Carmack on iPhone gaming

General purpose discussion about gaming and emulation.
User avatar
|darc|
DCEmu Webmaster
DCEmu Webmaster
Posts: 16189
Joined: Wed Mar 14, 2001 6:00 pm
Location: New Orleans, LA
Has liked: 25 times
Been liked: 6 times
Contact:

Carmack on iPhone gaming

Post by |darc| » Mon Jul 28, 2008 9:46 am

Just two weeks since the iPhone 3G and the App Store arrived, Apple finds itself being talked about as another alternative to Nintendo and Sony for portable gaming. Now, Forbes has a few words about the iPhone from another big-name developer, John Carmack, co-founder of id Software.

"We have a title we want to develop exclusively for iPhone," he says. "I'm not announcing anything specifically, but it would be a graphical tour de force."

Apparently, this game would be a French idiom of graphics because the iPhone "is in the same generation power-wise as the PS2 or Xbox." Carmack also talked about the iPhone as a development platform worthy of a $10 million game when the economics support such a venture. It sounds like Carmack is now going in the right direction after creating a series of mobile games that have been crippled by cellphone hardware of the lowest common denominator.

Beginning with Doom RPG, id Mobile began introducing a series of turn-based—ick—RPG games for phones, including Orcs & Elves and Orcs & Elves II. While Orcs & Elves offered acceptable game play on whatever crappy cellphone you got for free with a contract, its port to the Nintendo DS failed to take advantage of the better hardware. Thankfully, Carmack did not make that mistake with the iPhone, though he regretted not having something available at the App Store launch. However, according to an interview with Shacknews, there was some experimenting done.

"Robert Duffy and I actually hacked together a kind of a port of some of the Orcs and Elves stuff using the 3D engine, but we just didn't have the manpower to do something that would be what we would consider our best foot forward," he said.

As to what could be released in the future for the iPhone, Anna Kang, president of id Mobile, said the game "would not be a new IP." One possibility might be the upcoming release of Wolfenstein RPG, a turn-based game—ick—based on the classic series but dumbed down to run on unter-phones, but let's hope not. John Carmack has been about pushing the limits of the hardware, and with the iPhone he has the very first convergence device that does gaming. Such an opportunity will only come once, even if it costs $10 million.

http://arstechnica.com/journals/apple.a ... one-gaming
It's thinking...
User avatar
Wagh
Wagh
Posts: 5736
Joined: Fri Nov 08, 2002 7:59 pm
Location: YSOH
Has liked: 0
Been liked: 0
Contact:

Re: Carmack on iPhone gaming

Post by Wagh » Mon Jul 28, 2008 10:34 am

Doom RPG was actually really fun. I had it on my old phone. Was up to the last boss when I lost it. Great time killer.
Bush and Hussein together in bed
Giving H-E-A-D head
Y'all motherfuckers heard what we said
Billions made and millions dead
User avatar
Specially Cork
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 11423
Joined: Fri Apr 05, 2002 10:01 am
Has liked: 0
Been liked: 1 time

Re: Carmack on iPhone gaming

Post by Specially Cork » Mon Jul 28, 2008 7:19 pm

It's hard to imagine how that article could be any more elitist or wrong. I don't really care what Carmack thinks of the iphone when his quotes are surrounded by so many lies. But then, this is arstechnica we're talking about, so I don't know why I expected anything more. Terrible website.
Image
User avatar
pixel
Soul Sold for DCEmu
Soul Sold for DCEmu
Posts: 4972
Joined: Mon Jun 24, 2002 10:52 am
Has liked: 0
Been liked: 3 times
Contact:

Re: Carmack on iPhone gaming

Post by pixel » Mon Jul 28, 2008 8:44 pm

BoneyCork wrote:It's hard to imagine how that article could be any more elitist or wrong. I don't really care what Carmack thinks of the iphone when his quotes are surrounded by so many lies. But then, this is arstechnica we're talking about, so I don't know why I expected anything more. Terrible website.
… ?
User avatar
|darc|
DCEmu Webmaster
DCEmu Webmaster
Posts: 16189
Joined: Wed Mar 14, 2001 6:00 pm
Location: New Orleans, LA
Has liked: 25 times
Been liked: 6 times
Contact:

Re: Carmack on iPhone gaming

Post by |darc| » Mon Jul 28, 2008 10:57 pm

BoneyCork wrote:It's hard to imagine how that article could be any more elitist or wrong. I don't really care what Carmack thinks of the iphone when his quotes are surrounded by so many lies. But then, this is arstechnica we're talking about, so I don't know why I expected anything more. Terrible website.

