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Doom creator speaks on iPhone development plans

updated 10:40 am EDT, Fri July 25, 2008

John Camack iPhone plans

Doom developer id Software is deeply interested in designing for the iPhone, says one of its co-founders and key programmers. John Carmack notes that the company's id Mobile division was in fact looking at producing a game for the launch of the App Store, but the scheduling and resources available simply would not have worked. "I really regret not having something at launch," says Carmack.

He adds however that id has a title it wants to develop solely for the iPhone, which would be a "graphical tour de force" and fit in with one of the company's earlier game series, which beyond Doom includes lines like Quake, Wolfenstein and Orcs & Elves. The iPhone is said to be particularly appealing because in opposition to most cellphones, it allows games to be dozens of megabytes on size, rather than kilobytes.

Its hardware is also said to be unusually powerful, roughly equivalent to an Xbox or a PlayStation 2. "The graphics are a little lower but the RAM is a lot higher," says Carmack. "You could easily spend $10 million on an iPhone game, but the market just can't support that yet."

id may in the future attempt attempt a massively multiplayer (MMO) game through cellphones, Carmack muses, but if this happens, it will require small steps. "I want to go step by step -- where we do a multiplayer game, then multiplayer with some persistence, then maybe further," he observes.

by MacNN Staff



  1. Grendel2501

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Who doesn't want to kill monsters on their phone with a BFG!

  1. dynsight

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Collaborative Play

    It would be great if you could play with a group of iPhone buddies :)

    Are we going to see BZ Flag on iPhone. That would be great as well.

  1. jeph4e

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Build it & I will buy it

    I have no problem paying full game price for an iPhone game

  1. dozx

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Here, Here!!!

    Build it & I will buy as well.......

    I foresee the iPhone OS becoming a full fledged platform of its own, not unlike any other platform such as Windows or OS X. With that in mind I don't think it is unreasonable to expect full fledged Apps at regular App prices such as 30 to 60 dollars. I could even see Apple releasing a slightly larger than iPhone sized touch screen device based on iPhone OS in tablet form.

  1. Sabon

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Yes - full game, full $

    I fully agree. Build something like Quake II or DOOM II with full 3D.

    Sorry but Quake III and DOOM III and IV weren't as much fun. The player vs player action wasn't as fun in deathmatch mode and the video was just painful even with video options turned low. I have a semi-high level computer so it wasn't like my computer was under powered.

  1. Constable Odo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Keep the games simple for

    the iPhone. Don't get carried away with frame rates. The iPhone is still basically a glorified handset with gaming as a sideline. The battery life and graphics chip is not up to some extreme gaming usage. Multi-player games will be nice even if they're graphically simple. Now if Apple can build an iTablet with a low-power Atom processor and some current graphics chip, then all well and good. I'd still want an user-replaceable or heavy duty battery, though.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    No to full price!

    One reason games cost $50 is they factor in the cost of piracy. If piracy isn't a factor (due to DRM on the software), then the price should be less.

    Oh, and it is amazing how so many complain about DRM on music, yet no one is bitching about DRM on files in the AppStore. And the difference here is that Apple is forcing the DRM, not the developers, RIAA, BSA, etc.

  1. brainiac_7

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Why I bought

    Ideas like this are why I bought an iPhone. Not so I could take calls and look up numbers, but to have a front row for the birth of the best portable computing platform. Having toyed with most smart phones, it seemed Apple would be the best bet.

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