Developer Interview with Slater Collins of Jackrabbit Publishing

Developer Interview with Slater Collins of Jackrabbit Publishing



TheRoxyBooks

Today’s interview is with Slater Collins of Jackrabbit Publishing.  Please visit their website, Facebook and Twitter pages.

Slater, thank you for participating in our interview. Please tell us a little about yourself.

I’m a father of two living in Chicago. I have a background in software engineering, but I’ve always felt a desire to work in a more creative capacity.

An interesting fact about me is that in 2015, I ran a 50 mile ultra-marathon. My motivation was to show people that you can survive and thrive on a vegan diet.

How did the idea for your app come about?

After reading lots of kids books with my children, I realized something. Most children’s brands focus on a group of friends and the challenges they face together (e.g. Jake and the Pirates, My Little Pony, Strawberry Shortcake, etc.). These brands have a lot to say about friendship, but shy away from the topic of family.

The term “Family Values” is a hot-button issue for many. My motivation with this series is not to be preachy or “get back” to a time when families looked a certain way.

I simply believe that if we want children to develop happy and healthy family relationships, then we should be showing them examples of happy and healthy families. The Roxy Books were born out of the desire to provide kids with an example of a contemporary and fun-loving family.

And how long was the process from the original idea to the release of the app?

From concept to launch the process took three years. During that time, I was working full-time in the video game industry and raising two toddlers with my wife. Many many nights and weekends went into bringing the Roxy app to fruition. In the end, I’m very proud of the finished product.

Did you hire a developer or do it yourself?

I did all of the programming myself. I contracted out the illustrations, text translations, and voice acting.

What has been the hardest obstacle you have had to overcome in the development process?

The hardest part of development was the slow pace. After a full day of work and putting the kids to bed, I only had two hours each night to work on the Roxy app.

At my day job, it might take a day to finish a feature. That same feature might take a full week on the Roxy app because of the limited amount of hours I could devote to it.

Maintaining momentum over several years at such a slow pace was much more difficult than any marathon training I ever did.

Have you had much support during the development process (from family, peers, Apple Inc.)?

My wife has always been very supportive of my career ambitions. She is very ambitious as well, having just earned the extremely difficult to obtain CFA certification. She supported me both in terms of sacrificing time together and in our decision to self-finance the app’s creation.

What are your plans for the future? Will you be developing any more apps?

I am planning on starting the next entry in The Roxy Books series in the next couple months.

What sort of feedback has the app been receiving so far?

The reception of the app has been overwhelmingly positive. People seem to love the heartwarming story and that relatable yearning for that “it” toy.

We have been extremely honored and ecstatic to be featured by Apple in the “Kids Apps and Games We Love” section of the App Store.

And finally, what advice would you give to anyone considering creating their own app?

Your app will take 10 times longer to develop than you think. It will also cost five times as much as you think. Once you put it out, you may not make any money on it. My advice would be to keep expenses as low as possible and put in as much sweat equity as possible.

Thank you so much for talking with us today and sharing a bit about your company. We really appreciated the chance to get to know you!

Read our review of Roxy and the Ballerina Robot here.

