User testing at City University Interaction Lab

August 5, 2009

City University London’s Interaction Lab has used Babe on a beam to demo its mobile user testing service. Thanks for that Raj!

Level 1 complete…

July 24, 2009

I hope you’ve found this little game development diary useful. It’s been a great learning curve for me as designer/producer. Big shout out to the rest of the Babe on a Beam team – Martin Simpson (exec producer and ideas man extraordinaire), Jim Terhorst (Tech Director), Jeremy Bondock (Art) and Basil Hogios (Sound).

Now we need you all to go out and buy the game so that we can afford to keep adding new levels. At which point the blogging continues…

Spread the word!

Babe on a beam gameplay video

July 18, 2009

Babe on a beam on AppStore

July 10, 2009

Babe on a beam is on the iPhone AppStore. Yay! Now to start thinking about the next release. Check it out, tell your friends, and let us know what you’d like to see!

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Apple administrivia

July 9, 2009

The good news first…Babe on a beam v1.0 passed Apple’s review process first time. Yay!

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The bad news… still not available on the AppStore. The company’s tax forms still waiting to be processed manually by Apple. *groan*

Apple requires developers to complete a Paid Applications Contract which (helpfully) does not materialise until you submit an application. After submitting your first paid app, check the iTunes Connect ‘Contracts, Tax, & Banking Information’ page to see what additional paperwork is in order.

Australian developers have the additional pleasure of submitting ABN and GST registration documents for manual review. It seems that Australian developers cannot offer paid apps without being registered for GST. That wasn’t an issue for us but it does seem like an unnecessary overhead for small developers earning less than $75,000.

Unexpected additional time for review

June 27, 2009

Apple writes, the day after submitting for review:

Your application, Baby on a beam 1.0, is requiring unexpected additional time for review. We apologize for the delay, and we will update you with further status as soon as we are able.

No idea what that means. Maybe they took MJ day off. Bandwidth had slowed to a crawl this end in any case. RIP King of Pop.

App store submission

June 26, 2009

Babe on a beam is off for Apple review. It’s taken 4 months, 6 days to get our first title off to Apple (well, since I opened the iPhone box and started this blog). Ridiculously slow by most standards no-doubt (at least one seasoned developer snorted when I reported our progress) but it has been a great learning curve. I’m sure the next one will fly off the ranks much faster.

Last hurdle on the submission process was renaming the Bundle Identifier. Spaces in the name work fine when installing as a Developer or for Adhoc Distribution but the AppStore is more fussy. The error message that appears is somewhat confusing (referring to an ‘Application Bundle’ section of the manual that doesn’t appear to exist) but this technote clarified what was needed. Changing the Target | Properties | Indentier to a name without spaces did the trick.

Now the big question is – will the app get bounced for any other reason?*fingers crossed*

crossed fingers by Will Humes

crossed fingers by Will Humes

Babe on a plane

June 18, 2009

Never try to launch a game from an airport departure lounge… I managed to totally screw up the build in a ridiculous race to get the beta out before flying out to New York. Here I am two days later (long flight from Sydney) and I’m pretty sure today’s build is good to go. But I’ll hold off sending out the invites until there’s some independent confirmation. Looking forward to seeing what the alpha testers think of the new version.

Beta this week

June 14, 2009

Nearly ready to go beta. There I’ve said it… now I hope I don’t have to eat my words. Bit of a mad fortnight getting distracted on other projects but the good news is that I think we’ve sorted out the main issues from the alpha. We’ve introduced a small tutorial sandbox (no one reads anymore!) and the control mechanism is a lot smooth as a result of introducing a bunch of new subtle animations.

Trying hard to block out any thoughts of new features right now before we get version 1 out the door…

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I’m still in two minds as to how sensitive the controls should be. More hesistant non-players seem to pick up the hang of it quicker than a lot of twitchy-fingered gamers. Looking forward to another round of testing.

If you want in on the next round of testing, please SEND US YOUR DETAILS by Wednesday!

iPhone screen died

May 14, 2009

My iPhone screen dies on first day of alpha testing. Look out for mushroom cloud over CBD if it is not replaceable today. About to hop on my bike and dash down to the Apple Store. *fingers crossed*

Best test report so far comes from Twitter. We’re on as @napkingames

bettinac: @michela my iphone has been hijacked by 9 & 13 yr old girls going crazy over #babeonabeam