Posts tagged Flash

Section 3.3.1 is Good News to Native iPhone Developers

There has been many reactions to the recent iPhone Developer Program License Agreement change, from apologetic, to mocking and to stunned silence.

I am not going to fight for any ideological stance, or trying to figure out why Apple made the change. It is done and won’t change anytime soon, so what remains is for smart people to adapt to the situation and seek opportunity from change.

One thing is for sure, Objective C and Cocoa skills are more valuable now than before the change. Adobe Flash CS5 was poised to bring hundreds of thousands of Flash developers pouring into the App Store. Whether they will bring tons of crappy ports with them is immaterial, it would have changed the landscape of the App Store, especially in the games area. This would have been bad news to all iPhone game developers.

Of all the fury and bluster on the web right now, how many have developed iPhone applications? How many of them use native development, i.e. using C/C++/ObjC? Native iPhone developers’ situation has only improved not diminished from this change. So people yelling right now are yelling at Apple for rewarding people who helped build the iPhone platform and not allowing people who sat on the sidelines looking to make a quick buck into the party.

Another effect of Section 3.3.1 is that iPhone version of an app will become the primary target of any cross platform app. Here is an idea for enterprising people out there, make a Cocoa to Flash compiler, or a Cocoa to Android compiler. Apple just created this market for you guys out there to fill. You can rail against the sky and cry why, or you can make the best of it and create a product that people will want. The choice is yours.

I Didn’t Join the Video Games Industry to Make Glorified Random Number Generators

I said that last night while discussing the state of Flash/Facebook games with my friend David. Cracked.com has a great article explaining some of the techniques video games use to keep players engaged.

Notice that I said engaged, not entertained. They are two different things. Games used to want players to have fun so they will eventually buy another game. If it was so the players will buy another game from the same studio, it was called building a brand. If it was so the players will buy another sequel, it was called building a franchise.

But that is a very risky thing isn’t it? To always build new games and hope it does well? A brand can be trashed with a few not so great games, see Rare. Sequels can be milked to death, see Tomb Raider. So the new way to make games is to engage the players so they don’t want to stop playing. The players don’t have to enjoy the experience, but have just enough rewards to keep them coming back. Now you can charge users more and more money for the same game without having to risk making something new. You can tweak your reward delivery channel, aka game, to ensure maximum engagement and of course maximum profit.

Not all game company think like that of course, just the more profitable ones. The problem is that this way of viewing players is growing. When engagement games grows, it takes time and attention away from enjoyment games. To compete for time and attention of the players, all games will adopt the same kind of techniques to keep players playing.

How do you see the future of gamings? Will it be drowned by the sounds of pavlovian mouse clicks?