Saturday, 8 October 2011

All Things To All People

HTC DesireImage by matthias.penke via Flickr
First off, a big shout to out to every independent developer out there. Yeah, even the iPhone ones. Whether intended or not (or even want it or not) you have earned my heartfelt respect. Why, I hear you ask? Let me tell ya.

Resources are great.

Having an endless supply and choice of images, sound bites, music is essential in putting a cohesive product together to blast through the popularity ratings and up the charts. Resources also give you the benefits of getting heads together to bash out ideas. Different opinions and perspectives are available to help prevent rash decisions and possibly come up with brilliant ones. They also allow work on all of the different aspects of development, and they can happen simutaneously to meet popularly frequent deadlines. Resources also come from specialist sources; music comes from composers, graphics come from graphic artists.

Independent developers have none of this.

All responsibility for every single aspect of the development process falls squarely on the shoulders of the brave devil who has undertaken the mammoth task of app writing.

Each and every time I come back to adding to one of my projects, the first thought that goes through my head is 'What hat should I put on today?' A new feature put in the day before needs audio, so I'm putting on the musical hat. The day before that had the code being written with placeholder graphics so yesterday I had on the artistic hat. The day before that I had to come up with the new feature, hence the project management hat. The day before that: I was talking to customers to find out what they would like to see in the app. I wore my customer services hat. And the cycle goes on and on.

Please don't get me wrong. I love each and every aspect mentioned above. I don't claim to be an expert (with the possible exception of the coding), but I'd love to spend more time on each. My two main gripes are that there is a noticeable drain caused by swapping the aforementioned hats and that (admittedly) I am impatient and would like to plough through the process at breakneck speed as I've so many ideas that I've often forgotten half of what I want to do by the time I'm in a position to add more.

Oh and we have to try and fit in 'normal life' (whatever that is) into that mix as well.

So the moral of this story is: app development takes time, indie development even more so. Please bear this (and all of the above) in mind when you formulate opinions on apps and their creators. If we sometimes come across as overly sensitive, it's because we're trying to be all things to all people and feel we're letting you and ourselves down when criticised.

I love writing apps for Android.  And I know that you love having apps on your Android (tell me I'm wrong).  But it's not easy, so if you enjoy our apps, show some support!

Paul
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1 comment:

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