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Galcon Fusion for the iPad

galcon-ipad-rainbowSo Galcon Fusion is available for the iPad.

Here’s a bit of tech stuff for ya! The port itself took about 3 days. If you check out the screenshots, you can see I letterboxed the desktop version of Galcon Fusion, and used that extra area to put the iPad specific controls (the pause button, the chat activation button, and the ships % “mouse wheel”)

I don’t have an iPad yet, but I think it’s going to work pretty well. The multi-touch interface design was all done ages ago for the iPhone, so I just used that code for this. It should work great!

The biggest challenge in porting was dealing with OpenGL stack limits on the iPad which appear to be 16 levels. My GUI used quite a few Push/Pop’s to achieve various theme effects and whatnot, but that was blowing the stack. It took me a bit, but I was able to find a number of places where I was able to remove those uses of the stack and things seemed to work fine. (There are some edge cases where my changes wouldn’t be safe, but none of my code uses those, so no harm!)

Anyway, I’m really looking forward to getting an iPad and seeing how the iPad users stack up against the mouse users. This will really pit two different interfaces against each other, which should be really neat. Both interfaces have their own advantages!

As always, python proved useful in this project as I had to update all my graphical assets for the game to work with the iPad. Since my asset pipeline was written in python and pygame, it only took a couple minutes to add in the code I needed to fix a few issues. And thankfully these fixes will go forward and improve my desktop version as well, so all and all, a good deal.


P.S. In other news, I’ve been playing with django lately for my non-games business. It’s slick!

Update: Since I was unable to test Galcon Fusion on a REAL iPad it has bugs 🙁 Apparently the multi-player game crashes and the framerate is low. I’ll be getting my iPad on Monday and fixing those issues ASAP! There’s probably some kind of “testing on real hardware is smart” kind of lesson in this somewhere …

25 Responses to “Galcon Fusion for the iPad”

  1. Xanadeath Says:

    I tried contacting you on Twitter but got no response. When I try to join a game in galcon fusion on iPad the game simply crashes….. :/


  2. philhassey Says:

    hmmn, I don’t have an iPad yet, but I’ll check this out first thing Monday when it shows up.

    Can you tell me step-by-step exactly what happens? Do you ever fill in your user info? Does it send you to a website?


  3. Xanadeath Says:

    Also when you go to multiplayer it asks for your account info and even when you enter it….. After you enter it and click done it goes back to the main screen And I select multiplayer and I select a game and I see the lobby and then the game crashes. If I try to open galcon again and go to multiplayer it will ask for my account info again :/


  4. philhassey Says:

    Also, do you have an iPad yet? Or do you use a simulator?

  5. Xanadeath Says:

    I guess that was pretty much the step by step lol I didn’t see your post. Uhm I’m gunn a try to reinstall it and come back….


  6. Xanadeath Says:

    I’m typing in my iPad right Now. Pretty amazing how much like a laptop the keyboard is in landscape 🙂


  7. Xanadeath Says:

    Reinstalling doesnt fix……… 🙁 lol


  8. philhassey Says:

    Very cool 🙂 I don’t get mine until Monday, so I’ll definitely be fixing bugs when I get it.


  9. Xanadeath Says:

    Also in classic the game is laggy…. Maybe not “laggy”, but choppy and slow when ships are moving around. Maybe the iPad just cant handle this game :/


  10. philhassey Says:

    Hmm – yeah I’ll try and speed up the graphics when I get it 🙂 I want the game running smooth, of course!


  11. Xanadeath Says:

    Grrrr lol galcon is one of my most favorite games Lyle evar and it’s unplayable lol u oughta go grab one today :p *sigh*

  12. philhassey Says:

    Heh, I wish I could! When I ordered my iPad they said it would be here Saturday. But UPS won’t deliver to me today 🙁


  13. Xanadeath Says:

    Awwww that sucks lol…… For both you and me :p


  14. Ross Says:

    Thanks for porting this to the ipad!

    In addition to the multiplayer crashes and frame rate issues noted above, I also wanted to mention that the ships % “mouse wheel” is pretty frustrating to use. Since there’s all that real estate on the bottom of the screen due to the letterboxing, I’d suggest making that whole bar touch sensitive during game play. One touch to the far left would be 5%, 100% for the far right, 50% for the middle, etc.

    Again, thanks for porting this. I’m thrilled to be able to play it on my new ipad.

  15. philhassey Says:

    Thanks a ton for the feedback! I haven’t played it on an iPad yet — but I’ll definitely check out how well the “mouse wheel” works and reconsider if it feels too clunky.


  16. iv4iv4 Says:

    Sorry this isn’t going so well, I bought the app before reading the comments and was disappointed. Looking forward to the updates 🙂

    Also, did you happen to get an android phone at GDC and are we going to get galcon for android? I’d love for this to happen!

  17. philhassey Says:

    I’ve almost got my update finished. Probably be submitting it tomorrow morning 🙂


  18. Denilson Says:

    I haven’t checked, but does Galcon for PCs (and Macs) support multi-input? I mean, multiple mice?

    I don’t have (and don’t plan to use) multiple mice, but that could be a nice addition. Imagine friends playing Galcon cooperatively at the same machine. Or maybe just a simple multi-touch interface for the PC.

    I got this idea from World of Goo:

  19. philhassey Says:

    The desktop one doesn’t do multi-mouse.. though I have considered it! Maybe someday.


  20. Caje Says:

    Hey Phil,

    Just wondering if there’s any update to iPad crashing. LLLLLLove the game and am excited to see fusion multiplayer with the iPad.


  21. philhassey Says:

    Yes! I’ve submitted an update to Apple today! It now works and looks great!

    Apple approval takes several days, so hopefully you’ll get it soon.


  22. Caje Says:

    Awesome, thanks a ton!!

    I’m excited!

  23. Xanadeath Says:

    Yay! Lol 🙂

  24. Kirill Says:

    Please correct me if I’m wrong, but you seem to be using pygame on the iPhone/iPad… I thought that it’s impossible. Could you point me to a tutorial on how to port a pygame game to the iPhone.

  25. philhassey Says:

    Hey – I’m not, actually. My Galcon codebase is now entirely C/C++/ObjC code. If only I could be using python+pygame 🙂