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Joewoof
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« on: 28 January 2009, 11:51:59 AM »

iPhone Game Development is looking very interesting.

Have this new realm been explored in this community yet? I see a great deal of potential here. We have a platform that differentiates itself with a combination of accelerometers and a multi-touch screen. One or the other is featured on other platforms, but not both on a handheld device. It's also technically more powerful than the PSP (although I assume that much of the juice is drained by the iPhone's OS), and its tilt-control makes it as novel as the NDS.

The iPhone SDK that works with XCode also seems suitably versatile, not to mention that C++ files can be seamlessly imported into an iPhone project without too much hassle (what would remain is to put it inside a Cocoa UI that uses Objective-C, then implement touch screen controls). That's good news for game developers in general that are used to working with C++.

Its games are priced starting from $0.99, which equals 35Baht (amazingly, making it cheaper than current mobile games in the Thai market), with higher profile games, such as a port of SimCity 3000, going up to 280Baht. According to what I've read, Apple takes 30% of the income for "store upkeep". I don't remember the current developer-publisher ratio for Thai mobile games, however. Can somebody give a comparison again? In any case, having an international audience is going to be a definite plus, even though international competition will indeed be fierce.

Is there a project already in motion? Is anyone else interested in this (just to share thoughts, at least)? Smiley
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Mo.Zeal
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« Reply #1 on: 28 January 2009, 10:48:41 PM »

I am.

See http://www.cancerian-9.com for our i-Phone projects.
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« Reply #2 on: 29 January 2009, 12:01:11 AM »

Look interesting, but I think cheap price will make unsuccessful business model. Until you can find global publisher to sell in mass market.
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mozeal
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« Reply #3 on: 29 January 2009, 12:31:03 AM »

AppStore is a mass market by itself - no publisher needed in this market. Your apps are in the same level of the Big Guy's apps.

SimCity got into the 1sr rank in US in 4 days.
And it was kick off by 'NO NAME' games called iShoot in 4 days as well.

iShoot is one-developer games - the coder quit from Sun Microsystem when he sell this apps for 1 week. The sell of this apps is about 13,000+ copy per day.

Sound interesting?

Moz

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« Reply #4 on: 29 January 2009, 12:48:07 AM »

Our team has a a few project in development.  Hopefully it would do well when it is ready for release.
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Joewoof
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« Reply #5 on: 29 January 2009, 05:29:48 AM »

Quote
iShoot is one-developer games - the coder quit from Sun Microsystem when he sell this apps for 1 week. The sell of this apps is about 13,000+ copy per day.

Sound interesting?

Nice. I checked the price. iShoot is being sold for $2.99. The current Baht-Dollar exchange rate is 34.8B, which means that the game costs 105B. Cut out 30% for Apple, and that's 73.5B per copy.

73.5 * 13,000 = 955,500

...huh? That's can't be right... can someone check my numbers, because earning almost a million baht per day for one person is... whoa. This is astronomical compared to the current state of our industry (at least, to my knowledge). What's the expected sales for a typical mobile phone game here?

That said, I imagine that only the most popular games will achieve such a status, and not every one can pull this off. I'm also skeptical about the long term sustainability of this market. What brought down Atari's game industry crash in the United States back in 1983 is, in part, due to the overflow of low-grade games with no quality control. The App Store also lacks quality control, which is worrying, but the common usage of the "Lite", try-before-you-buy model is perhaps self-moderating for the market? The rating system definitely helps. In any case, at least I can personally rely on IGN and other magazine websites for iPhone game news and reviews.

Speaking of quality games, I wonder if there's a market for lengthy hardcore-tailored RPG games? There appears to be a demand for it, and yet very few titles are available at the moment (none of them being any good). Instead of flocking to casual games, shouldn't we beat Square Enix to the chase and release a decent RPG title before they do (they currently have only one repetitive tower defense game there)? Just a thought.

Btw, UnSleepSheep Hunt looks awesome. Smiley
« Last Edit: 29 January 2009, 05:32:19 AM by Joewoof » Logged

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Mo.Zeal
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« Reply #6 on: 29 January 2009, 06:36:34 AM »

Hi,

Let me show you some number.

