Interview with Jim Warhurst of Blackbeard's Assault


AppCraver recently spoke with developer Jim Warhurst, creator of Blackbeard's Assault, about his process for developing apps.

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

Jim: This is my first app for the iPhone, I started development Aug 20th, 2008.

2. What was the inspiration behind your app?

Jim: Certainly I was a fan of other games in the genre. I thought I could add some gameplay twists to the marble popper mechanic. Blackbeard’s Assault is actually a sequel to a web game I made a few years back called Blackbeard’s Island. I knew nothing about programming games when I started on Island, so it was really done just to prove to myself I could pull it off. Once I finished Island, I had all kinds of left over ideas and features that I wanted to do so that’s why I eventually made Blackbeard’s Assault.

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

Jim: Right now I’m selling at $2.99. When I first started development I thought I would have been selling at $4.99, but then prices seemed to drop all over the store. I feel that $2.99 is a really fair price and is right at that thresh hold of not being too expensive for impulse buys.

4. Roughly how many units have you sold?

Jim: I’ve sold about 1,300 in two weeks.

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

Jim: I’ve had a pretty good experience with the SDK overall. By the time I started developing the simulator supported opengl so that helped a lot. Apple has lots of example apps for you to download which I love. As far as missing items, I remember being annoyed with some of the XML support although there are some open source libraries that fill in the gap.

6. Is your company privately owned? Venture backed?

Jim: The company is just me. It’s not venture backed.

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

Jim: Motion X Poker – very polished game. Trism – I think everyone knows this one. Topple – Makes great use of the iPhone. Mouse House – a great puzzle game. Koi Pond – My 16mo old daughter loves this thing, although I don’t like when she takes off running with my phone

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

Jim: My cycle is probably not too typical. Blackbeard’s Assault was originally written in Flash. A month or so before the Flash version was released I started porting it to the iPhone. Now, I had never done any Apple or openGL development so I had a lot to come up to speed with. I started out reading everything I could find online about objective-c and openGL. Then I studied all the openGL sample apps from Apple like ‘Crash Landing.’ That helped jump start development and I was able to complete the game in about 2 months.

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

Jim: I’m still working on Blackbeard updates and features. I’ve had a lot of customer feedback on things I could improve and should be releasing a update next week addressing many of those things. After that I’m planning an even bigger update which will add a new mode plus leaderboards and achievements.

Crave More Apps? Subscribe to the Newsletter or grab the RSS feed.