Well, here’s iJiggles on an iPad…
It’s a little weird releasing something that hasn’t actually been tested on and actual iPad so I hope you guys enjoy it.
Here’s a quick and fun little app that we created just for this holiday season: Santa Hop
Click the image above to take you to the iTunes store
Santa Hop on YouTube
It’s a game in the spirit of Doodle Jump and Winterbells. You must guide Santa up through the clouds so he can collect all of the gifts for the children. As an added twist, the higer you get, the fatter Santa gets so it gets more and more challenging.
We think it turned out really well so if you are in the holiday spirit, check it out!
A friend of mine just made his first iPhone game. I present to you Stair Climber 2 the most realistic stair climbing experience available on iPhone. I don’t know if it’s terribly awesome or awesomely terrible. You can decide…
Click the image above to take you to the iTunes store
Stair Climber 2 on YouTube
I figured you guys would be interested in another experiment that we did for Tap-Fu. You can read about it here:
Piracy totals so far look like this:
Check out our post of piracy for updated graphs.
If you are curious, here’s some of the stats for yesterday when the piracy article made it to the front page of Slashdot (and a few other places). I have to admit, I was a little surprised by the whole thing…
We wrote an article on App Store Piracy. You can find it here:
In summary, Tap-Fu has been pirated a lot. We discuss many of the things we’ve noticed and possibly a few things that we can do to try and manage it a bit.
It’s now been over two weeks since we submitted Tap-Fu to Apple so hopefully it’ll be out soon. In the meantime we’ve started Chapter 2. Here’s Seelan’s post about it:
We figured it would be fun to post the evolution of Tap-Fu photos. It’s interesting to look back and see how the project evolved and the thought processes we went through.
The very first idea for this game came from us playing around at Virtual Apple – specifically we were reminiscing about Karateka
We were thinking that it would be great if we made a clone of it. Back in the day it was one of the most impressive games around so we had a soft spot for it. So we made a quick animated gif of the character walking so we could get an idea of how much animation would be required:
Once we were sold on the idea, we contracted out an artist to do some character animations. Based on our input, this is among the first set of sprites that we got back. The sprites were generated from a 3D animated model with the intention of painting over them later on.
It wasn’t quite what we wanted, so we decided to explore some alternatives for a while. So we let our art designer (Rain Park) go nuts. He was only at it for a short time, but what he came up with was beautiful.
Since at first the game was more serious (like Karateka) the direction that we gave was mostly in that direction. Then one day Rain sent us this:
Needless to say, we were totally convinced that a less serious game was the way to go. Here’s some animation guides that he came up with:
And a background concept:
Initially we were thinking that Tap-Fu would be more of a platformer and that the Hero would start off in a town. The town is what is pictured above.
Since we decided to go for a more cartoony look, we needed a new art style. We are fans of the old school sprite games so we found another team of artists that were available to do some sprite work in Montreal. They took the concept drawings and came up with this:
Meanwhile our concept guy was busy cranking out more drawings.
Here’s a bit of a milestone. Our favorite character:
And a hawk was added:
Around this time, the level and tech design started getting a little bit bloated. Since we were doing a platformer, we realized that there was still a ton of work ahead. In the interests of getting the game completed faster, we decided that we would shift the project from “Tap-Fu adventure” to “Tap-Fu Arena” and focus on smaller levels. This would greatly simplify the AI and gameplay and would probably be more fun. A few weeks after that we put in the story mode which was a nice balance between the two.
This is the first time we put sprites in the game:
Clearly backgrounds were needed. Here’s more concepts for that:
The terrain was looking pretty crappy so we switched to 3D models for them. Here’s some 3D modelling tests:
Then background elements were created. These are drawn as sprites in the engine:
Putting it all together gave some really good results:
Some HUD work being done:
After all of this, the rest is mostly just polish. Sounds, from our sound guy Dan, were added. The HUD was finished. The menu system became fully functional. A little bit of music was added to the title. Hundreds and hundreds of gameplay tweaks to get it perfect were done.
We hope you enjoy it!