Roxy and the Ballerina Robot

Roxy and the Ballerina Robot Roxy and the Ballerina Robot by Jackrabbit Publishing LLC
Category: Books, Education
Requirements: Compatible with iPhone3GS-iPhone-3GS, iPhone4-iPhone4, iPodTouchFourthGen-iPodTouchFourthGen, iPad2Wifi-iPad2Wifi, iPad23G-iPad23G, iPhone4S-iPhone4S, iPadThirdGen-iPadThirdGen, iPadThirdGen4G-iPadThirdGen4G, iPhone5-iPhone5, iPodTouchFifthGen-iPodTouchFifthGen, iPadFourthGen-iPadFourthGen, iPadFourthGen4G-iPadFourthGen4G, iPadMini-iPadMini, iPadMini4G-iPadMini4G, iPhone5c-iPhone5c, iPhone5s-iPhone5s, iPadAir-iPadAir, iPadAirCellular-iPadAirCellular, iPadMiniRetina-iPadMiniRetina, iPadMiniRetinaCellular-iPadMiniRetinaCellular, iPhone6-iPhone6, iPhone6Plus-iPhone6Plus, iPadAir2-iPadAir2, iPadAir2Cellular-iPadAir2Cellular, iPadMini3-iPadMini3, iPadMini3Cellular-iPadMini3Cellular, iPodTouchSixthGen-iPodTouchSixthGen, iPhone6s-iPhone6s, iPhone6sPlus-iPhone6sPlus, iPadMini4-iPadMini4, iPadMini4Cellular-iPadMini4Cellular, iPadPro-iPadPro, iPadProCellular-iPadProCellular, iPadPro97-iPadPro97, iPadPro97Cellular-iPadPro97Cellular, iPhoneSE-iPhoneSE, iPhone7-iPhone7, iPhone7Plus-iPhone7Plus, iPad611-iPad611, iPad612-iPad612, iPad71-iPad71, iPad72-iPad72, iPad73-iPad73, iPad74-iPad74
Size: 117.63 MB

$1.99USD

Grace was working in the fields of early childhood education and staff training before quitting to attend to her 4 children full time. She and her family live in Singapore, which is well known for her highly competitive education system.
 Developer Interview with Stacie Hutton

Developer Interview with Stacie Hutton



Today’s interview is with Stacie Hutton.  Please visit their website.

200706 summer 008Thank you for participating our interview. Please tell us a little about yourself.

I grew up in a poor, single parent family. My grandmother, although only possessing a 4th grade education herself, thought reading was important and encouraged me to read. Because I had good reading skills, I was able to do well in school and was the first in my family to attend college. Literacy can level the playing field. I know because I have lived it !
I was a teacher for many years including a teacher of the year nominee. I also taught reading courses at the college level to students studying to become a teacher. Finally, I have written many teacher resource materials and even an award winning children’s book!

How did the idea for your app come about?

I thought  reading software  desperately needed some improvements. Most good teachers will tell you that we have students read all the questions before reading the passage. This builds purpose to the reading. The reader has something in mind before they begin reading. This dynamic is called metacognition and study after study tells us it is crucial to reading comprehension. Next, I thought the passages read like encyclopedia entries. Kids , like adults, want interesting things to read . It helps them want to read more !

My app contains an entire passage about the position of Lincoln’s hands at his memorial. Parents and teachers tell me the kids love it and go on Wikipedia to learn more !And the way the questions and answers were structured it was more like a dressed up video game with questions flashing on the screen. My apps are structured where kids can go back and re-read and change their answer if they so desire Re-reading for understanding is , too, part of being a good reader. Finally, I thought reading comprehension questions should be labeled [ main idea , vocabulary, etc.] so that kids, parents and/or teachers knew what kind of questions were being answered correctly and incorrectly.

 iPhone Screenshot 2

And how long was the process from the original idea to the release of the app?

This app took almost a year from inception to availability. The reason for this length of time is that I worked with teachers who reviewed the reading levels and tested it with students. I also worked with an education think tank and received their feedback.

Did you hire a developer or do it yourself?

Due in part to my background as a teacher and writer, I developed all the content, and I thought it was important the person designing the function of the app had some knowledge about kids and learning. I designed the app to give the child a tutoring like experience . For instance, they must demonstrate competency with plot, setting, and characters before moving to the 3rd grade passages. The app also lets kids know what kind of questions [ main idea, vocabulary, etc.] they are missing. At the end, they will have questions based upon performance in previous 25 chapters .

I did hire a programmer to do all the coding.

What has been the hardest obstacle you have had to overcome in the development process?

I would say finding and retaining good, reliable programmers.

Have you had much support during the development process (from family, peers, Apple Inc.)?

