★ TouchArcade needs your help. Click here to support us on Patreon.

Help me withva succesful start up!

02-17-2010, 09:02 AM
#1
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 316
Help me withva succesful start up!

Well my question isn't really about developing apps, but I'm going to post it here as developers are who I would be most intrested hering from!

Just a few days ago I filed my income taxes, and me and the wide are getting back more than we (pestimistically) predicted. So, after talking it over with my wife we have agreed that I can invest $1,000 into my app development aspirations. What I need to ask know is, is this enough capital to get an app from my head to the app store? And if yes, how do I make the money stretch as far as possible?

Here is a breakdown down of my current needs (as far as I know)

- MacMini ($600): so 60% of the money looks like it's going into getting a mac so I can run the sdk. A lot of my research points to this model being the cheapest, and works fine for development. I want it new, so seems this part of the plan is solid and permanent

- Apple Dev License ($100): Seems unavoidable, but is this and the 30% app sales cut for apple all it will cost me? It's my understanding the sdk is free and only the license cost @ $99/year.

So after taxes I should have about $250 left. I was going to get a touch so I had 2 different devices for testing, but now that I realize the macmini doesn't come with a monitor. So it seems my remainder must go there. Will a pc monitor work? The ones on apple.com are too expensive. Any advice is helpful! Thankyou.
02-17-2010, 09:11 AM
#2
Joined: Nov 2009
Location: Derby, UK.
Posts: 161
The Mini Mac we have has a DVI output for a Monitor, you can get a VGA adatper but it was hard for us to find the correct one. Any Monitor will work though! When you price things up like that, $1000 doesn't go far does it!

Good luck with your venture!

We Are Colin - Indie Games from Derby, UK. Facebook Twitter YouTube
Gravity Runner - Running game with Retro Graphics
Screw The Dealer + iSevens - Card Games -
WordSearch Rush - Featured by Apple - Available now

02-17-2010, 09:17 AM
#3
Joined: Dec 2008
Location: The Land of The Rising Sun
Posts: 146
Yeah, I think your numbers seem about right. Any monitor will work with the Mac Mini. According to Apple's website, a monitor with DVI or mini-DVI connector should work (it comes with an adaptor), but you will need to get an extra adapter to hook up VGA.

I think you will also need a keyboard and mouse with the Mac Mini, if you don't have one already. Standard USB cables in this case.

Developer of Petri. Available now on the iTunes Store.

These days I work with Tonchidot on Sekai Camera.
02-17-2010, 09:33 AM
#4
Joined: Jan 2009
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 5,206
Yeah, any DVI monitor will work. I use my own monitor on my Macbook Pro, and have it connected to a DVI-KVM switch so I can toggle back and forth between my Mac and my PC. Works like a charm.

[Relax with Galactic Chill] [Let me tell you a story.]
Currently working on: Music for Spirit Hunter Mineko
02-17-2010, 01:06 PM
#5
MexicanJesus,

Great news. I am happy you are now able to take the plunge. Love to see young people with energy moving forward. Wanted to point out a couple of things to you. Your best game plan might be to pick up small gigs here and there to improve your cash flow, before you develop apps for yourself. Your own apps probably are 4 months away from generating funds. One possible suggestion would be to help devs localize their apps to the Latin American markets. Remember don't forget to ask for work, you will be surprised how many people are willing to help someone who is trying to help themselves!

Last edited by Syndicated Puzzles; 02-17-2010 at 01:19 PM.
02-17-2010, 01:11 PM
#6
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 316
Thankyou for the help, everyone. Looks like the extra 250 will be going to a monitor and possibly a VGA adapter, which ever way I can find the cheapest monitor. I only plan on using the mac for development so I don't think I need that nice of one. Didn't think about the keyboard/mouse, will have to pick those up too. I have extras but they all have ps2 connections. Too bad, I was hoping I could use dev'ing as an excuse to get an iPod touch, oh well

I never spent this much on a computer, I always just upgraded my pc's on part at a time, often buying stuff used from friends. Hopefully I can get this all setup for what I need and can enjoy app development. I look forward to sleepless weekends, I'm sure there will be plenty to come!

