Stop thinking and start developing!

Interviews with small companies Paladin Studios from the Netherlands and Platinum Apps from Australia: Derk de Geus and David Stallard will share their experience in developing applications for mobile platforms and give advice to novice developers.

Paladin Studios has two released games, another one will be released soon, and Platinum Apps has 5 apps for different platforms.

What platforms do you make apps for and why?Paladin Studios:

We develop games for iOS and Android. Why? Both platforms are the biggest breakthrough in computer gaming devices. And this is not even a breakthrough in terms of technology, it is a breakthrough in terms of people’s attitude to these devices. Games have ceased to be associated with hours of hanging on the couch – you can take modern devices everywhere with you. People get used to the fact that games on them are a pleasant way to kill time by playing for 5 minutes, and not the need to spend all their free time on them. Mobile games take almost as long as it takes to just start playing a game on the console. I think this means that game developers need to be more focused: now we need to fully focus on these first few minutes instead of working through 10 or more hours of gameplay. This is a distinctive feature of all innovative projects for mobile platforms.

Platinum App s: For Android and iOS – because that’s where most of the audience of mobile games is concentrated. In particular, we see prospects in the market of applications for Android–based tablets – there are more and more high-quality devices.


What can you say about the experience of porting from one platform to another?Paladin Studios:

  With Unity, it’s easy if the port is planned in advance. We just make the game in such a way that it works at any screen resolution, and if it’s a smartphone with a touch screen, we succeed.

Platinum Apps: We believe that porting applications from one platform to another is, in fact, development for two different systems. Of course, there are tools that help to port, but we try to do everything in such a way that it seems as if the application is “native” for a particular platform, using elements that users of certain devices are used to.


Where do you get inspiration?Paladin Studios:

Everywhere! For example, we saw the name Pataya in the Jimmy Pataya game on a bottle of iced tea. In addition, while creating this game, we watched MTV programs with heroes of extreme sports. By the way, it was only later that we learned that Pattaya is a fairly well–known resort in Thailand. If we had known in advance, it is quite possible that we would have chosen a different name. =)

Platinum Apps: We are looking for good ideas that have been poorly implemented, and if we think we can do better, then we definitely think about creating our own application.


How long does it take to make an app?Paladin Studios:

  We made the Jimmy Pataya game in 2 weeks. Later, we added various functions (for example, support for the OpenFeint service for iOS), but the first two weeks were enough for us to develop a good gameplay and upload the game to the App Store.

Platinum Apps: A lot depends on the application – some could be done in just a couple of months, while others could take 2 years.


What technical difficulties do you face during development?Paladin Studios:

  Everything depends entirely on the game. The biggest problem is, perhaps, the speed of the application. But there are many little things that need to be taken into account. We had practically no problems.

Platinum Apps: When developing cross-platform applications, it is necessary to take into account the limitations imposed by each of the platforms, and at the same time make sure that the application turns out to be approximately the same on all devices. It may not be easy, given the different screen sizes, processor speeds, etc. But our development team is coping.


What awaits computer games?Paladin Studios:

  I think there will be a final separation between hardcore games like Civilization and more casual games. In the first market, the quality and degree of elaboration will be decisive. At the second stage, unique games that are not similar to other games will be popular. Both types require a lot of work, but the development process and access to the audience are different.

Platinum Apps:  I think that in answering this question, we need to look at mobile games. Games for consoles and PC, of course, will not disappear in the near future, but it seems to me that the mobile sector expects further growth. The boundaries between mobile and “big” games will be erased, as devices will become more powerful, and users will have opportunities that could only have been dreamed of a few years ago.  In addition to the fact that you can now play anywhere, it seems that the social functions built into smartphones will greatly push the development of games for mobile devices.


What advice would you give to novice developers?Paladin Studios:

  Don’t try to expand – focus on what you are doing. Plan ahead what game you’re going to do next and learn how to stop. This is very difficult, we are working on it now – the main thing is to do everything necessary to make the game work, and then add additional features. Learn to correctly estimate the time it will take to develop – even if it is a mobile game, it may take a lot. The bar is already quite high, and there are many companies on the market that make wonderful products. Making another Angry Birds is so easy and you are unlikely to succeed right away. And yet, believe in yourself! Never before have novice developers had the opportunity to quickly make a hit that could pay off and start making a profit.

Platinum Apps: Develop! If you’re still thinking about getting started, stop thinking and start developing. Considering how fast more and more powerful devices are spreading and how fast the market is growing, where you can access hundreds of millions of people, now is the time to develop applications.

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