I have had a lot of support family and friends have encouraged me on this very important mission . They, like me, believe literacy is crucial to level the playing field.

What are your plans for the future? Will you be developing any more apps?

Yes. I am currently developing more reading apps.

What sort of feedback has your app been receiving so far?

I am thrilled with the response from across the globe. The app was even recognized at a reading conference, I have even had several interviews including one for television ! The best part is that I hear from teachers and parents about how the app is helping kids.

And finally, what advice would you give to anyone considering creating their own app?

Be an expert in the field of which you are developing an app.

Thank you so much for talking with us today and sharing a bit about your experiences in app development.  We really appreciated the chance to get to know you!



3rd Grade  Reading Guarantee Prep: Comprehension Practice 3rd Grade Reading Guarantee Prep: Comprehension Practice by Reinvent Recess Digital, LLC

Price: $3.99 USD

Teacher created. Teacher approved. The most complete app to help kids practice that their reading is on target by 3rd Grade, bringing the best research- based classroom practices to mobile apps with.


Alison, the American iMum is from Massachusetts. She lives there with her sons and husband. In their spare time, they enjoy playing outside, enjoying nature and of course testing apps and fantastic products on their devices. They have a variety of devices including an iPad, iPhone, and an iPod and is often found with a device! My older son loves technology and loves testing out the “latest and newest” apps and tech. I love sharing information about apps and products with others to help them make decisions without feeling overwhelmed with all of the choices.
 Developer Interview with Adi of Tiltan Games

Developer Interview with Adi of Tiltan Games



dino
Today’s interview is with Adi of Tiltan Games.  Please visit their website, Facebook and Twitter pages.

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Sea Animals Puzzle Preschool kids Learning Games Sea Animals Puzzle Preschool kids Learning Games by Tiltan Games (2013) LTD

Price: $2.99 USD

*** Sea Animals Puzzle is a wonderful puzzle game for kids and toddlers ***
Explore 36 puzzles!
Select the level of difficulty fit for your kids!
Aimed for kids in the ages 1-8

Sea Animals.

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Thank you for participating our interview Adi. Please tell us a little about yourself.

My name is Adi and I’m the founder of Tiltan Games, a mobile development studio. I’ve been around the Hi-Tech industry for about 15 years, mainly developing, managing teams and products for large companies. I’ve started in 2012 with the idea of making mobile apps and initially wanted to focus on making games that I like to play – dungeon crawlers and action games. Unfortunately I discovered that the barriers in this market were already quite high and you actually need a lot of money to produce high quality games. So I decided to turn to the kids market. Specifically the niche we were targeting is kids in the ages 1-5.We’ve developed so far over 30 titles for both App store and Android stores (Google, Amazon). Since I have complete freedom in what I chose to develop, there are also quite a few titles that also attract adult audience or titles that target the entire family, such as Match Max, Draw Hockey etc. Tiltan Games is a bootstrap startup which means we use our own money to develop and promote our titles.

How did the idea for your app come about?

The focus of this discussion is our new educational program we call My Dino Companion. Its a well structured collection of over 30 activities and mini games aimed to educated pre-school kids in math and logic. The idea behind using a dinosaur came actually from my small child, who was 4 when I started working on my first kid’s app. He’s really into dinosaurs and he suggested that my first kid’s game will have a dinosaur running and getting stuff, so this is what I did – the game is called Run Dino Run. I actually drew that dinosaur myself despite having no real graphical skills. From that point on, I’ve chosen to use that dinosaur as a prominent figure in many of my kids games, so it was only natural that I will use it also for My Dino Companion.
This program offers a wide array of options for parents and schools – you can define a profile for each kid (no limits), you can use the app for general practice or to target specific segments. You can test you kids skills to evaluate his/her current know-how and you can play it for fun using the mini games to influence light learning during play.

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And how long was the process from the original idea to the release of the app?

