zb4A few interesting news items today:

  • Freeverse announced that they are the first partner for Ngmoco's Plus+ network and will be integrating it into Flick Fishing as well as their upcoming Warp Gate. We previously covered the many social gaming networks available for iPhone developers.
  • Secret Exit has announced that they are working on a 3GS specific version of their award winning Zen Bound [$4.99 / Lite] game.
    Plans may change, but our current aim is to develop this as a technical and visual upgrade to the current game with no changes in the amount of levels (don't think of this as an expansion or a sequel, it's not). It will only run on a 3GS.

    It is still going to be some time off before release.

  • Rocking Pocket Games has submitted a 3GS-specific version of Dark Raider [$3.99 / Lite] which offers many visual enhancements:

    The game uses high dynamic range, deferred rendering with unlimited number of dynamic lights, and per pixel lighting using normal maps. These are effects normally only found in console and PC games.... but IT'S RUNNING ON YOUR PHONE at over 30 fps!

    A video shows the new changes:


[ Full HD version | Low Bandwidth version ]

Both the 3GS version of Zen Bound and Dark Raider will be completely separate purchases from the current versions of the game.

  • Booch138

    Freeverse...? Really? Well it's a start....

    They couldn't at least integrate Plus+ in Warpack: Grunts? That's the only game from this developer I have.

  • Booch138

    Freeverse...? Really? Well it's a start....

    They couldn't at least integrate Plus+ in Warpack: Grunts? That's the only game from this developer I have.

  • Vod

    Just because they can doesn't mean they should. I can't shake the feeling Dark Raider would look better (or a more complete package if you so will) with less graphic fidelity. The simple gameplay just doesn't mix well with the relatively highres effects.

  • Vod

    Just because they can doesn't mean they should. I can't shake the feeling Dark Raider would look better (or a more complete package if you so will) with less graphic fidelity. The simple gameplay just doesn't mix well with the relatively highres effects.

  • SalsaMD

    @Vod

    To each his own, but the lower res version of Dark Raider already exists in the App store

  • SalsaMD

    @Vod

    To each his own, but the lower res version of Dark Raider already exists in the App store

  • Henrique

    Great news!
    Plus+ seems to be the best social network platform on the iPhone right now and I think devs should just use the best one available instead of trying to create their own. Instead of a unified service (like Live or PSN) the users will have to handle multiple accounts on multiple services and each service will only work with a handful of games.

    Regarding the 3GS-specific versions: It's about time.
    Apple should let the developers submit more than one version (normal version and enhanced (3GS) version) to the same product page. Then, when a user is buying an application, iTunes could detect the device he/she has and upload the specific version of the game.
    It would save developers and users a lot of trouble.

  • Henrique

    Great news!
    Plus+ seems to be the best social network platform on the iPhone right now and I think devs should just use the best one available instead of trying to create their own. Instead of a unified service (like Live or PSN) the users will have to handle multiple accounts on multiple services and each service will only work with a handful of games.

    Regarding the 3GS-specific versions: It's about time.
    Apple should let the developers submit more than one version (normal version and enhanced (3GS) version) to the same product page. Then, when a user is buying an application, iTunes could detect the device he/she has and upload the specific version of the game.
    It would save developers and users a lot of trouble.

  • yakyak

    I really hope they don't charge extra for enhanced version, as I won't be upgrading to the 3gs technology until the 3g ipod touch is released and I don't want to think that buying any apps now is a waste.

  • yakyak

    I really hope they don't charge extra for enhanced version, as I won't be upgrading to the 3gs technology until the 3g ipod touch is released and I don't want to think that buying any apps now is a waste.

  • jonathan

    I'm all for 3GS specific games, and even for paying more if it means better graphics (I get that they'd end up selling less.)

    What I'm not for is what I still consider little changes, like lighting. If you make the graphics better, then sure. If you make a 3GS mode where there are tons of enemies on the screen, or Gangstar having improved draw distance, then sure. But to simply add light effects...that may be really exciting for developers, but to players it's pretty subtle.

    I don't know what Zen Bound plans to do but if it's just making the wood items sparkle then it'll be a shame.

  • jonathan

    I'm all for 3GS specific games, and even for paying more if it means better graphics (I get that they'd end up selling less.)

    What I'm not for is what I still consider little changes, like lighting. If you make the graphics better, then sure. If you make a 3GS mode where there are tons of enemies on the screen, or Gangstar having improved draw distance, then sure. But to simply add light effects...that may be really exciting for developers, but to players it's pretty subtle.

    I don't know what Zen Bound plans to do but if it's just making the wood items sparkle then it'll be a shame.

  • D Wo

    Damn, I already have Zen Bound...

    There is no way I'm getting the 3Gs version if their is going to be an extra charge...

