#1 Edited by ObjectiveCaio (23 posts) -

Hi everyone,

With next-gen coming and so many great games coming out throughout 2013, at the start of this year I found myself looking up release dates all the time.

I'm an iOS Developer, so I had this idea for an app that would keep track of the games I was looking forward to. In January I found the GiantBomb API and started making it.

As I worked on it, it became more than just a wishlist. I added a library, and it was really useful to be able to just instantly check on a game's metascore, or images and trailers.

Anyway, I called it Gamer, and it came out last week.

I designed the app for both the iPhone and iPad, and it requires iOS 7.

It's also open-source, and anyone can help improve it. More details on GitHub: https://github.com/caiomello/gamer

So go check it out, it's free on the App Store: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/gamer-manage-your-games/id683636311?mt=8&ign-mpt=uo%3D4

#2 Posted by Drekly (173 posts) -

Sounds great, and something I'd love to use. I'm always wanting to quickly check a metacritic.

#3 Posted by lebkin (331 posts) -

A great feature would be to just see a list of upcoming games and be able to add from there, rather than having to search. I tend to forget what is coming out when.

#4 Posted by ObjectiveCaio (23 posts) -

@lebkin: Yeah, I've seen people ask for that. It's been in my plans for a while but I'm not sure I can make a list like that with the API. I might have to use a web service, and that's a bit more complicated.

#5 Posted by subyman (668 posts) -

Too bad you can't query the API between two dates, that would be ideal. I like how you implemented drop down sections in the UITableviewcontroller.

#6 Posted by ObjectiveCaio (23 posts) -

@subyman: You mean for searching? Filtering for only recent games would be better indeed, especially when you have PC selected... but I ordered them by date last updated on the wiki so it's not so bad, plus in 1.1 (which I submitted to Apple last week and should come out any day now) search results download their thumbnails so it's easier to spot what you want. Haha those collapsible sections were a tough one... took me a few days to solve and get it working the way I wanted.

#7 Posted by shubhank008 (7 posts) -

Looks really cool :D If you are looking for some features to add innext update, how about:-

1. Games upcoming this week (list games releasing in next 7 days in order)

2. List upcoming games for a particular platform like PS3 or PS4 in order

3. Notifications on game release

Btw offtopic, but are those the source code for this app in github ? I wish to learn and start developing some mobile apps myself and am always looking for reference material since I believe in learning from existing codes and examples is faster than tutorials or orthodox methods. Secondly, is it possible to develop ios apps using a windows system ? I dont wanna get a mac for just ios app programming of xcode, for that I was even thinking to use weblanguage instead of native language to try my first app.

#8 Posted by ObjectiveCaio (23 posts) -

@shubhank008: Thanks!

Seems like everyone wants to pick games from a list. xD

Well then, I'll work on that right away! :D

Push Notifications are definitely in my plans, but they require messing with web services and I have very important features yet to make. I'm thinking about integrating with Reminders until I get to that, so at least users will be notified.

Yes! The whole app is there on GitHub for everyone to mess around with!

You do need a mac for iOS development... but OSX is vastly superior to Windows in many ways, even more so for software development (unless you're writing C#), so if you can or you're in need of a laptop you should consider getting one.

Anyway, you can make mobile web apps, but it's very limited. Native apps are much better in every way, and with iOS 7 it doesn't even compare.

If you think of anything else please tell me! I didn't have any beta testers because I developed the app during the iOS 7 beta, so any feedback is greatly appreciated!

#9 Posted by shubhank008 (7 posts) -

My reasons for list view is same as the poster above me, I am too lazy to keep track of upcoming game titles, rather I would just check games upcoming in next 7 days to be reminded about.
Or even better a bookmarks list, I just save/bookmark a game I want to be updated about and keep checking, so whenever I need to see the games I am interested in release of, I just check bookmarks tab
I have yet to download your app actually, and sadly I am still using ios 5 rather then 7 as I feel upgrading a pain (too lazy lol), so I am gonna try it on ios5 for now.

And lets see, I do was hoping to get a mackbook but got a highend CPU then, probably gonna use macincloud.com service for time being to see how app development works, might provide a hand when I am able to on github. And yeah I was speaking about webapps as I am more exp. in php and webapp development using APIs rather than native ones xD

Again really nice work with the app

#10 Edited by ObjectiveCaio (23 posts) -

@shubhank008: That's actually the whole point of the app haha

There's a Wishlist, and that's the main screen of the app, and when you open up a game you can add it to the Wishlist and it will always be there with the release date in it's proper time period. Then there's the Library, where you can add the games you already own. The Library is very simple now but there's some cool stuff I'm planning to do with it.

Updating iOS has to be the easiest software update in existence xD

If you have an iPhone 4 or newer, or an iPad 2 or newer, you just have to tap a button and wait...

More than 60% of all iOS devices are already on iOS 7, adoption has been crazy fast, so most developers are now releasing updates and new apps for iOS 7 only, so you really should update.

Thanks, but screenshots really don't do it justice... try it out if you can!

