We're taking a break from our regularly scheduled iOS game programming to get the word out about a really sweet rapid prototyping tool for the iPad released by Two Lives Left, creators of Wheeler's Treasure [$2.99] and Pilot Winds [Free]. It's called Codify [$7.99], and utilizing the Lua programming language along with a ton of clever touch-based interface elements lets you quickly and easily throw together whatever game prototype you might be dreaming of.
I've heard more than a few developers attempting to create similar tools for the iPad, but all of them have hit various roadblocks in the Apple approval process because they all (in one way or another) allowed you to get code and assets onto the device and execute it. Codify sidesteps this by coming with a wide variety of assets, but unfortunately all of your creations will be trapped on your own device. Right now, there's no way to export (or import) anything, although Two Lives Left have told us they've submitted an update to Apple that has this functionality and they're planning on working with the approval teams to come to some kind of solution.
Either way, Lua is easy to learn and even with your prototypes stuck on your own iPad Codify can be an incredibly useful tool. If you come up with a game idea, you can quickly toss it together and see if it's worth pursuing. In fact, I'd almost say keeping these prototypes trapped on your device is a good thing as it serves as a fantastic rough draft to then redo in a more serious development environment.
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