Wraithborne launches on Apple App Store, developed by video game industry veterans

Developer Alpha Dog Games’ Wraithborne was released today for iOS devices, which is an action adventure title that’s made by game industry veterans and powered by Epic Games’ Unreal Engine.

The Canadian-based studio is led by co-founder and design director Nick Riley, tech director Jeff Cameron and art director Shawn Woods. The three have 35 years of combined experience making triple A console, web, mobile and social games. Riley describes Wraithborne as a “whack-and-smash” game in a dark fantasy setting, featuring gesture-based controls.

“We’re trying to bring the promise of the triple A experience on to the platforms you play everyday,” Riley tells Inside Mobile Apps.

To do this for mobile, Riley says developers have to “wow” users with the graphics quality and gameplay that’s not dumbed down, like something a player is used to playing on console. At the same time, Riley added that games have to be playable in digestible chunks, unlike a 40-hour long console game.

One of Wraithborne’s core gameplay features is a “Challenge Mode” that utilizes Apple’s Game Center to track achievements and a global leaderboard. The game also has in-game currency, but is not tied to real money.

Alpha Dog Games, which originally planned to self-publish Wraithborne, signed a publishing deal late in development with Crescent Moon Games, which has published other mobile games, including Topia, Pocket RPG and Aralon.

Crescent Moon Games was a publisher Alpha Dog Games had their eye on, according to Riley, but Crescent Moon Games wasn’t a be all, end all publisher to land for them. Alpha Dog Games waited until the game was shippable before they began talking to publishers, and after they released their teaser trailer, publishers were knocking on their door, including Crescent Moon Games.

“We probably could have gone to publishers earlier than we did, but we wanted to wait and hold off,” Riley tells us. “We found that publishers were coming to talk to us now, not the other way around, which is nice. It gets nervous when you don’t go to them earlier because it’s not like you’re being funded by a publisher the whole way through, but we think we’ve hit on something good by waiting.”

Wraithborne is powered by Epic Games’ Unreal Engine technology, a graphics engine used in many console games and mobile games such as Chair-developed Infinity Blade. Riley says the team considered other game engines but they had previously worked with Unreal before, so they found it much easier to get the level of detail and graphic quality they wanted faster.

Wraithborne was self-funded through a combination of loans and personal funds.

The game is available now in the Apple App Store for $2.99 and supports iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch.