Collateral damage: Apple yanks Scratch

 Posted by (Visited 9007 times)  Game talk  Tagged with: , , ,
Apr 152010

MIT’s Scratch is a tool developed at the MIT Media Lab to allow young people to learn the basics of computing and programming.

That means it’s also a development environment wherein you can run interpreted code.

Which means that it can’t be on the iPad or the iPod Touch or iPhone. So Apple has yanked it from the App Store.

As the Computing Education blog points out, these restrictions are ending up by saying that you literally cannot create procedural content on these devices.

Discussion on the Scratch forums suggests that it’s because Apple wants to focus on consuming media using these devices, not producing media.  Want to be truly computing literate, where you write as well as read?  There’s no app for that.

“Apple removes Scratch from iPad/iPhone/iTouch”

The flip side: Apple vs Flash

 Posted by (Visited 17404 times)  Game talk  Tagged with: , , ,
Apr 082010

I actually knew about this while writing the other post, but it hadn’t seemed to break publicly on the Net yet. Well, now it has. There’s language in the new SDK agreement for iPhone OS 4.0 that appears to ban using any development environment or toolchain that Apple doesn’t like. Most especially, it seems aimed at preventing Adobe from marketing the flagship feature in CS5: compiling for iPhone standalone apps.

3.3.1 — Applications may only use Documented APIs in the manner prescribed by Apple and must not use or call any private APIs. Applications must be originally written in Objective-C, C, C++, or JavaScript as executed by the iPhone OS WebKit engine, and only code written in C, C++, and Objective-C may compile and directly link against the Documented APIs (e.g., Applications that link to Documented APIs through an intermediary translation or compatibility layer or tool are prohibited).

CS5 launches on Monday, by the way, so this is a huge blow to Adobe.

There is already plenty of speculation as to whether this catches stuff like Unity, MonoTouch, Appcelerator (they had a blog post up about it, but it’s gone now!), and who knows what else. Basically, all cross-compilation tools, which is a large amount of the middleware out there.

This is the dark side of the last post I wrote. Epically closed means, well, epically closed. And in this case, it means creating barriers to content creation that effectively mean it costs more dollars to engage in the market. That’s what happens when you have closed-off production-and-distribution chains: smaller developers lose out.

Nintendo vs Apple and social gaming

 Posted by (Visited 9568 times)  Game talk  Tagged with: , , , ,
Apr 082010

Reggie Fils-Aime of Nintendo thinks that Apple isn’t a viable profit platform for games. The picture for game developers on iPhone certainly isn’t all rosy — the App Store has effectively recreated all the bad elements of retail, without the profit margins.

On the other hand, there are literally 50,000 games and entertainment apps for the iPhone and iPad. Fifty. Thousand. Number for the DS? More like 2500.

And now, Apple’s taking a big big hint from the networked, connected world, and introducing a gaming social network to the iPhone OS.

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