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Issue 8.3


Profile: Biblicious

Issue: 8.3 (March/April 2010)
Author: Dave Mancuso
Article Description: No description available.
Article Length (in bytes): 6,597
Starting Page Number: 11
Article Number: 8304
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Biblicious began as an idea of REALbasic developer Christian Miller's company Pariahware. It was to be a fun trivia game built with REALbasic and deployed on the classic Mac platform (yes, it was that long ago). Various events occurred, and Christian eventually realized that Biblicious would be a stellar application for the iPhone.

I first heard about Biblicious when Christian asked for final name possibilities for the game. Several were suggested, and "Biblicious" (pronounced "Bible-Licious") was the one that proved the most compelling.

Christian had done development work on Biblicious when it was a desktop REALbasic application, but it had to be retooled for the iPhone. Not everything went out the door, though. Although the app had to be written in XCode for the iPhone, the database editor remains in REALbasic, and the question database is built with the REAL SQL/SQLite database format. From a developmental point of view, it's nice to see that REALbasic technology can be folded into iPhone applications like this.

Biblicious went into beta a few months ago. Testers applied to be part of the program, and the application went live. The installation part of the process is interesting. I haven't beta tested an iPhone application before. I had to get the device ID of my particular iPhone and send it to Pariahware (specifically Christian). The application then had to be provisioned to run on my iPhone. I downloaded two files: the Biblicious application itself, and the Biblicious provisioning file. I opened up iTunes and navigated to the Applications window. I dragged the provisioning file into the window, and then the application file. The next time I synced my iPhone, Biblicious was installed on it.

I like the Biblicious icon. It's friendly, fun, and obviously for ages from children to adults. It's the first impression of the application, and Pariahware made an excellent choice with the design.

The application gets you immediately into the game. I chose a practice game, and then the quick Single Player 10 Questions game. I thought I'd do well, too. the questions are multiple choice, and they're timed. You receive "manna" for each question answered correctly, and you lose the same amount of manna for each incorrect answer. The manna value of each question shrinks as time counts down. The game was fun--sadly, my knowledge of Bible trivia needs to be worked on. I did like the encouragement Biblicious gave me. it was appreciated.

During the next few rounds, I waited on questions I wasn't sure of, and noticed that Biblicious will remove incorrect answer possibilities from the screen as the timer winds down toward zero. I bettered my score over successive rounds, and eventually I was invited to post my score to the online scores list (the Manna Leaderboard).

Biblicious has a Mix & Match game as well. A phrase appears on the screen with a missing word. The possible answers float by on the screen until you tap one as your guess. After all the phrases are answered, you get your score. Interestingly to me, the Mix & Match game was the only part of Biblicious that is played in landscape mode.

Recent versions of the beta have added voiceover and monologue audio to the game. they sound great, and they give an added dimension to playing. In fact, the audio gives a television gameshow quality to parts of the game, which adds to the fun.

The Pariahware website is very informational. The Biblicious part of the site shows the history of the application and its aims. It also shows how to apply for beta testing, and it has a form to help submit possible trivia questions for the game, which is nice to see.

The Pariahware blog is pretty active. In addition to Biblicious, The blog features interesting topics of concern to REALbasic developers. I found it very interesting to read some of the passionate viewpoints about REALbasic and its future. Pariahware and Christian Miller both have Twitter accounts as well. It's interesting to follow the development of the application, although the posts do make me worried about the long term health of software developers. Sleep, or the lack thereof, seems to be a major issue with developing a software product! Finally, I liked the fact that Pariahware also has a FaceBook page. You can see development news there, as well as video of some of the features I discussed above. The audio preview video was particularly fun to watch.

I think that Biblicious shows how important it is to keep an idea alive until the time is right. I'm not sure how Pariahware views the development history of Biblicious, but I think that the iPhone is the ideal platform for Christian's concept. I'm impressed with that fact that the game moved across several development platforms and issues until it came to Apple's new mobile devices. I was also pleased to see that REALbasic technologies were able to fit into the new application. It shows promise for the future integration of REAL Studio into the Cocoa frameworks.

As for the game itself, I think it's frankly a blast. It's been updated several times each week while I've been in the beta program, which shows real dedication on the part of Pariahware and real vitality for Biblicious itself. It's also been great to new new features rolled into the application like voiceover audio. I'm very much looking forward to the future of this application, and I'll be waiting to purchase it when the final 1.0 version is released. In the meantime, I'd better brush up on my trivia.

End of article.