The Excitement Stage

If there’s one thing I’ve learned over the past week, it’s that catching a cold while pregnant really, really sucks. All of the good meds are off-limits, so it’s all up to warm washcloths on my head and saline nasal drops and plain ol’ Tylenol to save the day. However, despite all that, I did manage to drag myself to the nearest Best Buy to scoop up a new Apple TV on Friday, and boy: it got me thinking1.

When I first came up with my idea for a game, I thought that I’d make it iPhone-only, just to make it simpler for myself. However, everything Apple has done in the past few years—Storyboards, Auto Layout, Size Classes, asset catalogs—clearly points to a preference for Universal apps2. Also, I enjoy playing games on my iPad, and I know others do too (especially kids, who would be a great audience for my game). But what about the TV? Is that biting off more than I can chew?

Turns Out™, it’s really easy to get a Universal game working on the new Apple TV. My plan is for my game to use the device’s accelerometer for character movement; conveniently, an accelerometer is built in to the new Siri remote, though I’m not sure how easy it is to figure out the remote orientation. (EDIT: I just checked the API doc for GCMotion and found this statement:

Although the remote supports motion data (and the GCMotion profile), the remote cannot determine the attitude or rotation of the remote. The corresponding properties always return constant values.

I’m not exactly sure how to interpret that, so I guess I’ll have to experiment once I get things up and running.)

In addition to the prospect of having my game work on the Apple TV, another thing that really excited me today was the release of a documentary called CODEGIRL. It’s free to watch on YouTube until November 5, so go see it while you can! I watched the entire thing this afternoon and found it really inspiring. I wish such opportunities existed when I was in high school, because even though I got straight As and was tied with my best friend as salutatorian of our class, I still didn’t think I was smart enough for a career in computer science. Part of that was my own stupid fault, and part of it was all that cultural socialization crap that says that programming is for boys (particularly boys who have been tinkering with computers since they were two years old or whatever).

Anyway, it’s a pretty neat film and I hope that a lot of people check it out!


  1. I realize that this is all very First World Problems, as I am very blessed to both be pregnant and able to buy an Apple TV.
  2. Ars Technica thinks so too.