While we weren't able to stay the whole time (the life of a TUAW blogger at a covention is varied and hectic), the iPhone Game Developers' Luncheon at GDC 2010 was a pretty enlightening experience. After a little varied networking among guests, hosts PlayHaven, Cooley Godward Kronish (a law firm that specializes in startup companies), and MplayIt started up the panel discussion. The iPhone developers in attendance were Igor Pusenjak of Lima Sky (the creators of the very popular Doodle Jump) and Bryan Mitchell, a solo developer who created a game called Geared that's risen to the top of the App Store charts.
The most interesting thing we learned at the luncheon (in among a lot of legal talk about forming corporations and copyright law) was where these two developers came from. Mitchell was a filmmaker who had to work construction "after film work dried up in Las Vegas," and decided to jump in on the app business to make extra money. His game only made a few bucks a day at first, but after spending a little on advertising, Apple featured his game in "What's Hot." After that, he was off to the races.