Apple AppStore was be accepted by developer around the world as a LARGEST software market ever in our history. In it's first month, the revenue is US$ 30 Million. That's means US$ 1 million per day for the first month.

AppStore took 61 days to reach first 100 million download, another 41 days for next 100 million download, then another 41 days for next 100 million download.

The number is US$ 13,000 per day (not copies per day) - sorry for my mistake - but you can see the number still huge.

This number was provided by iFart's developer who reach 1st rank for several weeks last month.

You can search some more information from the Net. However, I have some number here.

The top 100 need to have US$ 500 per day
Top 70 need to have US$ 1000 per day
Top 50 need to have US$ >3000 per day
Top 1 need to have US$ > 12,000 per day

This is a huge opportunity for small sized developer.

The 'Big' games mostly did not good in this market.
SimCity got 1st rank only 4 days - then kicked by iShoot
Other 'branded' games did not reach 1st rank. - Hero of sparta, Spore, several racing games etc.

This market is very fair - small developer has the same chance to success equal to the big guy. This never happen before and I waited for this market for lifetime.

Wanna join?

Mozeal
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Mo.Zeal
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« Reply #7 on: 29 January 2009, 06:46:08 AM »

Another point,

I think we could not rate the games in iPhone just by the graphics. Last two month, the 1st rank game was iHunt. The graphics is so bad. All of the review told that it's totally crab. I hate it.

However, it's on the first rank for several weeks and still in top 10 for months.

I ask my son for his opinion - he's crazy gamer - he told me he like it a lot. So - could not say.

Normally, my son play only the 'top' games on PC and console. but not in iPhone - he play EVERYTHING cause it's cheap. 0.99 US$ compare to 39 US$ for DS games. (yes, he buy games - not torrent it) I think most peoples (in US) are think in the same way to him.

Mozeal
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chanon
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« Reply #8 on: 29 January 2009, 10:27:40 AM »

iPhone is one market I've been keeping an eye on.
We already have official iPhone developer status but we haven't actually created anything for it yet.

This thread makes me want to begin a project on it soon Smiley
There is a little upfront investment where we'll have to adapt our engine to the iPhone SDK .. but since I'm rewriting our core engine anyways, this will be a good time to implement it.

So thanks for the reminder Smiley
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Mo.Zeal
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« Reply #9 on: 29 January 2009, 10:51:56 AM »

Chanon,

Glad to hear you take a look on iPhone. This is the best time!

Cheer,
Mo.Zeal
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Mo.Zeal
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« Reply #10 on: 29 January 2009, 11:15:39 AM »

Sorry for community that I would like to go a bit deep in programming. I do not want to start flaming war here about coding good or bad. I just want to share something I faced during last several months.

I post this because I heard Chanon will re-write his code - I hope this info will have some useful info to him.


iPhone use chipset from Samsung (S5L8900) - it's SoC (System in Chip) which included the following chips

1. CPU ARM 1176 v1.0 run at 412 MHz (but iPod Touch gen 2 use core v4.0 run at 532 MHz) - make sure your game loop use real time count to make both machine run your game at the same speed. avoid fix loop count

2. It use 8-stage integer pipeline - so, use Integer instead of floating point if you can. *** Except MATRIX and VECTOR calculation - see next issue)

3. It use MBX Lite ship from Power VR - this means all of the hidden surface removal, pixel perfect and submission order are done in hardware. So, trust the hardware to do - no need to help it. The MBX is very advance and it run all process in one chip - no external memory access. It's fast. (MBX fill rate is 135 million pixel per sec)

4. It also use VGP Lite chip from Power VR - this means you have *GREAT* math co-processor for Vector and Matrix calculation - However, you have to implement VGP code by your self. Current version of OpenGL from Apple not use VGP. If you use VGP you can calculate 4 floating-point operation in one cycle compare to 1 floating-point in 3-5 cycle using CPU

5. CPU of iPhone is great its' ARM CPU @ 412 MHz (532 MHz for iPod2) compare to Nintendo DS which has 2 CPU (ARM @ 67 MHz and 33 MHz) and PSP using MIPS @ 222 / 333 MHz (selectable) - this means that you can do more AI and physic code than those platform.

