Tag Archives: indie developer blog

November Mobile App Development Report

7 Dec
2015

App development in November went towards working on the Third Grade edition of Word Owl’s Word Search. During the first part of the month I finished gathering hundreds of words from various third grade sight word lists. After looking over the words I realized that in order to make this app more challenging for kids in and around this grade level I would need to make the board bigger. The previous Word Owl Word Search apps consisted of eight rows and nine columns which looked too constrained for third grade sight words. So I tried different letter block sizes and ended up making the board for this app consist of 10 rows and 11 columns. I wanted to make sure the letter block sizes were still very accessible so I didn’t want to make the board too big, but I definitely wanted to make it bigger than it was initially. Designing the bigger board involved a nice bit of math and geometry.

Screen Shot 2015-11-15 at 12.32.23 AM

Working on adding more rows & columns to the board without changing the layout and size of the word display area.

After finishing the updated board size I generated a lot of word search templates. When working on the logic for these puzzles I have to make sure the app knows which words may be overlapping. Without impelling code to make the game realize when this happens there would be several instances were the player is selecting but the app wouldn’t acknowledge that a correct word is selected because it shares a letter with another word in the puzzle. When this happens the app has to make sure to count that letter towards the total correct letters that make up each specific word. It sounds daunting, and it can be, but once I start working on it the process mostly flows smoothly.

So that’s a short overview of the app development that happened last month. I could go into more detail, but I’m incredibly tired. I’m planning on putting an iOS bundle together for all of my Word Owl sight word searches at a discounted rate before the holidays begin. However, I need to make sure I finish this app quickly because Apple will be going on their holiday break in a few weeks and I have to try squeezing in two review sessions…….I was reminded recently that app bundles have to be reviewed unfortunately. This happened when I was putting together a special discounted Black Friday/Cyber Monday iOS bundle on the Thursday before Black Friday, but after I hit submit it went into “waiting on review” status…..ugh. So yea I forgot that Apple reviews bundles in a manner that takes multiple days, and I waited too late to submit it. Oh well, enough of that disappointment, sleeeeeeeppp. Until next time ∞

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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 ∞

July Mobile App Progress Report

2 Aug
2014
  • Ported Professor Piggy Bank to the Windows app store. My apps on Windows are still only available for tablets & PC. I may eventually have apps available for the Windows Phones too, but not anytime in the near future. For some reason the architecture for Windows tablets & Windows phones isn’t similar like the iPhone & iPad on the main engine I use.
  • Released Word Owl’s Word Search First Grade and Second Grade editions on the Apple, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Windows App Stores. The Word Owl Word Search series is now complete. I really enjoyed working on these apps, and I’m pleased with the way they turned out. I hope a lot of children & parents find them useful and enjoyable!
  • I arrived at the conclusion to only release my future apps in the Apple, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or Windows App Stores, in that order of importance because that’s the order in which I obtain the majority of downloads. My main focus will be Apple & Amazon though because I’m most impressed with their devices, user numbers, and app store design & functionality. Porting to different app stores and working on different builds is becoming too time consuming. I’m excluding Google Play completely because I continue to run into problems with it. The search on Google Play is horrible, which is odd because Google search is great, and I barely get any downloads on it. For now I’ll continue to keep my apps available that are on that store already though.
  • Decided on which app I’ll be working on in August. I’ll be working on an entertainment app that’s similar to a couple of my previous apps. It shouldn’t take that long to finish this app, and after I finish it I’ll be jumping right into development on an educational game for kids. The educational game for kids will feature a unique colorful art style and hidden object gameplay.
  • I have several ideas for different “indie games” I want to eventually work on, and I really can’t wait to start working on them. I’m hoping to start development on one of those ideas when my full-time career situation becomes stable. I’ll continue to have development plans for educational apps and other categories, but I’ll eventually start to focus a bit more on games.
  • Last but not least. Amazon reviewed all of my apps currently on their app store and approved the ones below to be also available for download on their new Amazon Fire Phone!
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April Mobile App Progress Report

7 May
2014
  • Released Quiz of Medicine on the Apple, Amazon, Google Play, and Barnes & Noble app stores. It’s a neat informative app that has thousands of questions for over 400 drugs. (Finished the build of the iOS version in March, followed by the Android versions in early April.)
  • Continued working on the soccer/football/futbol themed app. Definitely aiming to release this app before the World Cup starts in June because I’m sure a lot of people will want to use it while watching the games. (Made a lot of progress on this app recently so it should be finished and released in May.)
  • Worked on the 1st Grade Edition of Word Owl’s Word Search. Put together a big compilation of sight words from different school lists. Wasn’t able to work on this app much because I was working on the soccer app during the sparse app development time I had in April.
  • Fixed a couple of issues and enhanced some of the graphics in the version 1.1 update of Word Owl Word Search: Kindergarten Edition.

 

 

March Mobile App Progress Report

5 Apr
2014
  • Finished the Apple iOS version of the medicine quiz app I’ve been working on. It will be submitted to Apple for approval once the Android version is complete and ready to be submitted also. The Android version will be finished very soon so I expect this app to be released sometime around the middle of April. 
  • Started working on a soccer/football/futbol entertainment app. I’m definitely aiming to have it released prior to the World Cup. Hopefully it will be ready for release at the end of April or beginning of May. Development has been moving along on it somewhat quickly when I actually have time to work on it.
  • Worked on some graphics for a random game idea that popped in my head. Might continue working on it, but I’m not sure. My app schedule is already super packed.
  • Started development on Word Owl’s Word Search 1st and 2nd Grade Editions. I’ll try to continue working on these two apps heavily in April and hopefully releasing them soon after in May or June!