In mid-April, I switched over to Ting, a cellular service provider from Tucows that promises lower bills and greater control over usage. One month, and a pleasantly low $45 bill later, here are my impressions. Important note: I have not been paid by Ting for this post. But after a […]

Reflections on a month with Ting’s mobile phone service

In this mobile-heavy world, making sure your website works for a variety of different form-factors is of ever-growing importance. Having a central column fixed at 1024 pixels wide just won’t cut it any more. Both adaptive and responsive design provide their own solution to this problem, but researching them online […]

Adaptive vs Responsive Design – A super quick overview

I recently found myself tearing my hair out over some very odd behaviours in XCode. Giving focus to a text view wasn’t bringing up the keyboard, but I could still type where the keyboard should have appeared. I spent days trying various tweaks and changes to get it working, blaming […]

How to break your UIView with nothing but a background ...

Found myself with something of a head-scratcher today. After pulling some changes from an iOS project, I fired it up in XCode only to get an error: Property <property name> not found on object of type __strong <object type> I carefully scanned the offending line for typos and couldn’t see […]

XCode Missing a Spot when Cleaning Builds

Using segues to set up your pages.
A couple of weeks ago, I put together a CocoaPod to make creating paged views in iOS easier. I knew there was a bit of some for improvement, so I did some research and today I pushed version 2.0.0 of TEQuickPageViewController, which makes storyboarding your pages even quicker! Having discovered […]

TEQuickPageViewController v2: Even Simpler Paging

Yesterday, I started wrestling with the concept of Page View Controllers in iOS. These are the swipeable sets of screens you’ve probably seen holding tutorials and “what the heck is this?” explanations for all those weird and trendy apps floating around. Frankly, I found it to be a massive pain […]

Simpler paging in iOS

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I rarely get excited about code libraries, but IQKeyboardManager is probably the most useful and useable library I’ve ever had the pleasure of downloading. Useable in that it requires zero effort to use, no code, no configuration, no API keys. And useful because it solves a problem that has been bugging […]

IQKeyboardManager: My new favourite iOS library

Screen Shot 2014-10-30 at 22.44.50
It’s Thursday night, and you’re looking to start using Redis in your Laravel application. You fire up your Homestead box (more on this in another post), open your favourite IDE and put in a new route to start playing around. Just something simple to start, write then read a value, […]

Redis on Laravel: Why naming is a pain

SpriteKit Space Invaders
Following on the heels of Asteroids with Sprite Kit, the introduction of the Swift language made me feel like another crack at the whip. So here’s my take on Space Invaders. This time, I went for OS X as a platform, again using SpriteKit, but this time using Swift as the […]

Clone the Classics – Space Invaders with Swift and SpriteKit

My results
Time for another quick project! This time, I’ve put together a vocabulary tester for Twitter. Just put in your twitter handle, and get an outline of your most used and longest words. The app is implemented under Laravel, using the Twitter APIs to pull tweets for processing. To get around potential […]

Test your Twitter Vocabulary

After an extremely long hiatus from my Shoot ‘Em Up project, I was itching to see what was new in the world of iOS game development. Discovering the new SpriteKit API, I just had to give it a try. So I put together a quick version of Asteroids over a […]

Quick Project: Asteroids with SpriteKit

2^n Screenshot
Last week, I got hooked on 2048 after playing the Doctor Who Edition obsessively on my lunch break. Unnecessarily excited with the powers-of-twoness of the game, I forked the code and let you play a slightly bigger version (or two).

2^n: A silly 2048 extension

This afternoon, I was walking past a construction site and did a double take. Part of me could swear I’d just walked past a mirror, but hadn’t seen myself in the reflection. After a brief moment of vampire-based self doubt, I stepped back a few paces and saw this:

What a Difference a Frame Makes

I admit, I expected to get a little further with my blogging goal before missing a week, let alone two. Or three. I’ve kind of lost count. Suffice to say I’ve had a hard February so far. I won’t go into details, but I’m coming out of the other side […]

Reviving an old habit, but a good one

GOG Logo
As any mobile video game developer from the first wave of smartphones can tell you – a small group, but a proud bunch – nostalgia sells. So if you were a PC gamer in the 90s and 2000s, GOG.com might be right up your alley. I’ll admit, I’m not a […]

GOG – A Video Game Nostalgiagasm

Your spending allowance, and that's it.
I hate budgeting. Compartmentalising my spending into arbitrary, inflexible ring-fences I can’t possibly stick to has never seemed to work, for some reason. Luckily, someone’s come up with a budgeting app that doesn’t actually require much budgeting. Level Money is a new money management app for iOS and Android that tells you simply […]

