Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Rebound Development: App Store Story Part 2

Right now, ideas for iPhone apps are in no short supply. It seems everyone, upon hearing that I develop for the iPhone, has a new idea to pitch me. Some of them are quite good, some of them aren’t, many of them are taken. I personally don’t put a great deal of value on ideas. Take a look at this post, by Derek Sivers, which pretty much sums up the worth of ideas quite nicely.

When brainstorming for my next project I decided early on it had to be simple. With school going, it had to be a project I could complete on weekends. It would probably be a game, and would most likely be shooting for the $.99 impulse buys. I played around with a few existing apps, and talked a lot with some friends, and decided to make a bouncy ball app. It would be a simple diversion when standing in lines or to distract small kids.

It wasn’t hard to plan the gameplay. A swipe would send the ball on the direction of the finger, and it would bounce around in the world responding to gravity and such. To make things more engaging, of course, there would be several objects to choose from. The user would experience different behavior (falling, bouncing, rolling) from each object. In addition to a bouncy ball, there would be a balloon and a mace. For a good laugh, I decided to throw a cat in there too (Sorry, cat people).

Of course, like I said, ideas are worth nothing without execution. On the same day of conceiving this idea, I jumped right into code. It took less than three days of coding to get my first prototype together, primitive as it was. You can download the source for free here. At this time in its life, the app still had the name “Bouncy.” The interface is pretty plain, but hiring a designer doesn't come until next post. ;)