AppCraver recently spoke with Andrew Farley, owner of Neon Surge. He shares his experiences developing for the iPhone and iPod touch.
When did you start developing apps for the iPhone? Did you have previous experience as a developer?
The second Apple released the SDK!
What / how many apps have you made so far?
18 if we're counting applications created for others (via contract/partnership). [We've] published 13 under our name, Neon Surge.
What type of apps/games/software inspires you? Where do you get your ideas?
We really are a fan of old retro games which is why we loved making games with TouchGrove (LED Games). Our big games, SolarQuest and Zoneout were loosely based on old commodore 64 and atari games.
How do you settle on the price point for your apps?
We get input from beta testers and from friends, in addition to figuring out how much effort the game took and what response we're expecting for the price point.
For example, free games are judged much more harshly, and we've seen people that are willing to pay for a game are often willing to give feedback and work with you as a developer to help improve the game (if necessary). They are more committed to that game being fun and successful once they have invested in it themselves.
What has been the best thing about designing for the iPhone?
The feedback! We've gotten some AWESOME feedback from people. Still occasionally we get emails that say "Hey thanks for making x game, I really love it" That really makes it worth it. We got into this arena for the fame, not fortune.
What has been the biggest challenge about designing for the iPhone?
The constantly changing SDK (during beta) and trying to figure out the moving target that is the consumers of the AppStore.
Is your company venture backed or privately held?
Do you have any other apps in the works?
We just finished iTrade and we're planning some great features in the next two updates of iTrade and iTrade Pro (coming soon). Besides that, we have a few more planned in partnerships with some clients.
What apps do you have on your iPhone?
I have my entire phone AND iPod Touch full up to the brim with apps. The apps I play the most right now are Lux DLX, our game, iTrade, StickWars, 7cities, and FieldRunners. Most of the rest is random stuff I have only launched once or twice.
What do you like to do when you're not coding for the iPhone?
I'm a volunteer system administrator for CouchSurfing.com
Watch a video demo for iTrade from NeonSurge: