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Dec 31

2012 – Year in Review

Well it’s been my busiest year ever. Six Foot Three Foot has kept me busy full time for a whole calendar year. Some projects got shifted, some got shelved, some got released. Over the year, we saw Retro Art Studio grow across both iOS / Android to the point where at any moment in time there were at least 100 people playing the game around the world. For a small developer like myself, that’s a huge accomplishment.

What I’ve done:

Mojo Video Poker has done excellent on the Mac platform, we really wish people could find it on iOS, it truly is the best video poker app out there, and I’m not just saying that because I made it. It really was made by a video poker player for video poker enthusiasts.

Word Jumblerama Blitz, this came out of a personal challenge to make a game in 1 week, I did and it actually did quite well. For a free game, with very little graphical polish, the game keeps people playing in long sessions (sometimes an hour or more), which is fantastic. I’d like to see it get a wider audience, especially on android, and have some ideas to help that out for the next year.

Also Six Foot did a bit of contracting work within New Zealand. I’ve been helping out at Carnival Labs, and helped them on a tight deadline for an app for CNN. Then I took over a project for iOS (iPhone / iPad) for a feature film promotion. I did 5 of the 6 releases, including some graphic work, all the level design, and programming. In the end I made 5 unique programs under the umbrella program, sometimes with less than 2 weeks to develop one. I was also in control of localization, and asset management. Several lessons learned there, and a lot of fun working on new projects. We finished off the year starting a new contract at Trade Me a company in NZ which to put simply, is the eBay of New Zealand. I’ll continue that contract into the next year, and hope to provide them with some good work.

That’s the summary of what we did.

What I didn’t do.

Episode 9:
I had wanted to start work on Episode 9, a not so secret, secret project. However it’s a huge labor of love, taking one of my favorite creations, and bringing it back to life. As a result, along with working 16 hours a day 7 days a week… I didn’t feel I could fully commit to it. I hope to change that very soon.

Box Stuffer:
This was a puzzle game I had started, (I’ve started about 20 puzzle games), it is a good idea, I have all the functional bits, but I don’t have the resources to do the level design. That’s something that I’m not sure I’m the best to do, which has been a blocker on a few projects. I need to either commit to doing it, or find someone to help. This project is still around, even looked at it last week, but it’s on the back burner for now.

New Ideas

Some new things that came out this year which are in progress, I’ll even put a little marker to estimate how far they are.

  • Mojo Casino – (iOS / Mac) [25% Complete] : This was an ambitious project I started to create a collection of casino games that can be played on all devices. I know there are many casino apps out there, so my goal was to make something that was fun, accessible, and didn’t rob you blind of fake credits like most virtual casinos on these platforms do.
  • Mojo Solitaire – (iOS / Mac) [75% Complete]: This is a collection of single player games that help you pass the time. Initially to be released with Spider Solitaire, Klondike, and Mahjong Solitaire. The game was just about ready for release in June, but a new job took precedence, and I can only afford 1-2 hours a week right now. But I do plan to get the first release out ASAP.
  • Arcade Collection – (iOS) [10% Complete] : This is a collection of arcade style games, that are quick play. It is meant to be small fun games, like in a quarter arcade way back when. The goal is for all the games to be compatible with the iCade controller, for a mini arcade at home.
  • Photo Booth – (iOS) [20% Complete] : This is an app that allows you to take photos, and do some fun tweaking, modifying, etc. I know it sounds like other apps, but I hope this one will be slightly different, and more accessible. Plus we’ll never sell your photos…
  • Localive & MediaDirect – (iOS) [ 30% Complete ] – This is a framework I’ve found a need for after working with international clients on rapid development projects. First is Localive, a way to dynamically update text after an app is released (currently you need to release a new version.) I hope this will help people push out apps with functional changes, and then have the localization catch up while the app is in review, saving between 6-16 days per release, a huge saving for a developer over time. MediaDirect, is a tool for quickly and easily serving hosted content to devices. The need this came out of was releasing a universal app with retina graphics, meaning an iPhone had to install with iPad Retina, iPad, iPhone Retina, and iPhone graphics, it became a nightmare in terms of app size. So the goal now is to just ship with baseline graphics, then use the MediaDirect Framework to pull the appropriate assets for the device. Obviously managing of the assets is required, but the Framework should make handling the assets transparent.

As you can see, I’ve been busy and plan to be more so! My work is building and building, as are my relationships with people who make apps, and those who want them. I continue to offer help to just about anyone who needs some input, (I started this company in 1998, so I’ve been around a few blocks). Now I blogged all this, I’m excited to get working again! But right now it’s time to take my family to the park.

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