Interview with Tom Hubina of Amplified Games

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AppCraver recently spoke with Tom Hubina of Amplified Games, the developers behind apps like Chili Pepper Blackjack, cookie solitaire and fat-free poker. He answered our questions about developing games for the iPhone and iPod touch.

1. When did you start developing apps for the iPhone?

Tom: We started developing web based games for the iPhone in June of 07, and we started developing native applications the day the SDK came out.

2. What was the inspiration behind your app?

Tom: We have several games completed now and the are biggest goal with all of them is to move beyond the games and look for ways to connect the players of our games to each other. To accomplish that we’ve designed all of our games to have integrated chat, user profiles, high scores, badge based achievements, and many other features.

3. How did you settle on your price point for the app?

Tom: We haven’t settled on a single price point yet, as things seems to be fluctuating greatly. I think the downward spiral of the current price points is going to severely hinder the ability of developers to afford to make compelling gaming content, but we’ll see how it plays out.

5. How did you like the developer tools provided in the iPhone SDK? Is there anything missing?

Tom: After many years of doing BREW and J2ME games, the tools for the iPhone have been a refreshing change. I cannot possibly overstate how much better the tools are on the iPhone than they are with other mobile devices.

6. Is your company venture backed?

Tom: For now we are self-funded, though we’re pursuing outside funding.

7. What are some of the other iPhone apps that you like?

Tom: Shazam, Labyrinth, and Galcon

8. What kind of features should Apple implement in future versions of the iPhone / SDK?

Tom: I look forward to using the Push functionality when it’s available, but if I was to pick any new “feature” it would be improved stability. The number of application crashes that are resolved by rebooting the iPhone and/or re-installing the application have been a real source of support headaches for us as developers.

9. What’s the development cycle for iPhone apps like?

Tom: The development cycle depends greatly on the scope of the title you’re looking to bring to market. So far our development time has ranged from 3 weeks to 10 weeks.

10. Are you working on any other apps that you will be releasing soon?

Tom: Our next game will be the native version of our web game Frozen Lexicon.

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