A foray into App development

Whilst I’m brainstorming ideas for my next game, I’ve decided to take a slight diversion into the world of application development. My reasons for doing this are two-fold. Firstly, I’d like to expand my knowledge of core iPhone development (i.e. the interface builder and core API’s). Secondly, I’d like to see how the iPhone application market differs from the game market.

I’m still finishing off the first Astro Noughts update so I haven’t been able to commit much time to it yet. However, I have made some in-roads into a basic idea and some very early interface mockups – and thats what I’ll share now.

The Idea

Application development, like game development, starts with an idea. Everyone talks about how ideas are “ten a penny” but in reality it can be tough. I think it helps to focus on things you’re passionate about and thats what I’ve done for my App. I looked to something I’m passionate about… Coffee. Whilst it may not be an original theme, there are plenty of Coffee Apps in the App store, I think I can bring a unique twist and presentation.

Obviously the theme alone is useless – my Coffee App needs a purpose. If I had to pitch it, I’d say its a Wine Cellar for Coffee lovers. Its not a how-to guide, its not about how to make coffee-based drinks, and its not about buying Coffee. Its about the experience and appreciation of Coffee. My App will be about tasting Coffee and recording your experiences. I want to make it easy for you to find and share the coffees you’ve enjoyed.

I’m still fleshing out many of the details but the core experience will centre around your Coffee cupboard. These are the Coffees you are currently drinking/enjoying. You’ll be able to record your tasting experiences against each coffee. Coffees that have run out can be archived for future reference.

Wireframe

The purpose of the wireframe is to present user interactions and the general workflow of the App. I’ve found an iPad App called Blueprint which is pretty good and certainly adequate for this phase of the project.

The image that follows is just a first pass at a wireframe for my Coffee App. I’m still working on it so its by no means final.

Concept Sketch

The wireframe is just one element of the App. The look of the App is equally important. I’d like to investigate the core interface elements a little to create something with a more custom look and feel. I want my Coffee App to be fun to use as well as being intuitive and following Apples iPhone HIG.

Here’s a brief sketch I did showing some of the visual ideas I’m currently playing around with.

Thats its for this post. As I said, I’m a little ahead of myself since I’m still finishing off my game update. However, I’m going to blog about the process of creating this App over the coming months. I’ll share more of the mockup process, Art creation, technical details (where relevant/interesting), and marketing.

A brand new adventure – stay tuned.

20 Comments

  1. A short one this week – New Blog Post: A foray into App development – http://www.bytesizeadventures.com/blog/a… #iDevBlogADay

  2. hermanjakobi says:

    RT @chrismwaite: A short one this week – New Blog Post: A foray into App development – http://www.bytesizeadventures.com/blog/a… #iDevBlogADay

  3. Interesting post – my story is quite the opposite. I did a degree in game development, and subsequently worked on a couple of iPhone games. Recently I made the move into “regular app” development, starting with a freelance project and now a full-time job.

    I think the differences mainly involve the ability to rapidly prototype ideas, with Interface Builder and wireframes etc. Also, Objective-C shines its true colours as a great app development language and the Apple SDK documentation and API is top notch.

    The other huge advantage is early feedback. Most of my family/friends aren’t game players so they can’t provide me with useful feedback on game ideas, but apps are different matter. Most of them have a smart phone, if not an iPhone, and often use “regular apps” and so they often fall into my target audience.

    I’m interested to see how your project works out :)

  4. Obviously, I meant to say quite similar, not opposite :) d’oh.

  5. Whisky_Biscuit says:

    @chrismwaite quite a good app idea, I think I would like a similar one for Real Ales. :)

  6. @Whisky_Biscuit :) mmm Ale. That would be cool.

  7. Lazrhog says:

    RT @chrismwaite: A short one this week – New Blog Post: A foray into App development – http://www.bytesizeadventures.com/blog/a… #iDevBlogADay

  8. apanos75 says:

    RT @chrismwaite: A short one this week – New Blog Post: A foray into App development – http://www.bytesizeadventures.com/blog/a… #iDevBlogADay

  9. RT @chrismwaite: A short one this week – New Blog Post: A foray into App development – http://www.bytesizeadventures.com/blog/a… #iDevBlogADay

  10. gtranchedone says:

    RT @chrismwaite: A short one this week – New Blog Post: A foray into App development – http://www.bytesizeadventures.com/blog/a… #iDevBlogADay

  11. andrewnicolle says:

    RT @chrismwaite: A short one this week – New Blog Post: A foray into App development – http://www.bytesizeadventures.com/blog/a… #iDevBlogADay

  12. coffeedan says:

    RT @chrismwaite: A short one this week – New Blog Post: A foray into App development – http://www.bytesizeadventures.com/blog/a… #iDevBlogADay

  13. rizergames says:

    RT @chrismwaite: A short one this week – New Blog Post: A foray into App development – http://www.bytesizeadventures.com/blog/a… #iDevBlogADay

  14. Definitely sounds like my sort of app! I’d recommend you at least consider not using Interface Builder, though. I haven’t used it in any apps I’ve made, and personally I find that really helps to track things down when it’s all there in code.

  15. Chris says:

    @James – I’ll definitely be sharing my progress on this blog. My heart still lies with game development. This is purely an opportunity to test the market and get something cool out there.

    @Luke – Thanks :) I wasn’t aware that people disliked Interface Builder. I’ll certainly give that some thought as I begin prototyping.

  16. GeorgeSealy says:

    RT @chrismwaite: A short one this week – New Blog Post: A foray into App development – http://www.bytesizeadventures.com/blog/a… #iDevBlogADay

  17. filjedi says:

    RT @chrismwaite: A short one this week – New Blog Post: A foray into App development – http://www.bytesizeadventures.com/blog/a… #iDevBlogADay

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