Tag Archives: indie app developer

August Mobile App Development Report

7 Sep
2015

New apps are on the horizon, but first a couple of updates….

  • Crunchy Numbers Math Arcade received a minor update that improved the tweet feature to automatically input the hashtag(#CrunchyNumbersMathArcade) for the game in the editable tweet text box. The process of uploading the new build(and of course waiting on review period) took longer than the work in the actual update itself. Most players never tweet scores and I don’t think many people will use it in this game, but I wanted to do it because this is one of my favorite apps I’ve developed so it gets spoiled.
  • Motivational Quotes to inspire received a nice update. More info on it can be found on the Motivational Quotes to Inspire 1.5 Update post. One of the main changes in the new version was a minor update to the Settings section layout as seen below.

MQTI_beforeafterupdate

  • In August I also worked a lot of my new pharmacy quiz app which included a lot of research, heavy work with tables, & UI design. I’ve started to use the Paper app along with the Pencil stylus to mock up UI designs. Working on an interfaces in a drawing app is really neat. I can quickly change things to roughly see how it will look on different devices and also test if it’s user friendly for the users hands. One of the first main menu iterations can be seen below, the finished version is still incomplete. There’s been a lot of work going into this app. I’ve been able to use a bit of data and some code from Quiz of Medicine, but a lot of the new app is being built from of the ground up.  This new medical app will focus on the top 200 drugs in 2015 for the medicine portion of the quizzes whereas Quiz of Medicine focused on featuring over 400 different medications. My new pharmacy app will include brands, generics, indications and drug class quiz types like Quiz of Medicine, but it will also include a couple of new quiz types as well. This will be a very focused well rounded pharmacy app for students and various people in different medical positions.

IMG_0801  QoPFullSizeRender-7

  • During August I also started to compile a list of words for my new Word Owl’s Word Search app. This will be the Halloween Edition so the overall design and words will be of course be Halloween themed. This app will be completely kid friendly so there will be no horror images or shocking words. I’ll be putting my medical app aside and working on this app more in September because I plan on releasing it during the first week of October.
  • Somehow I thought I was going to be finished with the pharmacy app during August and then jumping right into the Halloween word search app after, but other plans got in the way of those plans……..and I’ve been really distracted by Rocket League during my app development time! Rocket League is a very fun game that features two of my favorite things; racing and soccer! The game was free in July on PS Plus and I had never heard of it before downloading it, but definitely glad that I did. Ok, back to working on the word search! Until next time ∞
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March Mobile App Progress Report

7 Apr
2015

March was another busy… where did the time go?….kind of month. There are a lot of changes and movements going on in my life right now outside of app development. I’m behind where I wanted to be with app development progress overall, but I’m not too down about it because I have been getting a lot of efficient design & development done in small amounts of time.  Eventually things will smooth out some and I’ll put my app development on some sort of schedule. Here’s an overview of what happened in app development land in March….

  • Quiz of Medicine received an update on Android(Google Play & Amazon). This version 1.2 update included a new loading icon and faster startup load times. I also fixed lag issues on older devices and text that would display oddly on certain devices.
  • The biggest update this month was the Professor Piggy Bank 1.5 update (1.6 on Android). This update included enhanced coin graphics, new piggy bank colors in save mode, enhanced chalkboard graphics, faster load times, new graphics in play mode, a new loading icon, and a new app icon. The overall design and function of this app is great, but I felt like it deserved an update to enhance the look of it in certain areas. When I first developed this app I targeted phones but it should have initially been designed with tablets in mind, which means higher resolution graphics, and that’s part of what I accomplished with this update.
  • I also worked on the numbers game that I’ve mentioned in previous posts. A few months ago I thought I would have been near completion or totally finished with this app, but I haven’t been staying up late working on apps like I used to. Lately for this app I’ve been squeezing development time into bite size chunks throughout a couple of days each week. However, there has been a lot of progress made on this app and I think it will be ready for release in the coming months.

Earlier this year I made a rough overestimated schedule of my app releases for this year and the first half of next year. I’ll be revisiting this list soon and rearranging it to a more realistic schedule so I won’t be so hard on myself as the months go by. Regardless or not of how many or which apps will be released within that time frame I know one thing is for sure….all of them will be unique and awesome. Until next time ∞

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 ∞

September Mobile App Progress Report

6 Oct
2014
  • Worked on my first game with zombies. I had a lot of different things going on in my life outside of app development so I felt like creating a game with quick challenging gameplay that’s kind of silly. In this game you play as a character in a tracksuit that jumps over dancing zombies. I created all of the graphics in a retro 8-bit style with an emphasis on minor details and minimalism. I wanted to make sure the game had a certain aesthetic tone also so I used a specific color palette influenced by some of the main colors used in The Walking Dead TV show. It’s close to being finished so it will probably be released sometime during the middle of October.
  • With the release of iOS 8 Apple introduced app bundles. (However, you don’t have to have iOS 8 take advantage of app bundles on the App Store.) I’m a big fan of app bundles because it gives developers the opportunity to bundle similar apps together at a discount for consumers. So for my first one I put together the Word Owl’s Word Search bundle which features all four of my Word Owl Word Search apps for the price of only $1.99. I’ll definitely be putting together other bundles for my apps that have similarities when possible in the future. Hopefully some of the other app stores will add a bundle feature eventually.

