The iPhone as a gaming platform: we speak to the Aussie developer of FlightControl

Firemint is the developer behind the extremely popular FlightControl game for the iPhone

How will the new CPU and graphics updates in the iPhone 3GS affect the way you make games for the iPhone? With the implementation of OpenGL 2.0 on the iPhone 3GS, do you see Firemint offering parallel support for older and newer hardware, or will you attempt to offer universal support for all your future games?

We'll be able to push the envelope even further. We've seen videos made by people in the US, showing Real Racing running on an iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS side by side, and it's amazing how much faster the game starts up. Thanks to our background in mobile development we're already pretty good at squeezing the last drops of performance out of hardware and I don't think people expected to see anything like Real Racing on the iPhone 3G, so they will have high expectations of us on the 3GS. I think our first priority will be to offer every player a smooth and seamless experience on whatever platform they have. However, we are all about getting the most out of each platform so watch this space to see what we do with 3GS.

Finally, for those who are trying to get into the iPhone development game to make a quick buck, what is your advice? Is there pot of gold at the end of the rainbow or is it just those few exceptions to the general rule?

It's undoubtedly a hit-based industry, much like music. There are a few freak breakout success stories like Flight Control has been for us, but they are relatively rare and we've been extremely fortunate. Even with our experience in mobile games, we wouldn't lightly bet on having another success of that magnitude. Having said that, iPhone development and the App Store publishing process are both very approachable for smaller, independent developers. I would say, if you have a great idea for an app and are an expert in that field, and you’re prepared to run the business side of things as well, then go for it!

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