Hi! I am an app developer form California! I am currently a Viewpoint high school sophomore. I developed this app from 2013-2017. This app was published extremely recently on app store.
My inspiration initiated from this mysterious trend that stormed the app-store since 2013. The release of many apps like Flappy Bird, Crossy Road, and the letter series started a trend of "clean" apps. These apps are not gaudy, but they provide incredible humor and entertainment that many overcomplicated apps cannot bring. I am inspired by this trend. I strive to entertain my users with an app that possesses efficiency yet not lacking uniqueness
What's it about?
This is my exact description of the app on the app store:
Tap to change the direction of the character. Do not hit anything. Challenge your reflexes and prediction skills. Unlock new shapes. Customize your game to provide the best experience.
To sum it up, this is an endless arcade climbing game created for relaxation, humor, and stress relief. The selling point of this app is the seemingly simple control system contrasts with the difficulty to create a sense of entertainment and provide users the urge to play continuously.
Functions include: Gamecenter Leaderboard , Social Media Sharing , Very Complete Customization , Record Tracker .
Essence and Uniqueness
This App is founded upon efficiency. I look for what the market wants the most and I make the app based on what people like. In the high-stress and extremely competitive society we live in, some high quality yet low energy consuming relaxation is priceless. The app is designed to be played with one hand, anywhere. Wether it is on a school bus to school or on a metro to work, Rage: Arcade One Tap is created so that the users can easily initiate the game, enjoy the experience, and improve life quality. Sometimes, a short and productive break from intense work can be game-changing.
My Designing Experience
Having taken advanced programming courses in and outside of school, I dedicated 3 years of my life to this application. My app went through around 100 or so different developing versions. It has gone through three major changes. I strive to perfect every single graphical detail so that it looks as professional as the top ranked apps on the app store.
Take the trail the character spawns for an example, the trail alone took me around two weeks to perfect. I experimented with different types of fade effects: the decrease in size combined with decrease in visibility, random orientations of trails, different initial trail sizes and different initial frequencies of spawning trails. After countless testing, I generated the current type of trail that is most liked by my users.
When programming and designing the app, one of my key concept is to prioritize user experience. Luckily, my friends are extremely supportive of my inquiries and surveys regarding their experiences. Many of them provided priceless ideas that my app now runs on.
Challenges and Failures
Challenges and failures is probably what I have the most to say. Being my first ever published app, this entire 3 year process is hours of experimenting, researching online, and failing.
I ran into major challenges in both coding and publishing.
As a first time developer, coding and designing the app has been challenging. Specifically, the code of the game requires very complex and organized structure along with rigorous logic. In the beginning, I had very loose and unorganized structures for my code. It was fine for the initial stages, but as the game developed to become more and more complex, my unorganized structure began to fail. Sometimes it can take up to hours to find one single coding error from my lines of chaotic code. In the end it is the addition of the customize function that completely destructed my once sloppy structure. Because of the various options (around 20) the user can select from, storing the data the original loose structure became a complete catastrophe. I realize that it was impossible to continue and I rewrote around 80% of my code prior to the customize functionality.
Publishing was no where close to being simple either. Faced with countless contracts, certificates, and portfolios that I have never even heard of before was truly frustrating. As a first timer, you can imagine what it is like to have thousands of legal and technical terminologies thrown at you every time you log on to apple developing center. Publishing is an enormous challenge to my patience. Despite having the rush to publish my app as soon as possible, I had to refrain myself, sit down, and patiently sort out all the procedures required leading to publication. To further overcome this challenge, I grasped every single one of the opportunities I had to consult professionals. From my friend's tutor who has somewhat experience working in the computer industry to my mother's friend who works for snapchat, I frequently bother them with questions on publication. As a high school sophomore, I had almost zero experience with legal terms and copy right issues, these advices I acquired were indispensable to me.
With so much horrific obstacles like infinite bugs and infinite imperfections, yes, I have thought of giving up in my three year process. My parents were strongly against the idea of making an app. Out of kind concerns, they question my ability to produce an app as a high school student and they argue that making an app will heavily impact my performance in school. These three years were like going through an endless dark tunnel, I did not know what is ahead of me. It has been a cycle of discovering problems and solving problems. It was an enormous gamble, countless hours were invested for an unknown outcome that is likely to be failure. With heavy school work and threatening challenges , I was on the edge of quitting multiple times. Looking back, I think what kept me going was my unshaken faith that this game idea is going to feed the desire of the market. I always believed that in the high stress society today, a game that can be played anywhere in minutes and provides quality relaxation will do well.
Me and the World
Even though I am an individual developer, teamwork interactions still played an important role in my game development. As mentioned above, I frequently inquired people who are correlated with the app industry for valuable advices, and my friends' first hand user experience as outsiders is priceless. Furthermore, I created a forum online where newly registered app developers can discuss both coding and graphics. Interactions with both the professionals and the users were very valuable for me.
During these three years, developing the app has been the biggest part of my life. I know it might appear easy to professionals, but for me it was a difficult journey where I learned plenty. My patience was tested with the long and tedious legal documents and certificates from the app store. My code organization significantly improved as I got a taste of the result of an unorganized structure. My tenacity and my ability to conquer difficulties with logic and critical thinking was improved by solving all the problems and incidents that occurred. But, my biggest take away was the ability to withstand pressure and anxiety. When I had no clue what difficulties were ahead, when the time I spent working was all an enormous gamble, when my parents were constantly criticizing me when I was working, I built resistance to my own doubts. I am now more confident in my beliefs and it is impossible to make me give up.
I have very ambitious plans for the future of my app. First, I would like to make music myself and use it as the background music for my app. I will spend a portion of the summer learning how to generate original music. Second, I would like to create different modes and add different characters to further enhance the in-game performance, creating more interests for users. Third, Instead of commercial ads, I am working on inserting free ad campaigns for Operation Smile (a non profit organization I volunteer for). The game mainly targets young people with stress from work and school, and these people are perfect targets for volunteer recruit at operation smile as well. I would like the further publish this on Google Play for Android users. My ultimate goal, of course, is to popularize the app as much as possible to provide higher quality entertainment for more people.
For A Cause
Every single cent I earn (IAP and advertisement) from this game will be donated to two organizations I volunteer for: Reef Check USA and Operation Smile. I hope my ambition and hard work can make a difference.