We have invested a lot of efforts and our own money into this game, which took about 6 months to develop end to end, including comprehensive voice over, new unique sound track and graphics to make the game as appealing as possible to young kids.

Did you hire a developer or do it yourself?

No, I do all development and hire help mostly when art and music are needed.

What has been the hardest obstacle you have had to overcome in the development process?

Development by itself is only the baseline to creating a successful game or app. The even more important aspect is marketing and spreading the news so people will know about your game.
For me, given the high advertising budget required to get people to know you, is the hardest thing to tackle. I do quite a bit of in-app advertising and try to make the brand visible on social channels, but I can’t really compete with funded companies with real marketing budgets. The entry of large kids brands in the past two years has taken a lot of attention from indie studios apps towards the characters and titles kids are familiar with from their favorite TV shows and Toys.

Have you had much support during the development process (from family, peers, Apple Inc.)?

I get a lot of encouragement from family and close friends. Creating a bootstrap start-up with a family you need to provide for is quite a challenge, especially so when you get to the over crowded mobile app space. Sadly, we do not get any support from the stores themselves, which mainly target a few well connected companies and the big brands.

What are your plans for the future? Will you be developing any more apps?

I continue to develop games. This is my passion. Recently I’ve taken a turn back to the family market. My upcoming title called Drapers is a fun multi-player game for the entire family where you compete as one of the great cloth merchants of the Mediterranean during the middle ages. It has lots of great information about the subject of cloth making and its lot of fun to compete over who will become the greatest merchant of its time. Drapers should be out on Apple any day now and I hope I’ll be able to update it and create additional content in that spirit.

What sort of feedback has your app been receiving so far?

My Dino Companion receives great feedback from parents who tried our program and tells me that their kids really love to get their hands on that app. Some report the progress their kids make in various aspects: pattern recognition, improved hand – eye coordination and more. My Dino Companion is one of only a handful of apps on the app store offering such wide array of topics, aligned with US common core program. With its attractive avatar and general appeal, I believe it stands out as a unique offering for parents who wish to enhance their kids math and logic skills in a fun way.

And finally, what advice would you give to anyone considering creating their own app?

I will only suggest people who wish to create their own app as a hobby. The app store is not a place to enter without significant budgets these days and having a great app still does not guarantee success. If you are a developer with some spare time, it can be fun. If not, make sure you have a significant budget at your disposal and don’t expect a return.

Thank you so much for talking with us today and sharing a bit about your company.  We really appreciated the chance to get to know you!



Animal Car Games: Cute Puzzles for Kids & Toddlers Animal Car Games: Cute Puzzles for Kids & Toddlers by Tiltan Games (2013) LTD

Price: $2.99 USD

*** Animal Car Puzzle is a wonderful game for kids and toddlers ***
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Amazing Santa - Christmas Gift - HD Maze learning games for kids and toddler - Educational Edition Amazing Santa - Christmas Gift - HD Maze learning games for kids and toddler - Educational Edition by Tiltan Games (2013) LTD

Price: $2.99 USD

** Enjoy christmas with 36 lovely predefined mazes **
Each maze comes in lovely colors, background and characters.
Collect christmas artifacts and consume fruits as you make your way in the maze.


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Learning Games for Kids: Car Truck Train Puzzles Learning Games for Kids: Car Truck Train Puzzles by Tiltan Games (2013) LTD

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* Car Puzzle is a wonderful puzzle game for kids and toddlers *
Play 48 amazing puzzles with different vehicles and themes!
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Christmas Games: Santa Claus Toy Party for kids Christmas Games: Santa Claus Toy Party for kids by Tiltan Games (2013) LTD

Price: $3.99 USD

*** Christmas is coming! *** Christmas is coming! ***

Christmas Toy Party is just the game to get you celebrating now!
"If there is one game to get this Christmas its Christmas Toy Party by.


