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IPod games, between enthusiasm and frustration

Enthusiasm and frustration. These are the two points of view that emerge from the developers' comments on the sidelines of Apple's decision to make the iPod also a video game platform. To bring back the voice of those involved in creating professionally Macworld game titles that published two interesting articles in the course of yesterday that throw a beam of light on a process, the one that led to open the iPod HD to games, until now unknown.

The enthusiastic voices are those of PopGames, Fresh Games and Namco, three of the partners who created the iPod versions of Bejeweled, Zuma, Cubis and Pac-Man. From what we learn Apple would, as easily imaginable, a great secrecy on current projects to the point that the developers would have provided in some cases a simple advice, leaving the engineers of Cupertino the task of working on the code. For example, Dave Roberts of PopGames was able to test his iPod versions for the first time only on the day of the Apple event. According to developer Dennis Rayan, also from PopGames, the main challenge was to exploit the clickwheel as an input system. The rest, from the screen to the reduced memory, are problems already dealt with previously and solved.

Accents, depending on the case, of disappointment or decidedly critical come from other realities excluded from the iPod gaming business, despite the fact that in the past they have worked with Apple. Aspyr, for example, claims to have presented numerous projects for iPod games in the past, but with no results: "We think" says Glenda Adams – of having much to offer the Mac gaming market; we have been making games for Mac OS for 10 years and we have also published for pocket games. " The same opinion comes from Brian Greenstone, from Pangea: "I think we could create original games that could wipe out what is available today for iPods. Making original titles "says Greenstone" is certainly more interesting than selling games that are available for 100 other platforms. Among the formulas proposed to please everyone: mandatory approval for the concept of the games and the final release and the payment of a royalty for each copy sold.

But for the moment Apple does not think at all of the hypothesis of opening the market to other protagonists in the fact that it has not released (n intends to release at least for now) the Software Developer Kit for iPod without which there is no possibility to create iPod games.