Articles for September 2012

HallowsThieves – creating new levels of play

We were very happy with the game till Rick suggested we can make game more exciting by making some parameters configurable. Question was can we still meet our deadline of September 2012 release.  Rick thought we had a good shot at it and it was worth doing so that’s what we did. Following parameters are configurable in the game:

  • Moon – The speed of the moon is really the total time kids will have to retrieve the candies (play the game)
  • Witch – Changing the speed of the witch provides more or less chances to tap on her over the moon to retrieve candies. There is also a magic switch which when turned ON means each time you miss tapping the witch when she files past the moon you will lose collected candy from your basket.
  • Candies – You can change number of candies you need to retrieve in order to win the game
  • Ghosts – Kids can make the ghost thieves fast for an exciting challenge or slow them down a bit until they master the game

We also thought that having some predefined levels will also help hence we added three predefined levels. See below screenshot of configuration available in the game. We hope kids will like the idea of creating new levels of play, almost unlimited possibilities exist so go challenge yourself.

 

 

iOS app ecosystem and shiny new Apple gadget launch

Almost a year back when we started working on the HallowsThieves iPad-only kids Halloween game, other than software tools we knew that we needed to invest in target device, iPad for testing. The question was: other than iPad 2, do we need to budget and plan for the rumored upcoming iPad 3. Considering we wanted to release our Halloween game in September 2012, you can imagine dealing with a shiny new iPad was almost given. This is the state of the iOS ecosystem, you always need to be on your toes technologically by thinking ahead about expected iOS changes and financially by buying shiny new gadgets as you are developing iOS apps.

Rick, lead developer had a cool plan to deal with retina display iPad if it released in the market before we submitted our app for review. When Apple finally launched the new iPad with Retina display in March 2012, we were already working on the game (FWIW we were working on two products at the same time game and xxx; we’ll blog post for another day). Rick’s idea was to use high resolution graphics and scale them down for iPad 2 display dynamically. Apple’s suggestion was to use two sets of graphics; one for iPad 2 and another for the new iPad with retina display. Rick’s idea is what you see in the product today and we are very happy with the end result. This was cool not just from development point of view, but for users it meant less storage space on iPad where storage space is premium.

As we were getting ready to submit our app for review this August/early September time frame, rumor mills were churning stories not only about iPhone 5 but new iPad mini as well. We started thinking again… should we consider buying one? Will our app work as is with logic to dynamically scale images based on screen resolution? Fortunately, as it turned out there was no mention of iPad mini during Apple’s event on September 12th. Maybe Rick’s logic would have worked if that were the case, who knows… we will have to wait for iPad mini launch to find out.

Anyway, as long as we are part of the iOS ecosystem it will be challenging to keep developing apps per our plan while at the same time thinking about the impact of shiny new Apple gadgets on our app.

Shiny new gadget

 

Thank you for grabbing HallowsThieves on day ONE

I would like to thank folks who purchased HallowsThieves from app store on first day of it’s release  …. Big Thank You!!

I really hope they are enjoying the game as much as we enjoyed creating the same. Here is what we like most about our app:

  • Simple one screen iPad game – By design our game is iPad only and all action happens on one screen that too in portrait mode only.
  • Possibilities – Our approach was use defaults to show possibilities but have a design which will encourage kids to use their creativity for creating new levels of play.
  • Safe – no ads, no in app purchases, we do not track user activity nor we collect any usage data. We believe this is how kids games should be designed. I have a five year old son and I know challenges in finding games which adhere to such principle.

HallowsThieves are here! go grab them….

I am very happy to share that HallowsThieves has been approved for sale in app store.

The review process was smooooth… Status changed from “in review” to”Ready for sale” within few hours, big news for us here at designX6. Now that it’s out there please consider buying the same as Halloween gift for your kids or grand kids… Enjoy!!!

Waiting for review!

Last Sunday September 9, 2012 we finally submitted our iOS game “HallowsThieves” for review.  So it’s one week after submission and status is “Waiting for Review”.

I guess knowing well that review won’t start immediately it sounds silly to login daily in iTunes Connect to see if status has changed. Having said that for us, sure this is big deal we all are anxious to see what happens in a review process.

Reciting our game poem

Here is how we like to recite our game poem. Hope you will enjoy the same.

[pro-player width =”640″ height = “480” type = “mov”] http://www.designX6.com/blogX6/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/introweb.mov [/pro-player]

About our game

Our iOS game ALL HALLOWS THIEVES is a simple, single screen Halloween arcade game for children which also encourages them to easily create their own levels of play. See below a nice little poem which explains the game.

HallowsThieves: Poem as how to play instructions

ALL HALLOWS THIEVES – we are almost here!

It’s been a while we have not posted anything on this blog. There is a good reason why so. Today I am very happy to share that finally we are close to submitting our first iOS apps- ALL HALLOWS THIEVES for review to Apple’s app store. The Halloween game is designed for kids ages 4 through 8. It’s an arcade type game about not letting witch and her spooky ghost steal your candies. I will share more about the game in subsequent posts.

We expect the approval process to go smoothly. We say this based on some serious testing by our friends and family over last few months. I would like to take this opportunity to thank them for the wonderful feedback provided over period of testing.  Test team – Thank you, you were very helpful!!!

I am also very happy to share that not a single incidence of crash or lockup screen was reported during all this testing. Since we are talking about testing I must mention that “TestFlight” played a key role in distributing our app to our testers. Thank you TestFlight for providing an amazing service.