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Tuesday, August 28, 2007

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Bringing Games To The iPod
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Playlist has posted a new interview with EA Mobile's Managing Producer of Emerging Platforms, James Holloway, about the company's successful creation of games for the iPod. The interview includes discussion of EA's design philosophy, depth in casual games, and the unique challenges presented by the iPod hardware.

When Apple first revealed plans to publish games for the iPod, some industry watchers scoffed—limited processor performance, a small display and the device’s Click Wheel interface seemed like serious limitations, compared to modern handheld game systems like the Nintendo DS and Sony PlayStation Portable (PSP). However, Holloway says that developing games for the iPod is no different than designing them to run on a mobile phone; in some ways, he adds, it’s better.

“The Click Wheel interface is a good thing,” Holloway said. “It keeps the gameplay simple and keeps the game mechanics simple. We’re really good at developing games for devices that weren’t originally meant to play games.”

What’s more, the iPod’s homogeneity as a platform makes it an easier target than mobile phones, which are made by many different manufacturers. “With the iPod there’s once device, with mobile phones you have to develop for varying capabilities,” he explained.

That’s not to say that there aren’t challenges creating iPod games, however.

“We have to support multiple languages,” said Holloway. “When you buy our games, they have Japanese, French, German and Spanish support built into them. And if you change your language settings on the iPod, the game will automatically detect and dynamically change what language it’s using.”
Click over to the site below to read the rest of the interview.

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