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Making Apps

DISCLAIMER: PLEASE READ THIS!

Thank you for downloading this free app/blog. I hope you find it useful as everything written in this app/blog is based on my own personal experience making my free app games "Bomb Block" and "Doodle Catch" (my first and second apps) + my educational app "Making Apps" which you may be reading right now from the app and my reskinned apps "Smiley Catch" and "Cupcake Catch" (with zero prior experience making apps). I mean it- I had ZERO experience making apps. Yet here I am working on my 26th app as you are reading this. My most ...

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How to Make Mobile Game Apps

Creating iphone games with zero experience and no programming knowledge is not impossible. I am proof that it can be done. When I thought of creating mobile game apps in March of 2011, the first thing I did was research online. I searched terms like “creating iPhone apps” and “how to make mobile games.” I read and read and found that information was either too vague or too complex. Those that didn’t want to share gave you very general information that was not helpful and those that did provide information provided it in a very technical way! Who wants to ...

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Making Apps: Ideas, Ideas, Ideas

To create an iPhone game, you must first start with an idea. Don’t start by thinking of creating a Tetris clone (because there are already tons of them). And don’t start by thinking of creating the next Angry Birds (that took a lot of money and a lot of professional knowledge). 

• Think of an original idea; A game that does not already exist (or a variation of a game where you are adding something to it that makes it better, more compelling or just more fun!)

• Does your game solve a problem (curing boredom for a few minutes is a ...

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Making Apps: REJECTED!

In the previous topic of Ideas, Ideas, Ideas, I did not cover a topic that is important because I wanted it to have a section all to itself.

Apple Rejecting your app!

It is one of the most frustrating parts of making apps so please consider my thoughts below when thinking of your app idea. Apple is a funny company because there are many inconsistencies in the way apps are approved. You can submit an app with crude humor and it will be approved. Submit a similar app the next day and they will find it offensive and will reject it giving ...

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Making Apps: Gather Resources

Gathering resources is important because it will help you build confidence in making game apps and help you fill in gaps in your knowledge. I know the idea of going off into cyber space and doing a crap load of research may not be your cup of tea but it's a necessary part of this process (since you are a beginner). Don't understand how something works? Do a search! Do plenty of online research. Search for terms like "making apps" or "how to make game apps" - you will find lots of free advice out there. You will also find ...

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Making Apps: Reskinning

When thinking of a design, you may want to think about something that has proven to be succesful with many developers including us! Reskin a existing app and release it over and over. The idea here is that there is a lot of cost involved in creating an application from the ground up; from concept, to artwork, to programming; to marketing. 

Why not simply take an existing application that is already proven to be succesful and re-imagine it. For example, a 2D snowboarding game where you press the screen to make the snowboarder slide then fly across hills (like Tiny Wings) ...

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Making Apps: The Concept Animation

After thinking of an original game idea I had, I took it upon myself to create a concept animation using a simple GIF maker. You can download free GIF makers all over the Internet. You don't need to know any programming but to do this, you will need to have that little bit of creativity I mentioned in an earlier post. I created all the individual pieces on microsoft paint, downloaded a free iphone image online and began experimenting using the GIF maker. This is literally using old fashioned frame by frame animation. With a little time and patience, you ...

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Making Apps: How Much?

Up to this point, you have not spent anything more than time on your game idea. You have a good game app idea and have visualized it (or maybe created a visual of the game to show others to get their feedback or affirmation). You believe in your game idea but you want to know who much this game will cost you. I can only tell you how much I spent on my games to give you an idea of the total cost you are looking at. Let me cut to the chase and give you the details in later ...

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Making Apps: To Corp or not to Corp?

So you have decided to move forward because you have a great game idea, you have a nice visual of it to show others, and you have the finances to support the development of at least one game.

Something you have to decide at this point is if you are going to proceed as an individual developer (meaning you are making games in your name as an individual and collect payments as an individual) or are you going to create a Corporation or LLC (Limited Liability Company).

When you sign up as a developer for Apple or Android, you must sign up ...

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Making Apps: Paid or Free?

