Developer Diary #15 — Red Tape

This is Apple.

Alright, it’s about time I wrote. I’ve put off writing until I could announce Precarious Potions, but in light of recent events I will abandon that plan and write anyway. The past couple months I have been beating my head against the red tape gates of App Store submission. Precarious Potions is ready to go on Android, but iOS is proving to be a ferocious bureaucratic monster. I’ve tried to get around not owning a Mac but in the end I gave in. I will be buying a shiny new app submission box. Woe is me and all that.

On a more positive note, the New Year has brought a great deal of business with it. It has been encouraging to find email waiting for me almost every day. It looks like my work is getting out there and generating its own interest. That said, I do not know where most of my website views come from (you are a mystery to me). I can only think that the largely false “If you build it, they will come,” has become true in “build enough, long enough, and somebody will show up.”

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I have also spent some time reskinning JuJu Berry (the matching game I made for a local frozen yogurt shop) into an improved version with my own IP. I am thrilled with it and will be charging full steam toward Apple’s red tape nightmare again as soon as Precarious Potions is out the door. The current version is available for license now.

I am finding myself growing a passion for this style of match three game. I know that’s weird. It also rings a bit anti-indie. However, I think I have stumbled on something really incredible. I know match three has been done to death, but it is always done to death the same way. In the end, it’s about bottle-necking the player with number of pieces. But what if it was fundamentally different? What I am asking now is, “what if the bottleneck is removed?” What if the limiting factor becomes player memory and organizational prowess? I cannot describe how excited I am to play with these ideas. It’s just waiting to be done.

Things are really looking up! I can’t wait to report on Precarious Potions. Fingers crossed for late February!

-Ryan

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9 thoughts on “Developer Diary #15 — Red Tape

  1. Wow I never knew iOS was tricky to publish on. I would like to publish something on there in the future so thank you for the heads up 🙂
    I really like the sound of a more organizational style of the classic match three game. Seems like that would allow for a much higher skill ceiling than the classic formula. I can’t wait to see your take on it. Good luck man 😀

    • What I discovered was that app submission in general is difficult because there are so many forms to fill out. It can be a really intimidating wall of text the first time around. What makes Apple worse than, say, Google is their wall of text is much much bigger. You definitely NEED a guide to walk you through iOS submission, because the path through their website infrastructure is so ridiculous and unintuitive. Please don’t take this as a reason to not try your hand at an app–just know that it won’t be over in an afternoon.

      As always, thanks for the comments. They’re really appreciated.

      Ryan

      • I guess filling out lots of forms is a little off putting but I would be a mad man to not publish a game on iOS if I could 🙂

        Publishing on the Android platform was quite a simple process. Apart from a few errors in the Android manifest file, it was mainly information about the app. Are all the fields relevant to the app, or is some of it there to cover Apple’s ass?

        Thank you again for blogging this.

      • It’s less about the content of the forms and more about navigating their website. The Play Store is as simple as signing in and clicking one very obvious Submit button. iOS just doesn’t have a front door. In the end, you need two separate accounts (which you will sign in and out of repeatedly), click through a couple nondescript links on pages which are stuffed with text you do not need to read but likely will waste your time on if you don’t know better, create “certificates” and “provisioning profiles” for reasons unexplained (I now know why they are necessary, but Apple does a terrible job of explaining them), go to a completely different location on their website, fill in all the app information, leave their website, and submit using XCode. Each if these steps took a full day the first time around. Maybe it’s my fault, but what I know is I started this process in December and am finally at the end of it in February. For me it was a total nightmare. Maybe it won’t be for you–people do it all the time–just definitely have a guide handy while doing it.

      • That’s just really shoddy, downright insulting, and for a company that prides itself on elegance, unbelievable.

        I kind of understand about the certificates if they are similar to the signed key certificates you have to use for Google Play but I’ve lost some respect for Apple for the other stuff. I didn’t have much respect for them before because of their planned obsolescence business practice but you shouldn’t have to jump through hoops just to upload a app, write a description and add screenshots.

        Thank you for sharing all that though dude, I will definitely try and get my head round it (if I can) before I attempt to submit onto iOS. That’s, I imagine, highly stressful when your launching an app, which is a stressful time anyway. Oh well, if Apple cared about the people making them money they would’ve sorted it out by now I’m guessing.

  2. Signing up as an Apple dev drove me mad too. Everything you’ve said is spot on, it’s a nightmare. I had to use a few different guides as recent changes to the Apple site render half of the existing guides redundant now. In fact believe it or not the changes they’ve made in the past year have made it easier – when I signed up in 2011 with a previous account it was even more unintuitive.

    Great news that business is gathering pace for you, it’s about time somebody changed up the match 3 genre a bit.

    • I can’t imagine it being more frustrating than it already is. I’m glad to hear it is better than it was. Thanks for stopping by, it’s always encouraging to know people will be reading.

  3. Pingback: Developer Diary #18 — Lava Lamb | Creative Ink Games

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