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Pseudolonewolf`s Avatar Apps 2 Fri 24th Jun 2011 4:43pm

Category: Apps

I've been doing some more research about this, as well as reading comments that some of you left on the previous post, so I want to say what I've learned and what I still feel I need to know.

Currently, it seems likely that I'll end up making apps for the iPhone or iPod Touch or whatever those things are called.
I don't like Apple at all - in fact, I used to feel bitter disgust whenever I saw people walking around with iPods since I hate them so much - but it seems that these are the easiest to design for and an easier source of money.

I looked into the Android stuff, but it's harder to develop for because unlike the iPhone/iPod Touch, Android is merely an OS that can exist on many different phones with different stats and speeds and screensizes and so on... I'd much rather make a game with a fixed screen size than worry about things like that.

It seems also that people buy Android apps less often or less readily; Apple seems more popular and trustworthy.

I originally thought that I'd need to actually have a Mac to develop 'iApps', and this used to be the case, but it seems that as of recently, it's possible to use Flash CS5 (the version that I have) with Windows to produce them. This is convenient because it means that I don't need to spend ages learning new things; with Android apps, I think I'd have to use this 'Adobe AIR' thing that I don't understand in order to convert the swfs to an appropriate format... or something.

Anyway, yes, it seems that I'll likely end up doing these 'iApps' then. It might be a good way of earning money while continuing what I'm doing now.

The main problem I have at this stage is knowing what device to actually acquire... There's the iPhone and the iPod Touch, and both seem to play these apps the same way and so on. However, the iPhone is drastically more expensive, and despite researching it for hours, I'm still not sure why that is.

I'm not a social person at all, so I have no real need for a phone. I have nobody to ring and nobody rings me...
But getting cheaper things - that is, the iPod Touch rather than the iPhone - makes me feel like I might be missing out on things that I might regret later, or something. So hmm. It's not an easy decision...

Anyway, it seems that people have been assuming that I'd be porting my old games or sticking with old game designs if I moved to this new medium, but that wouldn't be the case. I know that my old game designs wouldn't work ideally on a device that uses a touch screen as its main source of input, and which is meant for games that'd be picked up for minutes at a time rather than played for hours upon hours.

So I'll design some new games, or redesign old ideas, in order to appeal to this new market. They'll still be games made by me, so they'll have the sort of stuff that I'm known for, but I might have things like simplified movement or battle systems, easier saving systems, and so on.

For example, I could do movement by having you touch where you want to move to, then the character pathfinds to that tile. You'd talk to NPCs by touching their sprites. Menus would be controlled with touchable buttons. And so on.

I'd probably try to make a version of Miasmon, or something like it, first, with significant changes that I won't describe in detail just yet since they're still just vague ideas.

If I started making apps like this for these mobile devices, then I don't know what'd become of my browser games... If I'm making money from apps but not making money from browser games, I'd have no real reason to spend months working on something that I get nothing in return for... But I'm still excited by ideas like the Beast Signer that I mentioned before, and I need to finish MARDEK one of these days... So we'll see. I suppose I'll have to take all this one step at a time.

I'm still on this 'trip' thing with my girlfriend at the moment (and find it hard to concentrate on what I'm writing as a result, so sorry if this comes across as incoherent); I've got about a week left. So I probably won't start anything until I get back, though I'll be thinking and planning and trying to refine my ideas to come up with the best course of action.


27 Commentson 25 roots

Blaze12`s Avatar
Rating Orb Blaze12 13 United States SanguinePhlegmatic 18C 1F
7 years ago | (2)
Well, I am in partial agreement with your dislike of Apple. I hate how all they do is random updates to keep the market going. Apps, they're okay. But I think when it comes to computers and OS's, although expensive, worth it... I say as I type on my Macbook Pro. But, maybe your dislike of Apple products is just because you don't know much about them? Anyway, I am overjoyed to hear you are making iApps. Keep up the good work, from, your #(insert random number here) fan!
quiznossubs92`s Avatar
Rating Orb quiznossubs92 19 United States MelancholicCholeric 34C 0F
7 years ago | (1)
Well I haven't too much to add in terms of useful information on app development but I am curious about your dislike of Apple products. I'm not a huge fan of their computers and stuff, but when the original iPod came out it practically revolutionized the mobile music player market. They were easy and fun to use and fairly practical. The only fault I have with Apple's iWhatever products is that they made far too many different versions in an attempt to make more cash. So basially, was just curious what your problems are with it.

