Mobile Game Review : The fantastic cell voyage!

Cell Free

Cell for windows phone 7 puts you in control of a tiny cell in a macro world . Your aim is to grow by absorbing smaller cells around you. Smaller green cells help you grow, but larger red cells will suck out your insides, get too small and it’s time for the great petri dish in the sky!

To grow you have to hunt down the smaller cells, but to move you have to jettison some of your own mass in the opposite direction that you wish to travel. This is where things get tricky, unless you use your momentum or rebound off the macro world walls, you will quickly become too small to hunt down your target. And just to make things harder some cells , in the infection mode, have AI and will make a run for it.

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Mobile app promotion tips

Hi guys, as you all know I love developing apps and games etc for mobile phones, to be honest I would do it for free, but that’s not going to keep the wolf from the doors of us developers. Promotion is the dark art of making money from your hard work, dumping your new mobile app development onto the marketplace or app store of your choice will not be enough, unless your are very lucky your income and downloads will be minimal.

There is a short time frame where your app is new and the latest release lists will be promoting it, all of your different aspects of promotion need to take this into account to give you app the boost to obtain that critical mass of users and comments.
Here is what I tend to do for each of my app promotions.
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Planet Cracker 2 for Windows Phone 7

Mobile App Promotion : Planet Cracker 2 Screenshot                           Mobile App Promotion : Planet Cracker 2 Screenshot


We are not alone in the universe, far from it we are overrun by pesky aliens! They are everywhere and it’s your job to reduce their numbers!

Use your giant god like finger to set off an interplanetary chain reaction and destroy as many of their worlds as possible.


Don’t let any escape in their flying saucers! Take them down or they will just multiply again!

You are our only hope, may the giant omni present finger be with you.

10 Crazy waves of ever increasing pesky alien planets to terminate.

Crazy UFO destroying fun.

Explode your way to the top position in game center.

Get your copy now and crush those pesky aliens.

Any comments or suggestion please feel free to email me : sire at sireassemblies dot com

Mobile app development : promoting your app via twitter

Hi all, I would like to share with you something that I stumbled upon recently. While it’s not a magic bullet for app promotion it potentially exposes your app to thousands of customers. The site is called the Indie Developers Re-tweet Group (IDRTG).
Basically it’s a group of developers that retweet your promo tweets to their followers. The reward they get for doing this is that they receive a percentage of your points, points that you have earned retweeting other developers tweets. The points act as a kind of currency to ensure that you retweet as well as other members.


Some of my tweets have been exposed to around 25000 users! Obviously this number depends on how many points you have to encourage other members to retweet.


Give it a spin, it’s another much needed tool for us indie developers.

Let me know how you get on.


Apple announcement goes down like a lead balloon.

The beginning of the end for Apple? The announcement of the iPhone 4s and not the iPhone 5 goes down like a lead ballon.
Ok it won’t be the end of apple any time soon I’m sure, but it could be the beginning of the decline. Consumers where expecting the iPhone 5 with a four inch screen, not having an iPhone 5 Apple have just driven lots and lots and lots of customers to other manufactures who have.
And on the back of Microsofts well received mango update this could be what MS really needed today.
Steve just handed over a poison chalice!

Mobile App Development : Advertisement stats comparison

About thirty days ago I ran a little experiment with regards to advertising my latest iPhone app. I purchased space on a high profile iPhone gaming web site for $137. I also purchased advert space on a lesser known site for $25. For 30 days I let the two fight it out in a bloody match of cost effectiveness.
Finally here are my results, I hope this sheds a little light on possibly the better promotion route to take after the app development is complete.

30 day stats for high profile advertisement

30 day stats for a lower profile advertisement

30 day stats for a lower profile advertisement

As you can see the impressions were more or less the same, the click rate and number of clicks is quite different however. I’m not sure what is the reason for this, the adverts were identical and both in the top right location (Note: top left normally converts the best.). Maybe the high profile site has a better community or more engaging design that leads to a better click rate.
Even taking the higher numbers into account it seems to me that the $25 option is the one to go for, spread your advertisement budget over many lower profile sites (I could have gotten five ads for my $137 budget in this case!) and you will get a bigger bang for your buck.