Here’s a thread about Tap-Fu at Touch Arcade:
Here’s some interesting tech facts about Tap-Fu:
I thought I’d take some time to highlight the absolute greatest feature of the Donkey Tech 1 (DT1) engine… the visual scripting system.
Many developers seem to be steering towards integrating Lua, Python, etc into their game projects with the hope that it’ll streamline the game creation process. I did it too. An earlier version of the engine had full Lua support. The problem is that it still forces much of the game logic on to a programmer instead of putting it where it should be – with the artists or level designers.
I decided I’d try and develop a visual, node-based, scripting system that would easily allow anyone to define complex relationships between entities in the game. Since we were targeting the iPhone it also had to be very efficient as well.
The solution looks like this: By linking the nodes together you form a graph that performs the operations that you want to do. Nodes are lazily evaluated – i.e. if you need the value of a plug at the end of a chain of nodes, all of its dependencies upstream of it are evaluated first. this is key to its efficiency.
So what does this look like in C++? In a nutshell, all a class has to do is inherit from a PlugNode base class and define it’s member functions much like this:
There’s an initialization function a little later in the .cpp file that looks like this:
What does all of this do? In a nutshell, the Plug template wraps the primitive type in the logic for maintaining the plug state and connections while making it behave much like a the primitive type. PLUG_INFO is simply a macro that is the object that contains static information about the plug (like name and flags). this information is constant for all of the instances of this node type. The Affects statement defines which inputs affect which outputs which is necessary in tracking dirty states for the lazy evaluation. Set_Input and Set_Output are just flags that say whether the plug is an input or an output.
I realize that details are a little scarce here. It’s meant to me more of an introduction that an exact how-to.
What kind of things can be done with this system? Well, as it turns out, a lot! Here’s a few examples:
All of this stuff can now be driven by an artist instead of a programmer. So if you are a programmer, do yourself a favour and implement something like this now! You won’t be sorry
I thought I’d make a few posts about the tech behind Tap-Fu. Tap-Fu was the fist game released with our game engine (Donkey Tech 1) that has been in development for several years already. The engine boasts a long feature list with a lot of cool stuff:
Using this technology, the Prototypes for both Tap-Fu, Relativity, and a few unannounced titles only took a couple of hours. This includes a full menu system, a customized level editor, save/load and a whole bunch of other features.
Stay tuned for a few posts about some of these specific areas. There’s some neat lessons to be learned.
Well, I’ve been pretty busy lately. I’ve teamed up with the 7 cities guy to create our latest game called Tap-Fu. It turned out AWESOME!!
Here’s the official page for it: Neptune web site
Here’s a thread at Touch Arcade: Touch Arcade
There’s not a whole lot about the game right now – it’s coming soon.
Tricorder had to be taken off of the App Store. It’s not like this was unexpected. Here’s what a DMCA takedown notice looks like.
Dear Mr. Baudais,
We received a written notice from CBS that CBS believes your application named
Tricorder infringes CBS’s rights. A copy of the notice is attached.
Accordingly, please take steps to review your application to ensure that it
does not violate the rights of another party. If this includes removing your
application from the App Store while you make changes, use the following steps:
Visit iTunes Connect at http://itunesconnect.apple.com
1) Select the “Manage Your Apps” area
2) Find the desired application in the list
3) Select “Remove From Sale”
4) Your application will no longer be available for sale on the App Store
Please remember that pursuant to your agreement with Apple, you are responsible
for any liability to Apple because of a claim that your application infringes
another party’s rights, and also that we may remove your application if we
believe that doing so is prudent or necessary. So that we don’t take unnecessary
steps, please let us know that this matter between you and CBS has been resolved
within three days of this letter.
Thank you for your immediate attention.
**EDIT: NAME REMOVED**
Here’s the email that was sent to Apple from CBS.
Dear **NAME REMOVED**:
We obtained your name from Paramount Pictures and seek your prompt assistance. I
write as attorney for CBS Studios Inc. (the ‚”Rights Owner”), the owner of the
rights to the television series ‚”Star Trek‚” and, under penalty of perjury, the
information contained herein is accurate and true.
