Curmudgeon Gamer
Curmudgeoning all games equally.
21 September 2006
Is closed bad? iPod gaming
I'm not real sure how I feel about this quite yet:
    We've got some really great ideas for iPod games if Apple will open up an iPod SDK to developers -- everything from doing handheld specific branded games, like what we've done with Tony Hawk Pro Skater and Call of Duty 2 for PocketPC, to some unique and new gameplay mechanics that integrate with the music already on your iPod" added Aspyr's [Glenda] Adams.

Essentially long-time Mac game makers want to know 1.) Why they didn't get to write the first iPod games, since most of the new games were not created by Apple, and 2.) Why there's no SDK for them to start doing so now.

It would seem part of the answer's pretty obvious. Aspyr and friends don't have an uber-name brand to offer, like Pac-Man or Tetris, the latter probably being the game for portable players. I know it sold quite a few original Game Boys to quite a few nonstandard gamers. Many of the other games, short of Texas Hold 'Em, are similar crossover games, and even that appeals to the non-twitch gamer. They're not exactly like Tony Hawk Pro Skater, one that Adams suggested as an iPod possibility to MacWorld.

I wonder if games written to the open source iPod interfaces (here's one) would give them a good proving ground for making great games. Also wonder if these things are being written in assembler, or if there's much in the way of APIs for iPod gaming; the second being required for the SDK these companies want to be worth much.

In any event, this is just another example of the gestalts/synergies/[catchphrase here] of building atop the binary medium. It's now cheaper to provide music with binary data decoded with generic processors than any other setup, and whaddya know, games just happen to be developed in a similar fashion! Voila. Reeses.


--ruffin at 16:03
Comment [ 3 ]

Comments on this post:

I really don't get Apple. If I made great computers with a (deserved) reputation for being super-easy to use, and had a good handle on making developer tools for it, I would want to put games on that platform to make it even more attractive. Yet, the Mac gets little game dev love from Apple. Why there isn't a trial version of World of Warcraft on every Macbook Pro...argh.

Anyway, now apparently giving some of their most loyal developers the finger by not hooking them up with an SDK. It just doesn't make sense to me. If I were Adams, I'd put out something using the free iPod dev tools just to poke Apple in the eye.

For what it's worth, Josh has been posting some over at Cathode Tan about the iPod games: here, and here, some of which overlaps with Ruffin's post.

By Blogger jvm, at 21 September, 2006 21:20  

iPod SDK==first iPod virus. There's your reason.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 22 September, 2006 15:17  

I can see why Aspyr might be a ticked, actually. They're largely a port company - yeah - but they're a MAJOR port company, responsible for bringing titles like Sims 2 (there's an uber-brand name for you) and Jedi Knight to the platform.

By comparison, Popcap has made a small number of their games compatible with Mac.

I'm not saying Popcap shouldn't make iPod games - I'm saying Aspyr should have at least gotten a seat at the table. Or how about Freeverse, makers of Wingnuts II an award winning title for the Mac. Or Ambrosia, makers of Escape Velocity - one of the few games so popular on the Mac that a Windows version was developed for popular demand.

Uber-brand name? Who the hell are these guys:


No, I think this was in some ways this was a poke in the way to some hardcore Mac developers who have really stuck with the platform.

It's also one of the better ways for them to send Apple a postcard saying "We'll see you on Xbox Live."

By Blogger Josh, at 23 September, 2006 18:18  

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