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Apple looks to hire AAA game developer for in-house iPhone team

post #1 of 85
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Apple is looking to hire a game and media software engineer for its iPhone and iPod touch team, perhaps signaling that the company intends to expand its first-party software offerings.

The listing posted this week is noteworthy because Apple has only released four applications on its iPhone App Store since it first launched, and only one of them -- Texas Hold'em -- is a game. The $4.99 virtual card game was released in 2008.

The advertisement seeks a full-time employee to work at the company's Cupertino, Calif., headquarters. Apple is looking for a "passionate gamer" with 3 to 4 years of video game development experience. The person would help design and implement "interactive multimedia experiences" on the iPhone and iPod touch. Only candidates who have shipped "at least one AAA title" are asked to apply.

"The position also requires a creative thinker who can contribute and comment on the design process as well as being flexible enough to aid in all aspects of production such as asset management and able to work to a deadline," the listing reads.

Since the debut of the App Store, games have become a popular component of the experience on the iPhone and iPod touch. Big game publishers like Electronic Arts, id Software and Konami have been flocking to the platform, bringing their own established franchises with them like Madden football and The Sims.



Nintendo, a pioneer of the handheld video game industry, has acknowledged that it must differentiate dedicated gaming devices like the Nintendo DS from all-purpose handhelds like the iPhone if they wish to survive. Games on the App Store tend to run under $10, while most games for the Nintendo DS and Sony PSP cost between $25 and $40.

When it debuted the new 64GB iPod touch with a faster processor in September, Apple again portrayed the hardware as a fun device meant for media and games. The company highlighted a number of high-profile releases including Ubisoft's Assassin's Creed 2 and Gameloft's Nova.

But John Carmack, creator of the classic PC game Doom, recently said he believes that Apple is uncomfortable with the growing popularity of games on the iPhone and iPod touch. He said he believes Apple executives would prefer the hardware to be taken more seriously.

"At the highest level of Apple, in their heart of hearts," Carmack said, "they're not proud of the iPhone being a game machine, they wish it was something else."

But the new job listing from Apple would seem to contradict Carmack's assumption, as Apple appears to be interested in creating more interactive content in-house for the iPhone and iPod touch.
post #2 of 85
What is a AAA title?

EDIT: Found this link:

http://www.gameproducer.net/2009/10/...ed-definition/

Seems like it used to mean high quality, now it just means big budget.
post #3 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by DKWalsh4 View Post

What is a AAA title?

Top of the line stuff - games like Call of Duty, Halo, Guitar Hero maybe?

The main criticisms of the iPhone's gaming library is to do with a lack of big titles. Seems Apple will make their own. Will it be in the mould of traditional titles or something totally new? I suspect the latter.
post #4 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by DKWalsh4 View Post

What is a AAA title?

I don't know, but I bet it is not this.
post #5 of 85
Games? I need to perform the Quadratic equation- is there an app for that?
post #6 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by DKWalsh4 View Post

What is a AAA title?

Next step above AA.
post #7 of 85
AAA games are the big budget, high quality games.
post #8 of 85
I got the guy for the job right here.

http://www.i-mockery.com/blabber/pic...ransformer.jpg
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post #9 of 85
But the Doom creator said Apple is embarrassed about gaming....
post #10 of 85
Maybe an in house team of Apple experts to better help other companies develop games for Tablet and iPhone?
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post #11 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

Next step above AA.

That made me smile.
post #12 of 85
Obviously, no actual data on what Apple is really intending, but the clear risk for Apple is that this could create a perception is reality effect for developers; namely, that Apple is cherry-picking segments that they want to own/control, in effect, competing with their developer ecosystem.

After all, Apple is not exactly the best, most transparent communicators so when you combine that with the low torrent of unhappy developers grumbling about approval process, etc., you run risk of muddying the platform play at same time Android is starting to find its legs.

For what it's worth, I blogged on this exact same scenario when the SDK was rolling out last year. Excerpt:

Why should developers even contemplate such dark scenarios? To be blunt, Apples history with developers is a mixed bag. On the one hand, the very success of the Mac is a by-product of third party developer innovations in desktop publishing, spreadsheets and the like, which opened up previously unforeseen HUGE market opportunities. On the other hand, Apple has a legacy of co-opting third-party developer innovations, thus claiming new market opportunities for themselves and killing their partners in the process.