What?
It's thinking...
User avatar
Specially Cork
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 11423
Joined: Fri Apr 05, 2002 10:01 am
Has liked: 0
Been liked: 1 time

Re: Carmack on iPhone gaming

Post by Specially Cork » Tue Jul 29, 2008 6:22 am

|darc| wrote:
BoneyCork wrote:It's hard to imagine how that article could be any more elitist or wrong. I don't really care what Carmack thinks of the iphone when his quotes are surrounded by so many lies. But then, this is arstechnica we're talking about, so I don't know why I expected anything more. Terrible website.

What?
First off, I just prefer people present their opinions without being as twatty about it as arstechnica usually are. But that personal gripe aside, the article also seems to suggest:

- All mobile games up until this point have been crap.
- The reason they have all been crap is because no phone up until this point has been capable of running a good game.
- Every phone that isn't an iphone is crap.
- iphone is the first convergence device that does gaming.

I wouldn't say any of those is true.

They also seem to have a problem with turn-based RPGs? :?:
Image
BlackAura
DC Developer
DC Developer
Posts: 9951
Joined: Sun Dec 30, 2001 9:02 am
Has liked: 0
Been liked: 0

Re: Carmack on iPhone gaming

Post by BlackAura » Thu Jul 31, 2008 7:06 am

BoneyCork wrote:- All mobile games up until this point have been crap.
Which is pretty much true. Early NES games are both more enjoyable, advanced, and complex than most mobile phone games.
- The reason they have all been crap is because no phone up until this point has been capable of running a good game.
Which is almost true. Other phones have been capable of running decent games, but they all require that you write a game either for one phone, or for a very small number of phones. And none of them ever sold very well, so it makes no sense to spend money developing games for them.

The only platform for mobile phone games that's been even remotely viable until now is Java. Which sucks on virtually all phones. It's also the only option on most phones.
- Every phone that isn't an iphone is crap.
From an "I write software" point of view, most of them are. The only alternatives are some high-end Nokias, which run Symbian (a horrible OS to write software for), and a few phones that run Windows CE.

From a games point of view, maybe five phones have 3D hardware. None of those except the iPhone have ever sold enough to be worth making games for.
User avatar
Specially Cork
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 11423
Joined: Fri Apr 05, 2002 10:01 am
Has liked: 0
Been liked: 1 time

Re: Carmack on iPhone gaming

Post by Specially Cork » Thu Jul 31, 2008 9:38 am

I guess it depends on what you are classing as "gaming" in this discussion. For me, cheap quick-burst time-killer gaming is exactly what I want on my phone - so I've been completely satisfied with the mobile games market up until this point.
Image
User avatar
|darc|
DCEmu Webmaster
DCEmu Webmaster
Posts: 16189
Joined: Wed Mar 14, 2001 6:00 pm
Location: New Orleans, LA
Has liked: 25 times
Been liked: 6 times
Contact:

Re: Carmack on iPhone gaming

Post by |darc| » Thu Jul 31, 2008 9:59 am

BoneyCork wrote:I guess it depends on what you are classing as "gaming" in this discussion. For me, cheap quick-burst time-killer gaming is exactly what I want on my phone - so I've been completely satisfied with the mobile games market up until this point.
Aside from control issues, the iPhone can pretty much put out games on or near a DS or PSP level. This isn't really something you see in the mobile phone gaming market.

Image

Image

I'm extremely impressed with the graphics in Super Monkey Ball, especially for a phone I purchased without having any clue it had such great capabilities. This is also something thrown together relatively quickly by Sega, and an existing title that happened to fit well with the iPhone's control scheme.

I don't think it's a bad thing to be extremely excited about what John Carmack and id can put together when they design a game from scratch specifically for the iPhone's hardware and control scheme.
It's thinking...
User avatar
Specially Cork
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 11423
Joined: Fri Apr 05, 2002 10:01 am
Has liked: 0
Been liked: 1 time

Re: Carmack on iPhone gaming

Post by Specially Cork » Thu Jul 31, 2008 10:46 am

I don't think it's a bad thing to be extremely excited about what John Carmack and id can put together when they design a game from scratch specifically for the iPhone's hardware and control scheme.
I don't think so either.
Image
Lartrak
DCEmu Respected
DCEmu Respected
Posts: 6166
Joined: Thu Jan 31, 2002 9:28 pm
Has liked: 0
Been liked: 0

Re: Carmack on iPhone gaming

Post by Lartrak » Fri Aug 01, 2008 12:55 pm

Which is pretty much true. Early NES games are both more enjoyable, advanced, and complex than most mobile phone games.
Quite true. There have been a number of good cell phone games (I could name 11 or 12, probably more if I really tried), they're just floating in a sea of crap.

