New years progress report

2014 has kicked off and so have I on the 12 games in 12 months challenge. I chose a simple game to start off with and it is kind of more of a training tool for cashiers than an actual game.

Progress has been good though and I hope to get it out within just a few weeks so as to have plenty of time to work on Februarys project as it will most likely be more difficult.

I'm trying to decide on the format for the book, I want to explain all the core functionality fairly well so the menu template will most likely be a separate project.

To keep things as simple as possible I will most likely be working towards making these projects very property list heavy so you can get started with less hard coding.

12G Challenge Update #1

I knew the concept of committing to finishing and publishing a game a month wasn't new but until recently I didn't know the resources and groups available were so plentiful. Even one of my idols Matthijs Hollemans has attempted the challenge, he may not have completed the challenge but I'm sure he learnt a lot in the process.

I feel with the simplicity of SpriteKit, my understanding of technical game design and the template which is now almost complete to take control of the menu tools and even a few utilities to make SpriteKit even faster, I may be able to pull it off... but maybe I am just crazy.

Keep an eye on my profile on: #onegameamonth

12 Sprite Kit games in 12 months

I've grown awfully fond of SpriteKit in the last few weeks of looking at it and would love to make some games using it. Looking at the business position and time I have to put in to those sort of personal projects its often hard to budget time to make the cool stuff, like games.

I'm still not sure with my time commitments if this idea is even possible but one thing I'd love to do is challenge myself to make 12 games in 12 months, releasing on the 1st of each month where possible.

This means I have to make a few changes to the business structure for my current apps placing them in to two categories:

  • Premium Products: Our "Northy Software" premium product apps will still receive ongoing support, updates and feature additions over time until such date they are decommissioned. They will also be kept up to date with any iOS updates.
    Current Premium Apps: Defects Collector, Notography
  • Budget Entertainment: Our "Northy Software" budget entertainment apps will receive support and updates for up to six months. Any new features after the initial six months will be available via in-app store. They will be kept up to date with any iOS updates after premium apps have been updated.
    Current Budget Apps: Wicked Freefall!, Dubstep Calculator, Evil Block Company

This model should make the app side of the business more sustainable beside the consulting side of the business. If we are going to go from 2 Premium and 3 budget apps to 2 premium (maybe 3) and 15 budget apps by this time in 2014 then that is significant growth in products we need to support.

Quality is something I am passionate about, exercising proper UX design and making great products is essential. I believe this exercise could not only uphold the current standards but improve upon them by forcing design choices based on time constraints and increased exposure to the SpriteKit environment.

12 Games in 12 months, what else?

It's a fun goal but surely there is more that be accomplished within this time period than simply having 12 games on the store at the end.

Learning Sprite Kit Package: What if I was to document the entire process either by video tutorials, video blog, text blog, etc explaining design decisions, coding, marketing decisions and more explaining the whole process over 12 months and packaging it all together with the source code for all 12 games and releasing it to the world as a development package and full course. 

Self Improvement: By far one of the hardest parts of this goal, in building this business and learning new things, I've found it hard to keep in shape. That has to change. I want to lose 2kg for every game released and be 24kg lighter by this time next year.

I want to hold myself to this goal by linking it in with this package and having a chapter on healthy living and how active software developers can take control of their "computer weight". Each release date will also contain how much I have lost since the previous release.

As you can see, I want to keep this project very personal and close to my heart, just like my products. I don't just want to make quick games, I want to make fun games which people will actually be excited to play. It will be a massive challenge.

I think it is time for me to stop typing and get to work, if you support this project, please let me know, the encouragement will only help me reach my goals sooner!