  • D Wo

    Damn, I already have Zen Bound...

    There is no way I'm getting the 3Gs version if their is going to be an extra charge...

  • http://www.RockingPocketGames.com RPGGuy

    Polygon output is faster on 3GS and essentially all games get it for free, without any additional programming. Adding more enemies to Dark Raider would make it too hard, something I got criticized for when the game first game out. The lighting is 40 times more detailed than before so I think it's a big improvement.
    (tiles are 40 pixels across, lighting was only done at the edges before).

  • http://www.RockingPocketGames.com RPGGuy

    Polygon output is faster on 3GS and essentially all games get it for free, without any additional programming. Adding more enemies to Dark Raider would make it too hard, something I got criticized for when the game first game out. The lighting is 40 times more detailed than before so I think it's a big improvement.
    (tiles are 40 pixels across, lighting was only done at the edges before).

  • PeterM11

    Yeah... People were worried devs would go overboard with DLC. I think theyre gonna go overboard with 3GS versions. I personally won't be rebuying games I already have once I get a 3GS or a 3rd Gen iPod Touch. New games, sure. But I don't want to buy the same experience that's just prettier.

  • PeterM11

    Yeah... People were worried devs would go overboard with DLC. I think theyre gonna go overboard with 3GS versions. I personally won't be rebuying games I already have once I get a 3GS or a 3rd Gen iPod Touch. New games, sure. But I don't want to buy the same experience that's just prettier.

  • Lungkisser

    I for one welcome any 3GS-only games.

  • Lungkisser

    I for one welcome any 3GS-only games.

  • ElliotXtreme

    @Henrique

    Plus+ is not an open platform available to all developers. ngmoco will pick and choose who to partner with so expect continued platform fragmentation for some time.

  • ElliotXtreme

    @Henrique

    Plus+ is not an open platform available to all developers. ngmoco will pick and choose who to partner with so expect continued platform fragmentation for some time.

  • ImNoSuperMan

    No problems with 3GS only games. But I m a bit confused here. Do they mean to say that the special 3GS version will be a separate app? Does that mean I`ll have to buy both the 3GS and non-3GS version of zen bound if I want to play them on both my 2G iPod touch and iPhone 3GS?????

    If thats the case then it`ll be really bad. Otherwise as long as the devs make a single game with different settings for 3GS and older iDevices, I m fine.

  • ImNoSuperMan

    No problems with 3GS only games. But I m a bit confused here. Do they mean to say that the special 3GS version will be a separate app? Does that mean I`ll have to buy both the 3GS and non-3GS version of zen bound if I want to play them on both my 2G iPod touch and iPhone 3GS?????

    If thats the case then it`ll be really bad. Otherwise as long as the devs make a single game with different settings for 3GS and older iDevices, I m fine.

  • http://www.secretexit.com Frand

    Your current Zen Bound will work just as well on the 2G iPod touch and the iPhone 3GS, all compatibility issues were addressed in the previous update.

    Please read the announcement thread, many of the concerns raised here have already been responded to in detail.

  • http://www.secretexit.com Frand

    Your current Zen Bound will work just as well on the 2G iPod touch and the iPhone 3GS, all compatibility issues were addressed in the previous update.

    Please read the announcement thread, many of the concerns raised here have already been responded to in detail.

  • yakyak

    It will be just like the music store in itunes where they first sell you songs at a buck apiece, then get you to upgrade to "itunes+" at a surcharge, then later charge you more once the songs finally go to 320kbps, then have a special page that tells everyone that what they've been buying all along is overcompressed swill that demands full redbook spec in order to be appreciated with the artwork on your new mac tablet. pure marketing genius, this "parcelling out of technology" Like the japs used to say, "first we make CD THIS big..then THIS big....then this big....+++....

  • yakyak

    It will be just like the music store in itunes where they first sell you songs at a buck apiece, then get you to upgrade to "itunes+" at a surcharge, then later charge you more once the songs finally go to 320kbps, then have a special page that tells everyone that what they've been buying all along is overcompressed swill that demands full redbook spec in order to be appreciated with the artwork on your new mac tablet. pure marketing genius, this "parcelling out of technology" Like the japs used to say, "first we make CD THIS big..then THIS big....then this big....+++....

  • 1337brian

    I'm all for 3GS Specific titles, and next year when the 4G launches I can re-buy all my games again! And the next year again! and again and again....

  • 1337brian

    I'm all for 3GS Specific titles, and next year when the 4G launches I can re-buy all my games again! And the next year again! and again and again....

  • http://www.secretexit.com Frand

    The irony here is misplaced.

