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iPhone: Music Madness

06-05-2010, 12:49 AM
#1
Joined: Apr 2010
Location: Charlottesville, VA
Posts: 12
Music Madness

My friend Chris sent me an email about this Reddit post:

http://www.reddit.com/r/programming/...a_programmer_b...

So, I did it. A week later, I submitted Music Madness to Apple for review, hoping no one else beat me to it. Apparently, no one did, and the game is available on the iTunes store at www.itunes.com/apps/musicmadness.



In Music Madness, songs from your music library are entered into a "March Madness" style tournament. Each round, songs are paired up and you choose which of the two you like best. You can listen to samples of each song to help you decide.

In the end, the champion is added to a "Hall of Fame" playlist containing all the past tournament winners - your own personal Greatest Hits anthology!

IMPORTANT: YOU MUST HAVE AT LEAST 8 SONGS SYNC'ED TO YOUR IPOD OR IPHONE IN ORDER TO USE THIS APP.

A lot of people have been requesting larger tournaments. I'm currently working on an update for tournaments with 32 and 64 initial songs. Some people also want to start a tournament just with the Hall of Fame songs, which totally makes sense. A best-of-the-best thing, right? I'm working on that, too. They might not both make it into the same update, but I'll try to get them out ASAP.

For support, criticism, future feature requests, or anything else related to Music Madness, email MusicMadness@BillStitson.com.








Last edited by Bilbert; 06-05-2010 at 11:35 AM. Reason: The next update will offer 32- and 64-song tournaments. I messed up and wrote 16 and 32.
06-05-2010, 10:47 AM
#2
Joined: Apr 2010
Posts: 9
This is a nice app. It runs smoothly and is easy to use. I agree with you that it should have bigger tournaments, and a tournament of champions would be nice. It is most fun to do with your friends I think. The best feature I think is that when you are choosing between the songs in each round you can listen to a sample from each one. This is a fun app, I am surprised that nobody else has made something like it yet. You definitely should add those features that you talked about. I think a few sound effects might jazz it up a little bit too.

06-06-2010, 09:43 AM
#3
Joined: Apr 2010
Location: Charlottesville, VA
Posts: 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by floydian05 View Post
I think a few sound effects might jazz it up a little bit too.
What's the consensus on this? I'd like to hear if people think sound effects or an intro theme would add production value, or just be annoying. Anyone?

After all, I made the game originally based on a forum post. The updates should come "from the people" as well.
06-06-2010, 10:39 AM
#4
Joined: Dec 2009
Location: germany
Posts: 195
i don't want to come off as a d*ck here, but for the sake of this app i'll be honest.

music madness does look somewhat intriguing to me because i like the concept but looking at the current price point - comparing it to what i get for the money - i'll have to pass on it for now.

the biggest beef i have with this app right now and the main reason why i didn't get it yet is that i really dislike the style of the ui. the yellow borders are hideous and the face-off button just does not fit in there and looks somewhat cheap. and why is there some galaxy picture in the background? once again sorry for the harsh tone, but an app like this has to look somehow stylish imo. it does not have to be fancy or anything, it just has to fit. e.g. i came up with this in about a minute and i dig it more than the current one. (bare in mind that i am no designer and i just did this to prove a point. just so you would get the gist of what i mean.) last time: i do not want to bash you or anything i just really don't like how the app looks right now....



furthermore i think the idea with larger "tournaments" and the "best of the best tournament" is great. that should add to the experience. sound effects might add to the whole if the effects are good. on the other hand these effects can ruin the experience. so if you do include sound effects i would suggest a turn off/on button.
06-06-2010, 01:34 PM
#5
Joined: Apr 2010
Location: Charlottesville, VA
Posts: 12
I really appreciate your feedback, especially about the UI. I'm no graphic artist by any means. The space picture for the background is there pretty much because in the original version it was a dull gray, and I thought there should be something interesting instead, and the colors I had used for the title screen and icon/logo (blue, black, white, yellow) seemed to fit a space theme well. I didn't think the graphics were so bad they would turn people off from the game. If anything I wanted them to be neutral, as the focus is on the functionality of the app, not how it looks.

