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Casey's Contraptions Dev: Launch On All iOS Devices Simultaneously

Noel Llopis, one of the developers behind Snappy Touch's successful iPad game Casey's Contraptions, said in a
Noel Llopis, one of the developers behind Snappy Touch's successful iPad game Casey's Contraptions, said in a new Gamasutra feature postmortem that in hindsight, the game should have launched simultaneously on all iOS devices. The postmortem is co-authored by Miguel Angel Friginal, the game's other primary developer. "The initial prototype of Casey's Contraptions was running on an iPhone. While it showed a lot of promise and it was fun to assemble contraptions even that early on, it was clearly begging for more screen space," write Llopis and Friginal. Given that the game is centered around physics puzzle in which players manipulate objects, the two write, "The iPad was the obvious platform of choice. Its large screen can display very nicely detailed graphics, and allows for very natural, direct manipulation of items. It was a perfect fit for Casey's Contraptions." However, only 14 million iPads have been sold -- compared to 185 million iPhone and iPod Touch devices. "Especially for a game that relies on the social component, getting a critical mass of users playing at the same time, sharing solutions, and sending levels is very important. We definitely stormed up the iPad charts, but that still left the majority of iOS users not being able to purchase our game." The team didn't have a "good reason" not to wait for the iPhone version to be ready to launch -- just the fact that "we were itching to get the game out." They do note, however, that "an iPad-first launch seemed like the way to go" due to the potential effect of the launch on their server infrastructure. "In hindsight, we would have been better off waiting to launch both versions at the same time (or almost the same time, maybe a week or two apart at most)." With the upcoming launch of the iPhone version, which will include a free content update for all players, "we'll try to repeat the same strong launch we had on the iPad. The idea is to get everybody who's already bought the game playing again, along with all the new iPhone players, and create that critical mass," they write. The full postmortem which explains what went right and wrong along development of Casey's Contraptions, is live now on Gamasutra.

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