Ever heard of an Ethan Nicholas? Ethan held a fairly average job down at Sun Microsystems. That is until he developed a little game called iShoot on iPhone and now he's a very happy man. Why? Because he's stinking rich!
Although Ethan's unexpected hobby made him rich by coincidence, the world of iPhone game development is becoming highly competitive, very quickly. Perhaps this has a lot to do with the fact that iPhone game developers get to keep a large sum of their profits from selling their game.
While it is a sea of opportunities, the iPhone game development world is still a big maze, with hundreds of developers being rejected every day. However, if you want to become the next Ethan Nicholas, and spare rejection, here are some handy tips.
- Bugs – This speaks for itself. If your game has a bug that causes the iPhone application to crash, then chances are Apple will not risk annoying its customers by buying your game. Make sure you run multiple tests, on multiple devices and under different network conditions. Write out unit test codes for your regression testing as well.
- Human Interface Guidelines (HIG) – Although Apple is very strict about its HIG, there have been instances when applications have been approved despite minor violations of the guidelines. However, after all that hardwork, would you want to fall into the reject pile? My advice – stick to the codes.
- Internet usage – If your game requires internet connection, and there is no network available, then it is actually against the guidelines to simply state "trying to connect". So remember to inform the user if network is unavailable and test your game under no connectivity conditions, as that is how Apple does it.
- Bandwidth allowance – As a fellow user yourself, you probably would not want to play a game that uses too much bandwidth as it can get very expensive and drain the battery quickly. iPhone consultants at Apple suggest not using more than 4.5Megabytes worth of data for every 5 minutes of usage. Again, check the data usage before you submit your game.
- Copyright infringement and Privacy Breach- It is common to use famous people in a less than polite way in games, which is all in good fun. However, iPhone has strict rules against poking fun at politicians or celebrities in their games.
- In-app purchases – These days, every other iPhone game developer includes in-app shopping, and while they add a different dimension to games, they can also be misleading when purchases transcend play shopping into real credit card usage. In fact, a new class-action lawsuit is being taken against Apple by parents and guardians, which children have been making these virtual purchases without realizing that they were actually going to be billed for them. So spare yourself and Apple the legal issues, and inform gamers clearly, if in-app purchases are in fact, real buys.
Many of these tips might be considered useful, and they are, however, the world of iPhone game development is not limited to these guidelines alone. If you're really passionate about your creation, and are not 100% iPhone game development savvy, then sometimes it is best to seek the advice of professionals.