Another boring, boring story about the first independent project

    I study full-time at the Polytechnic University, still study in the evening and program for one company. It is assumed that the future has already been planned: I’m finishing my studies, I’m already working in my company and I’m immersed in the standard life of the developer. Three years later, I would have had the idea of ​​a startup, and I would have made it long, lonely evenings, hoping for world fame or (realizing in my soul the unreality of this) just extra money. Something like this.

    But I had a girl who changed everything abruptly when asked what I was waiting for.

    As a result, I continue to study and work - but I already have my own project. His, you know! It feels like I just became a dad (although I can’t even imagine how it all happens).

    It all started at the end of 2011, when my friends and I went to celebrate the New Year at the cottage, and of course, we took a couple of board games with us. One of them was Alias, who went just went with a bang. It turned out that explaining the words on a not sober head and on speed is very funny. At that time, I was just developing for iOS, and for some reason I immediately wanted to make an application out of this desktop. Well, you know, it comes to everyone's mind to make an application, but usually these stories don’t end with anything good.

    Counted on the fingers. It seems not difficult, and most importantly - convenient! No need to take a set of cards with you; the phone is always with you. While I was thinking about this, my friend, who brought the game, said: “Listen, I’d like to make an application on it. I think it would be for sale. ” And then I caught fire.

    Further, there could be a boring history of development for iOS, of which there are probably hundreds, but everything went a little more fun. To get started, I looked at Appstore and looked at what kind of transfers of board games are to the application. The monopoly was very struck: it would seem that you transfer it as it is - and play, but no, there are a lot of effects and very competent multiplayer. There was still a bunch of games, and for many it was clear that in reality they are more interesting because of the physical components. But the idea with Alias ​​was haunting: he was definitely not tied to cards, they even got in the way a bit!

    I reflected and thought for almost half a year. Probably, this would not have ended at all if my girlfriend Lisa hadn’t said: “Che you are stupid! Write to Mosigre, maybe they will like the idea! ”

    I wrote. Really nowhere, on info @, without even knowing to whom and why I am writing. As it turned out later, it was also past, because Alias ​​is made by a Finnish company, and the license for it does not belong to Mosigre in any way (they just carry and sell it on the net). Why to Mosigra? Because I read their posts on Habré, plus I just did not understand how the market works. Well, in general, I was at the Invasion, where they had a tent with games, which was remembered by the fact that everyone around was smiling. In general, I just picked it up and wrote it.

    In theory, they should have sent me off at the “break through the secretary” stage or gently sent a little later, when I would talk about Alias ​​with big eyes. For two days no one answered, and I thought that everything, nothing would come of it. I think there were no options to write somewhere else.

    As it turned out later, the letter was nevertheless forwarded to Milfgard (he writes a Mosigra blog on Habré), but he was on the road. On the second day, he called back and said that nothing would come of it, because the idea of ​​publishing Alias ​​in advance was a failure, if it was done, it would be under a world license. Which, to put it mildly, is unrealistic. Mosigra also has several dozen of its licenses for work in the CIS, plus there is a friendly publisher Magellan, who makes his games with the ability to work around the world. And he suggested looking at his games, what if he liked it. It seems like it was polite "goodbye, it was very nice, but nothing interesting."

    All this happened in the summer, so I thought that it would just turn out to meet the New Year. And I chose Ruff - a beer game with crazy tasks. The beauty was that with the simplest gameplay (showed the user a card, accepted or rejected), it had excellent recognition and definitely fit as a potential hit. An important argument was the graphics of the game, which was directly created for the phone screen: I was not ready to draw and hire a designer.
    There was nothing like this in Appstore, and it seems I was about to open a new category. Ruff was not yet snapped up like hotcakes (the game itself came out just like a couple of months), but by sales it was clear that it was going well. Probably just because no one knew then that the New Year's paper version would be a bestseller, and they gave me the opportunity to work with him. Lucky a second time.

    But before starting any work, Sergei suggested meeting. And he said that he would come to Petersburg in a couple of days on business, it would be possible to cross. It is clear that he was interested in looking at me and appreciating the seriousness of intentions. I tried to put myself in his place and decided to write a detailed plan of how development will go to discuss each item. The first question at the meeting was precisely: “Is there a work plan?” - and then I got out my three-page document. I think if he hadn’t been, the meeting would have gone far from what I would have liked.

    Surprisingly, there were no questions about who I was and what I was doing outside of iOS: I showed the portfolio, talked about how I would work on the project and that’s it. It seems that they learned about the fact that I am a student in Mosigre only after a couple of months. This is unusual: I proved that I can do the task, and everything else was irrelevant. Despite the fact that at interviews, some of my classmates literally shook the soul out of the question.