Check out the full post, if interested:

The Scorpion, the Frog and the iPhone SDK
http://bit.ly/1IV1Np

Cheers,

Mark
post #13 of 85
While Apple may be looking for an in-house developer to create Apple branded games, I have a strong feeling his main duty will be interfacing with other companies that themselves produce AAA quality games. Like EA or Blizzard, ect. Helping get their new iPhone development teams up to speed quicker, or qualifying then relaying requests for iPhone API updates these developers want. I have no inside information on this matter. Just a hunch based on two decades of watching the gaming industry evolve.
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post #14 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by Postulant View Post

But the Doom creator said Apple is embarrassed about gaming....

Apple likes to be taken seriously, but also sell well in the consumer space. The two aren't always compatible.

BlackBerry was considered a serious tool for business, but had difficulty selling to anyone else. Now RIM is working to make the BB more "fun" and modern to increase sales without chasing away the corporate suits who made them successful in the first place.

Apple nailed "fun" right away, but are still longing for respect as a serious tool. However, they're not stupid and will milk "fun" for all its worth even if iPhone never achieves the serious reputation they originally hoped it would.
post #15 of 85
I wonder if Apple's first-party apps will get rejected from the App Store?
post #16 of 85
Apple should sign an exclusive with Shigeru Miyamoto then Nintendo can call it quits.

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post #17 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by Postulant View Post

But the Doom creator said Apple is embarrassed about gaming....

The doom creator is a serial moron
post #18 of 85
Another slap in the face for Carmack and his whinging theories about Apple.
gotta love it.
post #19 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by hypermark View Post

Obviously, no actual data on what Apple is really intending, but the clear risk for Apple ...

I know you think you are some kind of big-time "authority" on Apple but you're just making this stuff up wholesale here. Apple does not "(have) a legacy of co-opting third-party developer innovations" that I've ever noticed or heard about and I've been following them from the beginning.

Like most big companies Apple has done some things that are bad for developers, but developers have screwed over Apple over the years as well. The facts would suggest more that the developers don't generally treat Apple very well, more than the other way around IMO.

I'm also getting tired of you posting here with some spammy link to your opinion site. Be a grown up and pay for your own advertising instead of trying to bootstrap yourself into "pundit" status by posting your ads here for free why don't you?

I find there are many more insightful posters on this forum than you, and they have the advantage of just being regular techies, not someone trying to make a career out of opinionating.
post #20 of 85
I'm sure Apple is crying all the way to the bank.
post #21 of 85
Actually my experience with Apple dates back to 1994 (Apple partner, Tribe Computer Works), and I don't make a nickel on my blogging so not sure what you mean by 'career.' As to making points and backing them with links, you are certainly entitled to your perspective that that's somehow bad form, but I'd argue the contrary. The blogosphere is all about links. You make your point, if you have deeper thought, reference it, and the community can decide whether they care or not, and then click or not.

Always amazes me how some people knee jerk to the personal.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post

I know you think you are some kind of big-time "authority" on Apple but you're just making this stuff up wholesale here. Apple does not "(have) a legacy of co-opting third-party developer innovations" that I've ever noticed or heard about and I've been following them from the beginning.

Like most big companies Apple has done some things that are bad for developers, but developers have screwed over Apple over the years as well. The facts would suggest more that the developers don't generally treat Apple very well, more than the other way around IMO.

I'm also getting tired of you posting here with some spammy link to your opinion site. Be a grown up and pay for your own advertising instead of trying to bootstrap yourself into "pundit" status by posting your ads here for free why don't you?

I find there are many more insightful posters on this forum than you, and they have the advantage of just being regular techies, not someone trying to make a career out of opinionating.
post #22 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by hypermark View Post

Actually my experience with Apple dates back to 1994 (Apple partner, Tribe Computer Works), and I don't make a nickel on my blogging so not sure what you mean by 'career.' As to making points and backing them with links, you are certainly entitled to your perspective that that's somehow bad form, but I'd argue the contrary. The blogosphere is all about links. You make your point, if you have deeper thought, reference it, and the community can decide whether they care or not, and then click or not.

Always amazes me how some people knee jerk to the personal.

Well apologies for coming across as more personal than I intended, but I just don't find your comments that insightful and if you've been on the Internet as long as you say you have then you should know that it *is* actually a violation of standard netiquette to advertise your own stuff on a forum like this. It's rarely done and usually frowned upon.

Posting a link to someone else's stuff for reference is a different thing altogether from posting links to your own thoughts or your own website. If everyone did that, it would be pretty horrible and almost impossible to read the forums wouldn't it? The whole idea behind the forum thing is to post your thoughts *now* and *here* on what you think of a topic.

