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Golden tic-tac-toe: our new iOS game

31 August 2014 - 7:38 pm, by

From 2 years I didn’t release any official iOS/ app/game to App Store, the last one was Hammer Ball, and I decided to create new game called ‘Golden Tic Tac Toe’ for me as backing to iOS app and game development, and also to try new technologies in games like P2P technology.


‘Golden Tic Tac Toe’ is an iOS game that allows for 2 players to challenge and make a match with each other or 1 player make a match with computer device itself. ‘Golden Tic Tac Toe’ is made to be for two sides or two players or two symbols, X and O, who take turns marking the spaces in a 3×3 grid. The player who succeeds in placing three respective marks in a horizontal, vertical, or diagonal row wins the match on game.

The idea of this game is came from my admiration of classic games, and one of them is ‘tac-tac-toe’ puzzle game which is played by many people around the world using many method like using pen/pencil and paper, finger and sand!, and using touch device like iPhone or whatever.

Why creating another ‘tic-tac-toe’ game that available already on App Store? another reason for creating this game was testing P2P connection that’s came with iOS 7, there are few apps using this feature (it’s called Multipeer Connectivity framework as iOS 7’s feature for developers), but I didn’t find a ‘tic-tac-toe’ game app using this feature. However, other features will came later on next versions to compete other same games.

This post shows last updates and how we prepare for the first version of the game. You can help us to improve this game by comment in this post and giving us suggestions or any notes, and make discussion with us on Twitter.

Prototyping process

The first thing I start with is, creating the prototype of ‘Golden tic tac toe’ game, I start that with using pen and paper to sketch game’s screens and figure out how the game will looks like.

I decided to use cocos2d for iphone because it’s appropriate 2d framework, easy to use, and I already built my previous iOS games using it. After creating all main screens and all of their elements, the first result was normal as expect as displayed below.


After using the initial version and moving between each scene until I played tic-tac-toe game with myself (I mean I choose two symbols and play with them, to imagine playing with my someone using one device), I decided to add two types to playing game.

The first one was playing with iOS device, so I can play with my phone and challenge myself and my iOS device uses basic algorithm to choose the right position to attach me and defend its positions, and the second one was playing with someone using P2P connection. P2P connection playing type needs using Apple’s Multipeer Connectivity framework that available on iOS 7 only and allow iOS device to connect with any nearby iOS device.

The new design

I decided to choose golden theme for this kind of game to make a difference between this game’s design and other tic-tac-toe games’ design that available on App Store.


Peer 2 Peer playing feature

After Apple released iOS 7, new feature appeared for a user to connect with anyone near of him, and he can send and receive direct messages using WiFi connection without dealing with server (it uses P2P connection). However, I decided to use this feature on ‘Golden Tic Tac Toe’ to send recieve symbols during the game (X/O symbols).

The implementation of this feature on game was not easy, a lot of bugs and failed tries appeared until achieving the final goal which is allow users to use P2P connection to play a match without any errors (other errors may appear when trying this game with many people after the first version).

The current state of this feature is good, and my last try of this feature was in middle of August, on iOS simulator and 2 real iOS devices, so there is no any bug discovered until now.

Introduce some features

These are some features included with first version of ‘Golden Tic Tac Toe’ iOS game.

Best matches’ score (achievement)

Player acquires one point for each won match from challenging someone using the same phone or 2 phones using P2P connection or playing with device, and opponent acquire the same point for each match. For example, You vs Device, You won 3 times and Device won 1 time, so the result is (3/1), so you acquired 3 points to be added to your all points that you acquired already as achievement).

Player can check for current achievement on match scene by tab on achievement button at the bottom of the screen.

Playing with iOS device

If player didn’t find someone to play with, he can play a game match with iOS device. I made a functionality for this playing type to allow for opponent device to defend and attack player depending stage of game and current player’s state.

To play with iOS device, player should choose ‘One player game’ as playing type, then he must write his name and name of device (he can call it ‘Device’ or anything!). The reaction of device will be fast and direct, the period of reaction may not be liked by many players, maybe I will make it in 1.5/1/0.5 second (something like that).

Music and sounds for game to be interactive

I have not set the music and sounds that will be used in the game until the time of writing this post, I’ll try to make them appropriate for users of the game.

What about multiplayer? (playing online)

This feature should be main feature of any current game to find players and save achievement online with friends, but unfortunately it’s not included on the first version. I will include this feature on next version/s as soon as possible in exciting way that will encourage players to play this game (in my opinion 🙂 )

Compatible with current iOS devices

‘Golden Tic Tac Toe’ is compatible with current iOS devices’ screens like iPhone 4/s, iPhone 5/s/c, iPad normal/mini/air, iPod touch 5th generation. I already check the compatibility on these devices’ screens using iOS simulator and 2 real iOS devices.

Video Trailer

I made this demo trailer to shows you how the game will looks like, I didn’t include example of P2P connection game match on this trailer, but you can find it on Small Digits’s post on Instagram.

When the first version of game will be released?

Everything is ready except the logo and thumbnails (default images) of game, sounds, and music. My plan is to send this game to App Store in September as soon as possible.

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Author Bio

Ahmed Alkatheeri

microISV web/iOS developer, Zayed university cti security and network student from UAE.

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