    We will be putting a lot of new work into making something beautiful, and those who find it appealing will be able to purchase it or not, entirely up to their personal preference. Zen Bound 3GS will be an option for those with the new generation of hardware to have a game that makes good use of its capabilities, nothing more. The original Zen Bound will run on the 3GS just the same.

    Yes, the new version will come at a price because we honestly feel that even iPhone developers deserve to be paid for their work.

  • http://www.secretexit.com Frand

    The irony here is misplaced.

    We will be putting a lot of new work into making something beautiful, and those who find it appealing will be able to purchase it or not, entirely up to their personal preference. Zen Bound 3GS will be an option for those with the new generation of hardware to have a game that makes good use of its capabilities, nothing more. The original Zen Bound will run on the 3GS just the same.

    Yes, the new version will come at a price because we honestly feel that even iPhone developers deserve to be paid for their work.

  • http://www.freeverse.com Hippieman

    We are starting with Flick Fishing and Warpgate, but we are considering all titles for Plus+ integration. It's a great system and really flexible.

    Quite frankly, we had to start somewhere, might as well be Flick Fishing.

  • http://www.freeverse.com Hippieman

    We are starting with Flick Fishing and Warpgate, but we are considering all titles for Plus+ integration. It's a great system and really flexible.

    Quite frankly, we had to start somewhere, might as well be Flick Fishing.

  • Loner

    Now this is a SEGA move by rehashing the same game we paid for with just better graphics. I would pay more for the game if it included new content or add a new twist to the levels.

  • Loner

    Now this is a SEGA move by rehashing the same game we paid for with just better graphics. I would pay more for the game if it included new content or add a new twist to the levels.

  • yakyak

    Ideally all 3GS versions of game apps would be made available to owners of the standard apps as paid updates that cost less than the price of a standalone "premium" version. Developers should be encouraged to provide enhancements of the type made possible by 3GS technology at minimal cost to the customer, as remuneration will be taken care of by the ever increasing number of iphone and ipod touch owners. Of course individual developers are free to charge what they want, but consumers in general ought to hold them to a high standard of value for all offerings. We all know there will be mad price wars among all competitors in the coming months, so why not get off on the right foot by giving the consumer the impression that purchases of current-gen apps will have some quality of scalability towards hardware purchased down the road, just as people purchased laptop games knowing that they will eventually look and run better on better hardware. If 3GS technology had been released over a year ago, instead of the phony, notoriously over-hyped "3G" technology, then many current-gen apps would be taking advantage of that technology while still being offered at current-gen prices. In other words, free market competition would already have beaten down all prices of such "enhanced" versions to the current $0.99-$5 price range for the vast majority of paid games. Just because the consumer is the recipient of series of graduated, "parcelled-out" incremental hardware and OS upgrades, does not mean he/she should not benefit somewhat from the fact that the app store customer base is growing ever larger. Already developers are making more money from the sale of largely derivative apps than independent developers for desktop platforms such as that of the Amiga were earning back in the early 90's for groundbreaking titles that never would have crashed or had the quirks that many app store titles do. It should also be noted that today's developers benefit from being able to rely on their customers as beta testers and sell apps that often take months before they become completely stable and work as advertised. Thus one shouldn't feel too sorry for developers in general when customers start expecting enhancements at minimal upgrade cost and don't buy the ideology that the upgrade should be an entirely separate purchase or else developers will not be able to pay their mortgages.

  • yakyak

    Ideally all 3GS versions of game apps would be made available to owners of the standard apps as paid updates that cost less than the price of a standalone "premium" version. Developers should be encouraged to provide enhancements of the type made possible by 3GS technology at minimal cost to the customer, as remuneration will be taken care of by the ever increasing number of iphone and ipod touch owners. Of course individual developers are free to charge what they want, but consumers in general ought to hold them to a high standard of value for all offerings. We all know there will be mad price wars among all competitors in the coming months, so why not get off on the right foot by giving the consumer the impression that purchases of current-gen apps will have some quality of scalability towards hardware purchased down the road, just as people purchased laptop games knowing that they will eventually look and run better on better hardware. If 3GS technology had been released over a year ago, instead of the phony, notoriously over-hyped "3G" technology, then many current-gen apps would be taking advantage of that technology while still being offered at current-gen prices. In other words, free market competition would already have beaten down all prices of such "enhanced" versions to the current $0.99-$5 price range for the vast majority of paid games. Just because the consumer is the recipient of series of graduated, "parcelled-out" incremental hardware and OS upgrades, does not mean he/she should not benefit somewhat from the fact that the app store customer base is growing ever larger. Already developers are making more money from the sale of largely derivative apps than independent developers for desktop platforms such as that of the Amiga were earning back in the early 90's for groundbreaking titles that never would have crashed or had the quirks that many app store titles do. It should also be noted that today's developers benefit from being able to rely on their customers as beta testers and sell apps that often take months before they become completely stable and work as advertised. Thus one shouldn't feel too sorry for developers in general when customers start expecting enhancements at minimal upgrade cost and don't buy the ideology that the upgrade should be an entirely separate purchase or else developers will not be able to pay their mortgages.

