Jump to content

iPhoneOS Port


Recommended Posts

Okay, yeah, I know, this has been discussed before; sorry for being a noob.

However, I really think that an Avernum port for the iPhoneOS could work, at least with a few workarounds and maybe a new, smaller tileset. I mean, there is a successful Nethack port, there is a Battle for Wesnoth port (also kinda-successful)...

 

Oh, and don't go and start flaming Apple, the truth is that both them and Microsoft suck! :3

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's not going to happen because Jeff doesn't want to spend the time rewriting code which he claims he isnt' that good at doing. It's the reason you haven't seen any of his games on other platforms.

 

Also he doesn't see enough extra sales to warrant his using the time when it can go to his next game.

 

Welcome to Spiderweb Software. Please leave your sanity at the door.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Why not get someone else to help out - an experienced iPhone developer. I mean, the Avernum series is excellent, I'm sure it wouldn't be too hard.

 

Then again, I am not very (by which I mean "not at all") familiar with the whole online shopping and general retail process, from what I can gather, yes, this could lead to complications.

 

Either way, the Appstore is a lot more active than the whole shareware Indie gaming market. *hinthint*

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Go to Jeff's blog and read some of his thoughts on selling games and the pricing at stores.

 

Also go down to Blades of Exile forum and read some of the topics involving updating the open source code to current computers and operating systems. This is working on a game that was actually documented for players as opposed to the others that Jeff has to hunt for his notes on what he did.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

To summarize Jeff's thought, and Iphone port wouldn't work for three reasons.

 

1. Iphone users are notoriously whiny about prices. If you try to sell them something for more than $0.99 (or free), then they WILL complain and rank it poorly. Also, good luck trying to sell a game fore MORE than $5. No one will buy it. Keep in mind, Jeff currently sells Avernum for what, $25? Not only would he have to slash is current profit margin by close to 95%, but he would also have to cut it further in order to actually be able to sell a moderate amount of copies. He'd be better off buying up so advertising space around the Internet- that'd probably make him more money than an Iphone port.

2. The Iphone games are coded in a completely different language than the computer games are. I think that the games themselves are a derivative of C#, but the Iphone only runs Java. He'd have to reprogram the entire game. That's probably take him as much time as writing a completely new game, and he wouldn't make anywhere near as much money.

3. There really isn't much of a market for it. Were this a Halo port, people would buy it because it's a halo port. Were this Diablo or Elder Scrolls, people would buy it because of name recognition. However, it is not. As a result, his game would have to fly entirely on word-of-mouth and goo reviews, in a niche market that probably already has 1000 games that are VERY similar to the Avernum series already released.

 

To summarize:

An Iphone port won't turn enough profit to make money

It would require too much work for too little return

The niche market it would satisfy is already full

 

The only way I could see this working is if Jeff took a time machine back to when he first wrote A1, and switched it to Java. Then, he received advanced knowledge of the Iphone release and whipped up a port before the phone actually came out. Then, he priced it a $9.99 and released it the first day, sweeping up the entire market before any alternatives could be released. That's really the only scenario where the port could work.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Originally Posted By: Dantius
To summarize Jeff's thought, and Iphone port wouldn't work for three reasons.

...
2. The Iphone games are coded in a completely different language than the computer games are. I think that the games themselves are a derivative of C#, but the Iphone only runs Java. He'd have to reprogram the entire game. That's probably take him as much time as writing a completely new game, and he wouldn't make anywhere near as much money.
...

To summarize:
An Iphone port won't turn enough profit to make money
It would require too much work for too little return
The niche market it would satisfy is already full

The only way I could see this working is if Jeff took a time machine back to when he first wrote A1, and switched it to Java. Then, he received advanced knowledge of the Iphone release and whipped up a port before the phone actually came out. Then, he priced it a $9.99 and released it the first day, sweeping up the entire market before any alternatives could be released. That's really the only scenario where the port could work.


Whilst I agree with much of what you say, point 2 is factually incorrect. The iPhone does not "only run Java"; in fact it does not run Java at all as Apple do not want users to be able to play Java games they find online as that could undermine AppStore sales.

Games and other apps for the iPhone (and iPod touch) are actually written in a C derivative such as Objective-C, C++, or C itself. Therefore far from requiring a great deal of work, porting an existing title to the iPhone may well be relatively quick and easy if it is written in something like C#, with the majority of the work being adapting the UI for the smaller screen and touch-input it would require.

That said, there is an additional downside to porting it to the iPhone worth mentioning: the US$100 annual fee to become a registered iPhone OS developer, which is required in order to release apps on the AppStore. You would therefore have to sell over US$140 worth of copies on the AppStore just to break even as developers receive only 70% of the amount paid by the customer (I believe some small independent developers probably publish through a third-party who take an additional cut in return for the developer themself not having to pay the subscription themself, but that is only really viable for apps expected to make very few sales).

