Provisioning Profile

  5. Click Submit.
  6. You should see a list of the Provisioning Profiles that you’ve created. Click download on the Provisioning Profile that you just modified, and save it to your computer.

    Save Your Provisioning Profile

Download your Distribution Certificate

You just need to download the Distribution Signing Certificate that you created at the top of this tutorial, and then you are ready to bundle your .ipa file to submit to the App Store.

  1. Click on the Certificates section in the sidebar.
  2. Click the Distribution tab.

    Apple Provisioning Portal

  3. You’ll see that your Distribution Signing Certificate is ready to download. You can also see that it contains the Distribution Provisioning Profile that you just made.

    Your Certificate is Ready

  • Click download and save the file to your computer. Just to make things easier, you can save that certificate in the Open SSL bin folder, where your Certificate Signing Request file is sitting.

    Hooray!

    Note: Make sure not to get confused between your Development Certificate and Profile, and your Distribution Certificate and Profile. You won’t be able to upload your app to the App Store if you accidentally use the Distribution set of certs in these next steps.

    Convert the Signing Certificate to a .p12 File

    You’ll have to perform the .p12 conversion on your Certificate again, as you did in an earlier tutorial. Here are the steps:

    1. Open up your command prompt.
    2. Navigate to your Open SSL bin folder.
    3. Copy and paste this command:
      openssl x509 -in distribution_identity.cer -inform DER -out distribution_identity.pem -outform PEM

      After you enter that command, you’ll see a .pem file show up in your OpenSSL bin folder.

      .pem file

    4. Copy and paste this command in the CLI:
      openssl pkcs12 -export -inkey mykey.key -in distribution_identity.pem -out iphone_dev.p12

      Note: These are the exact same commands that you used for our Development Certificate in an earlier tutorial, except that the file name has been changed from “development” to “distribution”.

    5. After you punch in the command, enter a password and then verify that password. Make sure the password is something that you will remember. (Save it in a .txt file! – Ed.)

      Note: Remember that you may get an error mentioning a “random state”. Just type in the command set RANDFILE=.rnd and it should fix the problem for you.

    6. Navigate to the bin folder in your Open SSL directory and you should see your .p12 file. Hooray!

      .p12 file

    Hello, Planet

    As we mentioned off the top, much of this is familiar territory. With all of your Distribution certs sorted out, you’re ready to bundle up your final .ipa file and foist it onto an unsuspecting public. In the next tutorial, you’ll follow familiar instructions to bind your certs to your .ipa, and experience that magical moment of uploading your app for Apple’s approval (followed shortly by that equally magical moment of getting your app rejected cuz BEWBZ.) Let’s do it!

  • Flash to iOS: A Step-by-Step Tutorial (Part 1)

    Flash to iOS: A Step-by-Step Tutorial

    This is the first part of our tutorial series by Intern Sina on creating an AIR application for free on a PC using FlashDevelop, and deploying it as a native app on an iOS device like the Apple iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch.

    Jump to other parts in the series:

    Dead Wrong

    There’s a lot of FUD floating around about Flash these days. Ever since Steve Jobs took to the mic and sounded the death knell of at least the perception of Flash, there’s been heaping gobs of misinformation about what you can and can’t, should and shouldn’t do with Flash. i chalk it up to the fact that death is news. It’s BIG news when Michael Jackson dies, BIG news when Steve Jobs dies, and equally big news if you can be among the first to report on the death of a technology or company – RIM, Flash, Palm, HP – take your pick. If it bleeds, it leads.

    Saying stuff is dead is dead

    Saying stuff is dead, is dead. You heard it here first.

    This hyperbolic and sensational misreporting is particularly damaging for those of us who have made our living developing with Flash and Actionscript. Back in 2000, when i first got into Flash, i chose it because the alternative was HTML. HTML appeared and performed completely differently depending on a number of different factors:

    1. The platform (Mac, PC or Linux)
    2. The screen resolution (640×480, 800×600, 1024×768, etc)
    3. The browser (Netscape, Internet Explorer, Safari)
    4. The browser version (HTML could render completely differently from IE6 to IE7)

    Meanwhile with Flash, i could build something inside the little Flash Player box, and it would look and behave reasonably identically across platforms, resolutions, browsers, and browser versions. (Subsequent versions of the Flash player complicated things a smidge, but we were still WORLDS away from the pain of HTML). What’s more, as a visual person, i could actually lay things out within the tool, instead of coding them abstractly and waiting to see how the browser would render them. If i wanted something to appear over there, i picked it up and put it over there. No futzing around with padding or align tags for hours.