I have both Doom RPG and Orcs and Elves II on my cell phone - they're both excellent games. Old school, but quite fun. Funny that those are the best games with Carmack's name on it in the past decade. How did that happen?
How to be a Conservative:
You have to believe everything that has ever gone wrong in the history of your country was due to Liberals.
User avatar
JuddWack
DCEmu Mega Poster
DCEmu Mega Poster
Posts: 1741
Joined: Sun Feb 17, 2002 6:01 pm
Has liked: 0
Been liked: 0

Re: Carmack on iPhone gaming

Post by JuddWack » Fri Aug 01, 2008 2:07 pm

You can't possibly compare NES games to cellphone games. Just look at the price tag. Average cell game is like $8 i think and average cost of NES games, calculating inflation, maybe $60? Cellphone games up to this point have "pretty much been crap" because not enough people are buying them. Not enough revenue means smaller budgets and development cycles. When cellphone games reach a price tag of $50, maybe you'll get something that you really love and play for months on end. Personally, I don't think that will happen.

I don't know how other companies do it but at my office we spend A LOT of time in the porting phase, which is something that you don't have to worry about as much when developing for consoles and PC. It is very difficult to manage. We make games that are ported to literally hundreds of phones. So really when you compare the N95 to a Nokia 3220, it is a different game entirely. You have a crap phone, you get a watered down version of what may have been a good game.

Oh and forget about original IP on cellphones. The market just doesn't seem to want to take a chance. We all know what happens when brand names get tied to games purely for the sake of increasing sales. Hopefully the iphone will change this.
Ex-Cyber
DCEmu User with No Life
DCEmu User with No Life
Posts: 3641
Joined: Sat Feb 16, 2002 1:55 pm
Has liked: 0
Been liked: 0

Re: Carmack on iPhone gaming

Post by Ex-Cyber » Fri Aug 01, 2008 2:53 pm

JuddWack wrote:Average cell game is like $8 i think and average cost of NES games, calculating inflation, maybe $60?
On the other hand, NES games had a much lower ratio of development cost to reproduction and distribution cost. You don't have to pay mask charges or buy lockout chips from Nintendo when you make a cell game.
"You know, I have a great, wonderful, really original method of teaching antitrust law, and it kept 80 percent of the students awake. They learned things. It was fabulous." -- Justice Stephen Breyer
User avatar
az_bont
Administrator
Administrator
Posts: 13567
Joined: Sat Mar 09, 2002 8:35 am
Location: Swansea, Wales
Has liked: 0
Been liked: 0
Contact:

Re: Carmack on iPhone gaming

Post by az_bont » Fri Aug 01, 2008 3:29 pm

JuddWack wrote:You can't possibly compare NES games to cellphone games. Just look at the price tag. Average cell game is like $8 i think and average cost of NES games, calculating inflation, maybe $60?
Why would you want to compare to the cost of NES games two decades ago when they actually were cutting edge? Surely it would be more appropriate to compare to the cost of a NES game today, which currently stands at $5US on the Wii's Virtual Console, and apply a small premium to account for the added convenience of portability. If you could buy a NES game for your mobile at a cost of $8US, that would seem a lot more reasonable than most of the shite that's available at the moment--and cheaper to produce, as the only real coding that would need doing is for the initial emulator.
Sick of sub-par Dreamcast web browsers that fail to impress? Visit Psilocybin Dreams!
Lartrak
DCEmu Respected
DCEmu Respected
Posts: 6166
Joined: Thu Jan 31, 2002 9:28 pm
Has liked: 0
Been liked: 0

Re: Carmack on iPhone gaming

Post by Lartrak » Fri Aug 01, 2008 6:24 pm

Not enough revenue means smaller budgets and development cycles
It goes beyond that. Many cell phone games are worse than many Atari 2600 games, a number of which were coded quite quickly by literally one or two people.