There are other aspects to take into account such as the profile and awareness, these may be higher with the more popular site, not everyone clicks on the advert to get your app. These aspects are harder to track, so pick your poison and let me know how your get on.

App Store Rejection – Reasons for Rejection: 10.6

Recently Planet Cracker Free was rejected by the app store for the following reason:

Reasons for Rejection:
10.6: Apple and our customers place a high value on simple, refined, creative, well thought through interfaces. They take more work but are worth it. Apple sets a high bar. If your user interface is complex or less than very good it may be rejected.

Specifically, we noticed your app doesn’t offer enough interaction to the user. For each game the user taps once to destroy a planet and then the game plays by itself. Additionally your app included poor quality images.

I thought this odd as previous versions of Planet Cracker passed with flying colours. I replied to the apple review center as follows :

‘The game is a chain reaction game which requires only one click to initiate the reaction. The skill is in the judgment of how big a reaction you can create. Also while the chain reaction is going you have to destroy escaping UFOs by tapping on them. I feel this is more than enough interaction.
The style is of cartoon cutout style.

I have happy iPad version users who feel the game was worth the price they paid.

I do feel this app should have been approved.’

A few hours later they responded:

‘Thank you for your response and clarification. After further review we have found that your application is in compliance with our guidelines.’

Happy days! It goes to show that apple, despite initially getting it wrong, listen to their developers. This makes me feel very comfortable with them.
If you have a gripe with Apple, contact them in a polite,logical fashion and state your case, you will more than likely get somewhere.

What are your experiences of apple app store issues?

The easy way to create sprite sheets!

Whilst perusing the internet for help on sprite sheets I found this gem of an app.
It saves the horrificly long and boring job of creating sprite sheets and their accociated info list. Thank god! Actually no, thank Robert Payne the developer.

This application is really so easy to use. It’s just a matter of dragging your sprites from the finder into the checker-board area, adjusting the sprite sheet canvas size (I start at the maximum size settings and work downwards) and clicking the apply button. Zwoptex will then arrange your sprites into the most efficient arrangement.

Sire Assembles App Development :Zwoptex

Zwoptex after arranging your sprites. Note the wasted space.

You will need to adjust the size of the canvas and click apply a few times, till you have as little waisted canvas as possible. Keep an eye open for sprites that could not fit into the canvas space that you allocated, these will appear at the top left of the checker-board stacked one on top of the other.

Sire Assembles App Development : Zwoptex

Too little canvas. Note the sprites on top of each other.

When each sprite has its own little space in its 2d world it’s time to publish.

The sprite sheet settings are easy to set, as it’s just a png, however there are various options for exporting the information list. I use Cococs2D so I just set cocos2d coordinate system, but there are others you can use, you can even create your own.

Once you have the png and the associated info list, all you have to do is import it into xcode and off you go!

There is a demo version try it for yourself, you wont be disappointed. I was an instant convert.

I hope this little gem saves some of your time. Let me know what you think or if you have found any other great apps to help cut down development time.

The great app advert comparision.

I’m running an app advertising comparison. Two sites one big and one medium in size and two identical adverts, which will come out on top? its $137 versus $20!! queue the rocky music…

Is anyone placing bets on this one? I say the $20 advert will win. what do you think?

HP TouchPad is back? WebOS not dead?

It looks like the great HP Touch Pad chase may be back on… Now where did I put my WebOS manual?

I was quite looking forward to learning WebOS app development but HP soon dashed my hopes. Now it seems there maybe a last production run for the now very popular HP Touch Pad.
I assume this is due to component stock still at the manufacturers but what happens if it’s a runaway success? will HP return for good to the tablet market?

I think the story will run for a while yet but I put my money on a permanent return. What do you think?