6. Even we have MBX and VGP - we still have limit on speed of rendering - it's not PS3 here. iPhone can render at around 613,918 triangles per second (in theory) compare to Nokia N95 at 719,206 (but much smaller frame buffer), Nintendo DS at 120,000 triangle. Its' best but if compare to PSP its' loser - PSP can do in theory at 33,000,000 triangles per second (but no one can see this in real)

7. Don't believe theoretical info - the real life is 243,000 triangles per seconds with full texture and light.

8. No Vertex/Pixel shader here.

9. All 3D code do via Open GL | ES 1.1 which similar to PS3

10. You can program in C, C++ or Objective C using X-code.

Conclusion - it's great!
Mozeal
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yod
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« Reply #11 on: 30 January 2009, 12:16:49 AM »

Oh Thanks! for the information. Thank to Mo.Zeal & Joewoof.

This may bring my lost hope back on track.
I try port my mini engine to it.

http://developer.apple.com/iphone/
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Mo.Zeal
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« Reply #12 on: 30 January 2009, 01:31:40 AM »

Khun Yod,

Glad to hear you investigate on iPhone Dev.

THIS IS a best way for all of us (Thai Game Developer) to enter the world market.

- low cost
- no publisher needed
- we are the same rank with big guy - this is real 'democracy' game market which XNA once try to do.
- short development time.
- short time-to-market, normally your apps will appear on AppStore within one week after you submit.
- it's HUGE market and RISING TURN.

I would like to use this opportunity to wake up all of us to do our best - bless you all to get what you ever dreamed for.

Cheers,
Moz
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Joewoof
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« Reply #13 on: 30 January 2009, 04:12:16 AM »

Quote
The number is US$ 13,000 per day (not copies per day) - sorry for my mistake - but you can see the number still huge.
A million Baht per day was definitely suspicious. Sounded too good to be true.

Is that $13,000 the daily profit to the developer or does it also include Apple's 30% slice? Whichever the case, it is still a truckload of money at either 454,000B or 317,000B daily.

Quote
The top 100 need to have US$ 500 per day
Top 70 need to have US$ 1000 per day
Top 50 need to have US$ >3000 per day
Top 1 need to have US$ > 12,000 per day

This is a huge opportunity for small sized developer.

I'm not sure what you mean by those, but I assume that they are different revenue rates. If so, they would translate to:

Top100 Income: 17,500B per day
Top70 Income: 35,000B per day
Top50 Income: 105,000B per day
Top1 Income: 420,000B per day

P.S. Bought Unsleep Sheep Hunt. Hahaha, very charming. Can use a little more variety though (maybe with different sheep all in the same mode, stronger weapons as powerups), but otherwise pretty neat, if only for its cute humor. Smiley
« Last Edit: 30 January 2009, 04:48:01 AM by Joewoof » Logged

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Mo.Zeal
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« Reply #14 on: 30 January 2009, 05:56:46 AM »

Your understand is right.

The rank was depends on your apps' revenue (price x number of sales). The rank are real-time. So, no accumulate number of sales. (This point is good - compare to ranking system of Handango for Pocket PC).

The ranking will change several time during the day. So, every apps have chance to get in.

The revenue level I gave is estimate level of the apps on the Top 100. Being top 100 is very important because it help people see you apps much easier.

BTW, thanks for buying my software.

Cheers,
Moz
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« Reply #15 on: 30 January 2009, 07:12:54 AM »

I quit iPhone development last year with a very simple silly reason : I lost my iPod touch TT___TT.

Basically, you need Mac to run XCode (AFAIK, there is no Windows version). I think most of thai cannot afford as it is quite expensive. You could run Hackintosh as well, but no one guarantee the stability of the system (I have several issues running OSX86 on my machine), and don't forget that it infringe the OSX's EULA.

