So much of building software relies on following in the footsteps of giants. From the people who wrote the first compiler to let us give computers commands without learning Fortran (thank you, by the way) to the heroes of Stack Exchange who answer and vet virtually every problem we encounter before we encounter it, the day to day task of a programmer involves a massive amount of work that is already done for us. And it’s (mostly) awesome.
But what happens when you set out to do something that hasn’t been done by many people before? What happens when you have to solve problems that Google can’t help you with? That’s what happened when we set out to build Letterlasso, an iOS game, with Box2d on the Appcelerator Titanium platform instead of with XCode and Objective C.
When we began work on Letterlasso, the Box2d module for Titanium was less than half a year old, and hardly anyone had published anything with it yet. The adoption of new coding techniques and technologies will always be fairly slow at first, as early adopters pave the way for others by figuring out the basic problems. As you can see here, things as simple as “how do we join two things together when a click event is fired”, we had to learn for ourselves.
After months of starring at our screens, searching for solutions, and occasionally finding them, we have launched Letterlasso: an educational word game where you “lasso” letters together as they move around the screen to spell words. The journey has forced us to understand our platform of choice, in this case Titanium, in ways we never did before. Seeing it downloaded all over the world has been one of the most rewarding experiences of our lives, and we promise: when we see a question on Stack Exchange about Box2d and Titanium, we’ll be the first to answer it.