    The push towards HTML5 doesn’t scare me – more accurately, it makes me feel ill. It’s a step backwards. Without proper tooling, i see myself banging my head against the wall picturing absolutely everything in codespace (rather than concretely laid out in front of me in designspace), and programming all kinds of exception cases so that my content performs properly depending on platform, browser and version. You know what? No thanks.

    Butter Churn

    Thank God Flash is dead! Now we can finally move forward.

    Prying Flash from my Cold, Dead Hands

    As long as the tools for other technologies stink, and as long as i can keep making and monetizing projects in Flash, i’m going to stay the course until there’s a compelling technological /creative/workflow reason to make a jump. Untold Entertainment has deployed two games written in Actionscript (Sissy’s Magical Ponycorn Adventure and Heads) across two different mobile platforms (Apple iPad and the BlackBerry Playbook), and we’re just getting warmed up.

    Here are the facts, at the time of this writing:

    1. No one really wants to play a game in a browser on a phone. Native apps are where it’s at.
    2. Yes, you CAN put Flash- and Actionscript-created content on an iPhone, in native app format.
    3. You can even do it without having to buy Flash Professional or Creative Suite.
    4. You can develop entirely on a PC until the very last step (uploading content to the App Store).
    5. Untold Entertainment is about to show you how.

    What You’ll Need

    While buying Adobe’s tools is optional, you’ll still need to spend a bit of money (or mug the right people) to pull this off. Here’s what you’ll need:

    1. An Apple Developer account, which is $99 USD/year. Once you start down this path, you’re in it for the long haul … if you let your developer account lapse, they pull all your products off the store. For realsies.
    2. A Mac (not free) running the latest version of Xcode (free).
    3. An iOS device (optional, but obviously recommended).
    4. FlashDevelop v4 or better (free, PC-only)

    Macs are not free

    A Mac: not free.

    Introducing Sina

    Sina looks like Prince of Persia

    He’s the spitting image of this guy – i swear.

    Sina Kashanizadeh is a Sheridan College computer programming student and an intern here at Untold Entertainment. He’s done all the legwork in this process, and has written this step-by-step guiding on porting your Actionscript projects to iOS. Take it away, Sina!

    Flash on iOS? So You Want to Be a Hero…

    With the mobile world expanding at a crazy rate you may have had the crazy idea to try making an App yourself and putting it on the iPhone. Well, you’re a brave soul, because it can be a confusing task. This is why I have scoured the internet and composed a step by step tutorial of this process. This tutorial would not have been possible without the fantastic people that maintain FlashDevelop and the wonderful community behind it. I would also like to thank Lee Brimelow and Adobe for putting out some great tutorial videos that helped me out a lot. Last but not least, I would like to thank CodeandVisual.com for putting up a fantastic comprehensive guide that inspired me to move forward whenever I had trouble writing this tutorial.

    I just want to be clear that this tutorial is not the “be-all, end-all” of this process. There are many different ways of transferring your Flash App to iOS, and the problems I cover are specific to my method. Also, the process I cover is PC-specific.

    Getting Started

    Before we begin, I would like to recommend a very good video resource by Adobe Evangelist Lee Brimelow, in which he explains the basics of adding an app to the App Store when using Flash. If you do not know how this process works, I highly recommend this video, as it breaks down the somewhat painful process of adding an AIR App to the App Store when using a PC (thanks again, Lee!). The good news is that if you go through this once, you’ll understand the ins and outs of the process. You only have to do the most painful parts once.

