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iPad - Universal vs. Multiple Copies

02-15-2010, 12:12 PM
#1
iPad - Universal vs. Multiple Copies

I'm curious what others think will happen specifically with games and the idea of Universal builds. Some games will probably scale naturally into a Universal App. My snowball game seems to work best by just showing more of the stage while you play. The detail holds up nicely that way, so the main gameplay segment works well though there will have to be some new control options.

But then there's the little cinematic interludes in my game. Either I play them kind of small on the iPad (some upscaling) or I enlarge the assets and try to play them full screen. In that regard it will probably hit the problem a lot of potential universal games will hit. Double assets.

Of course, Universal Apps has the potential double dipping. Someone might want the game on both. Ugh, and then there's this sudden need for internet synced save game states.

I suspect everyone will try the solution that best matches them, but it's hard to gauge consumer response until they start buying. Will they be ticked off if you offer a specialized app for each device accusing the developer of nickel and diming them? Or will they be annoyed that the Universal App takes up so much storage on their iPhone? I suspect the former will be the most vocal.

Anyone else have different thoughts and plans?

Btw, it was pretty exciting for me to run my game in the iPad simulator. Games are going to look VERY good on this thing. I don't think a lot of people realize how different the experience is going to feel interacting with a high dpi screen of its size from a close distance.

Last edited by aaronsullivan; 02-17-2010 at 09:05 AM.
02-17-2010, 06:53 AM
#2
Joined: Sep 2009
Location: UK / Toronto
Posts: 602
It's interesting you allude that charging for two versions (iPhone & iPad) is tantamount to double dipping. I never completely thought about it like that before, but it's kinda true. Similar to how movie distributors charge you to buy a DVD and again if you want a digital copy.

02-17-2010, 09:19 AM
#3
I'm thinking of offering a Universal app (works on both platforms) for a slightly higher cost and a "slim" version that is iPhone/touch only for a cheaper price. This way no one is carrying the extra bulk of the iPad assets without wanting to, and there is a nice easy option for those who have both. For iPad only users, they probably will look at it as a value added in case they get the other device down the line.

Another suggestion I saw on a separate thread was to make the iPad version an in-app purchase on the iPhone version. I'm not sure that's technically possible, actually. I guess you could have a crippled iPad version that just comes up and says give me money if you want this to look good. I don't like the way that plays out for the customer. Seems like it might be confusing at best and infuriating at worst.
02-17-2010, 01:09 PM
#4
Joined: Sep 2009
Location: Vancouver, Canada
Posts: 977
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aaronsullivan View Post
I'm thinking of offering a Universal app (works on both platforms) for a slightly higher cost and a "slim" version that is iPhone/touch only for a cheaper price. This way no one is carrying the extra bulk of the iPad assets without wanting to, and there is a nice easy option for those who have both. For iPad only users, they probably will look at it as a value added in case they get the other device down the line.
The downside there is that you have your sales split across two apps, which will reduce your ranking and likely make it harder for you to maintain whatever ranking you do obtain.
02-17-2010, 01:47 PM
#5
Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 5
I am thinking about simply creating two versions of my applications. One for iPhone/iPod and one for iPad.

This will mean slightly more work all around but I believe that an app made for the small screen shouldn't simply be enlarged to fit another but rather offer a new experience.
02-17-2010, 03:17 PM
#6
Joined: Dec 2009
Posts: 7
why not make the ipad optic enhancements (higher res etc.) a dlc ?

so everyone buys the normale version and ipad user can opt for high res art if they feel the need for it.

this should be possible via dlc not?
02-17-2010, 07:51 PM
#7
Joined: Dec 2008
Location: Los Angeles, Ca
Posts: 357
Quote:
Originally Posted by EssentialParadox View Post
It's interesting you allude that charging for two versions (iPhone & iPad) is tantamount to double dipping. I never completely thought about it like that before, but it's kinda true. Similar to how movie distributors charge you to buy a DVD and again if you want a digital copy.
Yes and No.

If you don't do anything new, don't give any more features, don't provide any new content... Basically as a developer if you do the bare minimum to make your app an "iPad app" and then charge for it again as a separate app then I would consider that double dipping.

But if you tailor your game for the iPad, you invest time and money into making a high resolution version of the game, add content and make it worth the customer's money to get a new version... then I think it's perfectly reasonable to get paid for that work. Development costs money.
02-17-2010, 07:53 PM
#8
Joined: Dec 2008
Location: Los Angeles, Ca
Posts: 357
Quote:
Originally Posted by macish View Post
why not make the ipad optic enhancements (higher res etc.) a dlc ?

so everyone buys the normale version and ipad user can opt for high res art if they feel the need for it.

this should be possible via dlc not?
Possible, yes. But please see my post HERE if you'd like to know why that is a terrible idea.
02-18-2010, 10:19 AM
#9
Quote:
Originally Posted by RegularStormy View Post
Possible, yes. But please see my post HERE if you'd like to know why that is a terrible idea.
I have a feeling Apple won't allow this because of the things you stated in your post. The idea of the App Store and the whole iPhone OS is to be simple and easy to use. Considering many people don't read app descriptions before purchase they will most likely be annoyed when it shows up as an iPhone app.

The other thing I am wondering is whether you can go from an iPhone to iPad app. Is there some switch you hit at runtime that takes you out of the iPhone "simulator" into a full res iPad app?
02-18-2010, 01:50 PM
#10
Joined: Sep 2009
Location: UK / Toronto
Posts: 602
Quote:
Originally Posted by RegularStormy View Post
Yes and No.

If you don't do anything new, don't give any more features, don't provide any new content... Basically as a developer if you do the bare minimum to make your app an "iPad app" and then charge for it again as a separate app then I would consider that double dipping.

But if you tailor your game for the iPad, you invest time and money into making a high resolution version of the game, add content and make it worth the customer's money to get a new version... then I think it's perfectly reasonable to get paid for that work. Development costs money.
If you add new content then I believe that's different yes, and possibly makes it a whole new app, but if you're simply re-tailoring the same app to work at a higher resolution, I don't see a good reason for a developer to charge extra for that.

I've never had to buy different copies of PC games to play them at different resolutions.