Speaking at the Unite 2009 conference in San Francisco, Infrared5’s John Grden discussed the growing market for Flash game makers to port their games to iPhone.
Grden, who has a long history in Flash and 3D and who most recently worked on the upcoming iPhone title Star Wars: Trench Run, used the game Falling Balls as an example of the success possible.
A two-colour, stick-figure game created in its original Flash as an experiment on Flash physics, Falling Balls was released by Keith Peters as a free app with in-game ads. After reaching number one on the App Store, Peters has earnt almost $30,000 – with revenues in the first month exceeding $900 per day.
"As Flash developers, we’re used to making games for free," said Grden. "Doing it for money feels dirty at first, but in this economy budgets are being cut across the board and you need to get income whenever you can."
The movement from the Flash Player to iPhone isn’t a massive step performance-wise, said Grden. "Performance-wise, games running in the Flash Player on, say, a modern dual-core system and native apps running on the iPhone are actually quite comparable," he continued.
"In fact, sometimes the performance on iPhone is better. If you’ve been using Flash 3D or Papervision3D or similar, you won’t have to do a huge amount of work to the assets."
He did, however, seem unenthused by Adobe’s recently announced Flash export path to iPhone.
"From what I understand, Adobe’s export path skips Xcode project generation and just spits out a file. While that means that development can probably be done on Windows machines too, it also means that you can’t interface between Cocoa and the Flash Player, which is a lot more limited than what Unity does."