I know that things have been very quiet over here for the last few weeks. Lots of stuff happening and it’s hard to find time to write sometimes. But now I should be getting back into the swing of things and updating Games from Within more regularly.
The big news is that we decided to call it quits on Power of Two Games. It was an amazing experience and I learned a huge amount. I’m sure we’ll write a postmortem with some of the gems we learned along the way sometime soon. Unlike most postmortems, we really don’t have any office politics, bosses to suck up to, or publishers to keep happy, we’ll be able to be brutally honest.
Against my better judgement, especially with the current horrible economy, I’m still burning the indie development candle. This time by myself and on the iPhone. I’ll get into many more details in the future, but so far iPhone development has been surprisingly fun and smooth.
One of the most attractive things about iPhone development is the short projects. Some of the top selling iPhone applications were written in just a week or two. The game/toy I’m working on is a bit more involved than a fart generator or a rotary dial, so I expect it will take me a total of three months. Still, much better than trying to make a game for XBLA or PSN!
Another big plus of iPhone development is the approval process. Yes, Apple needs to approve the application, but the process is infinitely simpler than trying to certify your PS3 or 360 game. I haven’t gone through that myself yet, but that’s what I keep hearing from other developers.
And then you have the App Store. Ah, the App Store. A captive audience of impulse-buyers with their credit cards already in the system because of iTunes. Genius. The cut that Apple takes is very reasonable, just 30%. Let’s hope they keep it that way and don’t pull the Microsoft move on us!
So, what’s not to like? That everybody and their grandmother is writing iPhone apps and throwing them on the App Store on the hopes of making a quick buck. And the worst thing is that it’s actually working. So people keep gambling with crappy apps hoping to become the next iBeer or Koi Pond. As a result, the App Store is flooded with stuff, most of it horrible, some OK, a few good, and a very few great apps. Right now the App Store interface isn’t ideal for discovering new, high-quality games and applications, and most of the exposure is limited to the Top Seller lists. I’m hoping in the next few months they move towards something more along the lines of Amazon.
And speaking of interfaces, whose retarded idea was it to only be able to access the App Store from within iTunes? I like Apple, and I’m totally digging Mac OS X (more on that later), but I hate having to use a slow, bloated application to do something that amounts to browsing a few web pages. Besides, you’d think they would hook more people by making it more accessible. Oh well. That’s not changing any time soon.
Stay tuned for more updates on my iPhone development adventures and maybe, just maybe, an early glimpse of the game 🙂