As for the price, well, as I add more features in the next couple of weeks I hope it will seem more reasonable. But there really is no other app out there that does anything like this. If someone else made an app that did what Music Madness does, and wasn't bug-ridden, I would consider lowering the price. There are plenty of cheap apps out there, but my goal is to produce bug-free apps that do something unique, don't crash, and continue to add the new features that users ask for.
06-06-2010, 03:32 PM
#6
Joined: Dec 2009
Location: germany
Posts: 195
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bilbert View Post
I really appreciate your feedback, especially about the UI. I'm no graphic artist by any means. The space picture for the background is there pretty much because in the original version it was a dull gray, and I thought there should be something interesting instead, and the colors I had used for the title screen and icon/logo (blue, black, white, yellow) seemed to fit a space theme well. I didn't think the graphics were so bad they would turn people off from the game. If anything I wanted them to be neutral, as the focus is on the functionality of the app, not how it looks.

As for the price, well, as I add more features in the next couple of weeks I hope it will seem more reasonable. But there really is no other app out there that does anything like this. If someone else made an app that did what Music Madness does, and wasn't bug-ridden, I would consider lowering the price. There are plenty of cheap apps out there, but my goal is to produce bug-free apps that do something unique, don't crash, and continue to add the new features that users ask for.
the price point of 1.99 is absolutely fair if it does work flawlessly and i would grab it without a doubt if it was only for the functionality.

music has always been a medium to me that could transport a tremendous amount of different feelings in a most beautiful manner. sensual in a way... so for me anything that visualizes music in any form, therefor has to be at least "neat" itself. i know that must sound painfully over the top or maybe even cocky to some but thats how i feel.

that's also why i got an ipt2g in the first place. the device was and still is the damndest sexy hardware on the market for me. if i only had looked for functionality regarding audio playback i'd most definitely had gone with another product.

if i am the only one that feels about the graphics that way it's tough luck for me but i am quite sure that there a lot other people out there that would like to see another approach on the ui.
06-06-2010, 09:34 PM
#7
The problem with a game like this is the seeding. How does your app handle pre-qualification? If this app is just random seeds then it is VERY likely your favorite songs will pair up in the early tiers, only to have a landslide at the end.
06-08-2010, 10:36 PM
#8
Joined: Apr 2010
Location: Charlottesville, VA
Posts: 12
Hey, sorry I've been away for a couple days.

@carnivore - I don't think you're alone in how you feel about graphics. The iPhone is a very sexy device, and Apple is doing very well because of it. As an independent developer, though, I don't really have the resources to hire a graphic artist, and I chose to prioritize functionality. I think the visual appeal of Music Madness is something that certainly deserves my attention, but it will have to wait until this next update is out. People really want larger brackets, so I intend to give it to them.

@Benegesserit - You might be surprised, though it does depend on an individual's library. The initial idea for the game was to seed based on play count and skip count, but during testing (with random seeding) it seemed to work well enough for v1.0. I will say, however, that v1.2 will be seeded as originally intended, by play count. Seeding becomes much more important with larger brackets, I have noticed.

Both of you seem at least interested in the idea, though skeptical of its implementation. Would you be interested in a Lite version, perhaps limited to the small brackets and without the Hall of Fame playlist feature? It's an idea I've been toying with for a while, but I'm afraid of giving away too much for free.

Again, thanks for the honest feedback. Much appreciated.
06-15-2010, 06:48 PM
#9
Joined: Dec 2009
Location: germany
Posts: 195
oops, i'm sorry. i did totally forget about this one.

yes bilbert, i would very much be interested in a lite version. as you said you might ease up on content. just include the smallest possible tournament and leave out the playlist stuff.

problem is that you will find developers that will tell you not to do that, i.e. not release such a lite version at all. that is because a lite can be pretty much a two edged sword. there have been cases in which lites got extreme hate for not including such and such features and might as well have turned many people off of buying the full version. don't want to scare you or anything, you just might give that a thought.

about the graphics: ask friends to help you out. in my experience everybody has at least 1-2 friends that are pretty good with drawing and stuff. for quality control just ask the women in your life. women mostly have a good sense for aesthetics.
06-24-2010, 03:57 PM
#10
Joined: Apr 2010
Posts: 196
I actually like the random seeding it keeps you wondering what you are going to get matchup wise in each tournament.

If you are looking to do something with qualification though here are some ideas.

-previous tournament winner is automatically in the next tourney.
-a qualification system that takes into account #of plays,how well it has done in previous tourneys,and other random factors

-maybe a option to either do random seeding or seeding by number of plays.