Cobra Mobile's Ettle: People are playing games for longer on iPad

Bigger means more immersive

Cobra Mobile's Ettle: People are playing games for longer on iPad
With the iPad's launch moving from our short-term to our medium term memory, it's time to catch up with some of the developers who released the first wave of games for Apple's wonder device.

Dundee-based developer Cobra Mobile was quick off the mark, releasing HD versions of puzzler Numba and Low Grav Racer. It also released a free two-player game Pukk HD.

Pocket Gamer: How long did you take developing your iPad games?

Mark Ettle: It took about six weeks to get our iPad games finished. A lot of that was polish and tweaking features to get the best performance out of the device.

Numba HD is Numba with a higher, cleaner resolution. It didn't need any additional features to make it more playable.

With Low Grav Racer 2 HD, we thought what can we add to make this a more console-like experience? A lot of work went into improving the visuals, adding real-time reflections, motion blur, visual effects, three new control methods.

We just did Pukk HD because we thought it was a fun little idea.

How have sales compared to your expectations?

Sales have been good. It's a similar but new market and will grow steadily over the next six months as more and more people touch, feel, play and buy iPads.

Have you been surprised so many iPad games have been versions of existing iPhone games?

Yes and no. There's a lot of iPhone games that are really good and I think it made sense to get versions onto iPad.

There are a lot of really good HD upgraded versions of iPhone apps where you can see the developer has made an effort to make a much more engaging experience. Harbour Master, Real Racing and Low Grav Racer 2 HD are perfect examples.

Going forward, do you expect to make future games universal apps or will iPad evolve into its own separate platform?

I expect a combination of both from Cobra. Our product roadmap is such that our iPhone games work well on iPad but we have also been looking at what will make a must-have iPad app.

Do you think the iPad will be primarily a game device in the way that iPod touch is?

Yes, but it's also an entertainment hub where the content comes to you. Our research shows that with an iPad, people are playing and interacting with games and apps for longer periods of time than they do on an iPod touch. This means the audience is prepared to play with your game for longer, which is only a good thing.

What's your impression of using the iPad?

It's just a much better overall experience. My favourite app has to be Low Grav Racer 2 HD running in the 3D mode, there's just nothing like it on the iPad.

Thanks to Mark for his time.

Contributing Editor

A Pocket Gamer co-founder, Jon is Contributing Editor at which means he acts like a slightly confused uncle who's forgotten where he's left his glasses. As well as letters and cameras, he likes imaginary numbers and legumes.