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WWDC 2010: Illusion Labs' Foosball HD

I finally got to meet up with the guys from Illusion Labs at WWDC last week. I've been writing about their apps for a little while (their most popular title is Touchgrind, but I really enjoyed Sway as well), so it was great to meet them in person and talk about what they've been up to on the App Store.

Their latest app is Foosball HD, a very well-polished and intuitive foosball table for the iPad. It's their first original iPad venture (they brought Labyrinth and Touchgrind over right at launch), and they said that foosball was an idea that vibed well with their theme of making metaphorical games -- "we make more simulators than games," they told me. The app is clean and easy to play, and there are even little touches like projected shadows below the figures and some physics on the ball that Illusion was very proud to implement. The app's available now for US$2.99 as an introductory price.

We also talked about social gaming networks, both third-party networks and Apple's Game Center. The developers said that they'd never been interested in adding third-party code to their apps, just because it usually required that they split branding, and that they couldn't integrate the UI in a way that appealed to them. They did admit that they were "more likely to use Apple's Game Center," but even so, their ideal solution is probably just to build something in-house rather than rely on anyone else.

Finally, we chatted about handset compatibility, and how they'll react to yesterday's iOS 4.0 release. At the time we talked, they hadn't determined what to do yet, but they said that yes, they would probably end up dropping support for the first generation iPhone and iPod touch, just because it wasn't worth the trouble. Especially with the free updates, Illusion says it's a reasonable expectation for users to be upgraded from the original version. Again, very good to speak with them -- we'll look for more from this standout iOS developer in the future.

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