To HD or not to HD

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Post: #1
There's been a lot of talk in the press recently about how evil iPad devs are for charging again for iPad versions of their apps without really understanding the issues. So I've posted my first dev diary post in ages Smile

http://www.strangeflavour.com/page14/page14.html
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Post: #2
One thing I can add is that it's a lot harder to make Universal apps out of 2D rasterized games. 3D makes it much easier, for many reasons, which is why we did universal with Ace Omicron. It's still a major pain in the butt to have special layout code plastered all over the place, and that's on top of layout code for four orientations! Really, it's like this for every HUD element:

if (layoutIpad)
{
switch(orientation)
case portrait;
case portraitUpsideDownCake;
case landscapeRight;
case landscapeLeft;
}
else // layoutIphone
{
switch(orientation)
case portrait;
case portraitUpsideDownCake;
case landscapeRight;
case landscapeLeft;
}

*very* laborious and error-prone. Now do that for an entire 2D rasterized game and hair starts falling out.

Mobile gamers simply have no clue how much work it takes to make some of these games.
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Post: #3
Nice post Aaron!
Alex
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Post: #4
I think it's a tough sell for your average punter. If you've paid $1.50 for Plants V's Zombies paying $5.99 seems quite steep.... even though it looks amazing on the iPad.

Lets hope the quality of iPad games is high enough to not implode the market.

PS: it's nice to hear you are still knocking back the Dr. Peppers Aaron Smile
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Post: #5
Yup, it's a balance of perceived value, cost, risk and tiny profit margin.

At the moment, iPad gamers aren't your average punter though, with it costing 4 times the price of an iPod Touch and having limited availability, its market is going to be a more 'normal' gamer market than the current iPhone/iPod Touch one where everything is expected to be free or 99c.

Prices will drop to 99c as more of the part time devs get on board, but there's less reliance on chart position now for the bigger devs, so I'd expect it to be less of a general rush to the bottom.
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Post: #6
Zwilnik Wrote:Prices will drop to 99c as more of the part time devs get on board, but there's less reliance on chart position now for the bigger devs, so I'd expect it to be less of a general rush to the bottom.

Heh.. Having looked at the new releases for arcade this morning, only two on the first page were over .99 and many of them were free. Looking at it just now though, it appears there may be some more level-headed prices, but none of them are over $1.99
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Post: #7
Ugh... I just went through looking at each game on the first four pages of new releases in Arcade, until I got to Ace Omicron. Our reviews are *spectacular* in comparison to nearly all of the ones released after us. About 9 out of every 10 games I would never bother to either download or purchase. Most of them look downright terrible, but I did actually find a few interesting ones (I should have noted which ones they were, whoops). Admittedly, ours is "just another space shooter" (in large part because we didn't have time to add a campaign for the grand opening), but we feel it was a particularly well-done space shooter, and I'm glad those who've played it so far seem to agree.

But still, the point of this post is to bring bad news: The shovel-ware cometh on iPad. Sad
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Post: #8
AnotherJake Wrote:.... Our reviews are *spectacular* in comparison to nearly all of the ones released after us. About 9 out of every 10 games I would never bother to either download or purchase. Most of them look downright terrible, ...
But still, the point of this post is to bring bad news: The shovel-ware cometh on iPad. Sad

Of course we should all be used to the fact that there's no correlation between good reviews and number of sales. The lack of correlation between quality and sales is even more surprising.

And the shovelware was ready for the iPad release. Apple handpicked a few lucky developers who got early access to the device- they didn't have shovelware, but plenty of people were ready to cash in on the iPad on release day.

Howling Moon Software - CrayonBall for Mac and iPhone, Contract Game Dev Work
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Post: #9
AndyKorth Wrote:Of course we should all be used to the fact that there's no correlation between good reviews and number of sales.

Oh yes, this is 100% true. We're making a few sales, but nowhere near what we'd like to see, even though the reviews look great.

I'm now on page 8 of the arcade new releases (out of 14 pages) and I've seen a handful of professional games that look great and have huge reviews. Apple of course highlighted doodle games so there are a couple there which appear to have lots of activity too. But still, it looks like about maybe 7 or 8 out of 10 which came out on April 1st are rather poorly done games. I don't see much difference between iPad and iPhone at this point, in terms of quality of games or prices, other than the fact that the density of pro games is still relatively high at this early point.

BTW, for anyone who might be interested, here's a really nice video review of Ace Omicron. The video is a little dark, but I love what this guy has to say about it: http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4422114/ac..._app_demo/

Some "pro" iPhone game review sites really seemed to like the game. One of them seemed to hate it, but then changed their mind when they played it on iPad.

One major problem still happening is that people can't browse for games on the iPad device itself. Casey actually email Steve Jobs about it. Casey is a lot better at communicating than I am. Wink I prefer to be a loud-mouth on iDG instead Rasp Anyway, that email wound up being forwarded to the director of the App Store. He emailed us back saying in effect that they're working on it. Sigh... I'll have to stop being a loud mouth about it for now, I suppose. Rolleyes
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Post: #10
I'm waiting for iFart 2: Fart Harder, HD edition. That will be the end of the universe. Unfortunately, it does look that the iPad market might do the same, but what can you do? People prefer to pay less... I find myself thinking "Whoah, 4.99, what the hell?" instinctively, before I even look at what the app is.
Alex
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Post: #11
Speaking of which, one other thing I've noticed is that games that cost more than $2.99 seem to have little or no activity in the reviews or ratings. So it's like there's no choice but to stay at $2.99 or less, unless you're AAA.

Quote:I'm waiting for iFart 2: Fart Harder, HD edition.
LOL I think I saw one called like Fart Rocket or something.
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Post: #12
iFart 3: Fart Hardest, Rocket Farting Rasp
Alex
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