Interview with Jake Danilchik of Sudo Labs

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sudo labs interview about skizzleAppCraver recently spoke with Jake Danilchik a Producer at Sudo Labs, LLC, the developer team behind Skizzle. He answered our questions about developing apps for the iPhone and iPod Touch.

1. When did you start developing apps for the iPhone?

Jake Danilchik: On August 4th 2008 we turned the lights on at Sudo Labs LLC and went  to work on a few iPhone utilities for internal use. It was only days before our passion for games took us over and Skizzle was born.

2. What was the inspiration behind your app?

Jake Danilchik: It was an effortless decision to bring a classic game to the iPhone and modernize it to take advantage of the iPhone’s touch screen and its connectivity to the resources on the Internet. We wanted to build a networked game for the internet generation that would also bridge all age groups in a way that not many applications can. We wanted it to be stimulating, relaxing or challenging depending on what you want or need from it. And we wanted to do all those things better than any single game previously had. Once we saw the potential to meet all of those goals it didn’t take us long for Skizzle to inspire us!

3. How did you settle on your price point for the app?

Jake Danilchik: Initially we asked ourselves what we would we pay for Skizzle, then we lowered the price so it isn’t a barrier for people to try it out. Ultimately it has to be an easy decision for people to make.

4. Roughly how many apps did you sell in the first month of operation?

Jake Danilchik: We haven’t reached the one month anniversary yet, so it’ll be a bit before we know, but our customers have been enthusiastic and vocal about how much they enjoy it. You can see our first independent Skizzle review and also another review of Skizzle on iphone appreviews.net. You can also go to the iTunes app store itself and see Skizzle’s reviews. Currently we have all five star reviews.

5. How did you like the developer tools provided in the iPhone SDK? Is there anything missing?

Jake Danilchik: As far as the SDK and libraries themselves, they are excellent. From using them, one can tell that a lot of thought went into the design of their libraries. The CFNetwork APIs, in particular, made it very easy for us to access the Internet in Skizzle.

The documentation is good but could be improved. We ran across some stuff that should be documented that isn’t however we trust Apple will come out with more documentation on a timely basis.

6. Is your company privately owned? Venture backed?

Jake Danilchik: Sudo Labs, LLC is a privately owned partnership of seasoned game developers.

7. What are some of the other iPhone apps that you like?

Jake Danilchik: Cro-Mag Rally, Asphalt 4, and Spore and even Wurdle which is one of our direct competitors.

8. What kind of features should Apple implement in future versions of the iPhone / SDK?

Jake Danilchik: Allowing email attachments would be nice, We had a difficult time getting around that restriction as it made it difficult to allow easy puzzle sharing. In the end, we devised a way to get around some of those technical challenges without having to discard any planned feature set.

9. What’s the development cycle for iPhone apps like?

Jake Danilchik: In our case, it’s very iterative. We prepare a test version of our app almost every night. Then we test it together, come up with the highest priority items, and iterate again until it’s ready to ship. At all times, we are focused on getting the highest-impact features in there and releasing it to players as soon as it’s ready.

10. Are you working on any other apps that you will be releasing soon?

Jake Danilchik: Yes, we are working on an addictive game called Word Jolt ! Watch for it in the next couple weeks. It is certainly going to be something you won’t want to miss. We are very excited about it!

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