Tag Archives: behind the scene

July Mobile App Development Report

2 Aug
2015

July was an all over the place month in app development land. Worked on new apps and updates to previously released apps, and then there were even some updates to updates. This is what happens when I develop without a clear organized plan…..

During the beginning of the month I worked on my new relaxation app. I continued tidying up the UI that I’ve been working on previously, and then I started implementing logic. As I was deep into development logic I released that I may not be able to finish this app this year because I’m not sure if I’ll be visiting a beach this year. No, that’s not a typo or a mismatched sentence. I really want to incorporate beach sounds in this app, and I want it to record them myself like I’ve done for various other sounds that will be in this app. This app will have a heavy focus on sounds and I want the sound of the beach & ocean to be a segment of it. So the conclusion of this little tangent is that I’ve decided to stop development on this app until I’ve gathered and edited all of the main sounds for this app. I’m still really interested in working on this app and I can’t wait to release it, but I feel like I would prevent a lot of backtracking if I have one of the main focus points of the app finished before I get too deep into implementation of rules, attributes, and other developmental aspects.

During the middle and end of the month I worked on several updates to previously released apps. Some of them were minor and some of them were more substantial. Gift Wrap Difference, Light Up The Tree, & Zompy Jumpy all received 64-bit support updates which also decreased loading times. Right after the Light Up The Tree update was released I realized that I needed to fix a couple of links within the app. So I quickly fixed those issues and published another update which is currently waiting on review with Apple. After the Zompy Jumpy update went live I realized that I forgot to include a pre-typed hashtag within the tweet feature. I know it’s a very minor mishap that can even be added or deleted by any user, but I’m really into minor details. Usually the minor details I may revisit pertain to graphics, sound, or code, but this time it was a preloaded tweet. Yea kind of ridiculous, but I should have noticed it during the initial update I did this month. If I would have been more patient I could have avoided these two back to back updates. The latter two updates were minor but they were still time consuming in a month were I didn’t have much app dev time to consume. I’ve learned my lesson from these mishaps though and hopefully I’ll avoid these similar situations in the future.

In July I also worked on the Fireworks Showeator 1.4 update. More info on the update itself and the reasoning behind a part of it can be found on the linked post. Fireworks Showeator also received a minor iOS update after version 1.4 went live that was similar to the additional update that I submitted for Zompy Jumpy.

Last month I also finished my newest game. It’s a quick fast paced arcade game that I initially created during a space themed game jam. After the game jam I put it off for a while and went back to working on other apps. I recently decided to revisit the game, finish it, and release it on the Apple App Store. I may end up including the main gameplay of this game into a larger game in the future so I want to see how it’s received by the public. Most of the game has been finished for a while, but in order for me to feel fine with releasing it on the App Store I wanted to add a leaderboard and fully test it on different devices. So in July I incorporated Game Center leaderboards, added a main front screen to prepare players for the challenge, and then I tested it on different devices. The game has actually already been in front of you multiple times, but it’s just waiting on August 8th…..that’s a really lame inside joke that will make more sense when it’s released….

I recently quit a job that wasn’t related to my two separate ongoing careers (healthcare & app development) so things are going to start ramping up even more in app development land for me. My career focus is to stay on track with my two different paths, any other work is kind of a waste of my time, and I really don’t like wasting time. Anyways, I’m really excited about working on various new apps and sharing what I’ve been working on! I think I’ll start incorporating more images in these post too. I’m a visual person and I know a lot of other people are too. I’m excited about my healthcare career that’s been going well too, but this site isn’t about that. Back to the mobile apps. Until next time ∞

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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 ∞