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Dino Dot: Dinosaurs Connect the dots game for kids Dino Dot: Dinosaurs Connect the dots game for kids by Tiltan Games (2013) LTD

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*** Connect the Dots - with Dino and Friends ***
connect the dots is Tiltan Games newest game for kids and toddlers in the loved Dinosaurs theme!
Play 144 different scenes in 3 difficulty levels.


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Dino Learning Games: Dinosaurs Puzzles for Kids Dino Learning Games: Dinosaurs Puzzles for Kids by Tiltan Games (2013) LTD

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***** A Must have for every kid who loves Dinosaurs! *****
24 Lovely puzzles for kids and toddlers with Dinosaurs theme!

Your kids will just love these wonderfully drawn puzzles. With bright.

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Dino Maze - Dinosaur Mazes Game for kids Dino Maze - Dinosaur Mazes Game for kids by Tiltan Games (2013) LTD

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** 36 Wonderful mazes with Dino, your favorite dinosaur! **
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Each maze comes in lovely colors, background and characters.
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My Dino Companion for Kids: Complete Preschool, Pre-K and kindergarten learning program by Tiltan Games - School Edition My Dino Companion for Kids: Complete Preschool, Pre-K and kindergarten learning program by Tiltan Games - School Edition by Tiltan Games (2013) LTD

Price: $9.99 USD

My Dino Companion is the most comprehensive educational program for pre-school aged kids (3-6 years old). With dozens of unique activities and over 10 fun games at launch, My Dino companion program will.


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Alison, the American iMum is from Massachusetts. She lives there with her sons and husband. In their spare time, they enjoy playing outside, enjoying nature and of course testing apps and fantastic products on their devices. They have a variety of devices including an iPad, iPhone, and an iPod and is often found with a device! My older son loves technology and loves testing out the “latest and newest” apps and tech. I love sharing information about apps and products with others to help them make decisions without feeling overwhelmed with all of the choices.
 Developer Interview with Christopher Flint of Infiniteach

Developer Interview with Christopher Flint of Infiniteach



iPad Screenshot 1

Today’s interview is with Christopher Flint of Infiniteach.  Please visit their website, Facebook and Twitter pages. Also be sure to check out our review!

CSFThank you for participating our interview Christopher. Please tell us a little about yourself.

I have been in the autism field for twenty years. I started as a classroom teacher, then became the Lead Trainer for The Autism Program of Illinois where we trained over 10,000 parents and professionals. I also started a nonprofit called AACTION Autism where we take volunteer trips to developing countries to provide information and awareness about autism spectrum disorders. My life has been dedicated to solving problems and creating opportunities within the autism community!

How did the idea for your app come about?

Throughout the course of my career in autism rates of diagnosis have increased 600%. There was no way to scale the intensive training and 1-to-1 work that we were providing. The only thing that was keeping up with the huge increase of individuals with autism was technology adoption. The idea is that when we put best practice solutions onto a platform that is widely adopted we can reach almost anyone that is seeking resources to help students with autism reach their potential. Then, when we looked at other apps we saw a huge opportunity for individualization. Every individual with autism is unique, but very few apps provide customization. So we added in student profiles to ensure every user gets a learning experience tailored just for them!

And how long was the process from the original idea to the release of the app?

We hired two amazing developers. Anthony is our front-end developer, meaning he creates everything that you see in the app. All of the user interaction and lessons are his territory. We also have Marty, who is our back-end developer. All of our lessons automatically collect data, and we need to capture that data securely and privately and then display it to users. Marty builds the systems that handle all of the data within the app.

Did you hire a developer or do it yourself?

We hired two amazing developers. Anthony is our front-end developer, meaning he creates everything that you see in the app. All of the user interaction and lessons are his territory. We also have Marty, who is our back-end developer. All of our lessons automatically collect data, and we need to capture that data securely and privately and then display it to users. Marty builds the systems that handle all of the data within the app.

What has been the hardest obstacle you have had to overcome in the development process?

