Developer Interview with Jodi Murphy of Geek Club Books

Developer Interview with Jodi Murphy of Geek Club Books



Mighty-League_FB

Today’s interview is with  Jodi Murphy of Geek Club Books

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

The most important thing to know about me is that I am a mom! I have two adult children–24 year old daughter and 28 year old son–and my son has Asperger’s Syndrome. My background and experience is in marketing and I’ve worked on a variety of projects—branding, launches, collateral, events, public relations—primarily in high tech, lifestyle, and home design industries. I was a journalist in for the luxury/design industry and was co-founder of Nesting Newbies, one of the first independent digital lifestyle magazines about cooking, entertaining and decorating

 

How did the idea for your app come about?

I have always had to think creatively when it comes to helping my son with his learning disabilities and social challenges. When he was growing up in the early and mid-80s, there were very few programs and interventions for children on the autism spectrum. In fact, doctors and clinicians never talked about or rarely diagnosed Asperger’s Syndrome. Today, there is very little support for adults on the spectrum—so once again I am thinking out-of-the-box to find opportunities for him to showcase his talents, earn a sustainable living, and feel the confidence that comes from self-achievement.

It came to me that we could help others and him by sharing his real life experiences in a unique, respectful and, hopefully, entertaining way to show how someone on the spectrum overcomes obstacles, triumphs over social anxieties, and thrives…quirks and all! And since my son is a voice actor, I chose to create a storybook app over publishing a book.

 

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

The process took about 11 months from original idea to The Mighty League, Vol. 1 – The Terrible Taunting being released on iTunes, Amazon and Google Play.

 

Did you hire a developer or do it yourself?

I partnered with Tom and Bill Anderson from Customizabooks (Blackfish Children’s Books) for the development of our app. These brothers come from the video game industry and have created an incredible platform for children’s story apps. This gave them a strong foundation upon which they built in our custom features—comic book style layout, hidden notebook with age-appropriate information on Aspergers and bullying, and choose a boy or girl protagonist. These are just a few of the special features they were able to customize—and within a very short time frame, I might add.

 

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

My own self-doubt–I’ve worked on numerous creative endeavors, but never one so near and dear to my heart. I’ve had moments of panic and fear of rejection wondering why I’m putting my family out into the limelight. But working on this app feels right and it’s my way of advocating for my son and others like him.

 

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

I’ve had tremendous support from the very beginning! My daughter wrote the manuscript and I wrote the secret notebook text. My husband, my parents and my mother-in-law invested in the app so I didn’t have to crowd fund. Kim Johnson of Kim Johnson Studios took photos of my son at 10 and created our Aspie hero and his sidekick, Mr. Reginald T. Hedgehog. “Mr. Redge” is important because my son called himself a hedgehog…”prickly and unapproachable on the outside but warm and tender on the inside.” He’s the link to the hidden notebook on every page.

Since we’re involved in so many creative activities, I was able to tap into resources for the app and our website. For example, AndyZ is a very popular children’s performing artist in the San Francisco Bay Area and he jumped on board to write an original score and lyrics for the app. With so many supportive and talented people involved, it’s just been such a wonderful experience to make the Mighty League app.

 

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

We hope to be able to produce an entire series as there are many “real” tales to tell from my son’s unique perspective of the world! We already have a concept for the Mighty League, Vol. 2 and my daughter is ready to write the manuscript.

 

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

I am writing this only 3 days after the app went live on the app stores and we’re already getting the kinds of reviews that have made the hard work and panic moments all worthwhile. One mom sent me a message that she read the Mighty League with her 8 year old at bedtime and it felt like they were reading about him. She said she’s read a few things designed for children and our app had all the right elements—it feels real! And she liked that the story stands alone and we layer in the Aspergers in “that brilliant notebook.”

 

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

If you’ve never created an app before I highly recommend Karen Robertson’s e-books and her online Book App Academy. You can find her at digitalkidsauthor.com. I can’t say enough about how much they helped me through every step of the process.

Make sure that you go into it from the very beginning knowing that you’ll need to devote 50% of your time on the app, and the other 50% on marketing. Make sure you enjoy interacting on social media because it’s best way to build relationships and a community. Get to know your intended audience, support them, and let them get to know you. Be generous and grateful. Have fun!

 

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!

by
Category:
Requirements: Compatible with
Size: 0 MB

$

Mary is originally from England but now lives in California with her husband, dog, cat and three children. Mary and her family love Apple products and own an iPad2, iPad3, iPad Mini, iTouch, iPhone5 and several MacBook Pros. They also love cub scouts, skiing, camping and hiking. The family iPads are also used for therapy for their daughters Apraxia (speech disorder).
 Developer Interview with Martin Vonsak of Alda Games

Developer Interview with Martin Vonsak of Alda Games



iPhone Screenshot 1

Today’s interview is with Martin Vonsak of Alda Games

logoAGThank you for participating in our interview. Please tell us a little about yourself.

You are welcome, it is great to have a chance talk about something what we love. Anyway, my name is Martin Vonsak and I am proud member of Alda Games creative team. My role in the team is mainly focused on game design, concepts and scripts for games and I am also interested and involved as well in marketing.

