Snowball Drive – Consciously pushing boundaries

You may have noticed that we recently released a fun iPhone game for our clients and the world to play. It may seem like an odd (yet very cool) thing for a digital agency to do. I assure you that Snowball Drive is one of the most important developments we have done internally. Why’s that you ask? Well believe it or not, Snowball Drive was developed almost completely using web technology such as HTML5, CSS3 and javascript.

As a team, Emote Digital regularly work to push the boundaries of what is possible with web technologies. One of the most important parts of this is knowing how far we can push it TODAY, and still be aware of what will be possible in the coming years. It’s a complex environment we work in; so many different smart phones, web browsers, operating systems, tablets and more, all of which have varying strengths and weaknesses which we need to have a strong knowledge of.

Using PhoneGap we were able to produce Snowball Drive as a web app for the iPhone, then convert and optimise it as a native iPhone app. Games are extremely intensive power wise, and when you’re trying to use web technology it doesn’t take long before you’ve pushed the phone to its limit. We spent a lot of time optimising Snowball Drive to perform at its best. Such a complex task involves looking intensively at every action the game is performing, when it is performed and how it is performed. This knowledge can be directly transported to our clients’ mobile projects.

The optimisation doesn’t end with the native game functionality. We also produced a custom high score leader board, which we needed to produce in a way that could handle many hundreds- even thousands- of high scores to be tracked every day. With the power of our dedicated server and highly efficient code, we are able to handle hundreds of thousands (potentially millions) of high score entries being added every hour. We don’t intend on having that many players any time soon, but the important part is to ensure we use our knowledge to optimise every part of the project to ensure we are constantly learning and improving our skill set.

If you have an iPhone 4S or higher and would like to play Snowball Drive you can download it from the App Store now for free: Get Emote Digital Snowball Drive

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