Exclusive: Worms to go 3.0 in iPhone update

Details on how the iPhone Worms will grow

Exclusive: Worms to go 3.0 in iPhone update
| Worms

Team17 was already working on the iPhone adaptation of its Amiga classic Worms early on in the year, when the 2.2.1 SDK was the current software system.

Despite Apple applying light pressure to have the developer rebuild the game on the 3.0 framework, the decision was made to continue the large amounts of work already done rather than delay the game's release any further.

Team17 was also acutely aware that a large number of iPod touch users (who will have to pay for the update) haven't necessarily taken the 3.0 plunge, and wanted to ensure Worms wood work for all App Store uses from day one.

Therefore, the initial release of iPhone Worms will only include pass-to-play multiplayer, which Team17 quite rightly anticipates will be the first point of contention for any devout Worms fans.

But fear not, you wriggly little warmongers. The developer has big plans to expand the multiplayer aspects of its famous artillery game very soon.

"Alongside ad hoc Bluetooth multiplayer, we'll also be adding full on internet multiplayer although wi-fi and 3G," explains lead programmer Matt Bishop. "So you'll be able to play on the bus against friends and guys in America."

Since Team17 has taken back all the rights to its popular artillery game, it's being careful to ensure the best possible experience is provided to gamers at all times. And this includes retaining control of the internet multiplayer aspects.

"We'll be keeping all the servers in-house," Worms coder Colin Poulter says. "This'll mean we won't be limited by, or reliant on, servers at GameSpy, or Sony, or Microsoft or whatever. It'll be exactly what we need to make sure it works to its best ability."

The Worms update will therefore place the game within the 3.0 framework that Apple is so keen on. Team17's resident Apple Mac experts Ted Bradley points out this will also allow for several other 3.0 functions to be added.

"Facebook connectivity will allow players to update stats on their social pages. So for example, if you dropped a concrete donkey on me during a multiplayer game, your Facebook profile could be updated to say 'Pocket Gamer drops a donkey on Ted'," Bradley laughs.

Topping off the multiplayer updates will be asynchronous online play - similar to playing chess by post. This will make for a far more strategic game, as each player will have as long as required to consider their move before sending it off to their opponent who responds next time they're online.

This will also make use of 3.0's push notification system, displaying the small red number next to the Worms icons on your homepage.

Not all these exciting features will be immediately available, or necessarily appear in a single update, since Team17 is still building the server infrastructure required to ensure smooth and accessible online play.

But it's great to know it's all on the way, since wormy war is always a lot more fun with more people involved.