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Why are there not as many iPad versions of iPhone/iPod games?

08-18-2010, 08:40 PM
Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 2
Why are there not as many iPad versions of iPhone/iPod games?

Just wondering what the general consensus is on why developers don't release many iPad/Universal versions of their iPhone/iPod games. I can understand that iPhones/iPods are a much larger market, but is it that much harder to create apps for the iPad vs the iPhone/iPod? It would seem that it is simply a matter of upscaling the graphics to 1024x768. But I am assuming there is more to it then this? Such as the creation of new art assets that support the higher resolution? And are there many iPad specific APIs that have to be considered? I know there are many games which do not have iPad versions yet the developers have seen fit to quickly update them to support the iPhone 4's retina display. And games that come out for the iPad first are often quickly given iPhone/iPod releases. I own both an iPad and an iPhone 4 but I find the iPad to be the superior gaming device due to it's larger display and much, much longer battery life. Also, playing iPhone versions of games on the iPad is just not the same due to the "uglification" caused by the pixel doubling. So, what gives?

08-18-2010, 08:47 PM
Joined: Oct 2009
Location: FLA, USA
Posts: 2,598
well the ipad has only been available for so long. developers and consumers alike did not have prior knowledge of the device, let alone its capabilities and limitations. When the ipad was announced, devs were in the middle of creating an app for the iphone/ipod touch since that was the only platform available at the time to create apps for. Before even thinking about creating an ipad app, they probably would want to finish whatever product they were working on. Each product can take months-years from start to finish. So now, after finishing their current project, the devs BEGIN their ipad projects (not even considering that not all devs jumped on the ipad bandwagon - many stuck with the iphone-for the moment). That ipad app, once again, may take months-years depending on a variety of factors. FURTHERMORE, the ipad has been on the market for what, a few months? we are so lucky to have THIS many ipad apps currently. Devs continue to build more ipad apps and such. It just takes time and patience.
08-18-2010, 08:59 PM
Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 2
Yeah...that makes sense. After my initial post I realized that many of these apps were in the middle of development at the time the iPad was released and most developers were probably not going to code iPad specific features at that point in time. But then again, what is it about the iPad that adds an extra layer of complexity and therefore requires apps to be re-structured from the ground up to support it? You would think that since they both run essentially the same OS that porting games over to the iPad would be relatively painless.
08-19-2010, 12:03 AM
Joined: Oct 2008
Location: Vancouver, BC
Posts: 1,652
The iPad, although running almost the same OS, is an extremely different device. Some apps are easy to port, others are not. For example, take Angry Birds. The controls of the game can be kept the same; all that really needs to be done is a graphics overhaul.

However, lets take a game like Archetype. Rather than just improving the graphics, the size of the device has to be taken into account. You wouldn't want to be playing an FPS with a joystick that's 1/6 the size of the screen, right? So the developer has to decide what controls work best for the largest device size.

Also, some developers don't have iPads yet. In most cases, a developer will want to actually test their games on a physical device rather than relying on the iPhone Simulator, as mouse clicking is much different from actually holding the device in your hand. Something natural in the simulator may actually be very awkward on an actual device. Also, not testing on a real device may result in bugs that did not occur on the simulator.

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08-19-2010, 12:57 AM
Joined: Sep 2008
Location: Los Angeles, USA
Posts: 722
Originally Posted by Otakuon View Post
It would seem that it is simply a matter of upscaling the graphics to 1024x768. But I am assuming there is more to it then this?
Haha, simple.. let me tell you from experience: that one word, 'upscaling', is a hell of a lot of work. (Unless you did everything in vector graphics of course, but a lot of games didn't). Gomi HD's graphics took me a solid month of Photoshoppery, and that's including a complicated chain of external software processes that did a majority of the work for me. If I had to upscale the game without that process, I'd probably still be working on it today!

As for porting the game, the OS is not the problem.

- First off, the iPad has a slightly larger resolution ratio than the iPhone, which means you have to reposition all the UI or cheap out and letterbox the entire game.

- And there's also the fact that the increased resolution will take more processing power that the game may not have been prepared for, and you have to dive into optimization for a while. If you want to zoom the camera out for the larger screen, you'll also need lots of extra processor for that.

- And you have to actually own an iPad to be able to reliably test the game.

- Oh, and after all this, you might want to add in some new content to the game. Cause you know, iPad games don't take any time to port..

So yeah, there's tons of issues just off the top of my head here, and I'm not even the programmer on the team .

Last edited by spacecowgoesmoo; 08-19-2010 at 01:33 AM.