The iPad – Game Development Inspiration

Considering the frustration that I experienced while developing iPhone / iPod Touch apps, I’m not a big fan of Apple. However, I do like new gadgets. I had seen the hype about a new Apple tablet and I decided to check it out. Surprisingly, I was impressed. The iPad looks like a fun device – great for Internet browsing, watching movies, reading books and playing games.  The price is pretty good too. The basic model is only $499. That’s not too bad for an Apple product. I like it. I’m not sure if I’ll actually buy one though, as I have a pretty good laptop, but the unveiling has re-energized me. I’ve been inspired to try Apple app development once again.

Although, the excitement didn’t hit everyone. On Twitter, iTampon was the #1 topic. Many people were comparing the name “iPad” to a feminine hygiene product. I would have thought society would have advanced beyond such silly references. Do people call notepads note-tampons… or keypads / key-tampons… or shoulder pads / shoulder tampons?

I’m surprised to be in the situation of defending Apple, but perhaps the world needs to grow up. I remember all the ridiculous comments when the Wii was announced. My initial thought was to dismiss Nintendo’s new console. The Internet was buzzing with references to urine and penises. I thought that “Wii” was a silly name. After careful review of the system’s features, I changed my mind. I decided to buy it. I’m glad that I did. Otherwise, I would have missed out on a lot of fun.

Anyway, since I am a registered developer, I decided to wander over to the iPhone Dev Center and download the beta (version 3.2) of the iPhone software development kit. It’s still downloading as I type this, so I decided to add a new blog post. According to the iPad press release, “The SDK includes a simulator that lets developers test and debug their iPad apps on a Mac, and also lets developers create Universal Applications that run on iPad, iPhone and iPod touch.” There are already millions of iPhones and iPods in the world. There’s going to be a new “gold rush” with the iPad. I’m figuring that a head-start might lead to better success. With the iPhone, I was playing catchup. But with the iPad, I can be part of the action from the very beginning.

The iPad - image courtesy of apple.

I am hungry for a new project. I also have a new idea – I could use GameSalad to create iPhone games. Apparently, this software is designed for non-programmers. That’s good, as I’m better at content management / content creation. That’s been my approach with Guild Wars: Conquest and it seems to be working out. Unfortunately, GameSalad is also in beta. I don’t know if it will get the job done. My preliminary experimentation has left me feeling doubtful. I am a bit tired though. Probably tomorrow, I’ll look at it with my eyes rested.

So, what does all of this have to do with the iPad? I think it’s a great platform. It could be a new branch of gaming. I don’t think it will completely replace consoles or portables. Yet, the iPad seems great for casual gaming. The iPad looks so cozy. I can imagine myself curling up with it on the couch. The iPad seems like a great TV companion or coffee table accessory.

One thought on “The iPad – Game Development Inspiration”

  1. I have never owned an Apple product and I don’t see that changing for the iPad. There is nothing innovative about it, it’s simply a larger version of the iPod Touch. Sure, it can play video, but without a dvd drive you’re forced to either download videos from iTunes, rip your dvds or turn to piracy.

    But people will flock to buy it, just because it’s from Apple.

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