Zipline’s Moai Powering “Crimson,” the First Mobile Game Release through Bungie Aerospace

7/6/11Follow @curtwoodward

The gaming industry’s ears recently perked up with news that Bungie, the studio behind the hit Xbox franchise Halo, wanted to give mobile game developers more thrust behind their products with its new Bungie Aerospace platform. It turns out that one Seattle startup was a little more interested than most.

Zipline Games, based in South Lake Union’s Founder’s Co-op offices, says today that its Moai mobile-game platform is being used to build the first offering through Bungie Aerospace. That game, called “Crimson,” is being developed by Harebrained Schemes, the imprint run by industry veteran Jordan Weisman, who once served as creative director for Microsoft Games.

As I wrote back in April, Moai attempts to take some friction out of building mobile games—an area that’s already progressing pretty fast. Moai is built around Lua, a common programming language for games, and offers a single open-source platform for both the front-end elements seen by consumers and the back-end infrastructure. Moai has been available in private beta testing for a few months, but today it’s being opened up to the wider world for a public beta.

Weisman, an adviser to Zipline, said in a news release that “the Moai platform has helped us build a great game faster than we could have otherwise. It allows us to get our ideas on to multiple hardware platforms very quickly so we can play test them on the actual devices.”

“It’s really helped take it from an alpha to a really strong beta,” Zipline CEO Todd Hooper said. “We think when people see the game, they’re going to be pretty impressed.”

Zipline also notes that Moai’s being used to deliver downloadable updates for the game Bubble Ball, an overnight success story that has garnered more than million downloads earlier this year for its teenage developer, Robert Nay. Zipline is continuing to work on its own game, Chronosaur, along with its development of Moai. In addition to Founder’s Co-op, Zipline is financed by Benaroya Capital and Groundspeak.

Curt Woodward is a senior editor for Xconomy based in Boston. Email: cwoodward@xconomy.com Follow @curtwoodward

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