    The video covers a myriad of stuff but the basics boil down to this: Your end goal is to create an .ipa file, which is what you’ll upload to the App Store. To do this you will require:

    • An App
    • An iOS developer ID from Apple ($)
    • An iPad or iPhone ($)
    • A Mac ($, but required for one step only … borrow one from a friend!)
    • A Signing Certificate
    • A Mobile Provisioning Profile
    • YOUR SOUL

    Sounds like fun? Well it isn’t, but let’s get cracking anyway!

    Any Club that would Have Me as a Member

    As I mentioned above, you’ll need a developer ID from Apple. Head over to the iOS Dev Center and register for “free”.

    It ain't free

    “Free” as in “Free Beer … that you have to pay for.”

    Go through the steps of signing up and the email verification and you will acquire an Apple ID. Now, the unfortunate thing is that you get the Apple ID for free, but if you want to develop anything with it on a device – even a silly test app that you will never release – you will have to pay $99 a year. You’d better be positive that your Angry Birds clone will be worth at least a hundred bucks a year in revenue. You can sign up for a free student account, but again you can’t really do anything with it unless you drop some cash. If you are helping someone develop an App for the iPhone/iPad and they are paying the developer fee, they can add you as a partner to their project.

    Adding a Device to Your Developer Account

    If you want to test and ultimately launch this App, you will need an Apple device such as an iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad. You will also need to register your Apple device with your Apple ID. Follow these steps:

    1. Go into the iOS Developer website and log in with your new account info. Here, you will see the iOS Provisioning Portal. Click on it to see further options.

      iOS Provisioning Portal

    2. click Devices in the sidebar.

      iOS Devices menu

    3. Click Add Devices.Note: if you are a partner developer with a team member profile, you will not be able to add a device. The option will only appear for the master account holder.

      iOS Add Devices

    4. On this screen, you can add up to 100 devices to your account. Start off by adding your Device Name. Nothing fancy here – just enter something that will help you identify it – ie “Sina’s iPad”, or “iPhone what i stole from that guy that one time”.
    5. Enter the Device ID (40 hex characters). This is the serial number that is associated with the device that you are trying to register. To find this Device ID, open iTunes while your device is connected. On the main screen, you will see all the information about your device, including a field called Serial Number. It doesn’t look clickable, but click on that field anyway and the number changes to a hex code. That’s your device ID.

      iOS Device ID

    6. Once you’ve filled in those details, click Submit and the device will be added to your Developer account. Now you can build an Adobe AIR application and test it on your device.The next tutorial will take you through the process of requesting and creating a Signing Certificate, converting that certificate to the p12 format that Apple requires, and generating a Mobile Provisioning Profile for your new app.

      Continue to Part 2

    Made in Canada AND with Unity: Apollo 11: The Game

    Today, we’re combining our Made in Canada and Made with Unity features into one: Made Through Canudity (working title). Decode Entertainment is a Canadian convergent media company that creates kids’ teevee shows and interactive properties. If you own any toddlers like i do (i’m collecting), you’ll recognize a few of their shows: Bo on the GO!, Animal Mechanicals, Franny’s Feet and Super Why!. i’m sure that someone from Decode will pop on here later and correct me, explaining that one of those shows was actually a Canada/France co-production with funding from a Swiss snowmobile manufacturer, and it technically flies under the banner of the parent company DHX Media Ltd., but you know what? Stow it. These nice people have better things to do than to wade through the labyrinth of Canadian content credits.

    NASA As They Wanna Be

    Decode Interactive, the “digital” arm of the company (don’t get me started) collaborated with NASA to produce Apollo 11: The Game for the iPhone. i have it on good authority that the Decode Interactive team visited the actual sound stage where NASA faked the original moon landing. Think of the game as an advanced Lunar Lander, the one where you have to gently land your rocketship without blowing it up. Except here, you have more true-to-life NASA-esque controls, and “blowing up” is more analgous to “wasting millions of dollars of American taxpayers’ money.”

    Apollo 11: The Game

    Even if you missed Apollos 1 through 10, it’s not hard to pick up the plot.

    The team obviously strove for authenticity to hit a niche audience of NASA-enthusiasts – otherwise, the surface of the moon would have been a little more colourful, and the lander would have been able to fire spiky blue turtle shells to knock out competing lunar landers from other countries. You can’t please everybody, so in trying to please space nuts, the game may alienate players looking for something more candy-coated and fun. But if you are a HAM radio operator, and you used to play with an erector set, and you own Red Dwarf on DVD, this game might be just your speed.

