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-   -   My first iOS app...live! (http://forums.macnn.com/110/iphone-apps/497459/my-first-ios-app-live/)

 
Doc HM Jan 23, 2013 09:59 AM
My first iOS app...live!
It's like having a baby. Sort of. Anyway it's a game that I hope will take off. It seems to be fairly unique, which is a plus.

iTunes URL here: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/face...541351719?mt=8

Does this count as spam, I'm at least a forum regular but mods feel free to pounce on it if you must.

Do please let me know what you think.
 
andi*pandi Jan 23, 2013 10:47 AM
I think you are good here. ;)

Congrats on the app! Do you want testing results posting here?
 
Thorzdad Jan 23, 2013 11:38 AM
Congrats!
Maybe you could provide a postmortem on the development process? How the project came about? What challenges there were? How did the approval process go? Etc.
One question I have...Did you have to secure rights to use pics of the individuals in a commercial game?
 
Doc HM Jan 23, 2013 01:43 PM
Quote, Originally Posted by Thorzdad (Post 4213348)
Congrats!
One question I have...Did you have to secure rights to use pics of the individuals in a commercial game?
Yes I did. Some images are pure public domain so that's easy, Creative commons images are banned in iOS apps but for the majority I did a deal with a big celeb photo agency a low deal on multiple small images plus a small profit share on sales of the game.

v2 which is in development will have two player options with the ability to buy sets such as MLB stars, oscar winners etc to allow people to play with faces they choose.

Any MacNN players are welcome to post comments in this thread good or bad. I'll do some bloggish posts about the dev process as I go as well. It was pretty smooth to be honest.
 
Thorzdad Jan 23, 2013 02:52 PM
Quote, Originally Posted by Doc HM (Post 4213387)
...Creative commons images are banned in iOS apps...
I didn't know that. That's kind of surprising. What's the rationale for that?
 
Doc HM Jan 23, 2013 03:47 PM
Quote, Originally Posted by Thorzdad (Post 4213417)
I didn't know that. That's kind of surprising. What's the rationale for that?
No idea what they were thinking of, other than that most CC licenses need to be disseminated with the original code, item or whatever. It's a weird one.
 
Demonhood Jan 24, 2013 01:22 PM
I'd also be interested in how you found the process.
Congrats.
 
Doc HM Jan 27, 2013 05:46 AM
The whole process is relatively painless to be honest. The time form "hey, that's cool idea" to on sale was protracted but a lot of that was down to me being real world busy.

The game survived from first idea to store fairly intact. v1 is only 1 player but v2 will be 2 player as it's going to need that to drive up adoption and hopefully sales, with incoming coming from good old in app purchases.

The biggest headache was finding a source for the images. I tried a couple of the larger celeb photo libraries, but they wanted huge up front fees and given that I'm using several hundred images that got pretty $$ pretty fast. Luckily taking pics of celebs is a big growth area and there are plenty of agencies out there. I found famous.co.uk who were happy to cut a small initial fee for a whole bulk of images and go for a % on app sales. why not, after all they already bought the image rights so they don't have to actually do anything and if it hits big they gravey up.

Most of the app was fairly easy to write but there's a fair bit of back end too and from, especially with the 2 player as the app needs to track which games are running with which users, and what score etc they are on. I went through a couple of different servers which were too slow to make the game fun before settling on rackspace who seem to be affordable and stayupable.

The app was written in conjunction with my friend dan Vesma, who is a whizz with the databases etc so it's a 2 man effort all the way.

We did struggle with beta testing as it's a pain provisioning devices individually and sending out new builds so we needed people who were savvy enough to install the app files themselves into iTunes. DropBox was ace for senfing out dev builds as we just used a shared folder with all the various builds in it and testers helped themselves. This is principally why we opted to go with a single player only v1 as we didn't really have enough testing so we wanted to make sure if we failed we failed small at first.

We submitted the app to apple where it sat in a queue for 7 days. It went into review on Wednesday morning for all of an hours before being approved and up for sale so that was pretty sweet. No amends required.

The hardest part is of course getting sales, we've set up a FB page, hit the twitters and have plans to do some UK celeb mag promotions but getitng traction and buzz on the itune store way hard.

If anyone want to ask any specific questions re building etc please do.

I'll pop back in with updates. v1.1 will be lived today as initial feedback was that the scoring was too harsh, with right or wrong so we,re adding a "nearly right option.
 
Doc HM Jan 27, 2013 05:48 AM
oh and of course it's only 69p so feel free to actually download it and try it out. Let me know on here if you do as it's always nice to know who's playing it but more crucially itunes store reviews are really important.
 
Doc HM Feb 5, 2013 04:13 PM
So, update.
It all seems to be going OK. Initial feedback from users was that the app was too hard, spell a name wrong and you get it wrong. Dan and I had a discussion. Philosophically I was on the that if you spell it wrong, it's wrong, but Dan (and users) seemed to think that easier was better, so we reengineered the guessing engine to prompt near misses with a "nearly" dialogue and deducting 50 points. I think Dan is right even if I don't like it, but i'm probably better at spotting the difference between what I like and what works than I am at most other things, so we submitted v1.1 with easier guessing.

We've also created a sister app with a different subject matter as quick way to leverage the code written for this app. It's currently in review at the store, hopefully for the weekend. This will be followed by a second extension of the concept, then that's it for that and on with the full v2 builds of all versions to allow 2 player and inviting friends to play, which is where we want to be as this will allow more ease of discovering our app.

So far (as was always the case) the hardest part is spreading the word, breaking out from the bubble of our immediate contacts is really tough. The reviews and ratings on the store are good but it's hard to persuade people to give time to do this. We've started a round of press releases to celeb media and bloggers etc. The internet is awash with scammy, promote your app sites so we'll leave them alone.

It's all good fun and nice to be doing something different.

As ever, do download, do play and comment either here of on iTunes.

Onwards
 
cgc Feb 5, 2013 07:16 PM
Looks like a good game...very original. Regarding the data entry, I did something using fuzzy logic where if the user was xx% correct it was considered correct. Worked really well and is easy to google the code.
 
Doc HM Feb 13, 2013 06:06 PM
update news. Second game (leverage that code base boy!) out today. Like faces, but more actually corporate logos: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/logo...597872522?mt=8

3rd app currently awaiting approval at apple (theme developing) Fourth being submitted on Monday. Then time to draw a line under that thread and get the 2 player versions of each app out, and then onto something different. Its all go I can tell you.
 
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