I think one could argue that the majority of the "articles" or "posts" on HN are merely the opinions of their authors anyway. There are a few based in fact, or purely fact, or real "News", but a lot of times, they are just asides, or general ramblings of another person on the net - then there are the comments here that add real value to the piece.
The point that I was trying to make is that it's much easier to be influenced by a swarm of commenters and to unknowingly align your opinions with them. You're more likely to disagree genuinely with ONE article than with 150 comments all echoing each other. Alas, downvote me, please.
No! Don't, please! It's sooooo much better on my phone now. I used to have to zoom in and put and scroll all over. Text is wrapping now, so maybe some aesthetics are lost, but usability is 100% better.
Also, this thread is going to get voted way up because the title just says HN: Mobile Site. But not necessarily because the op doesn't like it.
My email is like Chat unfortunately, so much back and forth on projects I really can't afford to only chime in once a day or nothing would ever get done. But everything gets archived unless I'm working on it actively, or I still need to reply.
Meetings... I never meet in person now. The time suck is just horrible awful miserable. I will occasionally have a phone meeting, but they aren't much better, but at least I don't have to take time to shave and drive.
1 thing a day would be nice unless your world consists of 200 little tiny things. So, I prioritize and block out hours to get things done. Then I DO apply 1-thing-a-day to my side-projects so they stay fresh.
Not having meetings or conf calls might work for you but I would be very surprised if it works for your customers and/or peers (assuming you have any).
If there is one thing I have learned it's that the quality of communication in a team usually makes or breaks the project. The quality of communication with a customer makes or breaks the relationship.
It's important to remember that humans have been communicating for thousands of years without email, chat servers or telephones. Our brains are hard-wired to respond to facial expression, tone of voice and body language.
I find maker-vs-manager a bit brittle as well. A company I'm very familiar with has people going into and out of immersive "modes" that involve creative work as well as communication about that work. So, someone might spend all week in "ABC mode" and have 4-8 meetings about ABC as well as shipping a few features or solutions. Others might advance a few large features and be interrupted by 2-3 meetings, but because they are connected, the immersion is not broken.
Yes. Since 2010, I've been begging in forums on Android and iOS to use a heavily layered category system or tagging system that would allow me to narrow and filter my search as much as I need to. I want this as a consumer. I want this as a developer. Why it doesn't exist makes absolutely no sense to me. Especially for games.
I should be able to go to action games, then platformers, then side-scrolling, endless, speed run, leveled, then filter out only those with boss battles, or powerup-ups, or 8-bit graphics, etc, and so-on.
The only thing I figure is that the developers will abuse the ability to tag their own apps, making the fine-tuned results even more ridiculous than general results.
I think what you want could be solved by a better search. If there was a better search you could search for an 8-bit platformer game and find a list of them. Tagging doesn't really add anything that a better search couldn't provide. Plus, a better search in descriptions means that the terms still have to make sense in a description. I guess you could load the description up with terms, but I suspect that it is more likely that one would get caught gaming the system that with tags.
In my opinion, it's in Apple's best interest to improve discoverability as it could result in more apps being sold.
The problem with a lot of categories is that it makes navigation cumbersome as you'd need many taps to get to an app.
Oh, and if you want change (at least in the iOS case), send feedback to Apple and/or a bug report. Complaining on forums does nothing.
Sadly, yes. There's no evidence that Apple has any interest in improving the App Store experience for devs or for customers.
In fact, I'm not convinced that Apple knows how to improve the experience. No one in Cupertino seems to be acting as dev or consumer champion, and upper management are apparently too removed to understand what's needed.
I've been consulting/freelancing for about 13 years professionally, full-time. Started when I was 23. From day 1 until today, for me, it's all been "who you know" and "tell a friend" when it comes to getting new business.
I started asking friends and family if they needed a website, help with web work, or an office IT guy.
I found a few people who needed a website that way, did a great job, and they told more people about my services, getting me a bit more work.
How I REALLY started getting business is when I agreed to do some IT work for a couple real estate offices about once a week. The offices agreed to let me offer my web development services to the agents when I was there.
I got a lot of new clients, and those agents knew people in all types of businesses and started referring me to others, and from there, it's been non-stop word of mouth.
I also hooked up with a couple print-advertising businesses locally that needed to refer off their web work.
I stopped doing IT work after the first year.
I advertised once in the Yellow pages in 2004. Got 1 client out of it, and it was NOT a good situation. I will only work by word of mouth anymore because it's too stressful otherwise.
Not to mention, selling myself is MUCH easier when the client is referred by a good friend of their's who has already told them that I am THE person to work with. That way, when they call or email me, they are ready to get to work, and I don't have to wine and dine - which I suck at so much it's embarrassing.
I'm not offering advice here, just sharing my story because we all get the ball rolling differently, and hopefully reading about all our experiences helps you think outside the box to find your way into a long-lasting freelancing business.