 

So that was mainly it in September app development land. Last month was a super busy month outside of app development. It was filled with a lot of fun and a lot of stress, but that seems to be a common theme in my life lately. The future is ahead and I think there’s going to be more positivity than negativity so I’m looking forward to it! In regards to app development, my next two apps will be soundboards. Like my other soundboard apps they’ll also be unique, filled with sound effects, and unlike anything else on the app stores. After those two apps I’ll be jumping back into development on a children’s educational game I started working on briefly a couple of months ago. Until next time ∞

August Mobile App Progress Report

4 Sep
2014
  • Updated the free versions of Ultra Fortune Ball, Chinatown Fortune Cookie, & Jumbo Egg Hunt 2, and re-released them on the Apple App Store. I initially made free versions of these apps to test how they would perform on the Apple App Store, and see if they affected the downloads of any of my other apps. I’m not totally sure if they directly increased downloads of my other apps, but they did get a lot of downloads themselves and confirmed my thought that people would really like free apps from 8-Bit Avrin. I’ll be embracing the idea of making certain apps free(with ads and/or in-app purchases) in the future. However, they definitely won’t have annoying ads that constantly pop up or ridiculous in-app purchases that make the apps worse.
  • Completed a massive update on the Amazon App Store. More info on this can be found on this post.
  • Created a new icon for Light Up The Tree! Made the iOS version universal to work efficiently on supported iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad devices.
  • Also updated Gift Wrap Difference to become universal on the Apple App Store. Previously there was a separate iPhone version and iPad version. The iPad version had more downloads so I removed the iPhone version and made the iPad version universal so now it works full screen on supported iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad devices.
  • Added full screen support for Saving Bunnies on the Apple App Store. This update hasn’t gone live yet, but it should available soon. I also added full screen support for some of my other apps including this one on the Amazon App Store which was a part of the massive update mentioned above.
  • Started minor development on the entertainment app I mentioned in the progress report post last month. Also started working on graphics for the educational children’s app mentioned in that post. However, both of these apps will be pushed back to make way for a game that I’ve started working on. This game will feature challenging gameplay with a minimalistic design and quirky characters.  I’ll jump right back into development on the children’s educational game followed by the entertainment app after I finish this game.

 

As you can tell, August was a super busy month in app development land. I was also busy trying to make substantial progress with my full-time career, but things have been moving slow in that area so I used some of the time I had available to work extra hard on apps. App development in August mainly consisted of updates, but I improved the quality of some of my older apps, and learned a lot while working on them. Looking forward to eventually releasing new apps though. Until next time ∞

June Mobile App Progress Report

2 Jul
2014
  • Updated the pricing for all my apps on the Windows app store to 0.99 cents. When I originally started releasing apps in the Windows app store the lowest price you could list apps at was 1.49 or free. However, I discovered in June that there was a 0.99 cents option so I immediately updated all of my apps currently on Windows to that price because that’s what they’re listed at on the other app stores.
  • Finished Word Owl’s Word Search First Grade AND Second Grade edition! I finished the 1st grade version a few weeks ago and then went straight into working on the 2nd grade version and finished it on June 30th! They both will be released in the Apple & Amazon app stores on July 10th. They’ll also be available on Barnes & Noble around that time as well. They don’t have an option to set a specific date so I’m not exactly sure when it will be available there. I’m currently working on a Windows version of my Word Owl sight word apps so hopefully all three of them will be available for Windows tablets & computers soon. Most of my development time in June went towards these two apps. They’re similar to the Kindergarten Edition I released last year, but the 1st grade and 2nd grade version both feature 200 sight words each. The 2nd grade version also has some of the words displayed backwards in the word search puzzle section.
  • In June I also decided which app I’ll be working on next. It’s going to be another educational app for kids, but it’s all about colors, shapes, and numbers. I’ll post and/or tweet some images from it soon.

May Mobile App Progress Report

5 Jun
2014
  • Released Ultra Soccer Match Soundboard on the Apple & Amazon app stores. It’s an awesome app that features hundreds of sound effects and 32 authentic national anthems with full screen flags in their normal ratios for every county participating in the 2014 World Cup. You can also use this app to hand out yellow & red cards! Sound effects include: horns, whistles, drums, maracas, tambourines, cheers, vuvuzelas and more! (*This app is listed as Ultra Football Match Soundboard in the UK app stores)
  • Minor 1.1 update on the iOS version of Quiz of Medicine that fixed a text display issue on the results screen.
  • Worked on Word Owl’s Word Search: First Grade edition. Made a lot of progress on this app. After I finish it I’ll start working on the Second Grade edition. I plan on releasing both of them on the same day sometime in July.
  • Worked on the trailer for Ultra Soccer Match Soundboard for a few hours one day in May. (Finished it yesterday 06/04)

February Mobile App Progress Report

11 Mar
2014
  • Started and finished 8-Bit Eagle Smash. In February I decided to support and join the Flappy Jam which was a Flappy Bird inspired game jam. I also wanted to challenge myself to see if I could quickly make a game similar to Flappy Bird but different. It took me around 24 hours to develop 8-Bit Eagle Smash, and I was really pleased with the outcome so I released it on a couple of app stores. It’s a neat challenging game with a minimalistic retro art style.
  • Updated my apps that had Twitter integration because of a tweet error that prevented tweets from posting within the apps.
  • Continued working on the medicine app. Should be finished with the iOS version in March. However, I won’t be releasing it until I finish the Android version which should be complete relatively soon.