Anyway, excuse me for being cranky. Just as you come across as kind of smug to me, I know I come across as bitchy to others sometimes although I do try to stay positive believe it or not. It's just that you've done this many times before and I finally got tired enough of it to say something is all.
post #23 of 85
Carmack is good at making games but his on-again-off-again relationship with Apple is tiresome. Certainly Apple didn't care so much about the gaming industry, it would seem, on the Mac side, but they can't ignore it on the iPhone. Esspecially when they highlighted games when previewing the first release of the SDK.
post #24 of 85
Well, we agree to disagree, but I completely appreciate the constructive response. Discourse is a good thing.

I will say that commenting is increasingly the community AND the conversation rolled into one, which is why most services not only allow links, but encourage extending it in a myriad of ways (spend some time at Fred Wilson's A VC site to see what I mean).

That said, there is hardly uniformity of perspective on this one so I appreciate where you are coming from, even if the net out is that you find me smug and insight-LESS/LITE. :-)

Have a good one.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post

Well apologies for coming across as more personal than I intended, but I just don't find your comments that insightful and if you've been on the Internet as long as you say you have then you should know that it *is* actually a violation of standard netiquette to advertise your own stuff on a forum like this. It's rarely done and usually frowned upon.

Posting a link to someone else's stuff for reference is a different thing altogether from posting links to your own thoughts or your own website. If everyone did that, it would be pretty horrible and almost impossible to read the forums wouldn't it? The whole idea behind the forum thing is to post your thoughts *now* and *here* on what you think of a topic.

Anyway, excuse me for being cranky. Just as you come across as kind of smug to me, I know I come across as bitchy to others sometimes although I do try to stay positive believe it or not. It's just that you've done this many times before and I finally got tired enough of it to say something is all.
post #25 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post

Well apologies for coming across as more personal than I intended, but I just don't find your comments that insightful and if you've been on the Internet as long as you say you have then you should know that it *is* actually a violation of standard netiquette to advertise your own stuff on a forum like this. It's rarely done and usually frowned upon.

Proper netiquette is that you create an account under a pseudonym such as your name and your favorite cheese and then proceed to post links to your "insightful" posts.

http://bit.ly/4kb77v
post #26 of 85
I knew Carmack was full of S%*#
post #27 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by hypermark View Post

Obviously, no actual data on what Apple is really intending, but the clear risk for Apple is that this could create a perception is reality effect for developers; namely, that Apple is cherry-picking segments that they want to own/control, in effect, competing with their developer ecosystem.

After all, Apple is not exactly the best, most transparent communicators so when you combine that with the low torrent of unhappy developers grumbling about approval process, etc., you run risk of muddying the platform play at same time Android is starting to find its legs.

For what it's worth, I blogged on this exact same scenario when the SDK was rolling out last year. Excerpt:

Why should developers even contemplate such dark scenarios? To be blunt, Apples history with developers is a mixed bag. On the one hand, the very success of the Mac is a by-product of third party developer innovations in desktop publishing, spreadsheets and the like, which opened up previously unforeseen HUGE market opportunities. On the other hand, Apple has a legacy of co-opting third-party developer innovations, thus claiming new market opportunities for themselves and killing their partners in the process.

Check out the full post, if interested:

The Scorpion, the Frog and the iPhone SDK
http://bit.ly/1IV1Np

Cheers,

Mark

Well except that you've conveniently left out the part about the abandonment and outright abuse (think Quicken among many) of Apple by developers throughout the years. Plenty of companies threw Apple into the trunk of the car while MS climbed into the passenger seat. Apple finally said "fck it, we'll just roll our own". It's been a beautiful ride ever since.
post #28 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny Mozzarella View Post

Proper netiquette is that you create an account under a pseudonym such as your name and your favorite cheese and then proceed to post links to your "insightful" posts.

http://bit.ly/4kb77v

lol
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post #29 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by hypermark View Post

Obviously, no actual data on what Apple is really intending, but the clear risk for Apple is that this could create a perception is reality effect for developers; namely, that Apple is cherry-picking segments that they want to own/control, in effect, competing with their developer ecosystem.

I for one can't WAIT for Apple to enter the Game Segment proper... And shortly after begins a nonstop bloodletting of ALL of the previously approved apps simply because Apple is developing or about to release a driving game or FPS and CLEARLY all of the others applications of this type would have the potential to .... what's Apple call it ... 'User Confusion'...

Oh and not that AI felt the need to report on it but Rogue Amoeba has just pulled the plug on all iPhone development it's quite odd since we all KNOW Apples is nothing but fair and above board when it comes to its App approval process.

Finally I really wanted to comment on this:

"passionate gamer with 3 to 4 years of video game development experience ... Only candidates who have shipped "at least one AAA title" are asked to apply"

Hmmm....

