‘Monster Splash’ – An Aquatic Adventure

Monster Splash
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Scott Bradley used Corona for a total of three weeks before completing his first mobile game – Monster Splash.

It was so impressive, we handpicked Monster Splash as an App of the Week winner in March and asked Scott to share his experience developing with the platform.

What’s your personal background as a developer?

I’ve dabbled in a variety of languages such as Java, C++ and Delphi but the language I’ve used most is C#. My first C# job was in London doing an online dating website. Not long after I joined, they started creating websites for swingers!

Before returning to Australia I started a software project hosting businesses, and was bought by a competitor. While it wasn’t financially very successful I learned a lot about starting and running a business.

Now I work for a very fast growing insurance company as the development coordinator by day, and make mobile games by night.

Can you please share some background on your Free Fall Apps studio?

I started Free Fall Apps a little over a year ago. Initially it was just my wife and I but with a baby, a full-time job and lots of commitments, we decided help was required if development was going to be anything more than a hobby. We hired two team members from Morocco, a game developer and a game artist. Both have extensive experience with 2D and 3D games.

I plan the games, write development and design specifications and manage the project. After completion, I focus on marketing and PR. I’m based in Australia so the time difference can be a bit of a problem.

How did you first hear about Corona and what made you decide to use the platform?

I have very limited time so I need tools that maximize my efficiency. I knew that learning Objective-C would most likely result in either never finishing a project or creating a very amateur product.

I did some research on Corona, GameSalad, Unity3D and Titanium. I found Unity3D too complex and GameSalad not powerful enough. I developed and released a few simple apps with Titanium and also Corona and was happy with the results.

Both the Titanium and Corona apps were making some money from minimal effort. The platforms are very different and both have strengths and weaknesses depending on the type of app you want to create.

Now I’m 100% focused on games, an area in which Corona excels.

How has Corona improved your workflow, compared to other tools you’ve worked with?

Corona allows us to rapidly develop high quality games while keeping costs low. We also need experience in the market and to build a customer base quickly without excessive risk. Being able to target multiple platforms without much additional effort is an added bonus for maximizing the return on investment.

Our goal in 2012 is to release four quality games. Without Corona this would be almost impossible. I’m involved with iDevBlogADay, a blogging network for indie developers, and it’s not unusual for many developers to work on a game for more than six months, or even a year. From a business perspective I think this is incredibly risky because the mobile app market is evolving very quickly.

Tell us about the process of developing Monster Splash.

Before we started Monster Splash, the developer had never heard of Corona. I had built a simple tarot card app with Corona, but that was all.

Luckily for me he was an experienced game developer and was very familiar with the Lua language. We got him started doing a few sample projects so he could familiarize himself with the API. He was impressed with Corona and within a week he was confident that he could quickly create the game.

Initially he was on a per hour rate, but after he proved himself we agreed on a fixed fee. A few days into development, he told me he could complete the game in three weeks. I was extremely skeptical and wondered what pile of poop I was going to end up with, but sure enough after three weeks the bulk of the work was completed. I was very pleasantly surprised.

With such a fast turnaround time, would you recommend Corona to other developers?

Yes. I would start by showing them what can be achieved in three weeks and challenge them to find a tool that can match it! The benefits that make Corona stand out for us are:

  • Rapid feedback when you make changes
  • A short technology stack
  • Easy to use and learn
  • The great community

Also, the Corona team is constantly enhancing the product and is very receptive and supportive of indie developers. Using Corona we can focus on making fun and interesting games rather than spending time getting simple things to work. Being able to release more games quickly, without sacrificing quality, gives us a competitive advantage.

Thank you!

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