  • Dustin Leiblein

    With these upcoming 3GS-only games and apps, it's only a matter of time before retarded people start accidentally purchasing them for their Touch or 3G.

    Apple is going to have to implement some sort of refund system. Perhaps like on Android. 24 or 48 hours to request a refund.

  • Dustin Leiblein

    With these upcoming 3GS-only games and apps, it's only a matter of time before retarded people start accidentally purchasing them for their Touch or 3G.

    Apple is going to have to implement some sort of refund system. Perhaps like on Android. 24 or 48 hours to request a refund.

  • Adams Immersive

    We'll see what happens, but I'd rather have ONE app that determines its hardware and then runs the appropriate version, instead of two separate apps.

    Like the way UT2004 will run on my 700Mhz eMac or my Cure 2 Duo iMac.

  • Adams Immersive

    We'll see what happens, but I'd rather have ONE app that determines its hardware and then runs the appropriate version, instead of two separate apps.

    Like the way UT2004 will run on my 700Mhz eMac or my Cure 2 Duo iMac.

  • tranny

    DARK RADER LOOKS BEAUTIFUL!!!!! COULD EASILY PASS FOR PSP+ GAMING!!!

  • tranny

    DARK RADER LOOKS BEAUTIFUL!!!!! COULD EASILY PASS FOR PSP+ GAMING!!!

  • menom

    Dear tranny,

    see that key on the left with the light on it - press it once and then type as normal using shift for caps as necessary

    everyone else,

    hmm thought a optimised version of Zen Bound would be nice for my new 3GS - but if it's not a free upgrade then I'll make do with what already looks great to me

  • menom

    Dear tranny,

    see that key on the left with the light on it - press it once and then type as normal using shift for caps as necessary

    everyone else,

    hmm thought a optimised version of Zen Bound would be nice for my new 3GS - but if it's not a free upgrade then I'll make do with what already looks great to me

  • ZildjianKX

    I think 3GS specific games is a terrible idea.

    I think it's great to update games to use the 3GS hardware, but that is what in game purchases are for. Buy the basic version, then unlock/download the 3GS graphics in game. There is no reason someone should have to purchase the same game twice and it's disrespectful to the fans to ask them to do so.

    I have nothing against 3GS specific games for NEW games, but doing it for old games as entirely separate purchases just seems cheap. Doing so just makes me not want to buy any more games until they have been updated for the 3GS.

  • ZildjianKX

    I think 3GS specific games is a terrible idea.

    I think it's great to update games to use the 3GS hardware, but that is what in game purchases are for. Buy the basic version, then unlock/download the 3GS graphics in game. There is no reason someone should have to purchase the same game twice and it's disrespectful to the fans to ask them to do so.

    I have nothing against 3GS specific games for NEW games, but doing it for old games as entirely separate purchases just seems cheap. Doing so just makes me not want to buy any more games until they have been updated for the 3GS.

  • ZildjianKX

    Errr... That first sentence should read:

    I think separate releases of games for different hardware versions is a terrible idea.

  • ZildjianKX

    Errr... That first sentence should read:

    I think separate releases of games for different hardware versions is a terrible idea.

  • Alfred

    I appreciate the work developers are putting into these 3Gs updates, but what happens for people with one old generation device and one new?

  • Alfred

    I appreciate the work developers are putting into these 3Gs updates, but what happens for people with one old generation device and one new?

  • http://www.RockingPocketGames.com RPGGuy

    As a developer it's hard to please everyone. Dark Raider 3GS requires OS 3.0. If I released it as an update for the regular Dark Raider people would be complaining they need to spend $10 to upgrade to 3.0 just to play the regular version again. In game purchases are for new content. This is new code, new engine, running on a new OS and new hardware. The content is the same with the exception of a few added bump maps.

    In the future some games may be 3GS only, so be thankful you have a choice with these.

  • http://www.RockingPocketGames.com RPGGuy

    As a developer it's hard to please everyone. Dark Raider 3GS requires OS 3.0. If I released it as an update for the regular Dark Raider people would be complaining they need to spend $10 to upgrade to 3.0 just to play the regular version again. In game purchases are for new content. This is new code, new engine, running on a new OS and new hardware. The content is the same with the exception of a few added bump maps.

    In the future some games may be 3GS only, so be thankful you have a choice with these.