App Review: Level Money

Laravel is a powerful framework to speed PHP web development, MAMP is a handy GUI to allow quick and easy testing of websites on OS X. Smash them together and you get quick and easy web development on OS X. My work at Spotflux has recently involved a lot of […]

How to Configure Laravel on MAMP

You can't see it, but there's a "Caution: Wet Floor" sign floating here somewhere 2
Shockingly, it’s been over six months since I last posted to this blog. But this isn’t because I’ve been lazy, uninspired or disillusioned. I’ve just been extremely busy through a combination of a new job, moving abroad and getting caught in a hurricane. In April, I took a new job […]

Where the heck have I been?

As great as the iPhone SDK is, it wasn’t designed specifically for games, so a mini industry has sprung up to provide game developers with APIs and tools to make their lives easier. So I’m going to raid the repositories and see what I can use for my project. Admittedly, […]

iOS Shooter Project Part 5: Choosing APIs

turkeyjava 2
Sometimes, the little quirks and abstraction fails of a programming language can mess things up in really subtle and specific ways. Especially when it comes to localization. I spent most of last week wracking my brains over an oddly specific bug in our product. Namely, when you installed our server […]

The Importance of Locale Knowledge: Or how to avoid breaking ...

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I’ve recently taken on the job of running the Phoenix Speakers website, so it’s high time I brushed up on my PHP. First little job: automating the “Next Meeting” box. Phoenix meets on the 2nd and 4th Wednesday of each month. So we’d get something like the following mapping (dates […]

PHP Snippet: Find the next 2nd or 4th Wednesday

Relational Model of Game State
What with a few extra side projects, I’ve let myself get a little bit behind on the iOS Shooter designs. But I set aside some time today to crack on and hopefully I can get the momentum back up. Today’s design: modelling game data. As I’ve previously identified, there will […]

iOS Shooter Designs Part 4: Defining the Model

Happy New Year! Ok, so I admit, I didn’t do too well on my resolutions this year. But I did manage to get a whole heap of other stuff done. So it was a moral victory…kinda. With 365 days in which to complete my 2011 resolutions, I managed to fulfill […]

Planning to Plan Less

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Got a speech coming up?  Pitching an idea at work? Class presentation? Oscar acceptance? I’ve got a few tips for memorizing your text in double-quick time that might just come in handy. Last Wednesday, I was booked to give a five minute speech at Phoenix Speakers as part of the Competent […]

How to: Memorise a 5 Minute Speech

Just a couple of weeks after the initial weekend’s work on Speaker Alert, it’s been approved for sale (I say sale, it’s free) on the iTunes App Store!  The first big test of Speaker Alert at the Phoenix Speakers XMas party went off without a hitch, a whole bunch of […]

Speaker Alert now available on the App Store

Menu and View Storyboard
After a slight digression into actual coding, I’m back on designs for my iOS Shooter Project. In today’s post, I’ll be looking at menu layout and View navigation. Playing with the Storyboarding feature in XCode made me want to eschew my vector drawing packages and mock up my Views directly […]

iOS Shooter Designs Part 3: Menu Storyboarding

After last weekend’s quick application challenge, I’ve come back to Speaker Alert and made a few tweaks before some serious testing at the Phoenix Speakers XMas dinner next week. There were a few things I didn’t quite get round to over the weekend’s rapid development, so I was eager to […]

Speaker Alert: A few tweaks

Storyboarding in XCode
Last Wednesday, a friend of mine gave me an idea for a simple timing app. As a prelude to the iOS Shooter project, it seemed like a perfect opportunity to put a quick iOS 5 app together to get a feel for what’s new in the latest version. I started […]

Speaker Alert: A Weekend App Project

LOOK starting at 15 moving forwards.
Someone recently asked me a question about Lift algorithms (or Elevator algorithms for all you coders across the pond). It had been a long time since I covered them in my degree, so I had trouble giving a good answer. I don’t like not knowing stuff, so I did some […]

Soon as I can fit you in my Disk Schedule…

Segment of a level with 3 offscreen Enemies waiting to be activated 1
This week in the iOS Shooter Project, I’m going be designing how the game scenes will fit together and how levels will be laid out. I’m going to look at scenery, what elements will interact with one another and what happens to everything that isn’t on screen. Let’s start by looking at […]

iOS Shooter Designs Part 2: Anatomy of a Scene and ...