For all the praise for iOS among many game developers, one criticism has centered on the inability to write and execute code on the device itself, as can be done on a PC. A new app called Codify (iTunes link) seeks to change that to some extent, letting iPad users code and prototype in a Lua-based environment directly on the iPad.

As shown in the introductory video, apps created in Codify can make use of built-in iOS functions like the touch screen and tilt sensor, as well as built-in sprite graphics and various sound effects. Codify's touch-centric interface offers context-specific shortcuts such as an in-line color selector, image selection menus and auto-completion for commonly typed functions. A built-in documentation viewer and navigation controls also help programmers get around complex code.

While there's currently no way to export a project made in Codify, Australian developer Two Lives Left promises such a feature is being planned for a pending update, as well as support for importing external graphics and more. As it stands, the $7.99 app seems to provide a nice environment for quick prototyping and testing of basic iPad game ideas when you're away from a workstation with an iOS SDK.

[Originally posted on sister site Gamasutra.]