It turns out running unity on IOS is not included in the free version. There's a 30 trial for the ios integration, but after that it costs $400. Now, that's not a huge amount of money, but it's more than I want to pay to just mess around for a while. And I really need to mess around with the controls on a phone to make sure the mechanics are fun before I start seriously working on the game. But that actually got me thinking, maybe the game I have in mind is a bit too ambitious for a first outing? It might be better to try to create something very simple first and just go through the process of releasing something. I'm sure even a simple game will be many months of work.
So for something simpler it will probably be better to go with a 2d game engine. I've been talking to James Morrison who runs SpinTingle, and he's been pretty happy with Cocos2D. He's about to launch a very fun little puzzle game using it. The disadvantage there is that it's iphone specific. So all you android users loose out. But it's just a hard truth that games sell a lot better on ios than they do on android.
So now I need to come up with some 2d game ideas. Puzzle games are generally good because they don't require a large amount of assets. I was at a game design conference the other day, and one of the useful takeaways I got was that almost any game can be prototyped with cut out pieces of paper. That's what Luca Redword with his widely successful (and relatively simple) game 10000000. Check it out.
So I think I'm gonna try that. I still need an initial idea though.
Let's see, I really like strategy rpg's but they're generally too complex for a phone. Maybe if I boil the idea down to the basics? Or most strategy rpg's are kind of based on the mechanics of chess. Maybe if I did one based on the mechanics of Go? (A game with much simpler rules). I might be getting too ambitious again...