What Do You Think About iPhone Game Development?

I have been following (a bit) the iPhone game development, and it looks like Apple is doing a nice job getting more developers to use their tools. In the past interview, Bruce Everiss pointed out that iPhone could be a big thing (His exact words were: “The iPod Touch and iPhone will take off in a big way as gaming platforms.”).

You need to have a Mac to be able to develop applications for the iPhone (although there’s already 3rd party systems that help you in developing iPhone games – one perhaps the most known is Torque for the iPhone by GarageGames. Not sure if you can use this with PC, but nevertheless you will need Mac to use Apple’s tools). The touch pad and the “motion detector” (that knows in which position the iPhone is) are pretty sweet features to use in different type of games.

Apple has a store where they sell the applications (the store seems to be doing pretty well, if they launch news like this: iPhone App Store Downloads Top 10 Million in First Weekend), and more and more games and applications are published there.

Now I’d like to ask your opinion. What do you think about iPhone development? Will it take off? Is it a viable option for game developers?

Your thoughts?

Juuso Hietalahti


  1. with the newer games coming out amazing. I say its definatly a conteder

  2. Juuso,
    That is the app! Glad you like it, and hope it comes in handy for you and others if you have an iPhone or iPod Touch. Please contact me if you have specific feedback or suggestions.

  3. I’ve done iPhone development of a utility, and it is definitely a good development proposition if you’re looking to make some money. I am very happy with sales, and development was not that hard.

    There are lots of game ideas that are just waiting to be picked still…

  4. Good comments guys. The price/profitability factor will definitely be something to consider. I have tested only a couple of “not so fancy” games, so I’m not the best person to say if the games are good…

    Btw – Unity for iPhone? Missed this one..

  5. I think it has a novelty factor like the Wii, and with the number of iPhones/iPod Touches out there it’s probably safe to say there’s a market for games on ’em. The most interesting game I saw while browsing through the apps store a few days post-launch was a version of the roll-the-ball-around labyrinth game, using the motion sensors.

    So, yeah, there’s a lot of potential to both develop new ideas and rework old ones with the touch/motion controls. Would be interesting to see someone develop an RPG or the like on an iPhone and see how the controls are handled.

    I think it’ll come down to how much people are willing to pay for a game on their iPhone: The majority of apps I’ve seen are either free or really cheap. It’s a viable platform, just not sure if it’s a profitable one.

    Looking now, there’s Super Monkey Ball on there for $9.99, and the reviews are looking pretty bleak in terms of control, so… who knows?

  6. Will it take off? Indie developers would argue it already has!

    A *good* indie game can easily sell 3X the licenses via any other venue. My hope is that it stays around about the level the way it is now. I don’t think it’s yet on the radar of the big dollar publishers (I’m looking at you, EA) and the lack of Flash support will hopefully keep the more technically intricate games from getting diluted by a bunch of cranked out “web” games.

    Since you have to have a Mac to develop anyway, I suggest looking into the Unity engine (http://www.unity3d.com) instead of Torque. I have used both fairly extensively and Unity is very close to putting out an iPhone deployment path.

  7. I think it’s all feeling like everyone getting carried away with a new platform at the moment. Yeah, it’s a great device, but will it last for gaming? I think not.

    If you’ve had a chance to try some of the more “serious” games on there like Super Monkey Ball or Crash Nitro Kart then you’ll probably have noticed just how badly it handles its own motion controls and how infuriating it is that there are no buttons whatsoever.

    The only games which really work on it are those which are touch only. I’ve had a bit of fun playing Sudoku and Lights Out on mine, but are these really going to be the games that take down Nintendo DS?

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