On and off over the summer (admittedly much more off than on), I have been working on a little side project. Glitch the MMO closed down at the end of last year, but I was determined to get a little piece of it to live on. A few years ago, I build a small iPhone game for Tiny Speck as a demonstration of how to use the Glitch API and avatars in an iOS game. The code is all on github, but few people outside of Tiny Speck and the handful of developers who followed the developer blog ever saw it in action. It’s a very simple little running and jumping game, but it seemed a shame to just leave the game languishing, forgotten in a source repository, so I decided to resurrect it.
I knew from following activity on the Facebook group that there were still a good few people with fond memories of Glitch. Making Glitch Run available in the App Store would undoubtedly make a good few of them very happy to see their Glitches running through Groddle again.
First, I checked with Stewart Butterfield whether I could proceed with this crazy plan and make use of the various Glitch assets in this way – yup, that was fine. The original Glitch Run was silent though, and I really wanted to use some of the Glitch music in it. For that, I needed the permission of Glitch’s resident musician, Danny Simmons. Again, he readily agreed – thank you both very much for your help in bringing Glitch Run back to life!
The original game used Cocos2d and Box2D. With iOS7 announced, I decided to port the game to SpriteKit. I was interested in digging deeper into the new API and Glitch Run provided the perfect excuse.
The original Glitch Run depended on the Glitch API to allow users to authenticate and download the sprite sheets for their avatar. The API closed down along with the game, so I needed a different method to load avatars. In the final weeks of Glitch, I amassed a large cache of the sprite sheets for the more active players over on Startling Fecundity. So, I built my own API to serve up those cached avatars, and hooked that into the app.
And so a good few months later, I finally submitted the game to the App Store at the start of November. A week later, it was approved. The game has been pretty well received, and I’m really pleased that so many people have been able to get a little bit of Glitch back in their lives.
You can find Glitch Run on the App Store. Requires iOS7.