We are providing you with notice as operator and host of the http://itunes.apple.com
that there are unauthorized uses of the protected content, namely unauthorized
STAR TREK applications at the following links:
We have a good faith belief that this material is not authorized by the Rights
Owner, its agents or the law. Such copying and use of this material constitutes
clear infringements of the Rights Owner‚ copyrights under the Copyright Act and
Digital Millennium Copyright Act, 17 U.S.C. ¬ß 512(c), and its counterpart laws
around the world. In addition, such actions constitute clear violations of
Apple’s DMCA Policy.
As we diligently protect the Rights Owner‚Äôs properties in all forms of media, we
hereby request the immediate removal of these links from this website which you
operate or act as Internet service provider. Should you need additional
information, please contact me at the number or email listed below.
Nothing in this letter shall be construed as a waiver or relinquishment of any
right or remedy possessed by the Rights Owner or any other affected party, all
of which are expressly reserved.
I thought I’d blog a bit about Ad Support in iJiggles. To make a long story short, Ads suck. BUT having said that, I think I might have inadvertently found a really good way to make money off of your free apps at the same time without them.
iJiggles was a paid app at the beginning. But it wasn’t selling at all (except for a few copies obviously). So I decided to make it free. Little did I expect that it would shoot to the top of the free lists. 100000+ downloads a day and I wasn’t making a dime. The coverage is really good though.
So I was left with a predicament. I could make it .99 cents again and fall completely off the charts – back to mediocrity, or I could add Ad support. So I chose the latter knowing full well that I’d get some blowback on it
I added ads as a banner at the top of the title screen which is the same screen that you use to load new pictures or take pictures with your camera. So during a single usage of the app, you would see it multiple times but it wouldn’t interfere with how the app actually works. It seemed like the least annoying way to do it for the users.
A few days later, Apple released the update and Ads were being displayed all over the world. iJiggles is displaying 2 million+ ads a day… and my profit for all of this trouble and hassle? About $200/day. This is barely more that I was making at $0.99 cents per copy at the rates that it was selling. Except, I’ll saturate my user base a lot quicker now.
So Ads suck… but making your app free doesn’t necessarily suck…
There are some unintended side effects to having a free app that sticks to the #1 free spot on the App Store. The largest one is exposure.
If you look at the description for iJiggles right now, the first 1/3 of it talks about OTHER apps. These are apps from some friends of mine that I really do honestly like (so the blurbs are real). They are the ones that have been benefitting from iJiggles.
Case in point, 7 Cities. It was released a couple of months ago and did really well for the author, but only got to about #53 on the app store – even while it was featured by Apple. A little while later it fell off the top 100.
Since I have added the blurb about it to my description, not only is it back on the charts but it’s at #44 and climbing!! Basically, my blurb did more for their ranking than being featured by Apple!! (Coupled with a price drop). This is also much better than when they released a Lite version which is the strategy many devs are taking.
Mouse House has seen similar success. They are selling something like 10x as many apps as they were before. Their sales from the small blurb are making them more $$$ than admob support is making me!
So what does this mean exactly? Well, this is a new way to make money off of the top free apps. Devs could approach the top free app developers and “sponsor” their app. It really doesn’t take much. A one or two line blurb talking about how awesome the app is has a HUGE effect. But these “blurbs” or “ads” are WAY more effective than any “in app ad system” by several orders of magnitude. Free app devs basically are their own ad provider. Neat!
So, I’m looking for sponsors for iJiggles. Contact me via my contact page.
Due to the phenominal reception of the free version of iJiggles, I’m going to release it for free permanently! I am going to integrate AdMob so if you want to support me, please click one of the ads.
Unfortunately, since I’m not releasing a separate free version, the people who initially bought the app for .99 will get the ads too. If it bugs you that much, let me know who you are and I’ll try and make it up to you in the future somehow.
Tomorrow should mark a special occasion where iJiggles will crack 100,000 downloads in one day. Today was so very close at 99371 copies. Pretty crazy!
Thanks to all who have downloaded it.
And a funny, not related article in PCMag. I think it is categorized appropriately.
pcmag.com – 10 Stupid iPhone Apps
“Blame our lack of interest with this app on the fact that this article has a female author, but iJiggles-3D-Wobble (99 cents) is plain stupid. You take any photo, select Jiggle mode, and you can “jiggle” anything in the photo. Choose the Inflate setting to increase the size of any object in your photo as well. The makers of this app use a photo of a woman holding watermelons as an example. Enough said.”
