Cordova Skeleton Project, used for creating Strategic Game of Life
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Mobile Game Skeleton

This project was as a proof of concept for building cross-platform games using Apache Cordova. Specifically this project can be used to build for Web/Firefox OS without the need to have Cordova installed. Otherwise, building for iOS and Android will require Cordova.

This engine takes a hybrid approach to game development. Menus with button-based navigation are built using familiar HTML and CSS. Navigation involves hiding and showing various screens. Actual game-loop rendering takes place on a dedicated canvas.

Play the Original Game

If you're interested in how this game looks and performs on your device:


Getting Started (Build for Web)

First grab all the necessary files:

npm install -g gulp # might need sudo
npm install

Then run the sample server

cd server
node ./sgol.js

In another terminal run a build for the website

gulp build-web

Finally, open http://localhost:1337 in your web browser and play a sample game.

SGoL Screenshot

Building With Cordova

Project was built using cordova@5.3.3, your mileage may vary with different versions.

Install Cordova

npm install -g cordova

Build Entire Project

Use a different command based on the environment you want to build for:

gulp build-ios
gulp build-android
gulp build-web

Build Sub Components

Compiles one of the types scripts, styles, html, or if omitted, all of them.

gulp scripts
gulp styles
gulp html

Automatic Rebuild

Compiles all three types, then when any change occurs, recompiles. You probably want to do this after gulp build-web for testing locally.

gulp watch

Download Data

Download data from the CMS to tmp/data.json. Needed for Cordova build steps.

gulp data

Further Steps

This isn't a library you can simply download and start using, it's actually a complete game. If you want to build a whole new game using this as a base, you'll want to keep the following in mind:

  • CMS uses Grille, though you can edit the JSON by hand
  • There's a snapshot of the Google Spreadsheet in res/cms-snapshots you can import
  • Create a Mixpanel account (or remove any occurrence of analytics)
  • Create a Ad Mob account (or remove any occurrence of interstitial)

Platform Specific Notes

Cordova, unfortunately, isn't perfect. Listed below is a bunch of platform-specific hacks one needs to employ when building this project.

iOS Hacks

I recommend you read the Cordova iOS Getting Started Guide.

You'll want to load the included Xcode Project to perform builds.

Fixing Validation in Xcode


When performing the validation step before submitting the app to Apple a validation error occurs.


Change the Info > Bundle Identifier to:


The default one, name.thomashunter.strategicgol, was deemed too long by Apple and had to change, so now it's different from Android and iOS.

Fixing the Status Bar


The status bar is visible on the top of the screen and occludes some of the content


Patch the following file:

platforms/ios/Game of Life/Classes/MainViewController.m

Add the following inside of MainViewController:

//fix not hide status on ios7
- (BOOL)prefersStatusBarHidden
    return YES;

Fixing Audio Playback


Music does not play in the game. The following error is also visible in the Xcode debug log:

Deactivating an audio session that has running I/O.
All I/O should be stopped or paused prior to deactivating the audio session.

Patch the following file:

/platforms/ios/Game of Life/Plugins/

Then, you'll want to comment out part of the audioPlayerDidFinishPlaying function:

if (self.avSession) {
    [self.avSession setActive:NO error:nil];
Further Reading

Android Notes

I recommend you read the Cordova Android Getting Started Guide.

Luckily the entire process of building your Android APK can be automated using the command line. Check out bin/ for an example on how to sign your APK.


To debug the app in Chrome inspector, you'll need to edit the following:


Add this debuggable attribute

<application android:debuggable="true" ...>

You'll want to build the android app without the --release flag.

Then run the app, and visit chrome://inspect/#devices from your desktop Chrome instance. In the listing this app should be available.


This project itself is released under the MIT license.