figure 1: John Carmack of Id Software


p> recently interviewed John Carmack about a good many things. One of the things that they ended up chatting about was iPhone games, or as one could say, lack thereof. It turns out that Carmack has an iPhone, and would love to write some games for it. Carmack talked to Steve Jobs about it at WWDC, and had followup meetings, and he's pretty frustrated with the current situation. It's a great read into one of the brilliant minds of gaming -- even if DOOM is a parody of itself nowadays, he's still one of the pre-eminent names of gaming.

"We've certainly been looking at it but Steve Jobs and I have not been seeing really eye to eye on a lot of important issues. We were in a fairly heated argument at the last WWDC [Worldwide Developers Conf.] and we've had a few follow-ups. I have an iPhone right now and it's a platform I would enjoy developing for but Apple is not taking progressive steps in regards to [gaming]. Their strategy seems to be working just fine from a business standpoint, so I'm not going to second guess them and tell them they're being fools or idiots for not focusing on this.

"The honest truth right now is that Apple's not exactly hugely supportive of this. When they finally allowed games to be put on the iPod... in many ways it's one of the worst environments to develop games for. You have to work on an emulator... just all these horrible decisions. I expressed my fears directly to Steve Jobs that some of these mistakes might be carried over to the iPhone, so they're at least aware of all of them, but they're not giving any spectacular signs that it's going to be a big deal for them in the next year."

February just can't come soon enough. There are a lot of mobile games that I'd like to be playing, a lot of interesting options available with the iPhone and iPod touch, the sensors, the touchscreen... I just can't wait. I think a lot of the big name companies will hop over to the iPhone pretty quickly. Even if they don't like how they have to work, they'll still be writing games for the iPhone.