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iPhone's Raging Thunder: the Developer Interview


TUAW was lucky enough to spend a little time recently chatting with Anders Nilsson of Polarbit is an independent game developer based in Europe. They recently ported their mobile Raging Thunder racing game to the iPhone and released it as a free beta to the jailbreak community. (It's hosted at the Big Boss repository.) Built around the iPhone's accelerometer, Raging Thunder really expresses the fun, interactive potential of the iPhone as a gaming platform.

Read on past the jump for the full transcript of our interview.

Anders, I want to thank you for taking the time to chat with us here at the Unofficial Apple Weblog. We were really excited to hear about the iPhone port of your Raging Thunder game. How is that port coming along?

The pleasure is all mine. Let me take this opportunity to thank you guys at TUAW and the entire iPhone community for the fabulous interest and appreciation you've shown for our game and our company.

As for the port, it's coming along nicely. We're currently busy with a redesign of the menu system, which looks a little dated in the current release. There are also a few other bits and bobs that we hope will increase the appeal of the game even further. Wouldn't it be fun, for example, to race against other iPhone owners instead of just the AI? ;)

I really love the way the game takes advantage of the iPhone's built-in accelerometer. What are some of the other features of the iPhone that have inspired you while porting this game and how do they affect the software?

As you may or may not know, we target all the major high-end mobile platforms (Symbian, Windows Mobile, Brew etc), so we've supported features like accelerometer, touch-screen and 3D acceleration since well before the iPhone was announced. That said, where the iPhone really excels is in the integration of these features - how nicely it all works together. And really, you'd expect nothing less from an Apple product.

I was surprised to see that you ported to the 1.1.4 jailbreak platform. What are your plans for Apple's 2.0 firmware? And do you intend to keep supporting the iPhone jailbreak community?

We definitely plan to release Raging Thunder as an "official" iPhone application. We want to ensure as wide a distribution of the game as possible, including those people that won't, for one reason or another, Jailbreak their iPhone.

That said, we couldn't dream of a better venue to test out and get feedback on our products than the Jailbreak community and will remain a presence on it for sure.

Raging Thunder has a great arcade feel to it. What are some of the challenges about bringing arcade software to such a relatively small sized platform?

As mobile phones go, the iPhone is actually not that small sized. It has a nice, fairly hi-res display and the combination of touch- and tilt input make for some really exciting control possibilities. Working towards mobile platforms in general, the primary challenges are lack of screen real-estate and limited input/control features.

For many developers, covering all the available software and hardware platforms without massive porting and adaptation costs is also a challenge. At Polarbit, however, we have developed our own middleware solution, Fuse, enabling us to cover all the major high-end mobile platforms. Because we rely on Fuse, we can reach the iPhone, Symbian, Windows Mobile, Brew, WIPI and even the Nintendo DS with just a single source code. This is of course a tremendous advantage when working in a field as wide and fragmented as mobile gaming.

Are there any other projects on the back burner that we may expect to see on the iPhone sometime soon?

We are planning to bring all our titles to the iPhone, one way or another. Check out our webpage at for some more info on what's to come.

We're also hard at work on a major third party title that is sure to drop a few jaws once it's available.

How much does Raging Thunder cost? And are you planning to distribute through AppStore? And where can our readers learn more about downloading the software?

We're definitely planning to distribute Raging Thunder through the AppStore. Pricing is, however, yet to be determined. You should be able to find the game through the BigBoss repository.

Thank you again for your answers and for spending time with TUAW.

We're very happy to. Thanks for having us.

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