Martin Linklater found the same to be the case, “Most people who play iOS games play in short bursts, while console gamers tend to play for a number of hours at a go.” He also reckons that certain game types just “don’t work very well”. “I always think that once you introduce virtual joysticks into your game you’ve already failed. Touch is a very different interface from a joypad, and the really great games out there understand this and use the control method to do things that control pads can’t do…”
Dr Danny Pearce echoes that thought, although with a slightly more positive spin: “A minor difference is adjusting to the way players interact with the game via the touchscreen. It seems lots of developers are now getting to grips with this, we’re seeing fewer virtual buttons and more seamless ways to interact with games.”
Martin Linklater thinks there’s “certainly room for both casual and enthusiast games in the market. Games written for gamers can have huge sales spikes…but at the same time there are lots of traditional games..which sell decent numbers week on week without ever entering the limelight.” Matt Cavanagh agreed: “When you are making a game for the iOS gamer, you are making a game for the general public. Console games are generally focused much more towards gamers and gamers are always looking for a new and challenging experience. I think most iOS gamers are looking for casual entertainment in quick fixes.”
Reinforcing the idea of a broad spectrum of gamers, Mark Craig explains “[iOS] games tend to be more about gameplay than cinematic experiences. Even though games are referred to as casual I would argue that a lot of them have more sophisticated gameplay in them than a lot of AAA console games.”
The one thing that everyone interviewed agreed with was enjoying the fast pace of iOS development and the actual coding involved. Dr Danny Pearce explained that it’s a great step for consumers, also: “The games available today are so much better than the those available a year ago…It’s exciting to always feel you’re on the verge of breaking into some new unexplored territories, the constant search for the next big thing is an excellent source of motivation!”
Martin Linklater has appreciated the opportunity to use Objective-C and Cocoa Touch within his coding. “It’s a real shame Objective-C doesn’t have more adoption in the games industry because it is a beautiful language for creating games and game systems.” Mark Craig has also enjoyed the flexibility given through coding iOS games, “It’s great to be able to develop anywhere, all I need is my laptop and iPad…It’s also nice to work on something on a small scale again. The last 360/PS3 game I worked on had over 100 people working on it, now I just work with about 12 people.”
Matt Cavanagh tried to narrow it down but simply admitted: “…I love the whole process.” Who can blame him?
Unfortunately, it hasn’t all been smooth sailing for the iOS developers to come from the closure of Bizarre Creations. Hogrocket, developers of Tiny Invaders is now on indefinite hiatus. Peter Collier, one of the co-founders of the developer, explained that “Tiny Invaders achieved a lot which I’m very proud of, but financially it simply was not enough to sustain the three of us.” Significantly, he pointed out that “If I could go back and do it again I would have designed Tiny Invaders very differently and fully embraced the free to play model,” somewhat tellingly as to the importance of free to play gaming to the iOS market. Tiny Invaders is still available from the app store, however, and I’d strongly recommend it as it’s a very enjoyable title.
So what’s next for the collection of ex-Bizarre developers?
Grubby Hands are currently working on “a new rhythm based game.” Danny explained that “it’s looking cute, sassy and jam packed with humour. I expect it to be finished towards the end of 2012. It’s exciting times!”.
Curly Rocket’s Martin Linklater is planning to embrace simple games like Curly Square, before he returns to “more complex” concepts. Rather jovially, he quoted Greg Anderson to explain his thoughts on the matter: “Focus on the journey, not the destination. Joy is found not in finishing an activity but by doing it”.
Cryptically, Muffin Games have “a large number of future projects at various stages of development but they are all secret at the moment I’m afraid!”, while Totem Games, having finished an iPad version of SpaceOff is working on a quiz game by the name of Free Quiz, with plans for something story driven at some point in the future.
The future’s looking pretty bright for these developers and I, for one, look forward to seeing future releases. While it was terrible news to hear of the closure of Bizarre Creations at the start of last year, it’s great to see something good come out of it.
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Posted in: Blog, Interviews
Tagged with: Bizarre Creations, Boy Loves Girl, Curly Rocket, Curly Square, David Haye's Knockout, Free Quiz, Fur Fighters, Grubby Hands, Hogrocket, interview, Muffin Games, Space Off, Tiny Invaders, Totem Games