There’s a very good article over at macenstein about this whole Wobble vs. iJiggles thingy. It is a very good read: http://macenstein.com/default/archives/2484
I sent them a bit of a clarification email which I’ve reprinted here:
That was a VERY good article. It was very well balanced and fair. You are
absolutely right that this is completely immature.
I would like to clarify a few bits though, if you don’t mind:
1. My name isn’t Tod Martin. It’s Tod Baudais.
2. iJiggles was never intended as a “boob app”. It was originally developed as
an image manipulation toy – hence the interface. I did realize, however, that
it would probably used for boobs 90% of the time at first, but I was hoping
that it would wear off and people would find more entertaining uses for it.
The whole concept of a “Toy” is why the interface is how it is. It was meant
to be fun. At the same time I realize it is not for everyone. This “not a boob
app” thinking is why the first images of the app on the app store were of my
6 month old son.
3. I’m a little disappointed in Jon for his comparison of Wobble vs iJiggles.
I have an equally biased image here: http://www.smellslikedonkey.com/images/interpolation.jpg.
In fact, his image shows a feature of iJiggles! It allows you to push and
stretch images like they were putty which he has obviously done here. That
and this screenshot is from iJiggles 1.0. The new version is MUCH smoother
and prettier. Shame on him for misrepresenting this.
4. Speaking of features, iJiggles does everything that Wobble does and a lot
more. He makes no mention of the iJiggles stretch mode (which he used in his
comparison), the “inflation” feature, full support for multi-touch, interactive
simulation, settings for springiness, camera interface right within the app,
etc. Instead his argument is always “it does boobs” which iJiggles does as well.
5. His assertion that any sales spike can be attributed to his name and he is
absolutely right – sales stayed flat at around 100 copies a day. Some noise,
but nothing to write home about. Maybe there’s a lesson in there for other
developers. In the end it doesn’t really matter though, the whole point of
the name change wasn’t to drive sales, but to send a clear message to play
The funny thing about this whole episode is that on thursday, I was content
to let iJiggles fade out of existence. I’ve made more than I put into it and
I wasn’t willing to go the full distance and market it as a boob app. But the
name change on Friday, the personal attacks and weak legal threats from Jon
is what has inspired all of this. So the blog will stay up and the bully will
get a little bit of bad press.
So what is next? I think he got a taste of his own medicine. I’ll change the
name of iJiggles back at some point – iJiggles-3D-Wobble *is* a stupid name
after all. I’m also thinking of adding a “Wobble Mode” that changes the
interpolation scheme a bit – without all of the ugly artifacts of course
I’m also pondering a free, ad-supported version. We’ll see.
Wow. Ths is really turning into Comedy Gold! Shortly after publishing his last email I got this gem from him:
Heh, I don’t believe that you just published a comment from me that:
a. Points out the shortcomings of your application
b. Points out to anybody reading that there exists an opportunity to take
your application name! I simply meant that as a warning to you against the
problem with changing your software name… hence the reason I changed ours
back! (oh and sales went down when I mentioned Jiggle)!
But I guess you are just a bit too slow to pick that up, and you insist on
republishing my PM’s to your imaginary readers???
Let’s see if you are foolish enough to publish this too:
Dear search engine and readers of this blog, please index this link:
Wobble is the best boob jiggling software available for the iPhone – follow
this link to buy WOBBLE
Or maybe you’ll realise that you are giving me the opportunity to publish
stuff on YOUR blog and take all of it down!!
Well, the Wobble guy responded. He actually had me feeling sorry for him… until the last paragraph. At least he was thoughtful enough to append a smiley face.
1. Have it your way.
2. If I was using the term iJiggle rather than just plain jiggle it might
explain trying to confuse the market, we were merely experimenting with a
longer name to catch the eye more in the appstore.
3. Bad experiment, for a number of reasons – it exposed us to other
developers moving on the name “wobble” which is precisely what you have done
changing your name – I wonder who would be tempted to take your “iJiggle”
name? Maybe some reader of your blog???
