Tag Archives: indie game developer

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 ∞

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 ∞

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.

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.