Marc and I have dabbled in making games for phones before. More specifically we came up with a few prototypes for Flash Lite games. The Doctor (name withheld) is in the business of creating and producing Flash Lite content for phones. He has been making a living from it for several years now.
This conversation took place at the beginning of August over IM between Marc and the Doctor. We have reproduced it here with permission because we thought it would be interesting to anyone looking at iPhone development. There has been a minimum of editing done to make the original IM chat presentable.
Marc: You developing for iPhone yet?
Doctor: G’day Marc … have come close a few times, but no, not yet.
Marc: Whats stopping you? There really is gold in them hills.
Doctor: Really? Do you have any in your pocket?
Marc: lol, no! not yet, and will let you know if i do – Justin and I only dusted off the iPhone dev kit stuff 2 weeks ago – life gets in the way.
Doctor: Here’s my list of hurdles (just my own personal list) – no Mac hardware, no experience with ObjectiveC, approval process nightmare stories, personal knowledge of iPhone developer colleagues making less than what I make from Nokia devices. Oh … and time 🙂
Marc: Personal knowledge of iPhone developer colleagues – this point is the most concerning. What are the key issues they have had?
Doctor: I have many friends all over the world who are getting very poor returns. The App store is an over crowded swamp of content now, and content discoverability is a real issue.
Marc: Good points
Doctor: The global market of iPhone owners, in ratio to the amount of content, stacks the chips very much with the big development companies and not independent devs. Although of course there are some exceptions and some indies still hit a rich vein for a period of time.
Firemint have struck gold with Flight Control and Real Racer, but they have been in the mobile game business for over 10 years.
Don’t get me wrong – I own an iPhone and the experience with downloading apps is great. However, monetizing those apps for the developer is just as much an issue for that platform as it is for others (IMHO)
Marc: What you have written is really food for thought. The middle ware Justin and I are learning is cross platform mac/pc/iphone – Unity – you must have heard of it. If it doesn’t pan out with iPhone we can always try our hands and some indy games with the same software.
Doctor: Yep, I know Unity
Marc: Well? Tinkered with it?
Doctor: You should also check out Corona as a platform for easier iPhone development. I have some Flash Lite friends who have published apps in the App Store and have used it with quite good success.
No, I haven’t actually used Unity
Marc: Is Corona 3d?
Marc: Thanks for the link
Doctor: No worries mate
Marc: Happy trails Doctor – well, if Justin and I have anything to crow about in the next few months we’ll let you know.
Doctor: I hope you do mate, I’d be the first to congratulate you 🙂
Marc: We may be some time….because we are new to it all…
Doctor: I’m personally looking for new opportunities (in mobile and beyond) so I’ll let you know what happens with that.
Marc: Please do mate – all the best
What do think? Have you had any commercial experience with iPhone apps? If so we would love to hear your opinion in the comments below.