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Thoughts on the App Store
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choobs



Joined: 24 Mar 2008
Posts: 5
Thoughts on the App Store 

So this thread is probably just wishful thinking, but I figured I'd get the ball rolling anyway.

It sounded like the biggest hurdle to getting ScummVM to work on the iPhone via the App Store would be getting the game files onto the phone. I have no idea if what I'm about to suggest works, but what the hell, it can't hurt Smile

I noticed browsing around the newly opened App Store that there is an App called FileMagnet that works with a desktop program (Mac only right now) to download files from a computer to the iPhone. If those files could be accessed by another App (ScummVM) then that would solve the problem! I have no idea what the SDK allow in that regard though.

Once again, I realize this is most likely wishful thinking, but nothing ventured nothing gained. Surprised

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Post Thu Jul 10, 2008 4:52 pm 
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choobs



Joined: 24 Mar 2008
Posts: 5
 

So after some research, it turns out a third party program downloading the files wouldn't work because the Apps definitely can't access each other's files. Still, a Wifi Downloader is definitely possible.........

*sheepish grin*

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Post Thu Jul 10, 2008 8:32 pm 
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chrisis



Joined: 30 Oct 2005
Posts: 132
Location: Innsbruck, Austria
 

http://www.veiosoft.com/ - DataCase
Maybe something like this program would work? Still not sure, if it's possible to get access to the files uploaded by this program from an other one...
It comes out on July 28th, and will cost $7 so let's wait...

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Post Tue Jul 15, 2008 10:40 am 
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tripmaster



Joined: 15 Jul 2008
Posts: 2
 

This would be really great if you cold get it to work.
I ordered my iPhone today and ScummVM would be the first app I install.
It would be nice if I didn't have to jailbreak it for that.

Wouldn't it be possible to upload the games with the SDK?

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Post Tue Jul 15, 2008 2:20 pm 
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TomFrost



Joined: 23 Apr 2007
Posts: 178
 

Another hurdle is state saving. Apple doesn't allow any software into the app store that uses a background process, or is persistent in any form when you hit the "home" button. In its current state (and please correct me if I'm wrong), when you hit the "home" button, the app pauses and retains its state in the background. So unless I'm mistaken, that's something else that we'll need a new solution for.

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Post Tue Jul 22, 2008 9:57 pm 
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ovvldc



Joined: 03 Aug 2007
Posts: 24
Location: Utrecht, NL
 

IIUC, some of the Google Summer of Code work going on would be useful in this regard.

Best wishes,
Oscar

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Post Tue Jul 22, 2008 10:31 pm 
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fingolfin
Retired


Joined: 21 Sep 2005
Posts: 1466
 

Sorry, YDNUC, no GSoC work related to this is going on.

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Post Wed Jul 23, 2008 9:33 am 
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Echomote



Joined: 01 Apr 2008
Posts: 9
 

Maybe a demo bundle, with a few demos (and possibly a freeware game like Beneath a Steel Sky?) could be authorized? Even if it wasn't capable of importing games, a lot of people could still enjoy BASS.

I believe the Wii ScummVM came with a few game demos.

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Post Wed Jul 23, 2008 1:57 pm 
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ovvldc



Joined: 03 Aug 2007
Posts: 24
Location: Utrecht, NL
 

@Fingolfin: My bad. I thought the work on improved savestate management might make solving the 'no background apps' problem easier.

-Oz

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Post Wed Jul 23, 2008 9:25 pm 
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Robo-X



Joined: 05 Jul 2006
Posts: 24
 

But why does ScummVM need to run in the background? Can't it just saved the gamestate and ask if you want to continue where you left of when starting ScummVM again?

But the biggest problem is to get the game files onto the iPhone. I wonder if someone have a good idea how to solve this.

I was wondering if maybe it would be possible to offer the released games through the app store? Like BASS, Flight of the Amazon Queen and Lure of the Temptress.

//Rob

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Post Wed Jul 23, 2008 11:01 pm 
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TomFrost



Joined: 23 Apr 2007
Posts: 178
 

quote:
Originally posted by Robo-X
But why does ScummVM need to run in the background? Can't it just saved the gamestate and ask if you want to continue where you left of when starting ScummVM again?

See the link in the post above yours for more information on why a state can't automatically be saved Smile

Furthermore -- and Vinterstum may be able to correct me here -- I don't believe there's a Quit trigger in the SDK. Meaning, there's nothing that says "Hey program, the home button was just pressed, so save the game if you need to and then exit." In this case, the iPhone would have to be constantly saving the game state to a file every time you did something, which gets ugly. I may be wildly mistaken on that point, though.


quote:

But the biggest problem is to get the game files onto the iPhone. I wonder if someone have a good idea how to solve this.