As such, as much I would like to see Avernum etc on the iPhone range (including iPod touch and now iPad as well), I would agree that it probably isn't worthwhile even if it might actually be an almost trivial process.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The first 3 games have resolution of 800 by 600.

iPhone has resolution of 480 by 320.

 

Where would all the controls go?

Would we constantly have Look, Talk, Priest, Mage, Inventory, Minimap, and Info button on the screen?

 

I guess you could just have those 7 buttons in a column on the right side of the screen. The game wouldn't show your inventory or the mini map unless you click the button for it.

 

He would have to either scale the graphics down (which probably wouldn't look to well), or the other option is to display about half as much on the world map (which would require a lot more scrolling). Then further hurting your vision is that their isn't room to show the mini map with all this and you also have six buttons that must constantly be displayed. I guess you could just have 1 button called "menu" to access all the other buttons you would need.

 

This would be a lot of work, and I think it would be a lot more tedious to play on the iPhone / iPod touch.

 

The best way, in my opinion, would be to reright it with brand new graphics designed for the smaller screen.

 

If he does anything for the iPhone, in my opinion, a game designed especially for the iPhone would be best. all the graphics, town layouts, dialogue, battles, etc would be especially designed for the iPhone. It would probably be more enjoyable for him to make a new game than to remake an old one, and it would have more potential income for him because it is a new game that no one has played before.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Originally Posted By: PrinceGaz
That said, there is an additional downside to porting it to the iPhone worth mentioning: the US$100 annual fee to become a registered iPhone OS developer, which is required in order to release apps on the AppStore. You would therefore have to sell over US$140 worth of copies on the AppStore just to break even as developers receive only 70% of the amount paid by the customer (I believe some small independent developers probably publish through a third-party who take an additional cut in return for the developer themself not having to pay the subscription themself, but that is only really viable for apps expected to make very few sales).


Very good point...
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 6 months later...
  • 1 month later...

While Avernums 4 thru 6 required 1024x768, the upcoming game, Avadon only requires 1024x600. This would allow the leftover 1024x168 space on the iPad to be used by any touch controls that would need to be added.

 

From what I understand, Jeff is making Avadon a little bit different to make it easier for regular people play. Maybe the type of people who own iPads?

 

It looks like the iPad is getting lots of momentum, taking the place of people's netbooks. The iPad app prices are generally much higher than the regular apps are. $9.99 and $14.99 are pretty common from what I understand. It looks like there are currently 10 million iPad users in the United States of America. The vast majority of them probably look on the App Store at some point. Everybody likes games. And surely there are some people who enjoy tactical RPGs.

 

With this being a new game, Jeff very well might have decided this would be a good time to re-write anything that would need to be re-written for his compiler to compile to the iOS platform.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Jeff said he was going to use a whole new game engine for Avadon. Because ARM and Intel chips are different, is there no way that a brand new engine could have been re-written in a language that can be compiled for Win 7, Mac OS X, and iOS, even though all 3 platforms can use "C" programming language?

 

 

Source: "I Write a Bad Game - Next year, I'm going to make a whole new series, with a new game engine and IP." - http://jeff-vogel.blogspot.com/search?q=netbook

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There are slight differences in the way the operating systems work and compiling the same program on different platforms doesn't always produce the same results.

 

It's more that Jeff doesn't want to put in the effort to make his programs run on more platforms. He makes more money using the time for a new game than the extra customers for another platform.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Originally Posted By: jecowa
I think Apple is making iOS for Mac.
Uh. What. The phrase "iOS for Mac" is as nonsensical as "Windows for Linux" or "Mac for Windows"; both are an operating system in their own right. And if you mean an iOS emulator, I believe that's already available as part of the iPhone development kit, and I doubt they'll make it available for Windows (though it's not impossible).
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The real problem with writing for iOS is the huge different in inputs. No mouse, no keyboard, and while fingers are mouse-like, they're also much stubbier and less precise. Either the games would play very oddly and ignore the keyboard, which would alienate Jeff's base, or he'd have to write the interface from scratch for iOS, which would be a huge time-sink.

 

—Alorael, who notes that it's a far bigger time investment than simply a new engine. Each "new" engine Jeff has used has incorporated bits of old engines. In some cases, many bits. Recycling the good and replacing the bad or outworn is fine, and it saves time for making the meat of the games. Doing a new finger-based engine would not be bringing in much money, especially for Jeff's already niche games. How many of those 10 million iPad users would want Avadon, wouldn't get it for Mac or Windows anyway, and would find it and pay for it? Probably a tiny fraction of the already small number of players Jeff generally gets.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...