After two years of caring and breeding, my game Letteral finally hatched today. I originally estimated that it would only take me 12 months to develop the game… then 18… Now, it has been 24 months and it could have been a lot more if it weren’t for the fantastic community of iOS developers who is sharing their questions, thoughts, and knowledge on the internet.
I learned a lot while developing Letteral. Of course, I became better at stuff I already knew, like UI design and general programming. But I also had to dive into topics I never worked on before, for example, GameCenter, Amazon Web Services or advertisements. This knowledge should not go to waste, so I’m going to publish a series of blog posts in which I’ll share my experiences with you. A new post will be up each Friday. I haven’t yet decided on all the topics that I’m going to cover, so if there is anything you are particularly interested in, please let me know!
Table of Contents
- 0. Introduction (this post)
- 1. The evolution of Letteral
- 2. Fine-tuning the gameplay
- 3. Visual design 1 – Basic considerations
- 4. Visual design 2 – Colors, Animations and Sound
- 5. Visual design 3 – First impressions: Name and Logo
- 6. Game Center 1 – Overview
- Amazon Web Services
- Marketing without a budget
- The iOS App Store
- And more…
Who is this guy?
My name is Philipp Schlösser, I’m an iOS developer from Braunschweig, Germany. In 2010, during my time at university, I decided to get into iOS development. Becoming an app developer, a profession which didn’t even exist two years earlier, was an exciting prospect! As a) I wanted to work on a real project and b) the official Tumblr client was fairly bad back then, I started developing a Tumblr client of my own. After developing it for two years in my spare time (I originally estimated that it would only take me 12 months to develop the app – You might see a pattern here…) “Bloggn” hit the App Store by the end of 2012. Although my app turned out to be pretty good, by then the official Tumblr app was not only working nicely but also free. So, as you can imagine, Bloggn’s financial success was… marginal, to put it mildly. Of course, it is long gone from the App Store but you can find some last traces of it here or here.
Honestly: Even though it is hard to imagine today, it was quite a good looking app in 2012 🙂
From all of this, I learned two things:
- It might not be that easy to become an App Store millionaire after all
- Developing for iOS is a real joy
It was mainly due to the second realization that in 2015, after finishing university, I started working as an iOS developer for a local, medium-sized IT-company. My job of back then is also my job of today although, having dipped my toes into Android- and even Xamarin-development, I now call myself “mobile developer”. Yet, almost exactly two years ago, I felt that something was missing from my job: As my company is mainly doing contract work, I was missing the creativity and the feeling of working on something that is truly my own. And so, Letteral was born…