October Mobile App Progress Report

4 Nov
2014

Finished development on Zompy Jumpy, and published it on the Apple, Amazon, and Google Play app stores. It’s a challenging game with minimalistic retro design and simple gameplay. As I wrote in the September progress report, I felt like making a quick game that’s kind of silly since I had a lot of stress going on in my life. Working on the difficulty was the most difficult task I had while creating Zompy Jumpy. I wanted it to be hard, but also have a decent amount of short replay value. I knew going into it that I wanted it to remain a simple quick in & out game so there’s not any character progression or anything like that. The main replay value for a game like this is the challenge of increasing your score on the next run and moving up the leaderboards. I used Game Center on iOS, and Amazon Game Circle on Android for leaderboards. Once again people have proven to me that they’re better than I am at my own games, which is totally cool. There’s already a person on the Game Center leaderboard that survived 60 seconds which is REALLY good for this game. It’s more than double my high score!

Zompy Jumpy was released a week later than I wanted to, but I kept going back and forth on a couple of issues with the game. At first I thought about having the bottom character automatically jump every time the top character did like some sort of shadow, which makes sense since the character at the bottom is a silhouette of the top character. Then I decided to give separate jump controls to both characters. Both styles made the player pay attention to zombies on both sides of the screen, but the first control scheme made the game become too much about luck instead of skill since the zombies are somewhat randomly generated. Eventually I decided to let the player control both characters since it kept the game challenging, but also made the game more about the skill of timing jumps and double jumps instead of just hoping zombies came at both characters at the same time….which in that case would make the bottom half of the screen somewhat irrelevant. Having both characters separate makes the players look back and forth at both sides of the screen while deciding on when to jump. I eventually made the zombies spawn were sometimes both characters need to jump at the same time and sometimes they don’t. The moral of this story is…..Game development involves a lot of trail and error even when there’s only one or two main game mechanics.

Since Zompy Jumpy is free I wanted to use an ad platform on both Apple and Android versions. I went with iAds on Apple since it’s a solid platform that I’ve used before. I’ve had up & down results with iAds in the past, but it’s easy to implement and the statistical dashboards available for it are informative so I’ll continue to use it for my free Apple apps. I’ve never used an ad platform on Android, but after doing some research I decided to give Chartboost a try. I’m not sure what to expect aside from the possible positive and negative things I’ve read about it online, however, it will be interesting to see how it performs. If I’m dissatisfied with it I may switch to Revmob in the future, but I’ll give Chartboost a fair chance with a couple of different apps first. I don’t write about monetization much because it’s not my main focus with app development, but I spent some of my app development time researching different ad platforms. So yeap, that’s mainly it for October. I think this might be the first monthly progress report were I don’t have a list of different apps I worked on. November has started out in a nice positive direction though, and I’m back on schedule somewhat in app development land so….Until next time ∞

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