My apologies for the lack of updates since the Kickstarter campaign, but since it’s success, Tomato Trouble is now in Full Scale Production. The vast majority of the art has been sized and exported, and an assistant animator has been brought on to handle the final character animations while I arrange the pages and finish the final code.
I have been working with a new set of tools, currently in beta but about to release a final version on the Mac App Store. The tools are SpriteHelper and LevelHelper, which make a great pair for constructing cross-platform iPhone and iPad content with animations, physics, and interactivity.
When the Kickstarter project launched, I was doing all the sprite arrangement and animation manually. There didn’t exist a good set of tools to make this process easy. I was dreading having to do everything, including all the scaling and positioning, by hand.
I had heard of LevelHelper before, but it did not yet support the iPad retina screen which is a must for this project. The art looks so great, it needs to be in the highest resolution that the device can support. Right after the Kickstarter campaign was completed, the software’s author began an open beta for the new version which does support the retina screen on the new iPad.
Since then I have been working with him to test his tools, and already I have seen a huge performance and usability increase. The tools are now in place to churn out the rest of the pages at a fast pace while the animations roll in. And with these new tools, I only have to arrange each page once for all four device resolutions — iPhone, iPhone4S, iPad, and iPad3.
There are some minor layout and interface issues to fix, but this video shows all the final animation and transition components proven and ready to be finalized. Shortly, animations and interactivity will be stitched in to the constructed pages and then final app testing will begin. In the next few weeks we will be play-testing the book with groups of school children, then doing performance testing and bug fixing before the final send-off to Apple.
It’s been a long process but we’re finally on the home stretch. More progress videos will be coming soon as animations and interactivity begin to replace the static placeholder images.