According to a report by gaming site Kotaku, Devine joined Apple last year in a "position crucial to helping usher in more robust, more gamer-friendly titles to the successful iPhone, iPad and iPod platforms."
"My job there," Devine said, "was basically to make gaming on the iOS devices fantastic. Basically that meant looking at the technologies involved and making sure the software played well with the hardware, to look at upcoming hardware/API and say 'Yup, that is a good thing.'"
Devine, who previously worked with Jon Carmack at id Software as a game designer, was Apple's first in house game designer, he said. "I think it was pretty unique, game technologies touch everything from the graphics stack to touch latency to push notifications. No other app type covers so many technologies and having someone there to validate and help shape that was basically my day job. It was pretty kick ass."
Devine wouldn't comment on whether Apple was planning to fill his position. "Gamers into playing on Apple devices shouldn't worry," the report noted however. "Apple has the smartest and most talented group of people I have ever worked with," Devine said.
"Every day I would walk in and feel I was working alongside geniuses and I was the guy with crayons in the corner," Devine said. "I can't comment on what's next inside Apple, but I can tell you, they really do 'get' gaming."
Devine said he was leaving Apple because "I wanted to get back to the actual business of making games. And while I loved my time, the people, and the platform I worked on at Apple I am ultimately a game designer that wants to make games."
Taking full advantage of multitouch
The games Devine wants to work on are new iOS and Mac titles. "When I first got an iPad," Devine said, "I was sold on it being the ultimate piece of science fiction technology for gaming. I think it is the most interesting new technology product I've worked on in years and I really wanted to make games for it."
Speaking of the new world possible by multitouch devices, Devine said, "I don't think a lot of people are really thinking yet what games mean on these touch platforms. The joystick is gone, there is no proxy in between you and the screen anymore.
"When I first saw the photos being rotated and pinch-zoomed on the iPhone I knew things had changed forever, and people are trying to insert something back in there when clearly the best applications are the ones where the screen is a window onto a world that you can touch.
"I am not a fan of virtual d-pads, pointers, or other crutches, we have an opportunity on these devices to let players hold, move, touch, and feel the game in front of them and I intend to focus on that."
Kotaku said Devine had already started work on a new game for the Mac, and provided the teaser graphic below.