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!

Notography Updated for iOS7

"Notography" breaks my rule, when designing iOS apps I try to stick to the simple rule of:

"If you can't sum it up in one sentence, it's too complicated"

That said, it is the app I am most excited about. It is artistic, it has flair and it is unique in a way that even if someone tried to copy it, they will probably misinterpret what it is and botch their design.

Notography can't be summed up in one sentence but it is definitely something special and those who understand it, love it.

I feel like I've let a few fans down with the delayed release of patch 2.01, when iOS7 was released it came with unexpected challenges. While it is yet to be confirmed I believe there is a bug in iOS7's AVfoundation framework (the tools used to directly control the camera), specifically it caused memory issues when repeatedly opening the camera, which is a fundamental part of my apps design.

It took a long time and a lot of trial and error to come up with an effective work around for the problem. I am very pleased with the solution I came up with and Notography users can enjoy a faster and more robust experience than ever before.

I'm really excited to share version 2.01 with you, it has been submitted to Apple for review and hopefully will be available sometime within the next week. Thank you for your continued support and my apologies for any issues the delayed release of this patch has caused.