Tag Games: 'iPhone 3.0 will energise games developers'

Paul Farley is impressed by new software update

Tag Games: 'iPhone 3.0 will energise games developers'
This is a guest contribution from Paul Farley, co-founder of TAG Games (pictured right).

Yet again Apple has shown the rest of the mobile gaming industry just how to energise a development community with today's iPhone OS 3.0 announcement.

There can't have been too many developers who weren't rubbing their hands with glee at the multitude of new APIs announced today, totaling over 1,000 according to Apple.

This new functionality will serve even greater gameplay innovation and offer new revenue generation possibilities.

Apple is not only listening to the development community but actively encouraging it, a stark contrast to the traditional world of mobile game development where most mobile operators and handset manufacturers still fail to provide a compelling development or commercial environment for game creation.

The big headlines for Tag are clearly the announcement of micro-payments and subscription billing models.

The revenue opportunities here are massive for content producers where a game can be given away almost as a demo with the user paying for continued play or additional features.

It does raise issues around gameplay balance (is it fair that players can pay to progress or gain advantage?) and care must be taken to offer value for money, but for a game like Astro Ranch where we wish to include a great deal of downloadable content and connected functionality it offers a great many opportunities.

Equally exciting are the additions of push notifications, hardware add-ons and music library access.

Unfortunately these features won't come in time for the release of our next title Car Jack Streets but a game like this

which runs in real time would benefit greatly by automatically reminding the player to check back into the game and pay their dues to the mob if they haven't played for a while.

The best control system for Car Jack Streets is a virtual D-pad but as we've seen previously there are some inherent issues with this. A Zeemote controller or even plug-in physical D-pad will make games like this much more accurate to control and therefore fun to play. These may be possible with the new APIs too.

Finally access to the users' own music library is probably iPhone gamers' most requested feature and so it's nice to see that being included too.

And that's just the tip of the iceberg, once you consider voice chat, MMS, video and audio streaming are going to be supported out of the box you realise just what a powerful gaming platform iPhone/iPod Touch is turning

out to be!

No news on unlocking video out from apps though - I guess they have to leave something for 4.0...
UK developer Tag Games is preparing the release of Car Jack Streets for iPhone - check the official website for more details - while working on several other titles for iPhone and other mobile platforms.

PocketGamer.biz regularly posts content from a variety of guest writers across the games industry. These encompass a wide range of topics and people from different backgrounds and diversities, sharing their opinion on the hottest trending topics, undiscovered gems and what the future of the business holds.