Apple has launched iOS 7 with a number of new features for game developers.
The Sprite Kit framework has been designed to help developers create “high-performance” 2D games by providing a set graphics rendering and animation APIs. The framework includes basic sound playback support, physics simulation and the ability to create particle systems.
Xcode also provides built-in support for Sprite Kit so that developers can create special effects and texture atlases directly in Xcode.
You can view a full programming guide, and it Sprite Kit can be used for game development, here.
A redesigned Game Centre features extra leaderboards (up from 25 to 100), the ability to authenticate players and also securely transmit game scores and achievements. The centre also supports matchmaking and new modes for turn-based play, such as push notification when it’s the player’s turn.
New conditions to challenges can also be added to specifically define when the challenge has been met. One example is a challenge to beat a time in a driving game which might stipulate that other players must use the same vehicle.
You can view more information on these changes here.
Another new addition being rolled out is third-party controller support. As revealed earler in the year, controllers will feature shoulder buttons, two joysticks, four action buttons and a D-pad.
There are three kinds of controller available, two form-fitting controllers in which the smartphone sits inside, and a wireless gamepad that connects to iOS or Mac devices. You can view the controller layouts below.
Use of these controllers must be optional however. You can view more details here.
iOS 7 supports iPhone 4, iPhone 4s, iPhone 5, iPhone 5s, iPhone 5c, iPod touch (5th gen), iPad 2, iPad with Retina display, and iPad mini. Developers must use Xcode 5 with the iOS 7 SDK to compile, validate and submit the release versions of their iOS 7 apps.
The iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c will be released tomorrow.
You can view the full developer guide here.