- "3 to 4 years experience"

Translation.. Don't come to us expecting an enormous pay check... Superstars need not apply...

- "Have personally been involved in _at least_ one AAA title"

Translation: hahahahahahaha

Yea sure, because the development teams responsible for rolling out AAA titles are usually FILLED with people who only have 2-3 years experience in the game market.

Somehow I think Apple needs to revisit the core job requirements....
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post #30 of 85
Typically, if you want to produce a very solid title you want somebody who's worked on two or more "AAA" titles and at least 6-7 years in the industry. The pos reqs, say to me that Apple want somebody they can mold, or somebody who doesn't expect a big paycheck, or both.

It seems to me that Apple have never really understood gaming. Lets hope that this newfound embracing of gaming on the iPhone/iPod touch will translate to the Mac. In the form of better drivers and GPUs.
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post #31 of 85
Dave,

As a point of clarity, are you hoping that this scenario plays out because you think it will lead to a better iPhone platform (i.e., raise the bar), or because you want the platform to fail?

As to requirements, general observation wrt hiring practices is that Apple is pedigree centric; they like people who have come from big name companies (relative to field of expertise), but that culturally are shapeable to the Apple way.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveGee View Post

I for one can't WAIT for Apple to enter the Game Segment proper... And shortly after begins a nonstop bloodletting of ALL of the previously approved apps simply because Apple is developing or about to release a driving game or FPS and CLEARLY all of the others applications of this type would have the potential to .... what's Apple call it ... 'User Confusion'...

Oh and not that AI felt the need to report on it but Rogue Amoeba has just pulled the plug on all iPhone development it's quite odd since we all KNOW Apples is nothing but fair and above board when it comes to its App approval process.

Finally I really wanted to comment on this:

"passionate gamer with 3 to 4 years of video game development experience ... Only candidates who have shipped "at least one AAA title" are asked to apply"

Hmmm....

- "3 to 4 years experience"

Translation.. Don't come to us expecting an enormous pay check... Superstars need not apply...

- "Have personally been involved in _at least_ one AAA title"

Translation: hahahahahahaha

Yea sure, because the development teams responsible for rolling out AAA titles are usually FILLED with people who only have 2-3 years experience in the game market.

Somehow I think Apple needs to revisit the core job requirements....
post #32 of 85
i think Apple might be doing this in part to counter what Carmack said (they could've posted the job listing any other time...why now?!).

it certainly doesn't want people starting to question if Apple is embarassed of the touch being a gaming device.
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post #33 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. K View Post

Lets hope that this newfound embracing of gaming on the iPhone/iPod touch will translate to the Mac. In the form of better drivers and GPUs.

Better drivers and GPU's? I'm seriously hoping that turns out to be the case. When Diablo 3 comes out I'm buying a gaming rig and I'd like it to be running OSX. Can't stand Windows! But if any Apple system short of a $2,500 Mac Pro is going to have lame GPU's I can't upgrade every year I'll tolerate a Windows 7 system. I mean, I just got to murder Diablo again!
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post #34 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny Mozzarella View Post

Proper netiquette is that you create an account under a pseudonym such as your name and your favorite cheese and then proceed to post links to your "insightful" posts.

http://bit.ly/4kb77v

thanks! i needed that.
post #35 of 85
Carmack is only saying there are people at Apple who are embarrassed about being recognized for gaming. Apple is a big company and all its employees won't share the same opinion. It's been clear for a long time that on the whole, Apple has had very little official interest in games; but even on their iMac performance page, they show Need for Speed Carbon:

http://www.apple.com/uk/imac/performance.html

and that's not even a native game - it's a Cider port. So while some employees will dislike being associated with gaming, others won't. I personally view the iphone and ipod as more like Newton-type PDAs that also happen to do games.

iphone games at PSP quality still aren't available in the same quantity as they are on the PSP. The PSP has over 700 games developed professionally. The iphone has under 50 developed by major studios and a good number that are developed by big studios are of poor quality.

I don't think a single employee will change that. Apple need to either build an in-house gaming studio like Microsoft has or partner up with a big developer like Gameloft whose work on the iphone has been the best out of any developer so far.

We shouldn't forget the possibility of online gaming changing things entirely. Crysis has already been demoed streaming live to an iphone. There are at least 3 services coming - OTOY, OnLive (which goes live this Winter with major backing from big companies) and Transgaming's service. This will allow Apple to get into gaming in a big way without committing to it.
post #36 of 85
I hope it is not just for iPhone OS. There is lots of money to be made in gaming. Mac OS X games and maybe even Apple TV games would be great.