Making your application a paid app does have it's risks and rewards. In order to make your paid application more likely to be succesful, you must make a compelling game that will temp users to actually pony up a $1 for a game they have never played. It's difficult to get that done because of the sheer volume of free quality apps already in the respective app stores. You will need a great looking game that functions well, is compelling, fun to play, has no bugs, makes people feel good, gets lots of ratings and gives people a reason keep ...

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Making Apps: Ad Networks

If you choose to make your game with ads, here is some information for you based on my experience with several ad networks. You can add banner ads from companies like "Admob" and "iAds" - you can add full screen pop ups from companies like "Revmob," "Admob," "Applovin" and "Flurry." You can add an "App Wall" ad from "Leadbolt" which is a screen that shows several apps at once in an organized way for the player to view and choose from. You can add pop up ads at certain parts of your game like the game over screen, the pause ...

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Making Apps: Create a Requirements Page

So at this point, you have created a great game idea, have the financial backing to support the app development and have decided how you wish to proceed as a developer (company or individual).

Now you must get your game idea down on a requirements page. This means you must visually (using Microsoft Word, or even on paper) get your game idea down to tell someone how the game works, what the goal of the game is, how it functions, what are the cause and effects, what happens when you press this button, etc.

What I did with my requirements page was ...

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Making Apps: Art and Animations

You have finished your requirements page. Now you need to understand how the art and animations should work. I have used .png format for all my artwork. This is a graphics format that you can save pictures in on your computer. You can also use .jpg format but that is a lower quality format.

For static characters like for example drops of rain falling down you only need to have one rain drop created and the programmer will create the movement (the drop falling from the top of the screen to the bottom). When the drop hits the floor, you will ...

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Making Apps: Finding an Artist

Note: This blog is solely dedicated to 2D games that are based on using .png files to make games. Making 3D games is outside the scope of this blog.

Finding an artist to make your game art is not hard. There are tons of places where you can find artists. Here is a list of a few places where you can find independent game artists: www.odesk.com, www.elance.com, www.freelancer.com- the key is to find artists that are familiar already with making artwork for apps. Don't get fooled into using a cheap artist that has no experience making game art because it will ...

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Making Apps: Finding a Programmer

You can find a programmer much the same way you found a designer on Elance.com, Odesk.com, Freelancer.com, etc. You will need to post an ad and provide your NDA to protect your idea before discussing the details of your project with a designer. Remember to SPECIFICALLY state in your ad that you need a programmer for Android (will work on all devices) and ALL Apple devices (iPhone and iPad). If you don't specifically address that you want an iPad version made, they can come back later and ask for more money for an iPad version. Get this detail out of ...

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Making Apps: Managing Contractors

Managing contractors is probably the most stressful part of this whole process. Remember that you will be dealing with humans that are imperfect, have families, have issues that come up, etc. However, this does not mean you should allow yourself to be stepped on. You must be polite but FIRM over your agreed upon terms. You should ALSO be willing to walk away from a programmer or designer if they are not meeting their end of the bargain (you have the right to file disputes on your paid milestones if the project is not completed to your satisfaction but NATURALLY ...

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Making Apps: Testing

In order to test your first game drafts, you must own the devices on which the game will be played (or at minimum have access to those devices). This is a very expensive part of game making; you must make sure your game will play and play right on all devices to avoid putting out a game that does not work on several devices. Doing that runs the risk of bad reviews, lost sales and more money to fix the problems later.

There are a few options for testing your games;

1. Purchase popular devices. For example, with Apple, you need to ...

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Making Apps: App Store Uploading

Uploading your app to the App store will require you to give your developer access to your apple iTunes. Your developer will need to access your developer account to create a few items such as certificates, provisioning files, etc. You don't need to know what all of this is, but just know that giving your username and password to someone should be considered dangerous. You should of course work with a trustworthy developer but think about it; you piss off your developer and all he needs to do is log in, change your password and hold your account for ransom. ...

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Making Apps: Marketing

Marketing. Freeking Marketing. I have to tell you that Marketing is one of the more difficult challenges you will experience as a developer. I won't tell you what I think will work if I have not tried it myself. The truth is I have done very little in marketing and have found success. Here are the things I have done to market my games:

1. Choosing game ideas that will naturally have a built in audience, thus making it more likely to get downloaded. I didn't pick games based on cupcakes, candies, fruits, cookies, fairys and smileys by accident. I picked ...

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