  • JerryNY

    I think Secret Exit's strategy is the worst possible way to go about putting out a 3GS version of Zen Bound. First off there isn't any new content so the impetus for 3GS owners to re-buy it if they haven't already is pretty weak. It isn't coming real soon apparently so 3GS specific eye-candy will likely be less a novelty in the future as more games drop that are built for the new hardware. This seems a perfect opportunity to use the in-app buying features to sell it to those who already have the game but want a little nicer visuals. This solves a few problems. First it is more a value added proposition than just repurchasing the same app again in 3GS specific form. Secondly it also reduces confusion so someone won't accidentally buy a specific 3GS app they can't use on other iPhones or iPods. If they can only purchase the upgrade in-game the app could check to see if they are running the proper hardware.

    I love Zen Bound but I wouldn't re-buy it just for the 3GS. I would probably buy an upgrade for $2-3 but the full price kinda seems overkill. This is coming from someone who has spent a few hundred dollars on the app store. I don't mind spending money but I don't want to feel like I am not getting value for my money either. I would spend the full price if they added some new trees however which seems like the way to go. Add some new trees as an in-app upgrade and maybe make "special 3GS trees" buyable even if the whole app gets a stealth upgrade but 3GS visual stuff stays locked until you buy 3GS trees that use them. This would also let people buy a tree they like a la carte and new trees to boot. I like this idea best ;)

  • JerryNY

    I think Secret Exit's strategy is the worst possible way to go about putting out a 3GS version of Zen Bound. First off there isn't any new content so the impetus for 3GS owners to re-buy it if they haven't already is pretty weak. It isn't coming real soon apparently so 3GS specific eye-candy will likely be less a novelty in the future as more games drop that are built for the new hardware. This seems a perfect opportunity to use the in-app buying features to sell it to those who already have the game but want a little nicer visuals. This solves a few problems. First it is more a value added proposition than just repurchasing the same app again in 3GS specific form. Secondly it also reduces confusion so someone won't accidentally buy a specific 3GS app they can't use on other iPhones or iPods. If they can only purchase the upgrade in-game the app could check to see if they are running the proper hardware.

    I love Zen Bound but I wouldn't re-buy it just for the 3GS. I would probably buy an upgrade for $2-3 but the full price kinda seems overkill. This is coming from someone who has spent a few hundred dollars on the app store. I don't mind spending money but I don't want to feel like I am not getting value for my money either. I would spend the full price if they added some new trees however which seems like the way to go. Add some new trees as an in-app upgrade and maybe make "special 3GS trees" buyable even if the whole app gets a stealth upgrade but 3GS visual stuff stays locked until you buy 3GS trees that use them. This would also let people buy a tree they like a la carte and new trees to boot. I like this idea best ;)

  • http://www.secretexit.com Frand

    To our knowledge, Apple's guidelines prevent DLC from being executable code, so we cannot sell a 3GS renderer update as an add-on. This isn't a content upgrade, it's a major re-code of the application.

    The main target for this version is obviously people who do not have Zen Bound, and are now getting a device with the new hardware. For those who already have the game, I recommend to wait and see what it offers before building a preconception about its value.

    Also, we have not yet said anything regarding the pricing of this version.

    • JerryNY

      "To our knowledge, Apple's guidelines prevent DLC from being executable code, so we cannot sell a 3GS renderer update as an add-on. This isn't a content upgrade, it's a major re-code of the application."

      I can see that as an issue. That is why I mentioned the possibility of updating the app for all users to code that can take advantage of the 3GS hardware but still run on the older hardware as well. If you then sell special 3GS-specific trees, even ones that the user already has that came with the base game, you are only selling content not the renderer. You could always throw in a new model or two to skirt the lack of new content issue if you feel Apple would call you out on not following the spirit of their DLC rules.

      I think the annoyance that Secret Exit would undergo by having 1/2 the people complain the game won't run on their 3G's when they think a 3GS= what they call their 3G's is not going to be fun. Also what happens when Apple releases an iPod touch with the same hardware as a 3GS and confuses the matter even more if they don't change the name like they did last time? I don't trust the attention span of App Store users to read the fine print of hardware requirements as far as I can throw my Mac Pro, 99¢ fart apps that are super popular tells me this much ;)

  • http://www.secretexit.com Frand

    To our knowledge, Apple's guidelines prevent DLC from being executable code, so we cannot sell a 3GS renderer update as an add-on. This isn't a content upgrade, it's a major re-code of the application.

    The main target for this version is obviously people who do not have Zen Bound, and are now getting a device with the new hardware. For those who already have the game, I recommend to wait and see what it offers before building a preconception about its value.

    Also, we have not yet said anything regarding the pricing of this version.

    • JerryNY

      "To our knowledge, Apple's guidelines prevent DLC from being executable code, so we cannot sell a 3GS renderer update as an add-on. This isn't a content upgrade, it's a major re-code of the application."