@Sydicated Puzzles:
I was typing my reply when you made yours. I do plan to seek some small gigs when I can. I have often done this when I used to do a lot of webdesign, and it's always nice to have instant reactions to my work coming from the client, so I enjoy working for myself for others. I will probably take 3 or 4 months at first making my own apps unintended for circulation on the AppStore, just to get a good feel for the Xcode and the SDK. I want to make sure I know what I'm doing, and am able to do it quickly and efficiently before offering my services to anyone. But once I am comfortable with it, I will probably start looking more into contract work for individuals/companies looking for this type of service. Then do my own things between projects and/or when I'm burnt out on another project and need something different for an hour or two

I would like to make some side money, as currently my job leaves me and family living okay, but paycheck to paycheck. And your idea is a good one to help me achieve some extra income.

Last edited by MexicanJesus; 02-17-2010 at 01:21 PM.
02-17-2010, 01:31 PM
#7
That sounds about right. The only additional thing I would recommend is getting everything used/refurbished if you are strapped for cash. This is what I started out with:

- mac mini 1.8ghz 2gb ram (refurb from apple and 2 gb from new egg ~$500 total a year ago). I used old keyboard/mouse monitor from old pcs lying around.
- ipod touch 1st generation (100 bucks on ebay)
- $99 developer subscription
- ~$30 iphone/objc books (used from ebay/amazon)

+++Iskandar Inc+++
02-17-2010, 01:32 PM
#8
Joined: Sep 2009
Location: Vancouver, Canada
Posts: 977
Send a message via MSN to MindJuice Send a message via Skype™ to MindJuice
Quote:
Originally Posted by MexicanJesus View Post
Thankyou for the help, everyone. Looks like the extra 250 will be going to a monitor and possibly a VGA adapter, which ever way I can find the cheapest monitor. I only plan on using the mac for development so I don't think I need that nice of one. Didn't think about the keyboard/mouse, will have to pick those up too. I have extras but they all have ps2 connections. Too bad, I was hoping I could use dev'ing as an excuse to get an iPod touch, oh well
I think most new monitors, even cheap ones, have DVI ports these days. You DEFINITELY want to have a DVI connection though.

I just got a second monitor at my day job, and I don't have a HDMI-to-DVI cable for it yet (it's on order), so I am stuck with using it in VGA mode at the moment.

Even after adjusting the heck out of it, it is so much blurrier and less crisp than the my main DVI-connected monitor (I have 2 of the same monitor: Samsung SyncMaster 245B).

When you are staying up on those long weekends, your eyes will definitely thank you for choosing DVI.
02-17-2010, 01:50 PM
#9
Joined: Apr 2009
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 1,006
If you're cash strapped, I'd recommend keeping the following in mind:
1) while you need to pay the $99/year in order to get apps running on a real device, nothing will stop you from prototyping apps in the simulator, which comes as part of the free SDK.
2) if you already have a PC, there's no need to rush out and get a MacMini. Depending on what framework you're using for development, you can probably prototype your game completely on a PC. I usually write my stuff using GLUT for example, targeting a 320x480 window. The move to iphone is generally painless.
02-17-2010, 03:36 PM
#10
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 316
Well I only have a laptop currently. Feb of '08 I got on a plane and moved, so I had to abandon 6 computers I had accumulated. My laptop is pretty old and outdated plus in pretty bad condition. I'm over due for some new technology anyway so I am going to get the mac. If I don't get it now, I probably won't have the money to get a new computer for another year good advice through.

I'm thinking I will hold off on the license until I have something ready to be published. That gives me an extra 100 if I need it, and 100 I can save up in about a month so I think I will need to wait and use the simulator for starts.

And @MindJuice: I was looking up new monitors with dvi, and they aren't too bad on price so will most likely go that route. Maybe browse eBay see if I can find a used one for a little cheaper. Thank you again everyone for the advice.