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.

  • Vladimir Kotelnikov

    Well I guess GameStudio from Muteki Corp have a competitor now. Nay other tools like this besides this and Game Studio which hasn't been released yet and no words on when it will. Anyway this tool looks amazing for a game devs. Just needs a way to get your game out and into AppStore.

  • Anonymous

    Hot dog, I'm writin' a tethering app and a virus in this! 

    • http://twitter.com/thebenchwarmers BenchWarmers Clique

      wow what a villain!!!

  • http://appaddict.net/ Brett (@OTGGamer)

    Looks like a cool tool for getting your ideas down.

    • Vladimir Kotelnikov

      This can grow up into a complete mature game development tool with time and care. Way to go.

  • Anonymous

    I don't know what kind of custom magic they have running under the hood, but I can't imagine it being terribly difficult to port a rough sketch from Codify to Corona for refinement (and deployment to the app store).

  • Anonymous

    yeah I was also thinking to Corona, which should also be Lua-based. It would be cool to see the two dev groups teaming up.

    • Vladimir Kotelnikov

      Yeah that would be awsome.

  • Anonymous

    Interesting

  • http://wilsonzhuyi.myopenid.com/ justin

    "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."

    Can you explain what this means exactly? Apple won't allow apps that aren't 100% deterministic? What about games where I draw a path for the character to move along which is not predetermined? Is it against apple rules for a game to, example, load alternate skins for characters from a user input URL? If so, how is it different than Opera web browser

    • http://kristopher.johnson.myopenid.com/ OldManKris

      Apple doesn't allow any apps to download code from the Internet (except Javascript). Their intent is probably just to have a reason to reject things like Flash players, Java virtual machines, etc., and to prevent applications from changing into a different kind of app after approval, but the unfortunate side-effect is that programming tools like this can't download code.

      • http://wilsonzhuyi.myopenid.com/ justin

        Thanks.
        Are games allow to download png images from the internet to have custom sprites?

  • Tom Bortels

    I bought this last night to show support, and because it's pretty cool. Having said that - there are gaps that I'm hoping will be addressed in future updates, in addition to the lack of import/export. There's no way to edit sprite graphics, limiting you to what you can draw with primitives or their canned sprites (which are good but limited) - if you could import graphics it wouldn't be an issue, but you can't. There's no support that I can find for keyboard (ie. for my iCade). And there's no developer's forum that I could find. I do expect all of these to change at some point, and there's so much to mess with already, it was money well spent - what is implemented is *really nice* and it's a joy to finally be able to write bits of code on the ipad... What's here gets a solid B+, and it'll go to A+ with the addition of the missing bits. 

    • Vladimir Kotelnikov

      Yes it definitely needs to get a developer forum to build a community, because the community is what makes tools like that alive.

  • Adams Immersive

    Just went on holiday $1 sale... it was hard to find this article to read, and then I realized the name has changed: it is now Codea.