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Building an iOS Sprite-Based Game

By now just about everyone with a mobile phone has at least heard of the game Flappy Bird. If for some reason you still have a flip phone and have not, it is a very simple 2D sprite-based game where you tap the screen in an attempt to keep your bird from hitting the ground and other objects. It was a media hit a little while back because of how simple and derivative it was, yet it was popular and profitable on the iTunes store ($50k in one day!). Of course, now it is everywhere you look…

Since the game’s success, a plethora of jealous developers said to themselves, “I can make that too”. And of course they could because it really is a simple game. Someone’s got to be first though, right? Over time, Flappy Bird has made its way to just about every platform, in hundreds of different variations and formats. Thus I decided for my first sprite-Based iOS game, I’d make my own “zAppyBird”!

flappysized  vs.  20150812_225723000_iOS

Amazingly named, zAppyBird is just like every other Flappy Bird clone. The goal of course is for me to learn to use the iOS SpriteKit, and build a game, while not requiring me to be a graphic artist rendering 3D wireframe models, et cetera. The base game took about a day to code in Swift, and another day to polish. Apple really has made it easy to interact with the built in SpriteKit. I just wish I had some real art skills…

2015-08-12 15.35.56

The real issue came about when I went to integrate zAppyBird with Game Center, so some poor sap that decides to play my game can share his success with the world. I added a few achievements, just like you would receive in other games, for scoring 10 points, 20 points, and other unique milestones. However, when I went to submit it to the iTunes store, it kept receiving an SSL certificate error.

After a lot of fiddling around and manipulating certificates, I’ve come to the conclusion that my generic wildcard certificate that I created for apps back in 2012 will no longer suffice if I wish to use the extra features built into iOS services like Game Center. These features require a more specific certificate that better identifies the app (rather than my generic wildcard certificate), which is a fair request. My specific problem is that I’ve used this old wildcard certificate with EVERY SINGLE APP I’ve ever created, including my very successful Whipped zApp.

To fix my certificate issue, Apple recommends that I revoke my wildcard certificate, generate new certificates, and re-sign my Apps. However, this would create a new iTunes Store entry for my existing apps. I wouldn’t generally care, but I really do not want to lose my search engine rankings for Whipped. This is the only app that makes me income, and a decent amount at that. Thus my only solution left that I can see, and please correct me if I’m wrong, is to pay the $100 to create a new Apple developer’s account, transfer my apps to the new account, which will sign them with a new certificate but retain the iTunes Store page, and then cancel my existing developer’s account when it expires.

What a pain in the butt…

About the Author: Sprawl

Stephen Russell is a Mobile App developer and all around IT geek that spends his days running data centers and his nights coding. This site is the go to place for all of zSprawl's work and the infamous development blog. In his free time, he enjoys tinkering with web code, playing video games, and otherwise plotting to take over the Internets.


One Response

  1. разработка андроид приложений

    Excellent post. I’m facing a few of these issues as well..

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