Paul O'Connor, Brand Director at Appy Entertainment freely admits he has "problems with authority." Luckily, that independent streak works in his favor as a game developer. He recently took time to complete our iPhone Developer interview. Here's a peek at what makes this dev tick.
When did you start developing apps for the iPhone? Did you have previous experience as a developer?
Appy Entertainment was born on Halloween in 2008. Our crew here has been making video games since as far back as the early 1980s (at one point I even made Atari 2600 robot games for Nolan Bushnell's Androman). Our more recent experience includes co-founding High Moon Studios (now part of Activision-Blizzard) where we launched the console games Darkwatch (our original IP) and The Bourne Conspiracy, based on the Matt Damon movie series.
What / how many apps have you made so far?
Appy Newz is our very first App, and we're so proud we could burst our buttons. Wow, that sounds kind of disgusting.
What type of apps/games/software inspires you? Where do you get your ideas?
All of our games conform to a scientifically-tested, top-secret, and incredibly complicated formula of brand values and personal interests ... Appy Newz is the first of several games we will release using the same core technology. All of our games are based around humor, personalization, and sharing.
How do you settle on the price point for your apps?
My CFO, Rick "Dr. No" Olafsson, and I stripped to the waist and slugged it out, like Spock and Stonn in "Amok Time." I won, of course, and so got to set the Introductory Price for our App. It will go up eventually.
What has been the best thing about designing for the iPhone?
Everything is new! This is the Wild West phase of iPhone game development. NO ONE has a lock on the next great App in this environment. It's exciting to come into work every day knowing that we can push ourselves as creators and so quickly deliver our work directly to iPhone users all over the world.
What has been the biggest challenge about designing for the iPhone?
Finding our way in a new environment during a time of crazy competition has been a challenge. We come from a console background where development cycles are measured in years; here, they are measured in weeks. It's exciting, and frankly refreshing.
Is your company venture backed or privately held?
We are a self-funded start-up.
Do you have any other apps in the works?
We better, or we'll have a hard time paying the rent! And MY NAME is on the lease!
What apps do you have on your iPhone?
More than I can display, even using every page on my iPhone. Particular favorites right now (aside from Appy Newz) include Sneezies, Textropolis, Slay, and 10 Balls 7 Cups. I'm listening to the Dodgers beat the snot out of the Giants as I write this, thanks to MLB At Bat 2009. The iPhone really is magic with all the unexpected stuff it can do.
What do you like to do when you're not coding for the iPhone?
I update my enemies list.
One Last Thing...
We routinely bare our souls at our Appy Place development blog: http://goldenboat.wordpress.com/. Drop by and make rude noises at us. It don't cost nuthin'.
Watch the Appy News video: