So, you want to be a game developer? You’ve decided to take the plunge. You’ve got yourself a shiny new Mac Mini — with no optical drive — and a copy of GameSalad. What are you supposed to do next? How do you create content? Where do you get helpful applications? How do you get started? That blank slate can be intimidating. GameSalad is great software but it’s only part of what’s needed in creating, publishing and marketing a Mac or iOS app. But with these useful links, your project can get a nice jump-start.
- Apple Developer Programs – It’s $99 to register for the iOS developer program and $99 to register for the Mac Developer Program.
- iTunes Connect – If you’re serious about development, you’ll be seeing this website a lot. This is where you can manage your content in Apple’s App Stores.
- iTunes Connect Mobile – This is an iOS app for accessing sales data while on-the-go. Yet, this app has another feature that’s really helpful. It can send out notifications when your app changes status. That way, you won’t have to keep refreshing the iTunes Connect website, just to see if your app has been approved.
- The Unofficial GameSalad Textbook – I wrote this book with the aim to make it even easier to make apps with GameSalad. The game creation process is covered from the conception stages to publishing and marketing your app on the App Store.
- GameSalad Cookbook – This is an online help desk for GameSalad, that is driven by the community. There’s also a GameSalad Cookbook YouTube Channel.
- GameSalad Forums – This is a highly active and incredibly helpful online community for GameSalad developers.
- Pixelmator – This is an inexpensive image editor for Mac. GameSalad images should be saved as PNG files. (Even if you don’t create them as PNG files, GameSalad attempts to convert the graphics file to PNG anyway.) Pixelmator has features like filters, transformations (scale, crop, rotate, flip), brushes, gradients and layers. Supposedly, if you buy version 1.6 on the Mac App Store, you’ll get version 2.0 for free.
- Sound Stage – This is an inexpensive app for capturing video from iOS apps.
- iWork – Creating games involves more than just pretty pictures and cool sound effects. Office work might be involved too. So, iWork can be helpful with general office administration — like using Pages to write press releases, using Keynote to create presentations of your games and Numbers to keep track of all the money earned/spent.
- Deep Blue Apps – Templates and add-ons for GameSalad are available here.
- GameSalad Marketplace – This is the official site for purchasing game related content for your GameSalad projects.
- Icon Maker – This Mac App Store application can be used for quickly creating app icons or cool buttons for your game and/or website.
- GameSalad – Maybe you didn’t actually download the GameSalad Creator or GameSalad Viewer yet. Those are free downloads from the official website. If you want to upgrade to GameSalad Pro, that’s currently $499 per year.
- Xcode – GameSalad uses Xcode to install the GameSalad Viewer on iOS devices.
- Audacity – This is a free (and cross-platform) sound editor.
- Textwrangler – Even though GameSalad doesn’t require coding, sometimes you might want to manually edit the XML files that GameSalad creates. Textwrangler is a free text editor that has syntax highlighting.
- Inkscape – This is an open source vector graphics editor.
Creating A Website
- HostRocket – Photics.com uses HostRocket for web hosting. I think it’s amazing. It’s inexpensive and the support is excellent.
- WordPress – Once you have a website setup, installing a content management system can make it easier to administrate. This site uses WordPress as a CMS.
- Artisteer – Once you have a WordPress site set up, you might want to make it look pretty. Artisteer is like GameSalad for web design. You don’t need to know any code. You don’t even need to be an artist. Just use the visual interface to create a theme and then upload that theme to the website. Artisteer can also be used with other Content Management Systems, like Blogger, Joomla, Drupal and even Microsoft SharePoint.
- FileZilla – When you have your own website, you might want a quick way to upload multiple files to that website. FileZilla is a Free FTP application. (Depending on your web host, you might want to limit “Maximum Simultaneous Transfers” to 1. Uploading too much at once may cause problems.)
- Domain Tools – Having a website for your games is required. Apple wants a support link with every app. So, to create a professional appearance, it’s important to have your own domain name. A good domain name can be tough to find. So, with Domain Tools you can check the availability of a domain name, or see who is currently using it. If you’re really interested in an existing domain name, maybe you can buy it from the current registrant.
- United States Patent and Trademark Office – The description states, “This page provides the major documentation, tools, applications, links, and useful information for all your trademark needs.” Markify is also another Trademark Search site.
- RhymeZone – If you’re having trouble naming your game, or writing a snappy limerick, this site might help. There’s a search option to look for synonyms, antonyms, or rhymes for a specific word.
- US-CERT – With all this software you’re downloading, are there any risks? The United States Computer Readiness Team posts bulletins/warnings about significant threats.
- PRWeb – This website hosts a paid service for distributing press releases.
- prMac – This is a Mac related PR website
- LinkShare – While promoting your own apps, you might want to use affiliate links. That way, you can earn a commission for sending traffic to the iTunes App Store. I use LinkShare because I’m in the United States. Apple’s website has more information about the affiliate program and lists other networks for developers outside the United States.
- BuySellAds.com – Do you want to spend money on an online advertisement campaign? BuySellAds.com works with many iPhone / Mac related websites.
- Other Ad networks – There’s so many places to spend money with advertising… such as Google AdWords, iAds and AdMob.
- 148 Apps – http://www.148apps.com/about/submit-app-review/
- AppAdvice – http://appadvice.com/appnn/contact-info-developers
- AppCraver – http://www.appcraver.com/contact/
- AppleTell – http://www.appletell.com/technologytell/contact/
- Ars Technica – http://arstechnica.com/site/contact-ars-technica.ars
- IGN – http://games.ign.com/email.html
- Mac|Life – http://www.maclife.com/article/maclife_editorial_beats
- Pocket Gamer – http://www.pocketgamer.co.uk/r/Multiformat/feature.asp?c=11845
- Slide To Play – http://www.slidetoplay.com/contact.html
- Tapscape – http://www.tapscape.com/contact-us/
- The Appera – http://theappera.com/contact/
- TouchGEN – http://www.touchgen.net/contact-us
- Touch Reviews – http://touchreviews.net/request-review/
This is not a complete list. So, if you want to add your own helpful links, you can post up in the comments section.