Tag Archives: Chattanooga app developer

August & September Mobile App Development Report

8 Oct
2017

These past two months have been so all over the place and busy for me that I totally forgot to do a post for August and now I’ve almost forgot about September too. In this post I’m going to write about what I did in app development land in August and September. However, I’m going to try to keep it short because I need to jump back into working on various tasks. The rest of this year is going to continue being busy with app development and a lot of important things going on outside of app dev as well.

In August I finished working on Master Fantasy RPG Soundboard and released it on the Apple, Amazon, & Google Play app stores. The app turned out like I wanted it to and I enjoyed working on it overall except for the testing phase, which was the most stressful aspect of working on it. After finishing the app and testing it on various devices I ran into an issue where the app crashed on most devices except for newer ones. After trying an assortment of different fixes it turned out to be in the code in regards to the way I had sounds loading in the app. None of my other soundboard apps have long load times, but while I was working on this soundboard app I created it with a different way of loading sounds in mind. I thought it would make the app load even faster than my other soundboard apps while also delivering any sound pressed instantly like the others apps do. However, it turned out that I was asking too much of the engine I used for this app and that’s basically what caused it to crash. So to fix the issue I changed the way that I make the app load sounds back to how I do with my other soundboard apps. Which I guess lead back to the old saying “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” That saying definitely applied to this situation and I could have avoided some stress and long nights.

So after fixing the load issue that caused Master Fantasy RPG Soundboard to crash I started working on promo images and a simple trailer video. I wanted the video to be simple but also give the viewer a good idea of how efficient the app is at playing sounds instantly, and how vast the sound effect library is within the app. This app like all my other apps does not require a data connection to be used. After downloading the app you can use it anytime regardless of how bad your data connection is or lack thereof. I had the idea of this fantasy soundboard in my mind for the past couple of years, but kept pushing it back to work on other apps and updates. I’m glad that I came back to it and completed it. I think it’s a neat companion to use during board games, role-playing, and reenactments. I’m sure people will use it in those ways and other ways I haven’t even thought of like people have done with my other soundboard apps. There are some pictures of working on some of the sound and visual design of this app on the July App Development Report. I do plan on having a picture section on this site eventually that showcases some of the photos I’ve taken of my “behind the scenes” app development and design processes. As of now I mainly post those types of images on my Instagram, on these monthly progress posts, and sometimes on my Twitter.

In September I decided to work on an update to my Rest, Relax, and Reflect app. I’ve been told by some of the users of the app that they wished it had a Thunderstorm section which I agreed and thought it should as well. I’m not sure why I didn’t include that section initially. I probably rushed myself to release it so I could dedicate time on another project. It’s not a super popular app but adding a Thunderstorm section and making some other improvements wasn’t going to take long and were going to improve the app nicely so I went for it. One of the first things I did is take pictures for the Thunderstorm section and while taking some of those pictures I decided to take some pictures for some of the other sections to replace the background pics that I didn’t take myself. So now all of the background pictures in the game were taken by me except some of the fireplace photos. Taking the pictures myself for the other sections helped me incorporate the animation effects better and gave the app the perspective I wanted it to have more in those sections.

In between taking and editing the photos I also worked on the Thunderstorm section animations and sound. Audio is more important to me in this app than animation so I spent more time on it. After working on some audio I played around with some different rain and lightning effects until they felt right. Then I separated the intensity levels into low, medium, and heavy like I did for the other sections. After finishing the thunderstorm section and incorporating the new backgrounds for the rain & snow sections I decided to replace some of the fireplace photos as well. I looked around on the internet for public domain fireplace photos until I found a couple that I thought looked great and would play well into the fireplace animation that’s kind of realistic but also kind of looks computer generated.

I also made the background thumbnails in each settings section(except Space Travel) react to whether or not the Black & White option is on or off. Before, the thumbnails would stay in color regardless of if that B&W option was on or off. Now the thumbnails change to black & white or color depending on what’s chosen for that option. It’s a small change but its neat and makes sense that it should react that way. I’m kind of surprised that I didn’t do that when I initially created this app. Regardless, I finished the update last month and testing went well so I released it soon after. It’s available on the Apple & Amazon app stores, and I also released the app itself for the first time on Google Play. I decided to make it free(with ads) on Google Play since its been out for years on the other app stores. It’s still ad free on the other app stores which does deliver a more simple and less distracting experience, which is good for an app that’s main goal is to help the user relax.

Some of the new background images with effects overcast

If you would have asked me a couple of months ago what my last app of 2018 would be I would have told you Master Fantasy RPG Soundboard, but yea……..another app idea popped up in my head that I thought would be a great idea to try to finish and release this year. It’s an app that revolves around Christianity and the bible. I’m a Christian and I believe in God, but I’m not one that shoves it in peoples face. I also recognize that some Christians are hypocrites, which gives the rest of us a bad name. I’m not trying to prove anybody right or wrong, or make judgements. I just want to create a simple to use app that helps others and myself learn more about the bible, and hopefully this app will accomplish that. I’ll just leave it at that until the next progress report post. Alright, I wrote that I wanted to make this post short but I ended up writing a few long paragraphs so that’s all I’ll write for now. I’m sure I’ve left out some things that I worked on and am going to work on, but these posts are supposed to be overviews without going into a lot of details. Until next time ∞

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December Mobile App Development Report

1 Jan
2016

Most of the app development in December happened during the first couple of weeks. After that I had some major outside of app dev happenings that needed more attention. However, even with all the other things going on I believe I ended this year in app dev land very nicely, let’s get into it…..

The first order of business was finishing Word Owl’s Word Search Third Grade. I made the main menu music which took a little longer than I anticipated. I wanted it to sound similar to my previous sight word searches but also different at the same time. I ended up making it more different from I thought I would but decided to go with it because I like what it evolved into.

During testing I decided to add a little more animation to the level complete pop up. I didn’t want it to be too aggressive since this app isn’t necessarily a level based game, its more of a continuous game. So I thought it would be nice to have different color blocks kind of flourish in the background in a somewhat orderly fashion. So I took a simple(on the outside) animation setting from a previous app, changed the images and some of the attributes and it turned out just like I wanted it to look.

After that the testing continued and then I worked on improving touch recognition so unwanted letters aren’t shown as being selected when they’re barely touched. The code in my word search games take it into consideration that unwanted blocks may be touched and it knows not to let it interfere with the correct word selections, but I wanted to show the player this by making it were those unwanted letter are less likely to show as selected.

After those improvements were made I fixed various bugs found during testing, and then I went into release mode by working on screenshots, promo images & etc. Once the app was approved I put together the Word Owl’s Word Search Classroom Bundle and submitted it for review. Unfortunately bundles have to go through a review process and it didn’t get approved until after Apple’s holiday break, but it was approved on the day they returned….better late than never! I wanted the bundle to be available once this third grade edition went live, but I can’t be too let down though because overall I’m glad Apple even has a bundle option. They’re still the only app store that allows developers & publishers to create bundles and make them available at a discounted price.

After Word Owl Third Grade was complete I decided to work on an update for Word Owl’s Word Search Christmas Edition. This update included the touch recognition improvements that I added towards the end of development on the Third Grade edition. For this update I also fixed some UI(user interface) conflicts. Basically I made the menus look better by making the text & button colors change depending on what background was selected. 

Then during the last week of December I stayed up late one night and worked on new graphics for Ultra Fortune Ball! Yeap, the first app I ever developed and published is getting a nice well deserved makeover on the outside design and inside code. Aiming to have this finished in January and then released within the same month or February depending on what day it’s complete.