So I'd looking forward to develop game for Android instead.

BTW, Palm Pre is also interesting, as it would become an 'iPhone Killer' (apple already have some actions against it, including lawsuit !!). But its OS depend on browser for presentation (its presentation stack is WebKit), so it might be hard to make a game for it.
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« Reply #16 on: 30 January 2009, 10:01:33 AM »

Thanks for all the info Mo.Zeal
So looks like hitting and staying in the Top 100 for a while would be the minimum target Cheesy
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Mo.Zeal
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« Reply #17 on: 30 January 2009, 12:16:29 PM »

Tawan,

I always hate to carry MacBook Pro with me cause it's too heavy. So, I have Acer Aspire One 150L (NetBook, price in Singapore around 13,000 Baht) running Mac OS X with full development suite (Xcode and iPhone SDK/simulator). I can do 100% development on Acer Aspire One. Only limitation is it's small screen.

You may excite when you see speed of OS X on Acer Aspire One - it's much faster than Windows.

Installation of OS X on PC like Acer Aspire One is still very hard. However, if community has interesting about this, Please let me know, I will post about it. (It's quite long and may take you several hours to finish). The result of OS X on Acer Aspire One is 100% perfect.

It's not limitation of PC model but tweaking the Kernel Extension is not a funny process. So, if someone would like to try other model of PC - I may not able to solve all question. Some of my friends use Sony Vaio which also get a good result. But I think the price of Vaio is similar to MacBook - it's no point to do that for me.

Please note that the Apple EULA not allow to run OS X on non-Apple hardware. So, use it at your own (legal) risk.

------

For Palm Pre - I'm quite disappoint that the SDK is HTML-CSS-JavaScript development only. This is the same as iPhone 1.0 which allow you do only Web Apps.

------

FYI - a successful of business model of AppStore force Microsoft to start it's similar appstore for Windows Mobile very soon (next month) as well as Symbian by Nokia.

------

Chanon,

It's may not need to be Top 100. It's quite normal to get 100-200 copies per day for most games. But this not enough to list on Top 100 - but I think the number is still at the 'happy' level.

Cheers,
Moz
« Last Edit: 30 January 2009, 12:19:25 PM by Mo.Zeal » Logged
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« Reply #18 on: 30 January 2009, 12:32:42 PM »

About Android,

Please be warned about having decision to get into Android.

This is my OWN opinion - It' may not the right way.

Android may ok for Business application or Internet Application. It's google's thinking. The problem I hate Android is it's come from many hardware manufacturer.

I myself, hate Taiwanese Hardware. (Sorry if I hit someone's feet here). For example HTC.

HTC Touch Diamond - one of the best model from HTC. It use Power VR chip like the iPHone. It should generate more than 700,000 polygon per seconds by it's screen size and CPU speed.

But - it's support only Open GL|ES 1.0 not 1.1 which has a huge limitation.

And the bad point is the real world (confirm from many software house as well as us) that the real through put triangles per second is too slow to mention. comparing some test got 5 FPS while other hardware got 200 FPS.

So, I'm quite not interested to get into Android G1. (I never bench mark it yet - just hate to try, so, I may totally wrong)

Another point is it's Java based. It's ok to use java but we do not think HTC or Android will get serious to develop good JIT or AOT compiler.

----------

on iPHone, you may use C, C++ or Objective C to create native application.

Another choice is using mono (C#) - mono has AOT (Ahead-of-time) compiler option to create native ARM application. Some studio (Unity 3D) start using this technology.

So, iPhone may suitable for games than Android.

----------

Just my opinion.

Moz
« Last Edit: 30 January 2009, 12:35:19 PM by Mo.Zeal » Logged
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« Reply #19 on: 30 January 2009, 11:11:03 PM »

OH my. I just known that there are no dev platform support on PC/XP/VISTA !?!
But with my little lucky, I can access both MacPro & iMac..

About Android, I was try to code 3D on android last year.

