Doom Developer Loves the iPhone Game Platform

By June 11, 2009

With excitement mounting about the new iPhone 3G S , consumers and developers alike are talking about features, applications and more. But will all the added functionality route developer support away from previous models? At least one game developer thinks the old iPhones will not just turn into bricks on June 19th. John Carmack is co-creator of the Doom franchise, as well as a twenty-year veteran game developer involved with other big-ticket series titles Wolfenstein 3D and Quake. But after all this time involved with programming for personal computers, he is developing for the iPhone. “I love the iPhone,” Carmack said in an interview on VentureBeat . “It’s a real game platform, not a tiny little toy.”

Carmack's project "Doom Resurrection," releasing next week from id Software, makes use of both the accelerometer and touch interface for the control system. To keep play running smoothly, the artwork was "downsampled" to fit onto the iPhone screen. The game was built to run on the current operating system, though there will be various aspects of the 3.0 software that the team expects to utilize. These features include cooperative multiplayer mode, where individuals can connect to each other and play in the same game.

According to Carmack, in terms of processing power the iPhone is better than the Nintendo DS and the PlayStation Portable, the two strongest participants in dedicated hardware for portable gaming. “But the truth is, you can’t exploit it all because of software inefficiencies." This makes the process uniquely challenging.

Software inefficiencies aside, the platform is seductive to developers looking for a high penetration market. On the forty million iPhone and iPod Touches sold, games are the highest selling applications. But Carmack's iPhone projects are the first to unlock the next-generation potential for this platform, making it interesting to the hardcore gamer market share for the first time.

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