Our biggest obstacle was finding developers. We spent nine months searching for people to hire. And this was after we had raised some money and were offering decent salaries! In Chicago at least, there are many more companies with ideas for apps than there are developers to build them. We tried so many things – posting job descriptions, working with recruiters, scraping sites liked LinkedIn for candidates, etc. In the end, we had expanded our network wide enough where we were able to make contacts and hire our two developers. It was a long, arduous process but we feel very fortunate to have found two awesome engineers that are talented and 1000% behind our mission of helping every individual with autism reach their fullest potential.
Have you had much support during the development process (from family, peers, Apple Inc.)?

We have had great support from the autism community here in Chicago. When building a complex app like Autism Core Skills, it takes a ton of testing to make sure everything is working not only technically, but from a user interface perspective. We have a dedicated group of parents and professionals that have tirelessly tested countless versions and tweaks so we can provide an outstanding learning experience.

What are your plans for the future? Will you be developing any more apps?

We are selling Autism Core Skills as a subscription, so we plan on adding new content and features for at least the next year. At that point, we will determine our next steps. We have had many inquiries about expanding to life skills, and also building apps for adults with autism dealing with employment and independent living issues.

What sort of feedback has your app been receiving so far?

The feedback has been phenomenal. We were just in a classroom last week with a teacher who has been working with one of her students for over a year to get him to be able to interact with an iPad with no luck. She has been using Autism Core Skills with him for about a week and he has made a ton of progress. We have been hearing more and more of these types of stories which is awesome because we have worked really hard to develop and app that teaches the way that students with autism learn. Of course there is feedback regarding minor bugs and interface issues – which we welcome because it allows us to constantly improve the app!

And finally, what advice would you give to anyone considering creating their own app?

Go for it! The last three years have been the most rewarding for me professionally. It is a huge challenge, but also a lot of fun. And there is so much potential to make a real impact. Looking back, the one thing I would say is do not underestimate the time and money it costs to successfully build and launch an app. Take your estimates and pad them as things rarely go perfectly according to plan.
Thank you so much for talking with us today and sharing a bit about your company.  We really appreciated the chance to get to know you!

Autism Core Skills - Academic, Communication, and Social Skills Plus Data
Autism Core Skills - Academic, Communication, and Social Skills Plus Data
by Infiniteach Inc

Category: Education, Medical
Requirements: Compatible with iPad2Wifi-iPad2Wifi, iPad23G-iPad23G, iPadThirdGen-iPadThirdGen, iPadThirdGen4G-iPadThirdGen4G, iPadFourthGen-iPadFourthGen, iPadFourthGen4G-iPadFourthGen4G, iPadMini-iPadMini, iPadMini4G-iPadMini4G, iPadAir-iPadAir, iPadAirCellular-iPadAirCellular, iPadMiniRetina-iPadMiniRetina, iPadMiniRetinaCellular-iPadMiniRetinaCellular, iPadAir2-iPadAir2, iPadAir2Cellular-iPadAir2Cellular, iPadMini3-iPadMini3, iPadMini3Cellular-iPadMini3Cellular, iPadMini4-iPadMini4, iPadMini4Cellular-iPadMini4Cellular, iPadPro-iPadPro, iPadProCellular-iPadProCellular, iPadPro97-iPadPro97, iPadPro97Cellular-iPadPro97Cellular, iPad611-iPad611, iPad612-iPad612, iPad71-iPad71, iPad72-iPad72, iPad73-iPad73, iPad74-iPad74
Size: 153.48 MB

$FREE

Screenshots for iPad
(Click to enlarge)

Alison, the American iMum is from Massachusetts. She lives there with her sons and husband. In their spare time, they enjoy playing outside, enjoying nature and of course testing apps and fantastic products on their devices. They have a variety of devices including an iPad, iPhone, and an iPod and is often found with a device! My older son loves technology and loves testing out the “latest and newest” apps and tech. I love sharing information about apps and products with others to help them make decisions without feeling overwhelmed with all of the choices.

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