 

How did the idea for your app come about?

After the founding of Alda Games we were thinking very hard what shall be our first release. We defined only one condition – the game has to be beautiful in simplicity. Few brainstorming sessions were conducted by our leader, Ales Kriz, and somehow during the one of these meetings Snail appeared.

 

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

First playable levels were ready in two months. The final release was prepared for publishing in a half month later. It doesn´t seem very much time, but trust me, we were working, painting, programming and coding days and sometimes even nights.

 

Did you hire a developer or do it yourself?

Alda Games profiles itself as a game developer so that means that each part of the process is provided in-house. In case of Save the Snail was just graphics and design outsourced. The wonderful hand-painted graphics is great job of Nela Vadlejchova and credits for design belong to Adam Stepanek.

 

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

Keep going. You know, enthusiasm is not enough, creating app, game, movie, book or whatever you can imagine takes your time and energy. We also had moments when we were thinking that this is impossible. But we had to just break this sceptical thinking and here we are…

 

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

All people who are working for Alda Games are not only colleagues. In fact we are all good old friends, everyone in company is kind of support for each other. Especially our leader Ales Kriz who brought the idea of founding game development company and made it reality is still a big motivator and support for everybody here.

 

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

Yes, we definitely will keep going in developing. Actually, we are about to release our next title, we hope that by the end of October it will be officially available for mobile platforms. It is called World of Cheese and in my humble opinion, everybody (especially children) who loves click-and-point adventure games is going to love it.

 

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

I have to proudly say that the feedback is mainly positive. Only negative comments concern the sound design –  the absence of background music. We know about this lack and we realize the importance of music in games, and now we definitely do know (unfortunately for us thanks empirical experience) that this element cannot be underestimated. The second part is actually the proof of success of Save the Snail. In almost every published review it states that Snail definitely deserves more levels. In other words, 24 is too low number and we are glad that players demand more.

 

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

Well, this will sound like horrible cliché, just don´t give up. But do not try to make apps just for making apps. Create some concept, define the goals, find out who is your audience or for who can be your app useful. Prepare time schedule – nothing is worse than doing something without limits. Where are not at least approximate limits, there is no will to finish anything. And the will is essential for making ideas to become real.

 

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!

Save the Snail HD Save the Snail HD by Alda Games s.r.o.
Category: Games, Puzzle, Education, Arcade
Requirements: Compatible with iPhone3GS-iPhone-3GS, iPadWifi-iPadWifi, iPad3G-iPad3G, iPodTouchThirdGen-iPodTouchThirdGen, 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: 198.74 MB

$FREE

 

logoAG

iPhone Screenshot 2
Mary is originally from England but now lives in California with her husband, dog, cat and three children. Mary and her family love Apple products and own an iPad2, iPad3, iPad Mini, iTouch, iPhone5 and several MacBook Pros. They also love cub scouts, skiing, camping and hiking. The family iPads are also used for therapy for their daughters Apraxia (speech disorder).
 Developer Interview with Peter Hofstede of Wungi.

Developer Interview with Peter Hofstede of Wungi.



iPad Screenshot 1

Today’s interview is with Peter Hofstede of Wungi.

 

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

I’m living in Amsterdam, the Netherlands with my Wife and three young kids. I’ve got a 4 year old son, a 2 year old daughter and a 5 week old baby. All of us live in the old center of town in an apartment that was already on the small side when we moved in before we had kids. For those of you who’ve been to Amsterdam, it’s right at the edge of the canals, in the middle of the Jordaan. I’ve been creating games for more than 15 years now, in different roles and companies. The past five years I worked at Spil Games, where I managed the teams that created fun kids apps like My Dolphin Show, Shopaholic World and Sara’s Cooking Class. At the start of 2013 I left Spil Games to become self-employed through my own company Wungi, with the goal to make interesting and fun apps for young kids.

 

How did the idea for your app come about?

My son suddenly got obsessed with pirates. Big time. So, we got him some pirate books and it was cool to see how many nice pirate things are available in print. For example, “The pirates next door” by Jonny Duddle is a really nice book for kids. When I searched for a fun app I was surprised I couldn’t find something that really matched my son’s level of fascination. There are pirate apps available, but I couldn’t something that really complemented the pretend pirate games he was playing with his friends. So, I offered my son to make him an app if he would help me out during the design process. He happily agreed.

 

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

It’s been a fairly fast process. In total about two months, which is fast in my book. I started out with a family brainstorm session. One of the walls in our kitchen is painted with blackboard paint and we used that to capture ideas.  Sitting at the table, my son would shout out stuff he wanted to see in the game. I was amazed how complete his knowledge of pirate clichés was. Some things he didn’t know the word for (like crows nest) but he would still make sure I understood and wrote it down. So, this list had objects and activities like digging for treasure on it and with that I designed an open, sandbox type of gameplay that would allow kids to play the game in different ways. The idea was to offer something for both goal driven players and freeform explorers. I’ve got a feeling we sometime underestimate what kids can do and understand on touch devices which results in a lot of very linear, dumbed down content. This game is experimental in the sense that it tries to push that envelope for kids and offers freedom of choice in an open 3D world.