4. OK, will do.
And yep, I feel like a dick for even bothering to engage with you, it’s not
like your app is competitive really… It looks like a software guy did the
graphics and it works like a graphics guy did the software. Did the UI guy
come up with your company name??
Yesterday when we visited the App store, we were a little surprised to see that the Wobble guys changed the name of their application from “Wobble” to “Wobble-3D-Jiggles”. This was a little surprising for a number of reasons:
1. “Wobble” is already an established name. It’s short and concise.
2. The incorporation of Jiggles really serves only one purpose – to get searches from people trying to find iJiggles. If you’ve been following the sales above, you’ll see that the generic “Jiggle” market is a lot smaller than the “boob Wobble” market. What did he hope to do, get another 100 sales per day?
So to be a bit of an ass right back to him, I changed the name of “iJiggles” to “iJiggles-3D-Wobble”.
Well, I woke up this morning to find this email from the Wobble guy himself:
Remove Wobble from the “name” you are using for your application.
You are infringing our trademark.
It would seem by your statement that “You have nothing to lose” that you are
attempting to benefit from our large sales and marketing effort. Might I
suggest that you do have something to lose?
As your name stands you are deliberately using our name to try to increase
sales of your own and you will be liable for damages, to minimize such damage
you must CEASE AND DESIST using the Wobble name immediately.
My IP lawyers will be writing to Apple, in addition please supply an address
for service for your company to the email address above.
And Here’s my Response:
1. It is doubtful that you have already applied and received a Trademark for
the name Wobble. Also, Wobble is a generic term and is probably not
trademarkable. If I am wrong, send me a trademark number or an application
number and I will be happy to change it.
2. At the time of the name change, your app is called “Wobble-3D-Jiggle” and
not “Wobble”. Quite a bit different
3. By using the term “jiggle”, you are obviously attempting to benefit from
our large sales and marketing effort.
4. I’ll leave it up to Apple to decide. Get my address from them.
Have a good day.
I also noticed that he changed the name back to WOBBLE (all caps this time) so he’s obviously feeling pretty dumb right about now.
So for now, I’m leaving the name how it is. If Apple wants me to change it, then that is fine. It’s pretty funny though, had he apologised for being a dick instead of sending a threatening letter I would have changed it back in a heartbeat. If anyone has any opinions on this, I’d love to hear them.
I see that the Wobble guys have changed the name of their app from “Wobble” to “Wobble-3D-Jiggles”, presumably in honour of iJiggles. I thought I’d honour them back by renaming “iJiggles” to “iJiggles-3D-Wobble”. What the hell, I’ve got nothing to lose.
iJiggles 1.1 has been released to the App store (expect it Friday or Monday). Here’s a summary of the patch:
- Smoother and Faster Animations
- New “Inflate” feature to further enhance parts of your photos
- Multitouch interactivity
- Saving and loading
- And a bunch of little tweaks here and there.
Thought you’d like to see a comparison of image quality for Wobble and iJiggles 1.1.
Jan 19: 239 Copies sold
Official Youtube Videos: 1019, 741 and 174 views
eugene4023 videos: 20,676 and 769 views
(Also, Tricorder views are up too! 157 views)
Now monday is here. We’re hoping some other sites will start mentioning it now.
Here’s a nice little nugget from the youtube comments on eugene4023′s vids, kinda made me laugh:
Well it looks like Wobble being released a day or two earlier has given them a huge advantage. That and iJiggles came out on a Friday so a lot of sites haven’t picked up the story yet.
Here’s some stats:
Jan 16: 339 Copies sold
Official Youtube Videos: 785, 589, and 141 views
eugene4023 videos: 17,467 and 292 views (new Japan one apparently, crazy)
Maybe monday more of the mainstream sites will kick in.
Some of the Marketing has started up and apparently there’s also a competitor: Wobble Here’s some stats:
Jan 16: 456 Copies sold
Official Youtube Videos: 444, 345, and 83 views
And the unsung hero of the ijiggles app:
eugene4023 video: 11,036 views
So it seems like it’ll take a bit more work to get it into the mainstream.