Oh and to add a little bit of useful info that just popped into my head, RPG and rouge-like games aren't the most popular of games in the app market. Also, I personally find that looking at pixelated graphics on a smartphone is just plain unappealing for some reason.

And as to why you should finish browser games like MARDEK even if apps are making you tons more money...
Well I guess it comes down to what you actually like and want to do. If you genuinely like making your browser based games then eventually you'll just take a break from apps and come back to doing what you've done really well so far: making awesome games for the internet that millions (4,428,113 if each individual time played was a unique person) of people have already played and at least some of them enjoyed. Just an idea, if you continue with the MARDEK series and get it sponsored by Kongregate for instance, maybe consider putting a little extra time in to add an extra little bit of story or side-questing as an in-game purchase. Having even one such thing might earn you more cash than you may think.

Anyways, this post went off my original topic so I'm done now, but I'm still curious about the Apple thing!
ChaosTheory`s Avatar
Rating Orb ChaosTheory 16 Canada MelancholicSanguine 25C 7F
7 years ago | (5)
Too bad you won't be making an App for android phones. Like yourself I don't like apple too much, thats why I got an android phone. Although, because of this I have started seriously thinking of converting to an Apple phone...
arcer7`s Avatar
Rating Orb arcer7 22 United States 1C 0F
7 years ago | (2)
Apple banned the use of flash for iPhone apps!
However, adobe has released a program, using actionscript, that allows publishing apps for blackberry, android, and ios(apple).
bytyan`s Avatar
Rating Orb bytyan 16 Canada MelancholicPhlegmatic 36C 6F
7 years ago | (4)
If you are planning on doing any serious work on the ipod, you may end up rubbing elbows with some of the people who have dedicated their lives to the continuation and development of the platform as a whole. Perhaps mentioning in your blog how much you loathe the thing isn't wise.
Silk`s Avatar
Rating Orb Silk 17 New Zealand 191C 0F
7 years ago | (3)
You may or may not already know this, but the Square Enix team has ported Final Fantasy 1, 2 and 3 to the iDevices. I have seen someone playing one of these games and as far as I could determine, from the one that I saw, it was exactly the same as the original game. Now there is a 'Funky, new' GUI (GUI, HUD? I'm unsure of what would fit there...) and the battles have a 'Touch the menu buttons, then the enemy you wish to attack'. I'm not sure if this is 'Easily done', but I thought it might be worth mentioning in the event that this is easily achievable and could help your process. Unfortunately, I couldn't find the right search combination (Due to the GUI, HUD or whatever other word it is that confused me), but I'm sure that there's someone who knows what word I mean and will link to something helpful. Here's hoping that everything goes your way, Pseudo!
freedomcaged`s Avatar
Rating Orb freedomcaged 18 United States MelancholicCholeric 86C 64F
7 years ago | (4)
As much as I would like an iPhone, and as much as I enjoy your games, I'm not going to update my phone to something far more expensive just to follow your games; I simply can't afford an iPhone and the plan that goes with it. I understand that this is a rather selfish postion, but I do hope you do not completly abandon the browser games, I would greatly regret not being able to play any of your new games after you started developing your games as apps. Of coruse I realize that it is unreasonable to have you abandon a plan that would give you better and more frequent income than online games. I only hope that you do not limit yourself to one medium, but allow all of your fans who do not have an iPhone, iPod touch, iEct... to still enjoy some of your games.
ChrisHanson`s Avatar
Rating Orb ChrisHanson 22 Ireland 1C 9F
7 years ago | (4)
How is this selfish? I realize that he needs money to make more games, but there is also the part where he will lose half his audience if he makes apps. I don't have an iphone, you don't have an iphone, a lot of people on this site don't have an iphone. If he sold his games for a dollar each, (Or two dollars, or three,) I would definitely buy them. I have played at least 30 hours of Mardek RPG, that is certainly not an un-reasonable price.
BBoyBoboy`s Avatar
Rating Orb BBoyBoboy 14 Philippines MelancholicPhlegmatic 14C 2F
7 years ago | (3)
I'm definitely looking forward to the apps, I absolutely can't wait.
Leetskillz`s Avatar
Rating Orb Leetskillz 14 United States MelancholicCholeric 7C 4F
7 years ago | (7)
I own an iPod Touch, and not an iPhone. There's very little benefit of the IPhone, and all it is is basically the IPod with a phone, internet, and a magnetometer. I might be missing something but that's all I know off the top of my head. The IPod Touch does have a gps as the IPhone, but requires wifi.

