There's a terrific new featured blog post up at www.gamasutra.com called "How Crimson: Steam Pirates (#1 game on iPad) Was Built in just 12 Weeks." In this detailed post, AJ Bolden, lead developer for Crimson: Steam Pirates discusses exactly how they used Moai and built their own tools to get productive and build the top-rated iPad game soup-to-nuts in 12 weeks.

Moai SDK 0.7 is now available for download. The big change this release is a reworking of the virtual file system. In the last release we provided a baseline implementation of PhysFS. As we spent more time with PhysFS we realized that it wasn’t a match for what we wanted and decided to implement our own virtual file system instead.

We interviewed Jordan Weisman and Aljernon Bolden of Harebrained Schemes, as well as Patrick Meehan, creator of Moai. The three of them talk about why/how Harebrained Schemes used Moai to make last week's #1 free app on iPad, Crimson: Steam Pirates, and the purpose behind the Moai platform.

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Crimson: Steam Pirates is in the iPad app store today and already has 146 ratings and a 5-star average. Download it today and play through the free 8 missions for free!

There's a new release available for download. Also, check out our snazzy new docs, now with inheritance diagrams. Highlights of this release after the fold...

Crimson: Steam Pirates is announced, and it's a multi-level strategy game on tablets about Steampunk pirates in the Caribbean!

We're happy to announce that version 0.5 of the Moai SDK is out now. This version integrates Open GL ES 2.0 with the full programmable rendering pipeline as well and supports virtual file systems through PhysFS. Now you can come up with your own unique graphics effects for OpenGL on all devices that support it. Plus, you can include game data in your build package (even archived in zip files) and then reference it via the same mechanism on all platforms without needing to do special maneuvers around copying data to removable storage for Android devices.

The latest release of Moai SDK has some big additions to it. The first is integration with the virtual file system PhysFS. The second is an improved rendering engine that supports both OpenGL ES 1.1 and 2.0 as well as desktop OpenGL. The OpenGL rewrite was no small feat, but we’ve been able to add it with minimal impact to the Lua framework in terms of backward compatibility.

Developing for games that run on multiple platforms and devices means handling differences in screen resolutions and aspect ratios. Here are some popular mobile devices and their resolutions.

You can easily duplicate your application to another path in the Moai Cloud service. This is convenient for testing and staging new changes to your cloud applications without interrupting user access.

Moai SDK 0.4 Beta revision 12 is now available for download.

As of the latest version of the Moai SDK (0.4, revision 11), Apsalar has been implemented for your use. Find out how using Apsalar can help track developer-defined user events.

As of the latest version of the Moai SDK (0.4, revision 11), Tapjoy has been implemented for your use. Find out how using Tapjoy can help increase your app's revenue.

A quick check of the highest grossing iPhone apps on any particular day will show you that the top ten is dominated by free games with in-app purchases, with only a few paid apps (usually Angry Birds) on the list. But if they're giving their games away for free, how do they earn so much revenue?