Pros: It is easy to install with android's SDK, easy to use, and the examples can be found easy on the net.  The coding structure is same as java.
It is powerful because of java lang. You can inherit class to do thing like "the way of java" can do.
You can access all Google Earth's (MAP and Places) world wide database.
Google talk and google account are easy to implement.

Cons: I'm sure that everybody will not happy in performance issue with java.
I try port some 3D object to it. approx 300 tri, no texture mapped. I got about ~12 fps in the simulator. blank screen got around 150+ fps (If my memory was correct) I think run on the hardware will make more faster 1.5x ~ 2.2x as try on symbian simulator and the real h/w.
The java class style "GL.*" still come to haunt.
« Last Edit: 31 January 2009, 03:29:22 AM by yod » Logged

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« Reply #20 on: 31 January 2009, 02:58:43 AM »

Well ... this is for FYI.
Java on Android is not the one you've seen today, even though it is the same java language, it's not a Java Platform.

Android run something call DalvikVM, the VM is different from the one you use (ie. Sun Hotspot). DalvikVM is not certified by Sun Microsystem. DalvikVM doesnot run Java byte code (which is break Java basic rule, but who cares ?), it has its own kind of language.

There's a guideline on how to reach the peak performance out of DalvikVM, mostly to avoid using special language feature (ie, polymorphism, enumerator, etc...) as it generates more instructions (I cannot says it's Java byte code, as it is not).

@yod : There are no 'global function' in Java language, so using public static functions work as workaround. It would be better to have OOP OpenGL interface. But for archiving high performance, I think static functions is better.
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« Reply #21 on: 31 January 2009, 03:04:49 AM »

@Mo. Zeal : So I believe that you don't have XBox 360, do you ;-) (FYI, X360 is manufactured by Asustek, a Taiwanese company). I'm not interested to tried G1 as well.

Actually, I just know that C++ is also supported on iPhone (I really hate Objective-C).

Does you have a chance to try the SE's X1 (Xperia)? Is it different from Touch Diamond (X1 is manufactured by HTC as well)

Actually, I'm waiting for Sony Ericsson's Android phone. Dell seems to be interesting as well.
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« Reply #22 on: 31 January 2009, 03:25:45 AM »

More about Android's Java: If it will make someone confuse about my writing. The java on android is a java limited edition language. like Mr.Tawan said above. Smiley

For the highest performance you can use android with native: (feel lost in the space)
http://davanum.wordpress.com/2007/12/09/android-invoke-jni-based-methods-bridging-cc-and-java/

Due to "GL.*"  haunt. I didn't like to break OOP rule. for my opinion. I wonder when they create this language. Why they do not have something act like "namespace" as in C++ or "with obj do .." as in Delphi. With this, it's still obey OOP rule - but compiler will assist to tell the linker what its mean. programmer will be more happy to use it.


Thanks to Khun.Mo.Zeal again about your value information krub. I'm prepare for get ready for iPhone.
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« Reply #23 on: 31 January 2009, 04:53:56 AM »

Tawan,

I did not has X1 to test here. I hope to get one cause it's so sexy phone (in shape).

Because I have concentrate on iPhone right now, so, I totally turn my back to all other platform (Android, Windows Mobile, Symbian). We still have team for Windows Mobile here but not other platform. 80% of our afford go to iPhone.

About the Taiwanese hardware - I'm not hate the 'made in Taiwan' or 'made in China' (iphone manufactured in China). But I hate the 'design and implement by taiwan' - they always has some strange decision in design. For example choosing Open GL|ES 1.0 as I mentioned in Diamond issue.

Wow - the thread is longer than I think.

Moz
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« Reply #24 on: 31 January 2009, 09:12:25 AM »

Yeah, still, I'm waiting to see Sony Ericsson's Android. If it is not good as I've expected, I'd go to X1.

Seems to be a bit of brand loyalty, but SE never disappoint me before. I'd wait :-) (X1 is a bit expensive ATM).
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« Reply #25 on: 04 March 2009, 04:51:52 AM »

I would like to point out that going into development for the iPhone is not without risk. As it stands, the appstore is currently over-saturated with applications and games.

