It's unlikely to transform you into the next Halfbrick or Firemint, but Codify, from the awesomely-named developer Two Lives Left, is an intriguing app for those looking to try their hand at the whole game-making thing.
Based on Lua and fully utilising touch-based controls to minimise coding fiddliness, Codify appears surprisingly straightforward — as far as DIY gaming software goes. There's a good compromise of flexibility and power, without abstracting away the coding side entirely.
Yes, programming can be intimidating if you've never done it before but, trust me, once you gain some mastery you'll be glad you can dive in and play around with variables and functions directly.
A meaty feature list can be found on the app's App Store page:
- A full featured vector graphics and image renderer lets you prototype what you can imagine
- Lots of fantastic example projects to learn from, including games and simulations
- Generate random retro-game sound effects to use in your creations
- Touch your code: tap numbers, colors and images to adjust them
- Complete in-line reference documentation accessible from the keyboard
- Intelligent auto-completion suggests keywords and functions
- Add parameters to your simulation or game interface so you can tweak variables at runtime
- Interact with the accelerometer and multi touch on your device
- Codify renders your code with beautiful syntax highlighting
Simple things, like in-line referencing and auto-completion make life so much easier, and are a boon on a device like the iPad.
At $8.49, it's a little on the expensive end of the App Store's pricing tiers, but crazily cheap compared to say the $US1500 of the fully-featured version of Unity. Not that it's anywhere near as formidable, but it's definitely a more affordable outlay for the curious.
If you'd like some insight into how to works, Two Lives Left has provided this handy video.
Codify [App Store]