I wanted announce that I've managed to start working on bringing Jewels to the iDevices (at least for iPhone + iPod touch), even with the taking-care-of-the-baby-business! I've only recently started writing it from the grounds up in C++ with some Objective-C (or actually Objective-C++). (If anybody remembers, the original PC-Jewels is written in C#/XNA, while the Android-version is naturally in Java.)
This time I'll be using OpenGL ES (which, in retrospect, I should have used for the Android-version as well), so iPhone gamers will be getting the smoothest Jewels experience yet! I might even throw in some extra eye candy, just for the heck of it!
I've registered to the iPhone developer program, so I can test on the real devices, which is great. I'm aiming on making the game run perfectly on iPhone 3GS (and newer devices) hardware while still keeping it working fairly well on the older HW (like iPhone 3G). These are of course still only estimates, but something of a goal nevertheless. I'm liking the iPhone SDK so far, and even Objective-C isn't as scary as it looked like before! But as I said, the majority of the code will be in C++. This actually makes a full circle: I had been using C++ for years before I made a switch to Java, and now I'm back in C++ along with learning Objective-C as well! Neat how things turn out.
As to why I'm doing Jewels again (for the third time!), instead of doing something else. Well, it has become a pattern of some sorts for me; while learning a new platform / language / API, I've ported Jewels over. The original was simply because I wanted to try coding with XNA. Android-version sprung out from the desire of learning to write for Android. It was a better game as well. And now it is iPhone. I'm learning new stuff and I firmly believe that this will be (again) the best Jewels yet!
Oh, I also noticed (only a few days ago) that there is already a game named JEWELS at the App Store! Just my luck. Any ideas for the name? I think I'll have to go with iJewels or something like that, which I really didn't want to do, but I guess there is no option but to change the name…
So there you have it. Hopefully iJewels (still don't like that!) will gather some following on the iDevices — now I don't expect it to be a mass hit like on Android, the competition is much tougher, but then again there is nothing to lose in doing the port (or rewrite, actually). I'm gaining some valuable code to reuse in future iPhone projects, even if the game was a flop.