Ngmoco has released a new screenshot (above) and gameplay video (below) of their just announced 1st person shooter LiveFire which was demoed at Apple's iPhone 3.0 media event. The video shows of a 4-player multiplayer clip of LiveFire which will allow you to play over both Wifi or 3G networks. The game's control system is described as an evolution of the "touch anywhere" system first developed for Dropship and further refined for a first person shooter.
News of the game itself, however, may have been overshadowed by the demonstration of how one might purchase an in-game add-on such as a rocket launcher for $0.99. This new capability to be offered in iPhone 3.0 has generated some understandable concern from our readers, who are worried that some developers may abuse this system.
Ngmoco's Neil Young, however, reassured our readers in the iPhone 3.0 event comment thread that their company would not let in-app commerce trump gameplay balance. Chris from Ngmoco further expanded on this point in a lengthy blog post on their site.
Chris's first point was that the $0.99 rocket launcher shown during the event was simply an artificial scenario set up for demo purposes and that nothing they showed was final. The game design is already centered around allowing players to earn credits/experience during the game itself that can be used to upgrade to new weapons, armor or capabilities. This sort of upgrade system should be familiar to most modern gamers.
The next obvious step, of course, is allowing other users who are unable or unwilling to put in the time to earn these experience points to be able to buy them directly. On this possibility, they are keeping their options open:
...I think we need to keep all options on the table, even if it means breaking with certain conventions from packaged games if we can improve the entertainment value for the maximum number of people playing our games. We will probably end up with traditional expansion packs for LiveFire as well as individual player upgrades you can purchase from iTunes instead of earning them all through gameplay achievement. But we’ll definitely allow players to have a meaningful, balanced and fun gaming experience directly after download from the app store. We’ll closely consider each decision related to In-app Commerce to ensure we’re doing the right thing for the game.
The entire blog post is an interesting read and discussion on in-app commerce and how it may apply to the iPhone.
There is no known release date for LiveFire.