GameSalad Engine Launches Membership Plan, IPhone Games

Publishing an own iPhone game got a lot easier on Friday. Gendai Games announced the launch of GameSalad's Early Access Program, granting its members the ability to create and publish games to the App Store.

GameSalad is a social game creation technology for the Mac that enables just about anybody to create and publish games.

The people behind GameSalad should be familiar to Mac gaming enthusiasts. Both Karri Scott and Nestor Hernandez are well acquainted with the Mac platform, having previously worked at Mac gaming mainstay Aspyr Media.

GameSalad's Early Access program offers two-tier memberships that provide access to the program's abilities to export games to different platforms, including the iPhone. The Indie membership is the more stripped down and inexpensive of the membership plans, while the Pro membership will grant users access to advanced game development features as well as GameSalad's customized branding technology.

The GameSalad Creator was first opened to the public in March 2009. As a free tool, users get access to complex algorithms that they can utilize to create near-professional level artificial intelligence and game play. But GameSalad's press materials boast that you don't have to be a seasoned programmer to enjoy the technology. Users don't have to have programming knowledge to use the tool and when finished with their games, can share them through Facebook or Twitter.

"Since we first hinted that our iPhone publishing system was nearing launch, the response has been phenomenal", says Tan Tran, Director of Web Development and co-founder at Gendai Games. "In the few weeks since our initial announcement at the beginning of September, we've nearly quadrupled our membership. We currently have nearly 20,000 users who have not only joined GameSalad, but have also downloaded the tool."

As a taste of things to come, two new iPhone games made with the GameSalad program were released for the iPhone Friday and are available for download. The $2 Spark of Life uses the iPhone's built-in accelerometer to let players control the Spark that "protects and guides newborn planets" in this challenging sci-fi game. The more tongue-in-cheek Rock, Paper, Scissors: The Movie: The Game, puts the player in the shoes of a Nameless Master who must use the old ancient weapons of battle and seek vengeance against the "Deadly Dragon Clan." Featuring hand-drawn art, stylizes sprites and animations, this clever twist on the classic game of rock, paper, scissors costs $1.

The two titles are designed to pave the way for future games and show off what the GameSalad engine can do.

GameSalad offers more details on the technology, along with an informative YouTube trailer.

While the iPhone market develops, the gap between powerful gaming houses and low-budget independent developers widens. GameSalad's potential to help the little guy out is encouraging and hopefully will help level the playing field considerably. If you have a great iPhone game idea, GameSalad's engine could be just what you need to make it a reality.

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