X Puzzle is here!

Nearly a month and no other entries in the Zone. Well, my back's been crap and I've spent some time resting between the exercises to rebuild back muscles. Damn lumbago, haven't been able to sit for longer than 10 minutes without ache. Well, enough of that.

So lying on my back, again, I put my head into SpriteKit, AudioKit, GameKit etc. This time, the App Store submission work was much easier. Practice makes perfect.

One day my daughter complained about one of her puzzle games being impossible to solve, a physical version of the classic 15-puzzle. I immediately caught on the idea of creating an iOS game to learn more about SpriteKit. So, why not the 15-puzzle? With several boards to choose from. And with Game Center leaderboards!

It turned out to be much more work than I expected. First, it should look somewhat nice. The versions I found in the App Store... well they were ugly, in-app purchase driven or full of crappy ads. Or all of the above.

So, I set out to do it properly... which as I said, turned out to be a cumbersome task of doing graphics. But hey, Photoshop has a lot of support for exporting things to the @1x, @2x and @3x resolutions. I.e low res, retina and the special "iPhone Plus" point sizes which are 3-by-3 pixels per on-screen point. Hope Apple doesn't invent even more of those now. I think I spent as much time on creating graphics as I did writing code.

Second, there's the audio. Can't publish a game with some audio scores. And some sound FX. GarageBand to the rescue!

Here's a bold promise: Give me 50,000 downloads, and I'll Open Source the game code. :-)

Anyway, get it at the App Store. This is what you're up against: 

Gameplay with the 5-by-5 board grid.