Recently AppCraver spoke with the developers over at Play 'Em. CEO Andrei Nadin was nice enough to answer our questions about developing games for iPhone and iPod Touch. The company's first game is Touch 'Em.
1. When did you start developing apps for the iPhone?
Andrei Nadin: I just went back through my emails and amazingly we actually started talking to each other about things in March — at the time we were planning on using the Unity game engine to do it as we are already licensees of it. Unfortunately, due to the fact that the engine has taken a little longer than they would have liked we moved to the officialSDK around about the launch of the App Store. From then to now has only been a couple of months which we are quite pleased about.
2. What was the inspiration behind your app?
Andrei Nadin: One of those Ah Hah! moments, a couple of us were sitting around talking about being really keen on multi-touch as a technology and that anything we do on the iPhone should be about leveraging what is cool about it and not just do something that could work on any phone. We want all of our stuff to only work on iPhone and iPod touch. We agreed that our first title had to be achievable for us (like a lot of distributed developers, we have a relatively long history of not completing stuff), and we liked the simplicity and addictivness of games like Bejeweled etc. So we just took the match 3 idea and changed the rules and ended up with Touch ‘Em.
3. How did you settle on your price point for the app?
Andrei Nadin: We had the luxury of watching price points from the launch of the App Store and have seen pretty much everything drop from the ~$10 point to around $5 (US). We were already at the $5 point mentally but had been wondering about maybe $7.99 but another great thing about the App Store, is that the market has spoken and I think $5 is about the highest price for most games and actually we would like them to be about the cost of a cup of coffee. We like the idea of it being close to a no-brainer to make the choice to buy a game.
4. Roughly how many apps did you sell in the first month of operation?
Andrei Nadin: We’ve only been out 4-5 days so far so I don’t have that info yet but we will probably blog about it eventually.
5. How did you like the developer tools provided in the iPhone SDK? is there anything missing?
Andrei Nadin: Actually we mostly found it OK - the documentation can be a little frustrating at times and whilst really simple for 2D and audio formats, some extra help for 3D wouldn’t go amiss.
6. Is your company privately owned? Venture backed?
Andrei Nadin: Privately owned.
7. What are some of the other iPhone apps that you like?
Andrei Nadin: We really like Things (and the desktop app that goes with it), Air Sharing, Pennies, Aurora Feint has fantastic production values, Tap Tap Revenge just to name a few, so many great apps.
8. What kind of features should apple implement in future versions of the iPhone /SDK?
Andrei Nadin: iTune playlist access for apps.
9. What’s the development cycle for iPhone apps like?
Andrei Nadin: Really nice, it is like the old days when you could make a game in a couple to three months with small focused teams, so much nicer than what we all do for real – big teams, months and months of work.
10. Are you working on any other apps that you will be releasing soon?
Andrei Nadin: Yeah, we have two or three lined up, Spell ‘Em should be out next release again with a nice take on word search puzzles. We have enough stuff lined up to keep us busy for a few months yet