Tag Archives: app development

May Mobile App Development Report

5 Jun
2015

May was a busy month packed with putting the finishing touches on a game, testing it, releasing it, and then oddly working on a new app shortly after the release. Lets get into it……..

  • In May I finished and released my newest app, Crunchy Numbers Math Arcade. During the first part of the month I worked on the audio for the app which included main menu music, in-game music, and sound effects. At first I didn’t plan on having any in-game music, but when I finished the main menu music I wanted to keep making variations of it so I made small chunks of music to play during gameplay. However, I didn’t want the music to be distracting since retro chiptune themed music can sometimes be overly eccentric to some people so I made a rule that lowered the volume of music during gameplay.
  • I also thought it would neat to have power-ups for when things are getting a little rough during gameplay. So after deciding what power-ups to create and making the art for them I implemented them with a rule that made a power-up randomly appear when certain conditions exist. There’s only three power-ups but they’re each different, and one of them is actually just for an extra life. I liked the idea of having a couple of power-ups, but I didn’t want the game to revolve around them, or for players to depend on them. To be good at this game you’ve got to have good reaction time, hand-eye coordination, and of course some math skills.
  • Prior to final testing I implemented Game Center for iOS devices and Game Circle for Amazon devices and/or players that use Game Circle on other Android devices. High scores are a major part of the game so adding leaderboard functionality seemed like a natural thing to do. After finishing the game I did a lot of testing. I only discovered a couple of bugs and I was able to fix them in a day which was great. I always test my apps throughout development which makes the final testing process less hectic.
  • I started working on my next app a few days after finishing the final marketing items(banners, trailer video, & etc) and releasing CNMA. Before release I thought I was going to take a small week or so break from development after release, but I wanted to jump into something new even though I was really satisfied with the way CNMA turned out. Crunchy Numbers Math Arcade is one of my favorite apps that I’ve developed, but I still felt a surge of energy to start working on a new app after it was released. Maybe I felt this energy because I was really satisfied with my recent release, regardless I definitely took advantage of it.
  • The app that I started working on towards the end of May is a new relaxation app. I won’t go much into specific detail on it now, but it’s different from my Rest, Relax & Reflect app. I started working on the overall user interface design for this new app in May. Eventually I became satisfied with the color theme and button design, but I’m still testing different interfaces. I started working on the audio aspects of it last year so a lot of the audio of the app is complete, which is one of the main features of the app. I still have a lot work to do on the app which includes a lot of audio editing, various design aspects, audio implementation, and other development functions. I’m not sure when I’ll be finished with this app, but hopefully it will be sometime within the next couple of months.

 

A little back story about Crunchy Numbers Math Arcade……..

I first came up with the idea of Crunchy Numbers Math Arcade during a retro themed game jam I joined last year. I went back and forth with a few ideas for a game, but once the idea of a math game with a retro look came into my mind I had an idea of roughly what I wanted to create. I knew I wanted it to have a player controlled item in a box confinement with the goal of going to the correct answers while avoiding enemies. After being satisfied with the actual gameplay idea I had to decide what kind of math I wanted the game to have. Eventually I reminisced about a really neat math game I played when I was a kid called Number Munchers. I didn’t want to make a clone of course, which wasn’t going to be the case because the gameplay was already different, but I decided to use some of the math lessons that were part of the game which included primes, factors, and multiples. I wanted the game to have four modes so after finishing the first three modes I decided to implement roman numerals. The first color theme of the game was mostly teal & gray with red enemies and white numbers. I wasn’t satisfied with the fact that there was no real theme to the game.

Then one day while I was at Octane Coffee in Atlanta I started thinking about different color themes. I googled something like “different colors” or something similar and as I looked through the images I saw a set of dry erase markers and thought………it would be neat if I made the game have a dry erase board design but kept the retro chunky box design aspect of it the same. The colors I used in the game are meant to be similar to standard dry erase marker colors and then the standard board with the white surface, black text/numbers, gray boarders and black corners. Once I started creating the new graphics I became really satisfied with the overall look of the game and the remaining aspects of the game really started coming together more. The design decision gave me more confidence in the game itself and a boost of development energy that propelled me to work faster than the pace I was currently moving. Overall as I’ve stated above I’m really satisfied with how the game turned out and it’s become of my favorite apps that I’ve developed.

Until next time ∞

April Mobile App Progress Report

12 May
2015

Well, as you can tell from the date on this post May has been a bit crazy, but this post isn’t about May so let’s talk about last month. In April I only focused on one app and the name of that app is……well you’ll find out soon. It’s the numbers game that I’ve mentioned on some of these progress reports. I originally birthed the idea during a retro themed game jam I joined last year. Since then the core gameplay has remained the same but overall the game grew into something much more thorough and polished. In April I worked on finishing the last game mode(Roman numerals), difficulty, high score & combo implementations, and other random tweaks to gameplay and design.