    And Now, de Codes from Decode

    The title was authored in Unity 3D with the Unity for iPhone add-on. Unity is the little-game-engine-that-could that recently took the piss out of Unreal Engine’s consumer-grade product launch by offering their engine for $FREE. The Decode Interactive team has a number of other Unity-based projects in the works, and they sponsored the first Toronto Unity Users Group meeting earlier this week. If you come out to one of our upcoming UUG Toronto events, be sure to shake hands with these guys – they’re a great resource, and they’re keen to help developers wrap their brains around the Unity 3D technology.

    Jean-Guy Niquet, a regular contributor to our conversations here and an erector set fan in his own right (oo-er!), heads up the merry band of Decode Interactive programmers. He’s been kind enough to offer us a batch of FREE CODES for the game – first come, first served. As usual, here’s the drill: the codes are good for YANKEES ONLY. If you DON’T live in God’s America, they’re not going to work for you. (Thanks, Apple!) And if you successfully redeem one of these codes, please let us know – we’ll strike it from the list.

    Here are the codes for a FREE copy of Apollo 11: The Game:

    1. RYMAEX3X7N9M – Redeemed by segra!
    2. 4RLEWLX67XEP – Redeemed by Brennon!
    3. 9PPN3FTE6W4T
    4. 9YJL4R4766NE – Redeemed by Abdullah!
    5. XRKJXH4TYPKL – Redeemed by Gabriel!

    And if you do give the game a shot, please let us know how you liked it!

    Eagle out.

    Made in Canada: Arctic Shuffle 2

    Zinc Roe is a Toronto-based interactive studio that’s well-known here in Canada, but maybe not to the rest of the world. Their claim to fame, The Zimmer Twins, was a television show that kids could edit together online, with a number of pre-fab animations and settings. The Zinc Roe team then took some submissions, voiced and scored them, and aired them on the teevee. Neat!

    So what have they done lately? The company is pretty busy releasing games in the App Store. i took an “iPhone for Flash Developers” course last year with zr programmer Luke Lutman, but Luke’s such a clever fellow they were already well on their way by that point. Among their earliest entries is Arctic Shuffle 2, which combines the very Canadian sport of curling with the very un-Canadian animal of penguin (it’s cold here, but penguins live near the opposite pole – the ANTarctic), with a healthy dose of mini-golf thrown in just to mix things up a little.

    Chinstrap Penguin

    Je ne suis pas Canadien, d’accord?

    i confess that i didn’t play Arctic Shuffle 1, so there may be some major plot revelations that i’m missing out on. But in the sequel, you tap a golf-style mechanic at the bottom of the screen to launch your penguins toward a curling/crokinole-type target ring. If a penguin comes to a rest safely inside the ring, you’re onto the next level. Unfortunately, penguins more often than not ricochet off of glaciers and into gaping ice holes. In later levels, you have to creatively bounce penguins off each other to get them into the ring safely.

    The game’s production values are very good. The team has taken a page out of the Game Escalation Playbook, where instead of ramping the challenge up in a straight line, there are peaks and valleys where you’ll finish a very difficult level, and then breeze by the disconcertingly simple next level. This is a technique that encourages people to keep playing, and it works very well for a game like this.

    Arctic Shuffle 2

    Arctic Shuffle 2 features many natural antarctic obstacles, including deadly spikes and anthropomorphosized explosives.

    Sure, But Is It Free?

    Studio head Jason Krogh was good enough to offer three codes for the game. The codes are only valid with a US iTunes account, and they’re not reusable. If you get a FREE copy of Artic Shuffle 2, please let the rest of us know which code you redeemed so that we don’t waste our time punching it in. And if you feel so compelled, please throw a mini-review over in our What Are You Playing? forum.

    Here are those codes:

    1. 6YXTXJL93XL3
    2. FMMH7ETF6P77 – redeemed!
    3. AAWW9LHENTR4 – redeemed!

    Enjoy!