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Game Strategies: iPad vs. iPhone

July 8, 2010 Article Start Previous Page 3 of 3

But Melbourne, Australia-based Firemint isn't wavering; the 11-year-old mobile-game studio is adamant about not creating universal games "because the considerations, capabilities, and markets for iPhone and iPad are quite different," says community manager Alexandra Peters.

"Given our approach of tailoring adaptations of our games to suit the specific hardware, it made more sense to launch separate apps for the iPad, which we did with Flight Control HD and Real Racing HD," she adds. "We don't think that releasing identical games on both platforms is an effective strategy."

Firemint's current policy is to develop new games first for the iPhone -- which the studio considers its lead platform -- and then, if they do well, consider launching enhanced adaptations that are optimized for other platforms -- with enhanced price tags.

Peters cites as an example Firemint's latest release -- Real Racing HD for iPad -- which started with Real Racing for the iPhone.

The studio overhauled the graphics throughout, adding more detail and higher-resolution textures, and also included the ability to add any photo from the player's library as a custom skin to the cars.

A new "ghost racing" feature enables players to race against the "ghosts" of other players downloaded from the Internet. And, under the hood, the code was optimized to ensure smoother racing performance while the controls were tweaked so they would translate well to the larger device.

The overhaul costs gamers $9.99, twice the price of the iPhone's $4.99.

"We think the HD version is worth it; it's a realistic pro circuit racing game that turns the iPad into a combination steering wheel/windscreen," she says. "The 3D graphics are just gorgeous, they make the most of the iPad's bigger screen, and it seems to be the game of choice for showing off the iPad's capabilities."

Similarly, as soon as the iPad was announced, the developer knew it wanted to make an HD version of its biggest hit -- Flight Control -- which was originally designed for the iPhone and iPod Touch and still sells at $.99 for those platforms.

Flight Control HD

The new HD edition -- priced at $4.99 -- includes three new HD maps, a classic map, new multiplayer game modes, and upgraded graphics throughout. For multiplayer, games can play the three HD maps co-operatively on one iPad or they can play wirelessly with a friend on another iPad, iPhone, or iPod Touch.

An enhanced warning system, too, was added should two aircraft get too close to each other since the iPad screen is bigger and there is a greater chance that some of it will be obscured by the player's hand.

A lot of thought went into re-imagining the game, says Peters, which is exactly the process Firemint intends to pursue if creating an HD version is justified.

"If a title does well -- and if it makes sense to adapt that IP to other platforms that are a good fit," she adds, "that is certainly something we are keen to do."

Article Start Previous Page 3 of 3

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