29 June 2016
Case Study: Avokiddo builds award-winning kids apps with Corona SDK
What does it take to make great kids’ apps? Just ask Avokiddo, a three-person studio that creates fantastic games and apps for families. The team shares a common passion for creating challenging and stimulating experiences that stand out among the crowd, and they have the accolades to prove it.
Their app Thinkrolls 2 (video below) won the 2016 Google Play Award for Best Families App. Science-based app DNA Play was handpicked by Apple as an App Store Best of 2015 in the US and held the #1 spot on the iPhone Kids list in the US for the first week of its launch. Thinkrolls, the prequel to Thinkrolls 2, reached the top 20 overall for iPad apps. And Avokiddo Emotions was featured for an entire year as the #1 favorite iPad Air app on Apple’s website.
Avokiddo currently has six apps in their portfolio. They use Corona SDK to develop for all three major mobile app stores: Apple, Google Play, and Amazon.
The team at Avokiddo got their start designing interactive media for the web, but they have a very diverse background including experience in architecture, computer science, graphic arts, engineering, virtual reality, interactive design, and video production. When they chose to shift to mobile development in 2012, they did considerable online research to find the right tools for their vision.
Upon discovering Corona SDK, they were pleased to find out how easy it was to learn and get things done. They were attracted to how comfortable Lua felt and how easy it would be to deploy to multiple platforms. After experimenting with some sample projects, they were amazed at how easy and quick it was to do even more complicated things. Corona SDK is the only platform they have used since.
According to Elpida Voulgari, co-founder and programmer, the Avokiddo team would rather spend time creating a great design and less time coding. “Being devoted to quality and innovation, we spend a lot of time on the concept and gameplay design of our apps. Thanks to Corona SDK and its many ready-to-use libraries, development time is kept to a minimum so we have the luxury to take our time and do proper research on the theme, concept, purpose, educational value and user experience,” she said.
“Developing in Corona comes naturally and effortlessly and this is what makes it special. It is a tool that helps us materialize our inspirations and it does so by simply being reliable and efficient. At the end of the day, it’s not about how much time it takes to develop an app, it’s how efficiently you spend this time to produce something meaningful and likable that serves its purpose in the best way possible,” adds Voulgari.
Thinkrolls 2 is an example of Avokiddo putting Corona SDK to work. It’s a physics-based puzzle game designed for kids three to nine years old. Kids must use their skills to navigate the rolling ball characters through 270 levels. Each level’s maze increases in complexity. The players have to use various physics features like gravity, aerodynamics, buoyancy and more to get through each maze. According to Voulgari, “One of the challenges of designing this app was to provide just the right amount of increasing challenge to keep kids focused, engaged and eager to reach the end of the maze through a continuous trial-and-error process.”
Corona SDK played a big role in allowing them to employ the physics and other properties that make Thinkrolls 2 so enjoyable. “We’ve used physics in all our apps but most of all in our Thinkrolls series where the natural physics behavior of objects takes a central role. Collision events, multiple joint types, flexible physics bodies, ray casting, particle designer are just some of the features that we’ve used extensively and with great ease.” she added.
The extensive thought and care that Avokiddo is able to put into their apps leads to not only awards and accolades, but millions of happy kids. Voulgari says that the success can all be attributed to creating great products. “In the 4 years we have developed apps for kids, we’ve come to realize that being successful in this business is not about having an unlimited budget or a huge portfolio. Small, self-funded studios can very well manage to establish brand awareness, a trusted fan base, and a strong presence on the stores. It all starts with a great product, it’s as simple as that. To succeed in this business we need to be consistent and committed. Passionate about creating quality digital experiences. We need to offer something valuable that people want to use and are eager to share with their circles.
“As developers we need to be consistent with our principles and have a clear business plan in order to stay focused and achieve better results. To stand out we must find and stick to our own personal style not only on what we offer, but also on decisions around marketing and monetization. There is no universal recipe for success. What works for one can be inefficient or even disastrous for another, so it’s important to stay informed, experiment, monitor and analyze all data that is available to us.”
And of course, a good tool is a major factor for success too. Voulgari concluded “I would most definitely recommend Corona SDK to anyone looking for a reliable, cross-platform and easy-to-use tool for creating mobile content. We’ve been using it for the past 4 years developing award-winning apps and we will continue using it for the years to come!”
You can check out Thinkrolls 2 in these stores:
Corona Labs is committed to offering the best, easiest to use, and most flexible platform for mobile, desktop, and connected TV app development. What success can you have with Corona products? Download Corona SDK today and get started!