X-Plane is a simulator that’s nearly as good as Microsoft’s Flight Simulator but developed with a fraction of the programmers: in fact it’s basically a one-man-show run by a guy named Austin Meyer.
So what happened when he called up Apple and asked if it would be possible to port his simulator to the iPhone? They told him that a keynote was coming up in a week and they’d love to have him finish the game before then. To help him out, they shipped him to Apple HQ in Cupertino, and set him up in an office. His story provides an intimate look into the bowels of one of the most secretive offices in the world. At times, it almost seems like a recruiting pitch:
Everyone is working harder, faster, and with more urgency than I have ever seen at any company.
The whole time, he and his sub-contractor were treated like rock stars. Some of the anecdotes are pretty intriguing.
When we need a bigger monitor to do the ARTWORK for the iPhone version of X-Plane (for example), all we would do is say the word and huge cases full of Quad-Core desktops and 30-inch monitors were rolled into our office. Why the huge cases to hold this stuff? As it turns out, we were given the SAME computers that are shipped off to Hollywood to appear in movies!
So after a week of the “most time-pressured, intensive, focused work [he had] ever done”, what did iGod think?
The Verdict: “No-Go”. The sim is fine, and Steve likes it, but it is not FAST-PACED enough for a keynote demo.
But it wasn’t all for naught: the $10 X-Plane app is currently sitting at #3 on the Top Paid app list — not bad for two weeks of work.
Update: seems like the story is down now. I guess Apple got annoyed. The Google cache is still up.