However, there are good games, they're just harder to find. Also, there have been a few ports of NES era games. Mega Man 2 and Metal Gear, both of which are solid.
How to be a Conservative:
You have to believe everything that has ever gone wrong in the history of your country was due to Liberals.
User avatar
JuddWack
DCEmu Mega Poster
DCEmu Mega Poster
Posts: 1741
Joined: Sun Feb 17, 2002 6:01 pm
Has liked: 0
Been liked: 0

Re: Carmack on iPhone gaming

Post by JuddWack » Fri Aug 01, 2008 9:01 pm

Yes Lartrak, that is only the tip of the iceberg but I probably shouldn't say too much bad stuff about the industry I work in since there is no place to hide on the internet :P But can't the same be said about the gaming industry as a whole? So many games out there on every platform bore the hell out of me, and they sell for the price. And don't get me wrong, I LOVE playing video games. I've recently signed up for gamefly to solve the problem of me buying a game for $50 and not enjoying it.

I'm not comparing az_bont, I was just responding to Black Aura. I should probably use the quote feature more :P $8 would seem reasonable for an NES game from consumer eyes but I'm not sure it would be as cheap to produce as you may think for several reasons. It wouldn't be able to run on a majority of the phones in consumer hands, at least not like you remember. Less phones the game is on means the less money to be made for the project. Another is it would need to be fully QAed. All the carriers test the games before they put it on their wap site and if it fails their standards, you got to pay. You'd have to pay royalty to nintendo or the original developer I would think. I also feel people are getting tired of having the ability to purchase an NES game pretty much anywhere and to me is a relief that they haven't been very accessible on mobile phones.
User avatar
Specially Cork
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 11423
Joined: Fri Apr 05, 2002 10:01 am
Has liked: 0
Been liked: 1 time

Re: Carmack on iPhone gaming

Post by Specially Cork » Fri Aug 01, 2008 9:10 pm

If you could buy a NES game for your mobile at a cost of $8US, that would seem a lot more reasonable than most of the shite that's available at the moment--and cheaper to produce, as the only real coding that would need doing is for the initial emulator.
That's a fair point. I have a GBA and SNES emulator on my phone and games running through those play a lot better than most actual phone games out there.
Image
Polymira
DCEmu Ex-Admin
DCEmu Ex-Admin
Posts: 227
Joined: Mon Nov 26, 2001 8:49 am
Location: Chico, Ca
Has liked: 0
Been liked: 0
Contact:

Re: Carmack on iPhone gaming

Post by Polymira » Wed Aug 06, 2008 8:14 am

I used to test cell games @ THQ....

The ONLY good phones that we tested builds on were the high end sony ericsson models, and the nokia n series phones.... but the controls were always shit.

The main 2 cell development platforms are Java, and Brew. Java is good for testing as it's easy to deploy on most phones (installable via built in web browser). While brew builds had to be loaded on via serial/usb... Most of our games were developed by very small teams.

A big cost for deploying cell games is QA and carrier submission fee's. You have to submit each build for each phone to each cell carrier, and if they fail any single carrier standard, they are sent back for fixes while the carrier keeps the submission money. (in the US at least)
--pSyCo
User avatar
JuddWack
DCEmu Mega Poster
DCEmu Mega Poster
Posts: 1741
Joined: Sun Feb 17, 2002 6:01 pm
Has liked: 0
Been liked: 0

Re: Carmack on iPhone gaming

Post by JuddWack » Wed Aug 06, 2008 9:43 pm

A big cost for deploying cell games is QA and carrier submission fee's. You have to submit each build for each phone to each cell carrier, and if they fail any single carrier standard, they are sent back for fixes while the carrier keeps the submission money. (in the US at least)
Which happens all the time for some of the most petty reasons! From my understanding for all the big developers in wireless gaming will turn a small profit by the end of a fiscal year, if they are lucky.

We'll see if the iphone and the app store can change all this though.
sixteen-bit
Hardware Freak
Hardware Freak
Posts: 3246
Joined: Sat Dec 29, 2001 3:45 pm
Has liked: 0
Been liked: 0

Re: Carmack on iPhone gaming

Post by sixteen-bit » Thu Aug 07, 2008 5:02 pm

JuddWack wrote:We'll see if the iphone and the app store can change all this though.
Hope so. Trying to target the dozens of Java mobile platforms out there must be a massive PITA!
Post Reply