With the iPad announcement come and gone, the anticipation around the device moves to its public availability and the games and apps that will come with that availability. Recently two of the major iPhone game development houses, Tapulous and Firemint, indicated they are already laying plans for gaming on the iPad. In an article on GamesIndustry.biz, both development houses expressed plans to expand current iPhone offerings as well as create new iPad-specific titles.
Tapulous and Firemint are leading development houses because they’ve successfully married enjoyable games (Tap Tap Revenge, Flight Control, Real Racing to name a few) with the touch enabled interface of the iPhone environment. It’s only logical that they want to move with the interface as it evolves and changes. The iPad provides performance and screen resolution differences that can only be truly appreciated through custom development. Although it is true the iPad will run iPhone applications natively, graphics developed for the iPhone screen may not translate up to the iPad screen well in all cases. Time will tell whether this produces dual version games or games that contain additional logic for determining the platform they run on.
Major iPhone development houses, EA and Gameloft had the opportunity to demonstrate iPad games at the introductory keynote. With an advertised lead time of two weeks, both companies created graphically intense and feature rich versions of Need for Speed Shift and N.O.V.A. Not only did these games look great in the larger screen and using the faster processor of the iPad, they also offered a glimpse of how developers will exploit the new environment to expand their games. For example, Need for Speed Shift gave the player the capability to tap the rear view mirror of the car and access a rear facing camera in place. N.O.V.A game the player enhanced controls that otherwise wouldn’t be available on the iPhone.
The public availability of the iPad development SDK should ensure a good selection of iPad games from Day One. The involvement of large gaming shops like Tapulous, Firemint, EA, and Gameloft should ensure the quality of iPad games meets and exceeds those of the iPhone.
Do you look forward to the introduction of the iPad and its inherent gaming capabilities? Is there a favorite game you hope gets ported and enhanced for the iPad? Are you developing iPad games? Leave us a comment and let us know.
By: Erin Peterson