      I can see that as an issue. That is why I mentioned the possibility of updating the app for all users to code that can take advantage of the 3GS hardware but still run on the older hardware as well. If you then sell special 3GS-specific trees, even ones that the user already has that came with the base game, you are only selling content not the renderer. You could always throw in a new model or two to skirt the lack of new content issue if you feel Apple would call you out on not following the spirit of their DLC rules.

      I think the annoyance that Secret Exit would undergo by having 1/2 the people complain the game won't run on their 3G's when they think a 3GS= what they call their 3G's is not going to be fun. Also what happens when Apple releases an iPod touch with the same hardware as a 3GS and confuses the matter even more if they don't change the name like they did last time? I don't trust the attention span of App Store users to read the fine print of hardware requirements as far as I can throw my Mac Pro, 99¢ fart apps that are super popular tells me this much ;)

  • yakyak

    If Apple was strongly encouraged to change their policies on DLC, then that would go a long way towards potentially satisfying everyone except those unwilling to upgrade to OS 3.0

    • http://www.secretexit.com Frand

      I don't think anyone's yet proven it that DLC is a sensible business in the iPhone market.

      Pricing perspective is already terribly jilted in the App Store, so there's a clear concern that if you sell an app at one dollar and then expect to sell additional content, the content itself will be viewed as "outrageously expensive" since it costs the same as the application itself.

      The greatest irony is of course that only relative costs seem to matter to the typical human brain, not the absolute prices: if Apple allowed games to be priced at 10 cents, soon the same kind of "it's too expensive" cries would be directed at developers who had the nerve to ask for one dollar. After all, that one dollar app cannot be ten times better than a 10c app...

  • yakyak

    If Apple was strongly encouraged to change their policies on DLC, then that would go a long way towards potentially satisfying everyone except those unwilling to upgrade to OS 3.0

    • http://www.secretexit.com Frand

      I don't think anyone's yet proven it that DLC is a sensible business in the iPhone market.

      Pricing perspective is already terribly jilted in the App Store, so there's a clear concern that if you sell an app at one dollar and then expect to sell additional content, the content itself will be viewed as "outrageously expensive" since it costs the same as the application itself.

      The greatest irony is of course that only relative costs seem to matter to the typical human brain, not the absolute prices: if Apple allowed games to be priced at 10 cents, soon the same kind of "it's too expensive" cries would be directed at developers who had the nerve to ask for one dollar. After all, that one dollar app cannot be ten times better than a 10c app...

  • yakyak

    The bottom line is that if too many owners of Zenbound standard see an enhanced version that costs 4 or 5 bucks, and there is no legit way to sell the standard version to someone else in order to avoid owning two copies of the same app, then people are going to be miffed. People should be able to at least get a refund on the first copy or be able to resell it.

    • http://www.secretexit.com Frand

      Apple will probably not grant refunds on "I bought this half a year ago and I've been happy with it, but now that there's a new app available I'd like my money back." :)

      In general, iPhone apps should be considered consumable goods, particularly so with their pricing. However people seem to treat them like investments.

      But in any case, Zen Bound 3GS is a parallel version to the original, aimed at those who have the new hardware and wish to see a game that takes advantage of it. It's not a mandatory upgrade or a sequel, everyone is totally free to choose whether they want to support our work or not.

      And as said before, the original Zen Bound runs on 3GS and 3.0 software just fine, our latest update addressed all compatibility issues.

      • yakyak

        As convenient for developers and Apple as the belief may be, apps are not consumable goods. That is complete bull. And yes, a developer is breaching the terms of purchase if an update renders an app unusable on a previously supported 1G ipod touch or iphone and there is no way to obtain a refund. If you plan on abandoning early adopters, then there should be a disclaimer on the app store page for that title. Something to the effect of "Current requirements:...." instead of "Requirements:....."

      • http://www.secretexit.com Frand

        Yakyak, there seems to be a strange misunderstanding here. Zen Bound 3GS is a different application, a separate purchase - it is not an update to Zen Bound. If you have both on your iPhone, they exist side-by-side.

        We are not making an update to the original Zen Bound that would make it incompatible with earlier hardware, that is unthinkable. Quite the opposite, I already said our latest update fixed all compatibility issues with 3.0 firmware.

        However, just to clarify since you brought up the topic of compatibility... speaking in general, it would be wrong to expect all your apps to be compatible with all future firmware revisions on the iPhone. The application is compatible with the requirements it was sold at, there are no guarantees it will work if you update your device.

        If Apple maintains perfect backward compatibility between firmware revisions (as they should!), your apps will work in the future. But don't expect that all developers will maintain all their applications and provide updates if the firmware has an incompatibility.

