Toy Kite Software announces iSamurai

Great news!
iSamurai, our ground-breaking game, will be released at the upcoming iPhone Launch Party, hosted by Touch Arcade and MacHeist in San Francisco on Wed. June 10th, 2009. This event will coincide with Apple's WWDC (World Wide Developer Conference) being held at the Moscone Center from June 8 to June 12. The iPhone Launch Party will be a stone's throw from the Moscone Center at the Cartoon Art Museum.

More great news!
The exact details of how iSamurai works are still being kept confidential until the iPhone Launch Party. However, iSamurai has been approved and will be available on Apple's iTunes store on June 11th. Full details of the game will also be published here and on the game's web site: I will say that this is definitely not your usual iPhone game. Lastly, we are still accepting guesses for our "Guess Our Game" contest with iTunes gift certificates for the top ten guesses.

Toy Kite Software is now on Twitter
We will also be posting the latest news about Toy Kite Software and iSamurai on Twitter at


We are really in high gear now. Our target for submission to Apple is Monday... just a few days away.

I want to thank everyone who has entered our "Guess Our Game" Contest". We will continue to accept guesses until the game is released to the iTunes store. Sometimes that happens very quickly a few days after submission, but it can also take weeks, depending on whether or not Apple wants us to change things in the program.

So it is time for another clue, the picture on the right. What do you think?


Our iPhone game is now nearing completion, so... it is time for another hint in our "Guess Our Game" contest.

This picture may look like a photograph, but believe it or not, it was created from scratch on a computer. Pretty amazing, don't you think? I am very impressed by the talent of our artist, Oliver Romanoff.

And now for some total immersion: Click on the picture for an enlarged view... and then click on that picture to zoom in. What do you think?

That picture will be in our game. We actually looked for similar pictures on the internet, and guess what... we couldn't find any so we had to create our own.

To win iTunes coupons good for games, other software or music, leave your best guess as to what our game will be. See below for another picture and more hints.

iSamurai: Critical Strike is here!

iSamurai: Critical Strike, a major upgrade, has been approved by Apple and released in the iTunes store!

iSamurai Critical Strike icon
We worked really hard on this release -- this is the game that we originally envisioned: a tactical, one-on-one sword fighting game which, with Bluetooth, allows sword fights anywhere!

The new "Critical Strike" feature forces the two players to pay attention to their opponent's moves. Trying to win by flailing wildly is no longer an option!

Current owners can upgrade for free on iTunes, and we have put iSamurai on sale for $.99.

iSamurai has it's own web site

For more videos of iSamurai in action and tips, go to

Bluetooth/WiFi Issues and Status for 3.0

For a couple weeks we've been trying to release a Bluetooth version of our game (iSamurai), but have been experiencing strange network problems ever since compiling for the 3.0 GM (gold master) Seed of Apple's iPhone 3.0 software. We've now had enough breakthroughs on our network struggles to share some (hopefully) useful info.

We submitted a bug report to Apple and answered one of their follow-up questions, and started an official support request - and have been going back and forth with an Apple rep on this. He has provided some good direction and interesting tests.

To cut right to the main issue:
- With the release of the iPhone software 3.0 GM seed, a service discovery process is now running that will look for other computers over EITHER WiFi or Bluetooth, (switching back and forth using the single antenna available for both).
- When that process is actively looking, various problems are caused with a current network connection that has already been established. Lags, and sometime even big lags and dropped packets of data being sent between the computers.
- To stop the service discovery, you do something like [self.netServiceBrowser stop] after you've made the connection, but it doesn't stop network problems from happening during the initial discovery process, which sometimes hangs one or both of the phones.
- When you turn off either WiFi or Bluetooth on the phones, the other type of connection (that you didn't turn off) is great, probably because the discovery process doesn't even try - no lags, no problems. Unfortunately this is something the user must do in their Settings (Right? Not sure what other options there are here.).

That leads to the amazing fact:
A bluetooth connection can be made using the 2.2.1 and earlier WiFi Picker, on iPhones running 3.0, regardless of whether the new GameKit framework is used or not. People can get a Bluetooth connection with 2.2.1 apps just by upgrading to iPhone Software 3.0!

I have verified that a Bluetooth connection is possible with our currently available 2.2.1 app (iSamurai compiled for iPhone OS 2.2.1) with phones that (now) have iPhone OS software 3.0 -- although not obvious, the Bluetooth connection is made using the WiFi Picker interface, and then our Apple-mandated "No Network Found" message comes up, but the connection is there.

To make absolutely sure, this last test was done and works even with WiFi off on both phones and all possible wireless access points (WAPS) turned off - it IS a Bluetooth connection, being made with an app compiled to run on iPhone software 2.2.1 but running on Apple's iPhone software 3.0.


iPhone Keyboard Hack

Our buddies over at Perceptive Development have pulled off a stellar hack: they've hooked up an external keyboard to an iPhone using an audio modem implemented with a $20 micro-controller.

The result is a way of communicating with the phone using the Apple-approved SDK audio input, and in this case sending encoded keyboard inputs to it. So this hack can be done on a non-jailbroken phone... genius.

Stanford University is offering free downloadable classes in iPhone development

Per MacWorld's iPhone Central, Stanford University is now offering free downloadable classes via iTunes taught by Apple engineers. These classes are the same ones offered to Stanford students but without credit towards a degree.

For more information see the article at iPhone Central:

App Reviews: Galcon, the Best Network Game for the IPhone (by far)

In looking over the different types of applications out there for the iPhone and picking an area we wanted to jump into, we at Toy Kite decided that we had to put some serious effort into "testing" many, many cool iphone apps of all types...particularly the leading genre, games!

The iPhone - an Overnight Market

Back in the 70s and 80s, the first personal computers (PCs) arrived, and slowly but surely they were brought into the home, allowing newborn software development companies, such as Microsoft, a slowly expanding market for their wares. Over time some companies did very well and others dropped out of sight.

iSamurai-Two-Player Sword Fight was released on June 11, 2009

We are working fast and furiously on a new game for Apple's iPhone. We don't want to let the rabbit out of the hat yet, but to have some fun, we are introducing a "Guess our Game" Contest:

Given our backgrounds (see Team) and other information on this site, take a guess at what our game will be. Feel free to leave your guess in the comments below.

The ten closest guesses will receive an iTunes gift certificate (so you can get our game...or music or ... whatever you like).
Our first hint is the image to the above, created by Ryan specifically for the game.

And here is another hint: Imagine two robotics engineers working on an iPhone game. They are used to programming robotic helicopters, crawling spiderbots, intelligent derrigibles, small urban robots, and robotic spacecraft. Now imagine that they are applying those skills to an iPhone game. What do you think they would come up with?

As soon as the game is on Apple's iTunes store, we will have pictures, instructions and demonstrations. Currently we are targeting an April release date.

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