January 21, 2015 Months before the first Apple Watch goes on sale, users are gaining insight into how gaming could look on a wearable device.
Thanks to Apple making the WatchKit API available to third parties, game developer NimbleBit is releasing a mockup of its simple in-game word game, Letterpad. Suddenly we get the urge to play games on the wrist like we haven’t had since the days of Nintendo Game & Watch three decades earlier.
Gold Rush in the Apple Watch app
An insane activity for app developers followed between September 9, 2014 and April 24, 2015. After seeing the original App Store mint for some coding pioneers over the first few months, everyone wanted their watchOS app ready to launch Apple Watch.
Apple unveiled its WatchKit API for the upcoming Apple Watch with iOS 8.2 in November. At the time, Apple also launched a new developer website for WatchKit. Packed with all the resources developers need to start making apps, it included video tutorials and a lengthy guide to interface design.
Letterpad: Apple Watch game
For many, Apple Watch games seemed like a category not easy to focus on. The category with the best performance in the iOS App Store, the games seemed like an obvious impulse purchase for the new owners of the Apple Watch.
There was a serious precedent for this idea. In the early days of the iOS App Store, a game called Trizam – made by a 28-year-old programmer named Steve Demeter – earned its creator $ 250,000 in a few months. Later entry, the so-called iShoot, earned its creator $ 600,000 in one month.
However, the Apple Watch faced a key limitation: limited screen space and controls. To deal with these limitations, Letterpad used a simple nine-letter grid. From them, users were able to create words on a specific topic. It provided an early look at the type of game that many creators hoped would hit the App Store soon.
Apple Watch games fail to get in effect
Jump a few years forward, and Apple Watch games have never taken off. Despite the success of Apple’s wearable device, the shape of the device – and the way it encourages users to look at its screen just for the sake of looking – has worked against the kind of interaction it takes to turn into a gaming platform.
Still, the first few months of 2015 were exciting times. Apple fans everywhere have struggled to wrap their heads around the possibility of Cupertino’s latest platform.
Do you play games on the Apple Watch? What is your favorite title? Leave your comments below.
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