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Apple Watch for games

04-11-2015, 04:39 AM
Joined: Jun 2012
Posts: 126
Apple Watch for games

Hello fellow developers!
This forum is for game developers. I have been doing both games and apps. I have even released one app for Apple Watch already. And it got me thinking... Is there really a way to use Apple Watch in games?

Have you already experimenting with new ideas and mechanics that could benefit from this new device?
04-12-2015, 05:19 AM
What was your experience submitting the Apple Watch app? Has it already been approved?

04-12-2015, 05:54 AM
Joined: Jun 2012
Posts: 126
Originally Posted by Storm Factory View Post
What was your experience submitting the Apple Watch app? Has it already been approved?
yes, it has already been approved, you can see the link in my signature.

The process was pretty smooth.
At first they rejected my metadata because I put "for Apple Watch" in the title, but when I changed it to simply "for watch" it was approved.

The only thing I noticed is that it was very long "in review", more than 48 hours. Other than that, everything went the same way as with any other app.
04-14-2015, 02:50 PM
Joined: Oct 2009
Location: Romania
Posts: 14
I submitted a Apple Watch update for my word game, Word Swipe (yes, I know, bad name) - here's the link: https://itunes.apple.com/ro/app/word-swipe-mania/id971836959?mt=8 ; it got approved right before April 11, also after about 48 hours in review.
I wasn't bright enough to add "for watch" in the name (or keywords, as a matter of fact), but I think it's a great idea.
Regarding new ideas and mechanics, I'd say there isn't anything "new" that you can come up with for now, since the SDK is pretty restrictive, as you already know. I'm currently exploring some ideas based on the old pre-Gameboy handheld games, the old school games with very limited interaction and animation.
It's weird to have all those SDK limitations, and it's even harder since we can't test the apps on the actual device to see what kind of responsiveness we can expect from it.

I've been making apps since before the iPhone.
04-14-2015, 05:18 PM
Joined: Apr 2013
Location: Brisbane
Posts: 54
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I've submitted two watch games so far - Snappy Word and Smart Attack - and both have gone into review within 3 days and been approved or rejected within 12 hours. So yes, review times for Watch games are a high priority for Apple right now!

The dev process has been fairly straightforward - the biggest challenge is that everything is so new that googling problems doesn't always result in finding answers straight away - but that is improving almost every day.
04-15-2015, 01:30 AM
For you guys that have made games, what's the responsiveness and smoothness of your games? Do you have any animations? Would the current Apple Watch be able to handle a quick tapping game like Flappy Bird or a side scroller?
04-15-2015, 06:39 AM
Joined: Oct 2009
Location: Romania
Posts: 14
The SDK doesn't allow you to read or update any coordinates of the watchkit UI elements, so you can't animate anything dynamically - flappy bird or sidescrollers are excluded from the start. All animations must be pre-made and saved on the phone as distinct images (one for each frame). The only types of games I can see possible with the current SDK are word games and other board puzzles where speed and responsiveness are not an issue. From what I understand from the Watch online reviews, responsiveness is a huge issue even when the iPhone is nearby the watch, and the time delay in the Watch simulator are even a bit optimistic.Just saying, until the next WatchKit SDK that allows code to be ran directly on the watch (currently all code is ran on the iphone and the watch only handles the display, much like a remote terminal) games will be very limited.

I've been making apps since before the iPhone.
04-16-2015, 03:15 AM
Since board puzzle games work pretty well on Apple Watch, I made a 2048 clone for it.
You can already download it and when Apple Watch is out, you can play it on the first day: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/2048-watch/id979995877?l=de&ls=1&mt=8

You can start a game on your iPhone and keep playing on your Apple Watch (and vice versa).
I couldn΄t test it on a real device yet, but responsiveness isn΄t that important in such kind of game.
But action games like Flappy Birs are not possible at the moment.
Here are some screenshots of the Apple Watch version.
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04-20-2015, 12:28 PM
Joined: Oct 2012
Posts: 3
Originally Posted by RobinK View Post
But action games like Flappy Birs are not possible at the moment.
I am curios to know how they implement games like these: http://toucharcade.com/2015/04/13/fo...e-watch-games/

I suppose they implemented a UIView-based game framework which only sends portions of the full screen to a tile based watch layout.
04-20-2015, 01:34 PM
Joined: Jun 2009
Posts: 11,187
IMHO with the battery life of the watch - if I had one I doubt I'd be playing games on it.

That being said, the first thing I thought of when someone mentioned games and the watch was to be a controller for Jetpack Joyride.

Originally Posted by NickFalk View Post

Worst idea ever!