Tag Archives: work in progress

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 ∞

Advertisements

November Mobile App Progress Report

9 Dec
2014

November app development consisted mostly of working on games for Game Jams. Both of the game jams were created by GameSalad and both had a separate two-week time period. In the end I was able to make a neat “finished enough” game for each jam even though I didn’t fully utilize the full time allowed. I decided to join both because I like the spark of energy and challenge a good game jam provides. Overall I’m happy with the outcome of both of the games I created for the jams and I’ll be releasing them on the Apple App Store in the near future. I’ll probably release the second one on other app stores as well.

The theme for the first game jam was “Soar to New Heights”. The first thing that popped in my head when I read about it was…..space. I went back and forth with a few different ideas but all of them shared a similar space theme. One of the suggested rules of the game jam was to make it a quick in & out type of game so I decided to make a fast paced arcade game that focuses on quick hand-eye coordination and quick replay. I finished most of the game by the end of the game jam and it worked great on iOS, but it ended up not working properly for the required HTML format of the game jam. I had to slow down the game, remove some of the code that affected difficulty, remove particle effects, and take away random constrained movements of the spaceship. The result was a highly stripped down version of what the game actually was, but it was playable. I wasn’t surprised that my game didn’t win, but I did get some nice positive feedback. I’ll be putting a few finishing touches on the game in December and releasing it soon after. Here’s a vine video of it….

——–

The theme for the second game jam was “Old School” so of course I had to join it. I was bouncing back and forth between different ideas for this Game Jam, but then I thought back to my childhood. One of the games I liked a lot was a game created in the 80’s called Number Munchers. So I created a game that’s inspired by it, but very different. I’ve been calling the game Number Nomber, but I may change it. Number Nomber is a challenging math game that makes you think. I’m really excited about how the game turned out. I ran into a few big problems while developing this one with how the answers were displayed, but I eventually made it work smoothly after a good bit of trail & error. I’ve used actual math in a lot of apps I’ve developed, possibly all, but this app definitely involved the most in multiple ways! The winners haven’t been announced for this Game Jam yet, but I no matter the result I’m looking forward to releasing it. Before releasing it I’m going to add some different modes to give the player more challenging options. I’m also considering changing the art style. I’ll keep it simple and retro, but I may add some overlays or filters.

I also worked on my new soundboard app in November, and I’ll hopefully be finishing and releasing it in December. In November I finished the overall design, all of the code unrelated to sound, and almost all of the sound effects. In December I’m planning on finishing the sfx, implementing them, and then final testing. It’s going to be…..Ultra! After the new soundboard is released I’ll focus on finishing my Game Jam games. 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.

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!