The thing with IApps is that they need to be quick to pick up and put down. Most people won't be playing for hours straight on their device. They're probably using it to kill some time playing a fun app. There are several apps that are larger, rpg-style apps, but they have fairly simple gameplay nonetheless. You can still make large, long apps, but they can't be too complex or cumbersome to play. Large apps tend to sell for around 3 dollars each, but probably will not sell as many.

On the other hand there are the small, quick apps. They don't all lack in their actual size, but some apps are something of the same constantly(Tiny Wings for instance is basically the same thing with slightly different islands, it is more of a highscore game than anything though). Even games like Angry Birds have a large amount of variance in the levels, with quite a bit of progress, but it is level-based.

There needs to be the ability to play as long as you want and put it down for later. It's important to be able to save your progress anywhere, even something like a delete when it's loaded. With autosave whenever you exit the app, just in case some forgets and kills the process.

A quick note to keep in mind the features of the platform, including the accelerometer for shaking, tilting, etc. There's not much more I can say as I'm not quite an expert on app design, but noting what is in apps that are successful.
DeNovo`s Avatar
Rating Orb E β DeNovo 24 United States MelancholicSanguine 244C 201F
7 years ago | (3)
Yay, time to say what I know!!

The iPhone is the bigger market, but with it comes several requirements:
1. Software which compiles code to run against Apple's Ccoa API ( [LINK] )
2. An Apple developer's license, which is $100 a year, I think
3. Approval through the Apple submission process

This used to mean you needed a Mac to develop for the iPhone, but with the new Flash CS5 packager, you can compile your code on a Windows machine into an iPhone-deployable executable. ( [LINK] ) So I think this would be a very viable and promising choice for you. You'd need to at least buy an iPod to test with, though. I think the Mardek games fit pretty will with a touchscreen interface, but if you want to make a platformer there are some concessions to make due to a dire lack of tactile buttons.

The Android market is a little less convoluted, to be honest: AIR is just the way Adobe enabled developers to make standalone applications that ran more like rich applications on the client, rather than a browser experience. I'm pretty sure you simply pick Adobe Air (2.5 or later) as your target platform in publishing settings and that should give you something you can upload to various App portals for the Android. Notably, there is no unified portal for apps for the Android, but Amazon is a pretty good one to start with. This is a pretty good (and longish but very thorough) video: [LINK]

Some will say one or the other, but from what I've seen so far it seems like you should be able to target both platforms, so long as you don't attempt to use things that only exist on Android or Apple hardware, and it'd be worth the 30 minutes of investigation to see what work needs to be done to be able to make a game that you could sell on both the iPhone and the Android phones!

Hope this helps!
DeNovo`s Avatar
Rating Orb E β DeNovo 24 United States MelancholicSanguine 244C 201F
7 years ago | (2)
Hmm, I forgot to add this, but it's actually probably in your best interests to release a flash demo (10%~20% total content) to portals, which should still win you a pretty hefty sponsorship deal, given your pedigree and the fact that 10% is probably closer to 2 hours of play for one of your games. In those demos, you should link to sites where you could buy the full game for the iPhone and the Android. This provides all possible revenue streams while working in built-in marketing and, with any luck, lots of paying customers!
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