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How you started developing - tell your story

08-23-2010, 02:09 PM
#1
Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 58
How you started developing - tell your story

I thought it would be nice if some kind guys who are developing games for iOS told their stories - how did they get into that thing, what background did they have, why did they decide to start it and how it is going for them. One topic with them all would be really great to get the experience and motivation going.
Please share with us!
08-23-2010, 03:06 PM
#2
Joined: Mar 2009
Location: Oslo, Norway
Posts: 731
Let's see:
Grew up in the 8-bit era and in my early teens dreamt of becoming a game developer. Took computer classes in High School but at the time no-one seemed to consider games anything but kids-stuff. After three years I had grown frustrated finding that the creativity was not particularly appreciated in software development. I continued to dabble with programming on a hobby-basis with my Amiga for years (Amos and Blitz Basic) but by the mid-nineties I more or less stopped completely.

When the iPhone Development Program started however I knew I had to get back on the horse. The thrill of seeing my own stuff on the screen the first time, and having my code react to touches and stuff was pure euphoria. The learning curve was steep though, not the least because I had no experience in objective-oriented programming and had a hard time breaking away from my procedural programming-roots. Also, as my only programming experience was from Turbo Pascal and miscellaneous BASIC dialects the syntax was alien to me. Adding Cocoa on top of that, well, I wasn't convinced I'd ever crack it. The time I spent creating "Ben's somewhat spiffy-looking but ultimately craptastic rock-paper-scissors game" was ridiculous (it would probably take an evening today). However I stuck to it, bought several books, went through online tutorials, watched videos. And most importantly: Kept coding, just tiny, tiny stuff trying out the different parts of the Cocoa framework.

I consider "Fumbers" my first proper title, especially from a structural standpoint as I think it is (mostly) programmed in a very sensible manner. I am currently working on my next game: "Squid Drop" and have taken a shine to Cocos2D. As a business it has been a disaster to put it mildly but I haven't spent any more than I can afford. While programming can be the most frustrating endeavor in the world, it can also be the most rewarding. As I have always been creatively inclined I can combine so many of my favorite hobbies (drawing, animating, making music, programming etc.) to create one single piece of work. And I am even able to sell it! Now, if I could only get someone to start buying my stuff as well it'd be Nirvana.

08-23-2010, 03:09 PM
#3
I'll jump in here with a quick "how I got here" post.
Ok. I wrote a bunch of stuff, but I think I just rambled on. So, here is a condensed version.

I've always loved making game mechanics, systems and stories.
No one I knew would write code for the game ideas I had. No matter how good I thought the idea was! (A lot of ideas are junk. A few are good enough to put more work into).
So, in 96 I taught myself how to program so that I would be able to make my own games. Started with VB4 and worked up from there. Got a life... a family ... a job... etc and didn't have nearly enough time.
Projects for computer games are SO HUGE of an undertaking that it has become (nearly) impossible for an indie developer.
Then... iPhone comes along and changes all that. The games are smaller, the scope is cleaner it has all become possible once again for the indie developer! So, last year I decided to jump in and I taught myself Objective-C, and wrote a game.
I've dedicated nearly every evening after the little one goes to bed to learning the language and writing the game. Even though it is "doable", it is a ridiculous amount of extra work on top of a day job and family.
But I LOVE it.
Hopefully it'll pay off a bit so that I can outsource the graphics for the next game.
08-23-2010, 03:48 PM
#4
Joined: Jun 2009
Location: Hollywood, CA
Posts: 1,869
worked in the game industry for 12 yrs
tired of working on big titles and making rich people richer but getting laid off when they mismanage everything. seemed like a good time to try and do it on my own (couldn't be that much more work anyway...)
08-23-2010, 07:29 PM
#5
Been a huge gamer since NES in the 80s, my older brother was a game console collector of sorts. Both my parents were fine artists making a living professionally and working as teachers. They pushed hard for me to pursue art as it's what I had a knack for. Ended up tieing games and art together. Got a 2 year degree in graphic design.

Got a job at a game company, they folded, luckily I had been talking to the owner of another company. He hired me as their graphic artist, been there for going on 5 years. My wife was keen on learning iPhone coding, so we bought her an Apple and tutorials etc.

A year later, she's learned a ton and we're still working on finding our success story. :P Our latest game Chibi Chaingun http://forums.toucharcade.com/showthread.php?t=64779 we put a lot of passion into as it's part of a story we have also released comics for. It's been fun, but our hobbies have been consumed by this. It has become our hobby and a labor of love. In this biz, it has to be. We hope it can turn into more in the future.