#11 Posted by Shadow (4988 posts) -

I'm an iOS developer. I'll look into it for sure and see what I can improve

#12 Posted by Thoseposers (791 posts) -

@objectivecaio: I know you're building this for future games but is there any chance we could get older platforms, or possibly all previous platforms available as well? Or would those api calls be too big? I'm just asking cause i like how this works but if i want to put together a library of games on this i'd prefer to be able to put my entire library which includes ps2, xbox, and gamecube games as well as handhelds

#13 Posted by ch3burashka (5239 posts) -

Not enough leetspeak in the title, but hey, you'll learn.

#14 Posted by ObjectiveCaio (23 posts) -

@shadow: :D

@thoseposers: Sure, I understand that, and I've had people ask for older platforms, but the library as it is now makes that unpractical and not very useful... I'll soon use the data in the library to do some cool stuff, and the more games added the better, so I'll definitely add older consoles, and there will be an option to change the size of the games in the library so if you have a lot of games there you won't have to scroll like crazy to find the one you want. From the start I built it with expansibility in mind, so adding platforms to the app is simply adding it to the database :)

#15 Edited by schrodinger_cat (2 posts) -

So, I downloaded Gamer, and it's quite good!)

Here are my feature requests:

  1. Sorting library by complete/incomplete state
  2. Integration with PSN profile, so we'd can check completion % from trophies info (I guess XBL support would be nice too)
  3. I would love to see legacy platforms as well
  4. DLC information

Thanks for the good work)

#16 Edited by killacam (1278 posts) -

@objectivecaio: im relatively new to programming and considering getting a macbook, but I use XNA/Monogame and unity a lot (both C#). is the only downside to C# programming on a Mac the lack of visual studio? I've heard good things about Xamarin as an alternative.

#17 Edited by ObjectiveCaio (23 posts) -

@schrodinger_cat: Thanks! Hey I saw your review on the App Store, thank you!

About your requests:

1. Library sorting has been in the plans for a while, will work on it soon.
2. A while ago I thought about integrating with PSN, Live, and Steam to get games for the Library, trophies, achievements, etc... I've researched a bit and there seems to be some usable APIs for that. I got a few important features to make first, then I'll look into that.
3. Legacy platforms are definitely the most requested feature. It's really easy to just put it in the app, but to do it right I need to solve some problems first like how to better fit a very large number of games in the Library.
4. I'd love to have DLC and multiplayer information on games, but it's not yet available in the GiantBomb API. As soon as it's there I'll put it in the app.

@killacam: For C# on a mac your best option for app development is indeed Xamarin. For 3D games the Unity SDK works just fine on macs. For 2D iOS games I recommend you look into Objective-C and SpriteKit. I have nearly no experience with game programming, but I've heard SpriteKit is really awesome. If you can, you should play with Objective-C and Xcode, it's a lot of fun and there are some great tutorial sites out there.

#18 Posted by CitizenCoffeeCake (647 posts) -

This is a cool app, good job. Just downloaded it and trying it out.

#19 Edited by schrodinger_cat (2 posts) -

@objectivecaio: Thanks for the answer)

I noticed some bugs. Dunno, where to report it, so I'll write here)

1. Metacritic score looks like this on all titles

2. If you add entry in wishlist, when time categories are collapsed, this is happens

#20 Posted by ObjectiveCaio (23 posts) -

@schrodinger_cat: Metacritic keeps changing the html structure of their pages, it's the third or fourth time I've fixed a problem like this... I noticed it last week and it's already fixed for the next update.

Interesting bug in the Wishlist... I thought I had that sorted out a long time ago, but it seems it can still happen. Will look into it this week before sending the next version.

Thanks for the help!

#21 Edited by Keen314 (76 posts) -

Push Notifications are definitely in my plans, but they require messing with web services and I have very important features yet to make. I'm thinking about integrating with Reminders until I get to that, so at least users will be notified.

I think this can purely be accomplished using local notifications, no need for push.

Great app, I was going to start fiddling with Obj-C to make one like it myself, but now I don't have to.

#22 Edited by vickychijwani (4 posts) -
#23 Posted by ObjectiveCaio (23 posts) -

@vickychijwani: I can't believe I've never seen that, it might have come out after I made my own solution last year. It was great to learn a bit of scraping and regex, but that part of my code is not very clean and always bothered me, as well as the problem with reliability. I'll look into it right away, thanks!!

#24 Posted by Keen314 (76 posts) -

Is there any chance you could add something to deal with games that aren't in the GB Wiki? When I do a search for a game, and the app finds nothing, that's it, nothing else I can do. It would be great if I could at that point make some sort of 'add this game' request, so that the game doesn't fall through the cracks.

#25 Posted by ObjectiveCaio (23 posts) -

@keen314: That got me thinking, and indeed it would be much better if there was an option to report a missing game right there in the search screen. Great idea! I'll try to add it as soon as I can.

#27 Posted by GiantLizardKing (559 posts) -

Awesome work duder. I can't wait to dig through the code and maybe contribute something.

#28 Posted by ObjectiveCaio (23 posts) -

@giantlizardking: Thanks!

BTW I just released a huge update last week, with lots of new stuff!

#29 Posted by Keen314 (76 posts) -

So, is it expected that the app will periodically forget all your wishlist and library games? It seems like once every few months it'll do that to me.