 

Did you hire a developer or do it yourself?

I build the initial prototype myself and tested this with my kids, their friends and some remote volunteers who we found through a local Facebook group. When the core gameplay was clear, I teamed up with a game studio called Xform. I’ve worked with them for years and they are a fantastic group of people who really care about quality. I’m very happy they agreed to partner with me on this project.

 

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

I guess choosing what to put in the game and what to leave out. We have so many ideas that we would like to implement, it’s been hard to move things to the future update list. For example, my son insists that the pirate ship should feature a plank, but that’s a feature that did not make it into version 1.0.  For now we need to see if people are willing to buy the game. If we get a good response we intend to add a lot more to it.

 

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

My family has been very supportive and I’ve had some really nice encouragement from my industry friends.  It’s been interesting to get feedback from people in “core” gaming, especially those who have kids themselves.

 

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

First off, we intend to launch this game on Android device as well and probably on iPhone (besides iPad). Then, I have some ideas for other games for kids set in different themes. I would love to make them! However, the app store is very competitive place and we’ll take it one step at a time.

 

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

So far it’s been positive and the kids I’ve seen playing it seem to really enjoy it.

 

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

Testing with your audience is critical. Don’t trust your own instincts too much. Stop looking at every new game that comes out – you will go nuts. Just follow your own plan and give it your best shot.

 

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!

Wungi Pirates Wungi Pirates by Peter Hofstede
Category: Games, Family, Adventure
Requirements: Compatible with iPhone3GS-iPhone-3GS, iPadWifi-iPadWifi, iPad3G-iPad3G, iPodTouchThirdGen-iPodTouchThirdGen, 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: 107.09 MB

$1.99USD

Mary is originally from England but now lives in California with her husband, dog, cat and three children. Mary and her family love Apple products and own an iPad2, iPad3, iPad Mini, iTouch, iPhone5 and several MacBook Pros. They also love cub scouts, skiing, camping and hiking. The family iPads are also used for therapy for their daughters Apraxia (speech disorder).
 Developer Interview with Darius Portilla of 12 Fingers Studio

Developer Interview with Darius Portilla of 12 Fingers Studio



20130806 154323 Math Heroes vs Dragons by 12 Fingers Studio  Review + Giveaway

Today’s interview is with Darius Portilla of 12 Fingers Studio. You can visit their website, Facebook pages. Please read The iMums five star review of Math Heroes vs Dragons!

Darius, hank you for participating our interview. Please tell us a little about yourself.
Until December of 2012 I was working as an Interactive Director and Lead Developer at SixFoot LLC, a company specializing in interactive experiences for global brands and Fortune 500 companies. Feeling I was ready to venture out on my own I decided to dedicate myself 100% to my own venture, 12 Fingers Studio.

How did the idea for your app come about?
Last year I developed an educational app for a well known children’s brand. The app was extremely well received and won numerous accolades and awards. After incorporating my company I decided the first thing I’d do would be to create an educational game. Many moons ago I was a high school Math teacher. That experience and my love for comics, games, and super heroes led to Math Heroes vs Dragons.

And how long was the process from the original idea to the release of the app?
It took my 4.5 months to release the game. I’m quite pleased with that time frame considering I had to create everything myself and I had numerous other projects going on. It has taken about 7 months to get to the current version, 1.3.

Did you hire a developer or do it yourself?
I did everything myself: graphics, sound design, 3D animation, programming, video, concept, etc. I did use a few pieces of stock audio and some great 3D software. Tony Medrano (SixFoot LLC), Cynthia Stipeche (Curious Creative) and Amina Foccazio (5th grade teacher) provided excellent feedback. I also had 3 voice actors for the few hero sound bites through out the game.

What has been the hardest obstacle you have had to overcome in the development process?
The hardest obstacle to overcome would be the testing. The game has quite a big of moving parts and there is a lot of functionality. Making sure everything worked as it should for all stages of progress was certainly a daunting task.

Have you had much support during the development process (from family, peers, Apple Inc.)?
Support from friends, family, and colleagues has been great. They really kept me inspired and confident.

What are your plans for the future? Will you be developing any more apps?
I’ll definitely be creating more apps. There will be another Math Heroes game, Math Heroes vs Ninjas. It will be designed for a slightly older audience. I’m very excited as I can use the lessons I’ve learned to really make it shine. I’m also working on a desktop app for indie developers. The app will assist in the organizing and submission of app reviews. I haven’t found anything like it and after recently going through the laborious review submission process I’m certain there is a market for it.

What sort of feedback has your app been receiving so far?
To be honest, when I first released the game I didn’t quite feel it was perfect. Thus I’ve only started submitting it to review sites and marketing it as of the current version. From friends, peers, and users the feedback has been great. The iMums review was very inspiring as well.

And finally, what advice would you give to anyone considering creating their own app?
I think the best advice I could give would be to make sure you’re developing something you’re extremely passionate about. Keep your goals high and your expectations low. If you put your heart and soul into the app you’ll be pleased no matter the results.

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!

by
Category:
Requirements: Compatible with
Size: 0 MB

$

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.

Pin It on Pinterest