Before this app I would normally work on apps in hour increments, but with everything else going on in my life I’ve now been doing app development in bite size chunks. When this first became the norm I wasn’t that efficient because I had to remember where I left off, and then after catching myself up my time to actually work on something was even shorter. So recently I started making to-do lists for things I can get done in like 20-40 minutes so that way I wouldn’t have to stop & start in the middle of something that’s somewhat mentally intense. I set aside things that required more time and effort for the now rare late nights were I stay up working on apps. This new simple process definitely helped speed up development on this app and I’ll be continue to use this method when possible. I still just jump in when an idea sparks though because sometimes it doesn’t feel right putting those moments in a to-do list. Overall no matter how organized app development becomes I always make sure to welcome and nourish improvisations. Until next time ∞

 

8-Bit Avrin Apps 2014 Overview

11 Jan
2015

2014 app releases banner 2048x1000

Well, 2014 is in the books. First, I want to give a big THANK YOU to everyone that downloaded an app, liked or shared a post, favorited or retweeted a tweet, spread news word of mouth, or anything else positive for me. It was another busy all over the place year for me personally, but I was able to develop & release seven neat high quality apps that I’m proud of. My skills in app development and design continued to get better, I came up with some new app ideas, and some of the ideas I already had ended up transforming into something different. 

I probably won’t release as many apps in 2015 as I did in the previous two years, but I have a schedule in my mind of a few apps I definitely want to finish and release this year. In 2014 I became more organized and focused in my app development. I narrowed down the kind of apps I wanted to work on to specific categories; education, entertainment, health, & arcade games.  I’ll continue with those specific categories in the future but I’ll also be working on puzzle games & adventure games as well.  

In 2014 I continued the Word Owl’s Word Search series I started in 2013 with a First Grade & Second Grade edition. I really enjoyed working on these apps. They’re educational and I really like the cartoon wooden block design I went with. My Word Owl apps continue to acquire downloads, especially on the Apple App Store for iPad which is what they were initially designed for. I decided to make a couple of sound effects apps and include Ultra in the title to make it kind of like a series with Ultra Soccer Match SoundboardUltra Big Celebration Soundboard in 2014. Based on download numbers people seem to like my soundboard apps which is great because I enjoy designing them and working on the audio in GarageBand.

I also developed a medication quiz app(Quiz of Medicine) which has received way more downloads than I thought it would. I initially developed it to help myself and a few others learn more about medicine, but download numbers indicate that I’ve helped A LOT of people instead, which is awesome. I decided to develop Zompy Jumpy because I realized the fact that I have never created a game with zombies which I think is a requirement in the indie game developer world…….not really, I actually just wanted to make a quick challenging arcade game with dancing zombies, because why not?

I also joined a couple of game jams in 2014 as well. I liked the challenge of creating a theme specific game in a short time span so I’ll probably continue joining them in the future if they interest me. I created 8-Bit Eagle Smash in the span of a weekend during the Flappy Jam earlier in the year, and I also developed two other games during separate game jams. For those games I was able to make slim versions that were complete enough for the jams, but not complete enough for me personally to release officially. I’ll be working to make complete versions of these games in 2015, especially the numerical education one I’ve been referring to on different posts.

2014 also consisted of a few updates to some of my apps to increase performance or fix a minor issue. When something’s not working or looking right I always try to fix it as soon as possible, but so far I don’t recall ever releasing a broken app that needed an immediate fix. In 2014 I also started writing monthly progress reports where I give an overview of what I’ve been working on and what I plan to work on. I liked writing these post for various reasons so I’ll continue that in 2015. For previous posts feel free to use the category drop down on the top right of the website, search bar above the category section, or the archive section on the bottom right. 

Most people who download my apps never leave reviews, but I’ve made a little collage of a few reviews I received in 2014 that I’ll add below. First, here’s a few top 5 lists for my app downloads in 2014….

Top 5 Countries That Downloaded My Apps

  • United States
  • Canada
  • United Kingdom
  • Australia 
  • Philippines

 

Top 5 Free Apps Downloaded

  • Quiz of Medicine
  • 8-Bit Eagle Smash
  • Motivational Quotes to Inspire
  • Ultra Fortune Ball – Free
  • Saving Bunnies

 

Top 5 Paid Apps Downloaded

  • Ultra Retro Game Soundboard
  • Professor Piggy Bank
  • Rest, Relax, & Reflect
  • Ultra Soccer Match Soundboard
  • Word Owl’s Word Search: Kindergarten

 

Top 5 Download Months

  • September
  • December
  • March
  • October
  • May

 

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“Awesome mobile apps, inspired by the past, from the future.”

8-Bit Avrin Apps | Avrin Ross

Until next time ∞

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