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post #37 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Apple is looking to hire a game and media software engineer for its iPhone and iPod touch team, perhaps signaling that the company intends to expand its first-party software offerings.
<SNIP>
Apple is looking for a "passionate gamer" with 3 to 4 years of video game development experience.
<SNIP>
"The position also requires a creative thinker who can contribute and comment on the design process as well as being flexible enough to aid in all aspects of production such as asset management and able to work to a deadline," the listing reads.

This signals a great opportunity for the gaming community to get one of their own's "foot in the door" at Cupertino and fight their way up the ranks of opinionatedness to present the case, the tactics and the strategy for gaming to Apple Inc from within "the belly of the whale".

In other words, a virtual "human Trojan Horse". Only this time, to not only physically infiltrate their walls, but "by doing in Rome as the Romans do" (i.e. acquiring the Cupertino culture), to permeate the corporate thinking and present a better gaming experience on the Apple platform in a way that will reflect the elegance simplicity, style and fun that is associated with the marque.

Win-Win for all sides of the divide: gamers, Apple device lovers, game developers and last but far, far from least, Apple Inc itself...
post #38 of 85
But Apple is embarrssed about gaming on the the iPhone.

Whatever.

This is excellent news.
post #39 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


Apple is looking to hire a game and media software engineer for its iPhone and iPod touch team, perhaps signaling that the company intends to expand its first-party software offerings.

But John Carmack, creator of the classic PC game Doom, recently said he believes that Apple is uncomfortable with the growing popularity of games on the iPhone and iPod touch. He said he believes Apple executives would prefer the hardware to be taken more seriously.

"At the highest level of Apple, in their heart of hearts," Carmack said, "they're not proud of the iPhone being a game machine, they wish it was something else."

This is the second article/reference reported by AppleInsider that purports a negative reference of John Carmack towards Apple.

I would like to point out two separate articles that are contrary to what has been said here. Somehow, it just doesn't fit.

Quote:

CNBC, Published: Friday, 6 Nov 2009 | 12:14 PM ET
iPhone Has Become Threat To Nintendo: 'Doom' Creator


Carmacks id Software plans to release one iPhone game per quarter over the next year. It has just put out Doom Classic, a port of the seminal first-person shooter. Still to come are iPhone versions of Quake and a second Doom role-playing game. The company also hopes to have an iPhone version of Rage ready to release when it launches he new action franchise, likely in 2010.

Carmacks best known for pushing the limits of computer graphics something none of the previous iPhone ports have really done. And hes getting itchy to flex his muscles.

Im probably going to work on some nifty, gee-whiz tech demo for the 3GS, he says.

http://www.cnbc.com/id/33721096/site/14081545
.

And then just yesterday:

Quote:

Macworld, Published: Nov 13, 2009 | 3:23 pm
id Software's John Carmack talks iPhone games, Doom
Making iPhone apps easy and fun, gaming titan says


John Carmack didnt need a lot of time to figure out whether he wanted to develop for the iPhone. It wasnt a major strategic decision, the game maker says. I just really like my iPhone.

A lot of gamers feel the same way about Carmacks past work. Hes the co-founder of id Software and the genius behind some of the biggest titles in gaming, including Doom, Quake, Wolfenstein 3-D and many others. His engines have been used to create other award winning titles such as Half-Life, Call of Duty, and Medal of Honor.

But recently, his considerable developing talents have been focused on the iPhone platform. In many ways, this is a homecoming for Carmacksome of his earliest and best work was on the old Apple II.

Still, since that initial success, Carmack has returned to the Apple platform only sporadically, including a period of development for Quake 3 and when OS X first launched. The relationship between Carmack an Apple has always been a bit tumultuous, as the developer has often criticized the company for its gaming support.

But Carmack took an immediate liking to the iPhone platform, after testing ports in what began as a casual project to satisfy his curiosity. When tinkering with some early ports, he says that he realized: Hey, this is easy and fun. A new venture was beginning.


http://www.macworld.com/article/1438...mack_doom.html
.

Perhaps his distain for Apple and the handle that some have tagged him with are a little premature.
.
post #40 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by Abster2core View Post

This is the second article/reference reported by AppleInsider that purports a negative reference of John Carmack towards Apple.

I would like to point out two separate articles that are contrary to what has been said here. Somehow, it just doesn't fit.



And then just yesterday:



Perhaps his distain for Apple and the handle that some have tagged him with are a little premature.
.

The writing is on the wall, Abster. the writing is on the wall.

What really matters is what the product does. If it does games, Apple wants it to do games.
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