My game on a iPad, my pilgrimage

YEAHH! Pretty nice is the feeling you get when you see your game for the first time on the medium it is supposed to be. Yesterday I dwelled in the mysteriously complicated world of signing applications for the Apple App Store. 6 hours it took me to finally get my game on my tablet ( by the way I didn’t buy the iPad, I won it :) ). I would say that 2/3 of that I was stuck in Apple developer center where you have to do numerous steps and get many files in order to sign your app / game. The last third came from converting one certificate to something Flash can use to compile a .ipa file.

For that step you can either do it on OSX or on Windows differently and since I have both installed on my machine, I thought I would do it the easy way ( what I thought would be) on OSX, but for some reasons Keychain access didn’t seem to export me the right things. So I had to do everything using OpenSSL on Windows, which after a little tweak, worked like a charm. Follow these instructions from Adobe to do so: generate signing request, convert certificate to .p12.

So with that done, I was set to compile my Flash game into an iOs app. This proved also more complicated than what I thought. My game was built using FlashDevelop, but I have Flash CS5.5 so I thought it was just a matter of setting my main class as the document class of a new fla. Turns out the Flash compiler is different from the Flex compiler and it started throwing me a lot of weird errors. I have to admit my project is a bit weird too (I lost one fla, so I had to decompile one file but I couldn’t get the font out of it, so I have 2 swc that have symbols in common), but it should have worked. Anyway, you don’t need Flash to compile to iOs. I downloaded the new Flex SDK and the latest AIR SDK (4.6 and 3.1) and used those templates for FlashDevelop and it worked mighty fine. Funny thing, my game was already compiled using the Flex 4.5.1 SDK; not AIR  (I am not using anything special) and not the latest SDK, but I didn’t have to recompile it, I just packaged it and it worked fine. I wonder if I use the AIR compiler instead if it would run faster???

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  1. #1 by Keaton - December 22nd, 2011 at 15:52

    Sounds like a headache. Through my use of AIR/Flex within Flash Builder, I think the compile process is actually the same for all of my projects (air/web/mobile/etc) as there is always a swf file sitting somewhere in any project; and this is even the thing launched for use in debug/run (it’s loaded within the ADL or the web browser) When you go for the “export release..” It will do a quick clean/re-compile (I think this is an option), then it takes the SWF and either wraps it in an AIR package, or a APK/IPA if you deploy for mobile, and just moves the SWF if for web.

    If I’m not mistaken if you reduce out some of the steps, its really just command line scripts being run by eclipse (for flash builder, not sure about flashdevelop) And I have actually seen someone take a SWF that’s created as the intermediate, and using command line, wraps it in the correct package (such as the IPA).

    I think this is because before flash builder and the flash IDE had nice interfaces to export out packages for mobile, the only way to do it was through command line. All the same tools and techniques are the same now, they just put fancy interfaces in front of them all.

    Not entirely sure the purpose of my response.. but hopefully it will create some discussion? lol

  2. #2 by polyGeek - December 23rd, 2011 at 08:49

    That Apple cert stuff is like concocting some sort of magic potion isn’t it? I went through the same thing, minus the weird compile issues. That’ doesn’t sound like fun.

  3. #3 by mala - February 15th, 2012 at 05:56

    hahah

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