Hall of fame: Nate True and Tap Tap Revolution
Tap Tap Revolution began what became one of the first big gaming franchises on the iPhone. Created by Nate True, Tap Tap Revolution was developed over the course of two days, and released on September 11, 2007, not even 3 months after the original iPhone launched, and roughly a month before Steve Jobs' open letter announcing an official SDK would be coming in 2008. True wrote on cre.ations.net at the time:
Download songs from my online collection (contact me to get your own music on there) and tap to the beat when the lights hit the bottom line.
TTR has an online update feature (under "New Tracks") where new tracks will be added (by indie artists). You can download and play them over your Wi-fi connection (downloading not recommended over EDGE but it will work).
TTR was a hit, and in 2008 True sold it to Tapulous. True also joined Tapulous to continue development of TTR, writing on cre.ations.net:
Suffice it to say, their push for more features definitely works out better for you guys. [...] We're pushing to get into the App Store at launch. It will be free, at least to begin with. So get yours as soon as you can!
Among the new features True teased was two-player mode. However, the new, official SDK also came with some official limitations:
A few of you eagle-eyed participants have noticed that the iTunes Library option is missing from the official version. This is due to restrictions in the iPhone SDK, but I have a sneaking suspicion that it won't be gone forever!
At Tapulous, True was joined on the coding side by Guy English, and on the design side by Louie Mantia. TTR also changed names, to Tap Tap Revenge. In a "long boring history" post on Decremental, Tapulous founder Bart Decrem elaborated:
Nate True and Guy English worked together on what would become Tap Tap Revenge 1.0. [...] The design for Tap Tap Revenge 1 was done by Louie Mantia. The product definition largely came from Nate, with contributions by Louie, Guy and myself. [...] On July 11, 2008, the App Store launched. Tap Tap Revenge was there on launch day and shot straight to #1.
Tap Tap Revenge was even featured on iPod touch art, including a banner inside Apple's Cupertino headquarters. True posed in front of it, and shared the image on cre.ations.net
In March of 2009, Tapulous released Tap Tap Revenge 2, and re-released the original version as Tap Tap Classic. It was followed by Tap Tap Revenge 3 in October of 2009, and Tap Tap Revenge 4 in December of 2010. TTR also branched out, offering versions of the hit game centered around specific artists, like Cold Play, Katie Perry, Nine Inch Nails, the TV show Glee, and many, many more. They also added Tap Tap Dance to their portfolio in 2008, Riddim Ribbon for iPhone, as well as Tap Tap Radiation for the original iPad, in 2010, and recently, Tap Tap Revenge Tour.
- Various - Download now
Tapulous was acquired by Disney in July 2010, in no small part thanks to the strength of the brand that began with True's work in 2007. True moved on to Monster Costume, where he's now a partner and chief engineer. According to the Monster Costume site, some of his work there includes:
ABC News for iPad, Nick Chase HD, the Bartleby children's book series, and more.
Bringing popular music gameplay to the iPhone in a time before any official gaming existed, figuring out how to translate the play mechanics to multitouch and implement them absent any public-facing frameworks, and working as part of Tapulous to adapt and launch his creation alongside Apple's App Store, True helped show a generation of developers the potential of the iPhone as a mainstream gaming platform, and as a place where new, hugely successful franchises could be born.
That's why, as part of the inaugural iMore hall of fame, we're honoring Nate True, and the musical masterpiece that was born Tap Tap Revolution.