Sheep Herder Rounds Up Fans
Sheep Herder. Who'd have thought this little app would attract so much attention? Cruising through youtube recently, I noticed the video of Ben creating it is now approaching a quarter of a million views. Not only that, Sheep Herder itself has a 4 star rating on iTunes, and a bunch of positive comments.
Apparently, not only did we create an app in 3 hours 16 minutes, it turns out to be a fun game which is giving people pleasure to play. Sure, its not exactly taxing, playing it does not require much concentration, but people actually seem to enjoy herding sheep into a hole.
What I find really interesting is reading the comments on youtube. It seems people have difficulty in believing that Ben really doesn't know Objective C or Xcode, and has never submitted an app to the appstore before:
Well, Ben would probably leave us if we asked him to program in Objective C and has never used Xcode. This was his first encounter with the iOS SDK. Ben just knows LiveCode, and of course he is a fabulous designer.
A number of commenters want to see the actual code:
You can download the source for Sheep Herder here, and take apart the whole game for yourself. The code is extensively commented to help you understand what is going on.
Another question which many commenters are asking is, can you make applications if you don't have a Mac? Well, yes, you can do exactly the same program for Android, on your PC. In fact, we have. We took the code from Sheep Herder which we originally built for iOS, and compiled it straight for Android, using the standalone builder in LiveCode. It barely needed any tweaking at all, it simply ran on the Android phone without any changes to the code. It's only fair to mention that with a more complex app, it's likely that you would need to do some optimizing to achieve parity on both platforms, but this does prove that 90% of LiveCode is directly transferrable between platforms.
Some comments express doubts that an "ordinary" person could make a game like this:
Well, I haven't noticed any actual signs of Ben being a SuperHero, and we have experienced no visitations to the RunRev offices as yet... If you have an interest in programming, and are prepared to put in a little time and effort to learning something new, pretty much anyone could write this game. Maybe not in 3 hours and 16 minutes, as a total newbie to LiveCode, but we will give you lots of help to get started. Someone asked:
Well, our recent Summer Academy was a huge success, and we expect to be running something similar again soon. The Academy course started with the basics, assuming no knowledge of LiveCode, and showed you how to create a Mobile app, in seven lessons. The finished app was a useable organizer/task manager. If you are interested in signing up to the next course, just let us know!
In conclusion, way to go Sheep Herder! Maybe we should add some new levels, introduce wolves and sheep rustlers? What would be really cool is adding a Facebook interaction, so that you can share your scores with your friends on Facebook. What do you think?