Here is how I look at it:

Lets look at what makes this new platform so attractive to companies. Huge sales at low price points and low cost of development. With that, if you are an established developer, a huge dilemma appears (My company is one of them).

Cost vs. Sales vs. Competition
This might sound normal. One might go, "Hey, it happens anywhere anyways!" But this is more prevalent in the appstore.

Your product is going to get a "shelf-life" of a few days, a week if you are lucky, so I'm told. As such, you only have that short time for you to get your product known, and hope that by word of mouth, your product gets more popular. And, since it's low cost, one wouldn't want to spend on marketing, would he?

You are going against games being churned out every other day by indie developers with little to no cost to themselves. These people range from indie companies to the stereotypical geek in the basement. Cost to these people are usually close to none, due to it being more of a hobby.

Remember, the lower the cost it is to develop, the more developers there will be. While most games are of rather inferior quality to what some more established developers are capable of, there are too many exceptions abound to make this anywhere near a risk-free investment.

In terms of cost, and revenue generated, it can be rather different to the other platforms.

Just raising a flag, other then that, best of luck!
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« Reply #26 on: 04 March 2009, 12:35:00 PM »

You raised a good point.

I know that it's difficulty for "established developer" to enter to this market. The ground level price of games on the AppStore makes calculation of Cost vs Sales vs Competition to be a pain for them.

However, I studied the AppStore statistics of several games very closely for several months. I got some interesting points.

1. It's mass market to directly to the 'ordinary' peoples. Not the game shop for the gamers. It's real consumer market.
2. The number of peoples buying on AppStore is really HUGE. The mass effect (like the network effect in Web 2.0 term) is totally difficult to predict by our experience from other market.
3. It's no shelf-life, mouth-to-mouth market of several million peoples per days is total different. Some app enter to #1 in 4 days (Oricarna), some app enter to #1 in 7 months (Blocked).
4. The rank are really dynamics - it changed every 4 hours. Every apps has opportunity.
5. Due to it's consumer market - many big developers are disappoint the peoples love "inferior quality" games rather a nice games from big companies.

I agreed with you about the risk in this market. However, for small sized developer like us this is nothing. It's better to depends our life to finding the publisher and judge our life by them. I like this market because the one who judge our products are millions of peoples out there.

I like it.

Just raising another flag. nice to discussion here.

Moz.
 
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« Reply #27 on: 05 March 2009, 01:45:52 AM »

Agreed with both of you. But  I think there are no free-cost for developer. You will need mac iPhone and time to do. Also there are require some level of know-how for 3d application too. If iPhone market is oversaturated , what do you think about pc  market ?
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« Reply #28 on: 05 March 2009, 08:41:04 PM »

The PC market, and specifically, online game market which I study closely is definitely saturated. I am not saying other platforms are less risk free.

However, what I am saying is;
If you are already an established developer studio, it is going to be very difficult. Indie or not, do not make a total or major change in direction to the iPhone just for that sake. Almost make sure you work your cost out well based on the type of project it is.

My company has finished it's first application, which is a developer contract deal. Let's just say, with the amount paid to us, we would have thought that we got the better end of the deal. But after development, we realized that when you add up the cost of man hours and equipment (which is only 1 iPhone, 1 Touch and 1 Macbook btw, we had some on hand already), we of course, didn't earn a penny, and made a loss in fact.

But, if you are just a bunch of peeps doing this for fun, and you have the necessary equipment, I believe it would be a God sent opportunity!
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« Reply #29 on: 06 March 2009, 01:29:04 AM »

Agreed with your point of view. For the 1st project, with my past experience, I didn't think it can make money (in case of PC game/app or others) because the need of time to learning tools, to collect know-how, plus trial+error. You will gain at next 2-3 deals. if some people haven't lots of money, they will get checkmate. This is a very difficult situation for the indie studio to survive.
I wonder that there are still high risk - low return in the game market in any platform. But people still want to do it.

Usually I didn't build game for fun or profit. I build them for challenge and pride : )

Thanks for nice discussion.
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