My stats: I only have a little over 21K downloads, and the non-ad version has only made a few bucks. Ad revenue equates to a couple movie tickets every so often I guess. Wrote it in Monkey-X for cross-platform functionality, but only ever put it on Android for some reason.
I've done no marketing. Never been featured. My dad likes it. I'm 35. I get sadder with every period I type.
EDIT: I wouldn't normally post self-promotion type stuff on HN, but I think it applies here because I did write a similar game, coded it by hand, put in the time, made my own silly graphics, but my stats represent the other 99% of us game devs that rarely get featured and remain off the radar. Some call our apps pollution in the app store, but those of us who legitimately write them are proud of them none-the-less, even if they make no money, though we'd honestly like them to.
Thanks, I hope you get a chance to check it out. But I have to ask, and I know art is subjective, but why do you find his art style better? I see cubes and triangles. It's probably pointless, but I feel like, if I can see what everyone else sees, maybe my art can get better. Or maybe that's impossible.
Thanks for not taking this personally. I wish I could quantify verbally what makes his art distinctively better. Part of it is that he's tapped into the zeitgeist of iOS styling - the flat look, the muted colors with a heavy dash of grey, the minimalism. That styling has heavily influenced current app design across the board.
Looking at yours on the Play Store, some things stand out to my untrained eye:
- Drop shadows on the title.
- The trees don't look clean (and I have no idea how to dig into that).
- The end scene fonts don't look sharp - they look kind of comic sans.
- The configuration is accessed via buttons, instead of the standard Android styling of the "..." button.
- The icon's person graphics are both too detailed and not detailed enough - they are in an uncanny valley of "eh".
- There's no cohesion of colors: there are multiple shades of green; multiple colors of buttons; multiple shades of blue. Multiple shades is fine, but for UI elements, they are like different colored trim on a house for the same things - window sills.
If you have a friend who is into graphic design, have them write you a critique.
It also turns me off, hard, when apps have exclamation points in the title or the "Free" word. It signifies cheapness for some reason.
Art and design are subjective, but there ARE color schemes, game design "rules", and UX rules of thumb that will make your app more pleasing to the end user.
A good exercise would be to download/play the top 100 games on the app stores and write a sentence about each one articulating why you think it's a popular/good game. Over time you'll improve your sense of taste for good design.
Hi! Thanks for sharing. I agree it's important to talk about the 99% of indies who never get to the top of the app stores.
I downloaded your app. The best feedback I can give is that it's too difficult to get through the gates with tilt controls. It doesn't give me the peaceful sense of skiing down the slopes (that the iOS game above claims to provide).
There is a huge element of luck to it, but the top indie games all have a great sense of graphics design and UX design that make them a joy to play. Users are verrry picky, and may skip downloading your app even if the icon doesn't meet their bar of quality.
My dream is to be able to design something as nice as Monument Valley.
Thanks for the feedback, it's always appreciated. My high score is 72, the trick is to re-center after each gate ;)
Over the last year, I stopped releasing games. I used to just keep putting them out, thinking they were polished enough, because of all this talk about "just launch" and game jams like #1gam seem to encourage the "just make games" mentality.
However, while all that is great fun, I've changed my view. I'm now prototyping a lot, and will only work more on a game I fall in love with. At the moment, that's a point and click adventure game and enjine.
I actually like this Snowboarding game, and am proud of it because I think it's fun, but I'm with you.... It's time to shoot for the moon, set the bar really high and make a game that's truly special.
1gam and ludum dare are great ways to experiment with new ideas, but they rarely result in the level of polish needed to succeed on the mobile stores. Of course there are crazy success stories like Flappy Bird, but even Notch spent a lot of time iterating and improving Minecraft. Shipping v 1.0 is just the start!
I released my game on the app store a few weeks ago  (which incidentally kinda plays like both of your games), and I'm only around 300 downloads... But I'm sure more will come! I'm not really hoping to be featured though, it's too random from what I've seen.
Depends on your users I think. If 50% of that traffic is during a 10 hour window of time each day, that could be around 70 views per second. And pulling email for an account could be more costly than a static page view. Then if he's getting that many views, he could be processing tens or hundreds of emails a day per account more or less.... Could get expensive.
I'd love to go back to those days... 486 with DOS and QBasic, maybe a Borland C compiler if you're lucky enough to have a local computer store that sold copies.
Myself and a friend tried to create our own version of Windows 3.1 in QBasic when we were in middle school. I wish we would have saved our progress. I don't think it was as far as long as I remember. I know it read INI files, and we could drag windows around. Not sure how much else.
OP got to learn how to program the fun way, like a lot of us did in the 90's. Grinding away at crazy side projects on old DOS systems with lots of limitations. That opportunity just isn't available to kids anymore. High powered computers are everywhere and accessible, no reason to make an old PC do new tricks. But I guess they have the web to do crazy things with, so it's not so bad.