Four months ago I started researching for my first title. As I was browsing through the App Store I came up with a set of requirements that formed my overall framework going forward. Some of these requirements were based on the fact that I had a limited budget and other were based on what I had seen on the App Store and what I believed would be recipe for a successful title:
Front Row’s first commercial title is almost done. Majority of its programming ended last week and the game has now moved into quality assurance and testing. As it’s going through its final phases, I have begun researching and finalizing its marketing campaign. This will be a challenging endeavor since I have little to no experiences marketing an app. However at the same time I couldn’t be more excited to see the game take form the way it has. Four months ago I didn’t have the vaguest idea of what cocos2d was, and now I got a full functioning game. I have a feeling the marketing portion of this project will end up being the same experience. Read more
I read somewhere that to achieve something amazing you need a lot of motivation and an unrealistic deadline. It’s been more than a month since my last post, and although the blog has been fairly quiet, I have been busy working non-stop. in5differences is coming to an end and after six weeks of development it feels like I’m 90% done. However, if I’ve learned anything in the past few years, is that when you feel you’re 90% done, you’ve just passed the half way point. Read more
It’s been awhile since there’s been an update so I thought I’ll do a quick post. I’ve been super busy working on project in5differences. In all honestly most of my time is spent on making sure the product looks good and the UI is intuitive rather than getting the functionalities up. I mean it’s not that difficult to make things work, the project itself is not too technically challenging, however making everything look as polished as possible is taking most of my time. I actually find myself spending more time behind Photoshop and Illustrator than xcode. Read more
Front Row’s Hafez App, released on August 7th 2012 passed the 500 download mark. The download rate has been a steady 100+ download per day since Tuesday and there doesn’t seem to be much decline in sight. This is of great success for Front Row given the fact the App caters to a very niche market and was released with minimum marketing. Front Row has now started on two new iOS related projects, hoping to have them released before Christmas (Project in5Difference and Project FlagShip)
We are also hard at work with our biggest project (project ProcessPro). These are exciting times and we’re looking forward to how things are shaping up.
What started out as a side project has turned into a passion. After four months of work, it’s truly exciting to see the Hafez App on the App Store. For more information such as feature list and screenshots, visit the App’s information and support page. If you wish to download it from the App Store, click here (it’s free!).
Front Row is now part of Microsoft’s Bizspark program. This is a great achievement for us. As a start-up company we now get to take advantage of the latest technologies offered by Microsoft. With access to a comprehensive MSDN subscription we get to use Visual Studio 2010 Ultimate, SQL server 2008, Office 2013, the new Windows 8 and much much more, all free of charge. On top getting all these amazing software we’re also part of a network that makes it easier to find partners, market our products, find investors and reach our audience. Thank you Microsoft!
Front Row recently applied to Microsoft’s Bizspark program. If you’re a start up this is something you should definitely check out:
Microsoft® BizSpark® is a global program that helps software startups succeed by giving them access to software development tools, connecting them with key industry players, and providing marketing visibility. The program also includes access to Windows Azure, a flexible, comprehensive, and powerful cloud platform for the creation of web applications and services. In addition, BizSpark offers technical support, business training and a network of over 2,000 partners to connect members with incubators, investors, advisors, government agencies and hosters. Since it was established in 2008, more than 45,000 companies in over 100 countries have joined BizSpark.
If you ask me, I would say the perfect place for arts and sciences to converge is within the realms of computer science. I don’t think any other discipline combines the two more beautifully. But then again, I may be a little biased in my analysis. This reminds of the movie “My Big Fat Greek Wedding”. I don’t remember it too well but I remember one of the characters kept linking all sorts of trivial things to the Greeks, explaining how everything is derived from their culture and history. So it might be my computer science pride peaking through, but I’m going to try to explain why computer science manages to combine art and sciences better than any other discipline. And perhaps link it to the interface (UI) design and the challenges I faced while working on “Project Mastan”
It’s easy to come up with ideas. That’s what your brain’s meant to do. To come up with ideas is to take common patterns from your everyday experiences and morph them into new patterns. This is why I believe it’s important to commit to an idea as soon as possible. Now what does it mean to commit? I’m not a big fan of sitting down and designing a complete road map of what needs to be done. But I do believe it’s important to create some sort of physical representation of the idea. 40 thousand dollars and five years of earning a computer science degree has made it somewhat easier for me to accomplish this. I like to think that I’m trained to see things in abstractions. This somewhat helps with translating ideas from a concept in your head into something meaningful on paper/screen. When I decided to take on Project Mastan the first thing I did was I mapped how I would like the user interface to look like. This is before writing any code or even thinking about how I would solve the challenges I had ahead of me. This step brought the idea, from my head into the physical world. I was seeing it on a piece of paper. That which existed as neuron connections in my brain, was now in the physical world. This first step, was not only motivating but also extremely helpful on collaborating my subsequent millstones.
So I suggest, whenever you take on a task, be it related to software development or real life: try to move it from your brain in to the physical word in some shape or form. If you’re planning on losing weight, write down the steps you want to take. If you’re thinking of redecorating your house, draw out where you want your furniture. There is something about having your idea take form in the physical world that not only motivates you, it commits you to doing it.