Game Developer Calls out Intel in Open Letter

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27 Aug, 2010 10:29 pm


You see it all the at developer based conferences in the Q & A, devs calling out platforms, their questions often indicate the level of satisfaction in the community. So if you want to judge the tone of Chris Scaggs article from Soma Games your self, here is the direct link. But if you want the readers digest version, have no fear that’s what you’ll find below.

But before I get going, I’ve actually ran into Chris a few times in the past, so if you are interested in seeing my interview with him at GDC “Porting Your iPhone Game onto a Netbook”, here it is and I’ve also go a review of his game here.

To start off the tone of the open letter is not negative, its necessary and even a bit encouraging. He starts off with why AppUp! is exciting and explains how it’s a paradigm shift in the way we view content:

The app store concept is not a product or a service.
It’s a complete reset of the way ALL intellectual property will be sold, shared and distributed.
It will completely reshape the world of books, music and software.

Its true, the App Store brings together applications in one easy place for the user to browse. The question is will the people go to AppUp!? Luckily I have the answer to that question, they will if there are good apps in the store! And how do you get good Apps? You woo developers. This is why Chris’ letter is so interesting and thankfully full of detailed and specific advice. If Intel wants to knock on his door with some flowers all they have to do is go through the check list below. If only courting in the real world were so simple.

After reading his open letter to Intel, I have a few questions myself. Most of them centre around MeeGo, its one of the reasons why I am so interested in AppUp! It’s the thin edge of the wedge for allowing Apps to go cross platform. Let’s not forget that the road map for Atom is heading towards tablets, smartphones, settop boxes and in vehicle entertainment. But its also this Ultra geeky place where no one is really sure what is going on. If you believe the marketing, any app developed in QT can be ported in with out. But Chris doesn’t mention QT once in his article, granted he ported his app over from iPhone. But before you give me a coding lesson I’ll confess I’m not a programmer. I just like to talk to them and tell them what I think and usually they tell me that I’m awesome, or wrong, but either way they always tell me how the world works according to a developer. So maybe Chris is right, AppUp!’s biggest selling point, MeeGo is too geeky even for geeks at the moment.

Enough of me editorializing, you should get into the goods here is a summary of Chris Scagg’s Open Letter to Intel:

1. Make it Cheap to access the development network

2. Make it Easy & More importantly, make it LOOK easy. Apple’s SDK ‘looks’ like anyone could build an app. If you want to get the developer community involved then it has to feel like it’s a piece of cake.

3. Improve on What Apple has Already Done Well – Chris makes some suggestions on how to improve Apple’s model.
* Break the link between an app binary and its metadata
* Make apps giftable
* Filter the wheat from the chaff. Build a way to differentiate between apps within your store.

4. Never Mention MeeGo! Developers would rather build on their existing skill set then learn a new one. (When you do want developers on board you better make sure there are a couple of book in Amazon)

5. (After you never mention it) Make MeeGo Beautiful and Bulletproof – Pretty clear, be intolerant of bugs.

6. Apple is Not Your Enemy & Google Is! Apple sells Intel chipsets, Google is trying to replace the desktop.

7. Show Us The Money & But In Secret – Developers are diva’s. They develop for the love but really everyone needs to get paid. So appeal to their passion by imply, indirectly that they will get paid.

8. Support MeeGo and Air. Drop Everything Else – If you don’t support AIR then you aren’t in beta and Meego is going to cross hardware platform. Pretty simple.

9. Leverage and Cooperate With Existing Services – Cooperation and collaboration is the basis of the internet, so its not surprising it showed up here.

10. Encourage Other Forms of IP – Planning for future digital assets is essential.

11. Adobe Air is the single most significant thing to happen to AppUp! I’d have to agree, until they supported Air to me they were still in Alpha.

i. You don’t need to court iPhone developers.
ii. You need to court Flash developers. (and they will be much cheaper dates) These people will be like the school wallflower who never gets asked to dance, any gesture that validates their skills will make them pant in gratitude.
iii. When a flood of Air games hits your shelf the customers will come.
iv. When the customers come the iPhone developers will come too.
v. For less money and effort & you get way more of what you want

What do you think? Is Chris on the Money?

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