Gamasutra has an article with EA Mobile’s Mike Pagano speaking about developing games for the iPhone. He speaks on the fact that the game’s created on Apple’s products are not ports, but built from the ground up. He also goes on about the development time with the games – Spore Origins took 4 months while SimCity took 92 days.
Adapting to the iPhone extends beyond UI and control, and affects game design and length. “When we’re looking at mobile games, we see them as shorter experiences,” Pagno continued. “We like to take that and expand on it. Spore Origins [for other mobile devices] was originally a two-hour game, and we took it to a five-hour game for the iPhone.”
Pagano also revealed the relatively quick development times for his three iPhone projects – Spore Origins was completed in four months, plus one month of QA. Yahtzee! Adventures took an estimated three months, and SimCity, he said, took “I think 92 days, from start to finish.”
“That was very fast. We were very tired. Method Solutions did a fantastic job on that.”
Another important factor when deciding to adapt a game to the iPhone, Pagano said, was the availability of high-res assets. “We had to redesign a lot of the assets on SimCity because it was built for an older PC,” said Pagano. The original SimCity was, of course, a low-resolution sprite-based game – high resolution assets were not available for the port, so a lot of time was spent generating new art.