A game engine for weekend warriors…
The Platform Games tvOS and iOS Starter Kit is capable of creating side scrolling apps that are only limited by your own imagination. Yet, the kit is so simple to use, you’ll be able to make an entire app in a weekend.
Run your kit-based apps on the new Apple TV, iPhone or iPad, and connect an external game controller to start playing your game right away. The kit also supports high score boards for Game Center, and as usual with our starter kits, everything is property list based. So you’ll never need to edit the actual code (unless you want to).
The Platform Games kit can easily pay for itself…
Or a year’s subscription to CartoonSmart (which includes the latest version of the kit), in very short amount of time. Take a look at what a relatively low number of $1.99 app sales can add up to…
The starter kit is Swift 3 and Sprite Kit based, but no coding is necessary to make your game.
Levels are designed within Xcode, using the Scene editor. You can lay out platforms, poles, spawn locations for enemies, respawn locations for players, etc. You can also animate and define most physics all within the Scene editor.
Use simple properties in a Property List file to make changes to level parameters, spawn enemies, ammo and more.
The kit includes two example Xcode projects, our original demo and a new retro-style demo. Both projects are Universal, which means they support both iOS and tvOS
Apps made with the kit automatically support up to 2 external Game Controllers (in particular the Nimbus which Apple sells for the new Apple TV). Game Controllers work for the Apple TV, iPhone and iPad.
You can create an unlimited number of levels and players can continue from the latest level they’ve reached, or skip to previously passed levels from a menu screen.
Levels can be passed by exiting through portals, enemies killed, or a certain score value, or when another players kills their opponent (in versus mode)
The scene camera can follow the player on the x axis (horizontally tracking the player), y axis (vertically), both axis, or none at all.
Levels can reset the score, enemy kill count, hearts (lives lost), or ammo.
Add parallax backgrounds by simply naming your background art, Parallax1, Parallax2, Parallax3 and watch as they scroll by at different rates.
TileMap support added for Xcode 8. Design levels by simply painting tiles on a grid. Use the property list to choose whether the player can collide with them or not.
Supports Co-op and Versus modes. Players can play with or against each other using separate controllers.
Player artwork can be changed from level to level, or simply reused every level. So “Player 1” on Level1 might be an peasant character and on Level 2, he’s been upgraded to a Knight.
Player artwork can include animations for idling, dying, shooting, jumping, climbing, walking, and running.
Enemy artwork can include animations for walking, attacking, attacking, hurt, dying, and shooting.
Enemies can shoot out other enemies (any enemy can be used as a spawn location for new enemies). So that could be as simple as shooting out a bullet (to use the term enemy loosely), or for example, a Vampire might shoot out a Bat, which is itself a new enemy.
Player ammo can be dropped which awards only to Player 1 or only to Player 2, or for both players.
The Home Menu can include buttons to jump to specific levels or change modes of play (for example, one player games, two player co-op games, two player versus games, etc). Buttons can also open Game Center, continue a game using the last level and settings played, or open other menu pages.
Buttons can jump to specific levels, and be disabled if the player has not reached a particular level yet.
Game Center can be enabled to post High Scores.
Enable In-App Purchasing by simply specifying certain buttons require a product ID to be purchased (otherwise the button won’t open a particular level, and instead prompt the user to purchase).
Design and Animate Levels within Xcode!
Xcode’s amazing Scene Editor allows you to completely design AND animate levels. So if you want a shredding saw to chop players in half, you can rotate and move it using the Scene Editors timeline. Animations can be looped, making it the perfect solution for level animations.
The scene can also simulate many physics interactions without ever having to build the app. So arrange an Ammo Drop for a player and see where it will ultimately end up.
Plus for the release of Xcode 8, we’ve added collide-able Tile Map support, so designing levels is even easier!
Play like it’s 1984. Game controller support built right in.
Touching your device to play games is sooooo, 2014. With the new Apple TV helping to push customers to up their gameplay with the Nimbus controller (to the left), you might notice some resurgence in iOS platform games as well. Prop up your iPad or iPhone someplace closeby, kick back and play the iOS version of your app using any supported external game controller. They’ve been on the market for years, the Nimbus is just an Apple-endorsed controller (and a really good one).
But the controller is really about TV. It makes such a huge difference. For customers obviously, but developing with it, you might feel like the 10 year old version of yourself is proud to see you making a game for a giant TV with a controller. That was the ultimate dream growing up right?
Create solo games, two player games, and versus games…
Battle your friends head-to-head by connecting two external controllers, or with the new Apple TV, a single external controller and the included remote (turn it sideways for a more natural feel). Versus mode pits player against player, each with 4 life icons, and the first to lose them all loses the round. The level will then advance to the next “arena”.
You can also create levels where players work together to pass the board by finding the exits, by combining scores to exceed a certain amount, or by killing enough enemies. In co-op mode, deceased players can be revived at the start of the next level or not at all.
No Coding Needed. Ever. Seriously.
We teach code here at CartoonSmart. We love code. But part of making a great game engine, means it can be used without jumping in and out of the code constantly. This lets you, the developer, focus on just adding great art and designing fun levels.
If you’ve never worked with a Property-List driven project before, the image to the left shows you what to expect. Very literal property names provide data for each level. You can copy and paste these so each level uses the same data as before, and most properties are already setup in the demo version of the kit. Think of the property list like a control board for the app. Flip a YES to NO, and the level does something. Change a number, and the character might run faster. The property list is really just a pretty version of the default values in the code itself. But it can make each level flexible to changes that aren’t hard-coded into the base class.
Design levels once for both tvOS and iOS
No one likes to start over from scratch just to support another device. The kit is designed in such a way that you can create a single 1920 by 1080 scene, and use 1x images for tvOS and iOS (the iPhone 6 Plus is a 1920 by 1080 screen space when using 3x images, the same size as a tvOS app). So once you’ve created your Sprite Kit scene levels for one device, they are ready for another.
For further reading on this, click here.
Multiple menus to go anywhere in your game…
Don’t leave players jones-ing to replay a particular level with nowhere to go. Create as many supplemental menu screens as you want, and link to every level, level “sections”, secret levels, wherever! Buttons can be disabled to prevent players from jumping to levels they haven’t yet made it to.
Menu buttons can also open Game Center, so players can check in on who the worlds greatest [ enter your app name here ] player is.
Sell your apps as a Universal Purchase
Give potential buyers more reasons than ever to get your app. The Platform Games Starter Kit enables you to publish to both tvOS and iOS, then sell your apps under a single listing in iTunes Connect (making it a Universal Purchase). Or you can create tvOS-only versions and iOS only versions. It’s up to you!
The Kit also includes some art assets to give you a great sense of how to use your own art in production.
Groovy New Demo
Just added in June 2017, we’ve got a fun new, retro style version of the kit to explore. This is a surprisingly addictive little game that plays a bit like Donkey Kong and the original (non-Super) Mario Bros. So now CartoonSmart Subscribers get our original art-filled version of the kit, plus this new version, with relatively few art assets included. And if you play this game with an external controller, you’ll spot one of our favorite new features: bullets that can be aimed up or down using the Right Thumbstick of the controller.