X-Plane Story: Working 16-Hour Days At Apple Headquarters [Updated]
Laminar Research, the developers of X-Plane 9, have posted about the intense experience of porting their popular flight simulator from within Apple's headquarters in the days leading up to the "Let's Rock" media event held on September 9th.
X-Plane 9 [App Store Link] was recently released for the iPhone and iPod Touch, and the $9.99 game has received a very positive review at TouchArcade.com. The simulator currently holds the number 6 spot amongst all paid applications on the iPhone.
The developer recounts that on September 1st, he called Apple to see if the company thought it was possible to port their flight simulator to the iPhone. The response was enthusiastic "yes" with hopes that the app could be ready for Apple's upcoming Let's Rock media event. The developers packed up and flew to Apple headquarters in Cupertino almost immediately to start work on the port.
Within 2 minutes, our contact at Apple came down the lobby to get us and bring us to the office that would be our home for the next 7 days as we cranked out the iPhone version of X-Plane on an absurdly tight schedule. Here is the deal: Apple had a Keynote coming up in about 10 days, and wanted to have X-Plane ready to present there, and neither Ben nor I had ever tried to program anything for an iPhone before. Could we get X-Plane into an iPhone in only 10 days? Steve Jobs himself, Leader of Apple, wanted to have a suite of programs ready in only 7 days to present at the keynote, and we had NO PROOF AT ALL that the job even COULD be done... in ANY time-frame! The next 7 days were, to say the least, 'interesting'. Ben and I had an office right in the middle the 'hive-mind', right alongside all the engineers at Apple.
The entire account is a very interesting read and gives readers a unique glimpse into Apple. In the end, while the app was completed in time, it was cut from the presentation since Steve Jobs felt it wasn't "fast-paced" enough for a Keynote demo.
Still, the developers are quite pleased with the results and the application is selling very well in the App Store. Future updates to the App have been detailed by the developer including plans for an automotive version.
Update: Story removed, cache still available.