Count Crunch's Candy Curse
Kreature Krunch
Arcade Jumper

www.blackhivemedia.com
Austin, Tx.
08-24-2010, 12:27 PM
#6
Interesting thread

Was a middle school math teacher for 2 years until I decided there was too much crap that I didn't like with the system, so quit, leaving me at a crossroads of sorts as to what the heck I was going to do. Was already dabbling with 3DS Max for a while and wanted to go that direction with a career, but until then I never had something to force me to really learn the program up to a professional level... and of course time was ticking fast as my savings began to dwindle

I have 4 brothers and we always talked about the pipe dream of starting a company together... and then came the half serious suggestion -- being gamers and all having iPhones -- that we should make an iPhone game as a first project and see where it goes.

And, a year later here we are -- as of right now this is my job and I'm loving it. We have released one game that has exceeded our expectations, and are in full development of our second. There is definitely something to be said about doing this stuff for fun first and foremost and making a profit on top of it all. We really have high hopes that this will turn into something sustainable, but I think our second game will really be a big indicator for any sort of longevity.

Last edited by Foursaken_Media; 08-24-2010 at 12:36 PM.
08-24-2010, 01:32 PM
#7
And this is my story...

I started my life first as a gamer using the C64 in 1989, followed by the Amiga. I was always interested in developing but had no skills / knowledge. So I played more instead...

After many years I was missing my old C64 so much that I started the development of a C64 emulator. Another reason was that I wanted to learn object-oriented programming using C++ and Visual Studio. Here is the buggy result: Axels C64 emulator

So I had become a programmer...cool...and I was looking for the next project. This was a remake of "Eye of the Beholder II". As you can see I'm a little bit lost in the past. The unfinished result: Spectalum This was my first project for a mobile device as well (Win mobile).

My first professional - and finished (!) - project was a Flash-MMORPG called Fabularis (only available in german). I learned a lot about networking with this game...the development was a lot of fun.

After I got my first iPhone (I'm a tech geek ) I decided early last year to give the iDevice devolpement a try. A year later my first game was ready: Age of Tribes. However, I made a lot of mistakes with this game but did not lost the interest in appstore development.

My current game - Agents! - will be ready soon and I even found a publisher, or better THE publisher found me. Thats really great. And today I decided to go on with this business fulltime and I will cancel my boring, boring job soon. Hopefully this will pay off in the future as it is a tough step. Nevertheless I'm excited like crazy.

Last edited by FancyFactory; 08-24-2010 at 03:33 PM.
08-24-2010, 01:34 PM
#8
Joined: Dec 2009
Location: Oh Around
Posts: 141
Always wanted to be making games whether on PC or using XNA for Xbox and I caught on when I heard about apps and the itouch. Although I don't consider myself that good I wanted to get involved in app making and found Kiwa Media (the company I know work for.) I might try making my own apps that I want to make soon though as tbh they know nothing on how apps work.

I started with simple stuff like Kids Word Find but now it's mainly childrens books I do, not really "games" like I was hoping to when I started.

Last edited by TheGreemSim; 08-24-2010 at 01:36 PM.
08-24-2010, 03:05 PM
#9
Joined: Dec 2009
Posts: 1,068
I am absolutely loving reading through this great thread.

So inspiratinal, although this might partially be because of the uplifting 'One More Time' by Daft Punk which I am listening to ATM (shout out to the guys that recommended some great songs in my 'Recomend a song' thread ).

I am lightly dabbling in a bit of coding (bought a few books etc.) but hope to focus more on iPhone development when I get older.


Quote:
Originally Posted by FancyFactory View Post
...and I even found a publisher, or better THE publisher found me.
What publisher have you signed up with if you don't mind me asking (and if you are allowed to say ).

Congrats on your movement into full-time.

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08-24-2010, 03:30 PM
#10
Quote:
Originally Posted by madmud101 View Post

What publisher have you signed up with if you don't mind me asking (and if you are allowed to say ).

Congrats on your movement into full-time.
Unfortunally I'm not allowed talking about this yet. But I'm very happy with this partnership and hopefully can give you some more information soon. Mmhh...if you read my initial post in the Agents thread you may find a clue.

Last edited by FancyFactory; 08-24-2010 at 03:33 PM.