Someone mentioned in another thread the possibility of allowing ScummVM to access network file shares, or making a mini client to send the games from the computer to the phone. Both are a pain Sad


quote:

I was wondering if maybe it would be possible to offer the released games through the app store? Like BASS, Flight of the Amazon Queen and Lure of the Temptress.

They could technically be shipped with ScummVM legally, but they couldn't be put on the app store as separate applications because they, in and of themselves, are not iPhone applications. Apple doesn't catalog dependencies or anything like that, unfortunately. And I say they could technically be included because you probably wouldn't want to do it in practice -- those games add up to hundreds and hundreds of megs, and aside from being bad ethics, Apple may not even allow it.

A middle ground may be to have a little game repository inside of ScummVM, allowing users to download the free games from the ScummVM server as they want them. But the drawback here is that this will quickly become *the* #1 top Free Game, a list practically every iphone owner will be checking semi-regularly. Which means we could see in excess of a million downloads of 600MB worth of games. Which is 600TB of bandwidth. ...which I'm pretty sure we don't have :-/ Unless someone wants to fund an Amazon S3 account. (Edit: I just did the math.. 600TB over Amazon S3 is $52,000USD. Yes, that's 52 thousand dollars.)

So aside from a desktop-based packager and sender.. I think we're stuck in Cydia Sad
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Post Thu Jul 24, 2008 12:05 am 
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PlayingKarrde



Joined: 02 Dec 2007
Posts: 22
 

I'm not sure why saving the state when the home button is pressed is so important though. Certainly not a deal breaker. You can save the game at any point anyway so just save before you press Home. Obviously if you get phone calls while in game you might lose some progress, but this is the same issue for every game in the store so why the big fuss?

Getting the games onto the iphone would obviously be the possible deal breaker here, but I would be surprised if this is such a huge hurdle.

I personally don't really mind either way since my iphone is jailbroken (and forever will be) but if getting out to as many people is one of your main aims then don't give up Smile

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Post Thu Jul 24, 2008 12:22 am 
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TomFrost



Joined: 23 Apr 2007
Posts: 178
 

lol -- I've bought a few games from the app store already, and I refuse to get any that don't save your game when you receive a call. Apple's Texas Hold'em, a really nice Sudoku game, Enigmo, Aurora Feint... all save progress Wink.

The early versions of ScummVM didn't retain state when a call came in, and it was so frustrating I almost threw my phone across the room. You can deal with having to restart a card game.. but 15 minutes in a card game and 15 minutes in an adventure game are two totally different things Wink

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Post Thu Jul 24, 2008 12:54 am 
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Garden Dwarf



Joined: 22 Jul 2008
Posts: 18
 

Well, download the NES emulator on Cydia. This program is showing an icon on the top when returning on the summeboard when you were running a game ... so running in background is possible ?

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Post Thu Jul 24, 2008 5:01 am 
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Robo-X



Joined: 05 Jul 2006
Posts: 24
 

quote:
Originally posted by Garden Dwarf
Well, download the NES emulator on Cydia. This program is showing an icon on the top when returning on the summeboard when you were running a game ... so running in background is possible ?


Yes it's possible but only on cydia installed games. The point is to distributed ScummVM through Apples official App Store. And App Store programs are not allowed to run in the background.

quote:
Originally posted by TomFrost

They could technically be shipped with ScummVM legally, but they couldn't be put on the app store as separate applications because they, in and of themselves, are not iPhone applications. Apple doesn't catalog dependencies or anything like that, unfortunately. And I say they could technically be included because you probably wouldn't want to do it in practice -- those games add up to hundreds and hundreds of megs, and aside from being bad ethics, Apple may not even allow it.


If you are only allowed to distributed as one program then would it be possible to package each free game with a standalone version of scummvm? So if you want to try BASS you get ScummVM BASS edition.

The other problem could be solved to have a sync tool that syncs game files wirelessly from your desktop to your iPhone and store them on your iPhone where ScummVM can read them. That should be possible to implement as I think there is another tool that does something similar already.

But I guess the biggest problem is with the save game state when you press the home button. Without that functionality there is 0 chance ScummVM will ever come to AppStore.

//Rob

Last edited by Robo-X on Fri Jul 25, 2008 6:25 am; edited 1 time in total
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Post Thu Jul 24, 2008 8:17 am 
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