        Developers who have made successful applications are more likely to provide updates to their apps, but there will be smaller apps that never made back their development costs, and those developers are unlikely to want to lose further money on their project.

    • Mark

      And likewise I should be allowed to roll back to those games which when I bought them were ad-free and then the owner stuck admob in it.

      Oh, and those games with things like Open Feint I should be able to get a refund if they don't work.

      And when I upgrade my phone and the game doesn't eventually work properly on a 1G I want my money back too - won't be able to play them.

      And sales - I pay more and they sell it for less. No fair, refund!

      Don't be so selfish and petty.

      • yakyak

        Don't be so greedy.

      • Mark

        @yakyak - I was trying to be sarcastic. To you.

        I believe none of what I wrote, but some will.

    • Lukeb

      So by your reasoning, if 3GS specific versions of Doom Resurrection and Real Racing with bump-mapping were released tomorrow at $10 or more each, then current owners of the apps (I own both Zenbound and the latter) who purchased their 3GS units just a few weeks ago would have no legitimate gripe, since they can be expected to have already "consumed" the standard editions and be ready to elect to consume the enhanced editions with the same content optimized for the system they were told was supported when buying the app. Does anyone expect customers to believe that mere bump-mapping and some higher resolution textures requires a whole new outlay of labor an resources on the part of the developer? I'm sure many of the textures to be used in these 3GS version will have already existed in high res form prior to the release of the universal standard versions. The only way your justification of a separate purchase would make sense would be if most or all of the code were entirely new for these 3GS version due to it being a new platform, which it is not, any more than going from the iphone to the ipod touch would have been considered a platform switch. Anyone claiming "all new code" is taking advantage of the technical ignorance of the average consumer. Sure, there may be some new code, but "all new code" is a line of bull that consumers should smell from the moment they enter the app store.

      The iphone and ipod touch had the same OS running on different hardware; the 3GS, 3G, and ipod touch all have the same OS running on different hardware. The point of the comparison is to show the absurdity of stating that the 3GS ought to be regarded by both developers and consumers as a completely new platform, which it is clearly not unless you are looking at it from the perspective of greed, which favors the "new platform" argument.

      • Lukeb

        Frand, by the way, I did not claiming that you specifically are planning to offer updates to standard version app that would make them unusable on currently owned hardware and firmware. No major publisher would do such a thing. The part of my previous statement regarding "Breach of purchase terms" was addressed to another poster, specifically someone who implied that there would be no guarantee that all future app "updates" would run on a "1G" models. I was just clarifying that such would be a breach of terms if an update that raised OS requirement downloaded itunes and overwrote the previous version. For example, I purchased and played Circuit Strike One, recently upgraded it while updating apps in itunes, and then was told it was not supported by my ipod touch. No way to downgrade and no way to play the game without purchasing the OS 3.0 update.

  • yakyak

    The bottom line is that if too many owners of Zenbound standard see an enhanced version that costs 4 or 5 bucks, and there is no legit way to sell the standard version to someone else in order to avoid owning two copies of the same app, then people are going to be miffed. People should be able to at least get a refund on the first copy or be able to resell it.

    • http://www.secretexit.com Frand

      Apple will probably not grant refunds on "I bought this half a year ago and I've been happy with it, but now that there's a new app available I'd like my money back." :)

      In general, iPhone apps should be considered consumable goods, particularly so with their pricing. However people seem to treat them like investments.

      But in any case, Zen Bound 3GS is a parallel version to the original, aimed at those who have the new hardware and wish to see a game that takes advantage of it. It's not a mandatory upgrade or a sequel, everyone is totally free to choose whether they want to support our work or not.

      And as said before, the original Zen Bound runs on 3GS and 3.0 software just fine, our latest update addressed all compatibility issues.

      • yakyak

        As convenient for developers and Apple as the belief may be, apps are not consumable goods. That is complete bull. And yes, a developer is breaching the terms of purchase if an update renders an app unusable on a previously supported 1G ipod touch or iphone and there is no way to obtain a refund. If you plan on abandoning early adopters, then there should be a disclaimer on the app store page for that title. Something to the effect of "Current requirements:...." instead of "Requirements:....."

      • http://www.secretexit.com Frand

        Yakyak, there seems to be a strange misunderstanding here. Zen Bound 3GS is a different application, a separate purchase - it is not an update to Zen Bound. If you have both on your iPhone, they exist side-by-side.

        We are not making an update to the original Zen Bound that would make it incompatible with earlier hardware, that is unthinkable. Quite the opposite, I already said our latest update fixed all compatibility issues with 3.0 firmware.

        However, just to clarify since you brought up the topic of compatibility... speaking in general, it would be wrong to expect all your apps to be compatible with all future firmware revisions on the iPhone. The application is compatible with the requirements it was sold at, there are no guarantees it will work if you update your device.

        If Apple maintains perfect backward compatibility between firmware revisions (as they should!), your apps will work in the future. But don't expect that all developers will maintain all their applications and provide updates if the firmware has an incompatibility.

        Developers who have made successful applications are more likely to provide updates to their apps, but there will be smaller apps that never made back their development costs, and those developers are unlikely to want to lose further money on their project.

    • Mark

      And likewise I should be allowed to roll back to those games which when I bought them were ad-free and then the owner stuck admob in it.

      Oh, and those games with things like Open Feint I should be able to get a refund if they don't work.

      And when I upgrade my phone and the game doesn't eventually work properly on a 1G I want my money back too - won't be able to play them.

      And sales - I pay more and they sell it for less. No fair, refund!

      Don't be so selfish and petty.

      • yakyak

        Don't be so greedy.

      • Mark

        @yakyak - I was trying to be sarcastic. To you.

        I believe none of what I wrote, but some will.

    • Lukeb

      So by your reasoning, if 3GS specific versions of Doom Resurrection and Real Racing with bump-mapping were released tomorrow at $10 or more each, then current owners of the apps (I own both Zenbound and the latter) who purchased their 3GS units just a few weeks ago would have no legitimate gripe, since they can be expected to have already "consumed" the standard editions and be ready to elect to consume the enhanced editions with the same content optimized for the system they were told was supported when buying the app. Does anyone expect customers to believe that mere bump-mapping and some higher resolution textures requires a whole new outlay of labor an resources on the part of the developer? I'm sure many of the textures to be used in these 3GS version will have already existed in high res form prior to the release of the universal standard versions. The only way your justification of a separate purchase would make sense would be if most or all of the code were entirely new for these 3GS version due to it being a new platform, which it is not, any more than going from the iphone to the ipod touch would have been considered a platform switch. Anyone claiming "all new code" is taking advantage of the technical ignorance of the average consumer. Sure, there may be some new code, but "all new code" is a line of bull that consumers should smell from the moment they enter the app store.

      The iphone and ipod touch had the same OS running on different hardware; the 3GS, 3G, and ipod touch all have the same OS running on different hardware. The point of the comparison is to show the absurdity of stating that the 3GS ought to be regarded by both developers and consumers as a completely new platform, which it is clearly not unless you are looking at it from the perspective of greed, which favors the "new platform" argument.

      • Lukeb

        Frand, by the way, I did not claiming that you specifically are planning to offer updates to standard version app that would make them unusable on currently owned hardware and firmware. No major publisher would do such a thing. The part of my previous statement regarding "Breach of purchase terms" was addressed to another poster, specifically someone who implied that there would be no guarantee that all future app "updates" would run on a "1G" models. I was just clarifying that such would be a breach of terms if an update that raised OS requirement downloaded itunes and overwrote the previous version. For example, I purchased and played Circuit Strike One, recently upgraded it while updating apps in itunes, and then was told it was not supported by my ipod touch. No way to downgrade and no way to play the game without purchasing the OS 3.0 update.

  • Mark

    Why does no-one see this as good?
    Everyone is looking at their machine and their pocket.

    Can't you see a wider picture?

    People here moan that games look crap but moan more when a game could look amazing. People here moan about the crapness of some games yet wail for more sales.

    Fact: Nothing will make most happy and even so developers should do what they love doing. If that happens to coincide with what you like that's great. if not, find another developer.

    I wonder how many of the above actually bought ZB?

  • Mark

    Why does no-one see this as good?
    Everyone is looking at their machine and their pocket.

    Can't you see a wider picture?

    People here moan that games look crap but moan more when a game could look amazing. People here moan about the crapness of some games yet wail for more sales.

    Fact: Nothing will make most happy and even so developers should do what they love doing. If that happens to coincide with what you like that's great. if not, find another developer.

    I wonder how many of the above actually bought ZB?

  • Lukeb

    Personally I would pay $5 for a 3GS version of ZB even though I bought the standard version when it came out. In that case, since the original game was worth $8 or more in my opinion, the new purchase would support the developer of a non-mainstream app without it feeling like price gouging. That's a somewhat unique example because I'm fairly sure that Zenbound doesn't fly off the shelves the way some of the mega sellers have.

  • Lukeb

    Personally I would pay $5 for a 3GS version of ZB even though I bought the standard version when it came out. In that case, since the original game was worth $8 or more in my opinion, the new purchase would support the developer of a non-mainstream app without it feeling like price gouging. That's a somewhat unique example because I'm fairly sure that Zenbound doesn't fly off the shelves the way some of the mega sellers have.