    So, Sergey made one simple condition: you can work, but at any time Mosigra can turn off the project if something in the application does not like, because he will not give away bad goods under his own brand. Even before the release, and without explanation. I agreed immediately.

    It turned out to be a surprise that I had a mess in my head regarding marketing. That is, I thought this way: I posted the project, showed it to friends - and now, it is already on sale. Mosigra had experience launching two of her gaming applications, and it turned out that this problem just disappears. True, Crocodile and Danetka are free applications, and although they have reached the top for almost a week each, the situation could change with the paid version.

    As a result, my friend hryamzik ​​and I discussed all the basic points and started writing. There were no papers so far, it was assumed that it would be necessary to at least make a prototype before signing. We set a deadline - by early December, fill in for verification.
    We started with a prototype, without design. And this was our main mistake in the development. When the design came, it turned out that almost everything had to be redone. I think many of you are familiar with this feeling when everything you did was wasted. Enthusiasm is zero. And in the end, we still did not have time for the new year.

    There were a couple more features: in the original paper version of the mechanic this is: there are tasks at the level of “Name 6 brands of cars on M”, “Say a toast with difficult words”, “Identify everyone at the table with your eyes closed by touch”, “Scroll around yourself 10 times "," Go Provocative SMS ", there are bonuses for completing tasks, there are points. The first problem was in bonuses: they accumulate on the players hand, and it was very difficult to show this in the interface. I thought that people would play by simply transferring an iPhone in a circle: with bonuses, a lot of extra movements came out. In the end, they just had to be thrown out. The second problem was the task of the level of "be silent a whole circle", which is also unclear how to control. There were only a few, and I also removed them, after consulting with the developers of Magellan. They, by the way,

    At this point, it became clear that the deadlines were broken due to alterations and a rethinking of mechanics. Immediately, we set new ones for ourselves - February 23. But the New Year holidays made themselves felt, and we almost expired this date, making out various papers.

    The initial conditions were as follows:
    • I make a game, all the code is mine.
    • Magellan gives the right to use the mechanics, content and design of Ruff.
    • I sell the game from my account and make deductions to Magellan.
    • At the same time, I have the right to set the price only in the agreed range.

    This required a license agreement to transfer to me the rights to use company logos, game content, and so on. As a result, when I saw the document, honestly, I was a little confused. It was the size of a good license agreement and was very scary. Plus it was necessary to register the company and go through a bunch of formalities, which also bothered.

    I asked if there was an easier option: he was quickly found. The new version suggested that I was making a game, and Magellan would charge me royalties as an author. At the same time, I pass the finished product, but do not give the code. All this with a bunch of detail who and what is doing exactly - but already on the understandable rails of the same agreement that Magellan signs with the authors of board games. It turned out to be much shorter and much more understandable.

    In January, everything was ready at 95%. But it took a lot of time to finish the little things. You should never underestimate the small corrections that have yet to be made; it took them a lot of time and effort.

    I then looked at the finished application and thought: “It would be cool to make voice acting of cards, sending SMS for tasks directly from the address book” and so on. But they decided to launch the basic version: albeit not ideal, but with the main functionality of the game.

    On February 19th, we finished the beta tests and sent to Uppstor, indicating that it is very, very necessary to put it out as soon as possible, because February 23rd is almost like Christmas, but only for the Communists who drink the national ruff. Apple moderators met us and checked the application in an expedited manner.

    Last night it appeared in the store, and at first I was wildly scared: the search for “ruff” did not work. It seems that he forgot to indicate a synonym with "e", that is, no one in life would have found us, since typing e on the keyboard of an iPhone is a difficult task for an ordinary user. Especially on Friday evening when the app should be buying. It was relieved when it turned out that indexing there was delayed. After a couple of hours it worked.

    They argued for a long time about the price. I rummaged through all the articles on Habré about launching applications, and decided to stay on the scheme "1 dollar now or 3 in a week." So now it costs 33 rubles, and will soon be more expensive. By the way, a paper box costs 550 rubles, but Mosigre believes that the application is simply not able to kill sales of desktops, but on the contrary, it will work as additional advertising.

    Yesterday Mosigra made a newsletter to her clients, sent out press releases (we already have several publications) - and we took off in the TOP-40 paid applications in a day.

    This is a very unusual experience for me. In fact, I had an idea that would not end in anything if not for Lisa. If I started to figure out what and how it works in the market, I would convince myself that I could not publish Alias. If I was frightened of the conditions “we will turn off the project at any moment” - nothing would have happened either. I just took it and did it. And now I have a project with which I worked in my free time - and even if it does not take off, it will be a good experience.

    In general, I'm sorry, I'm a little worried about the fate of the application and because of this topic (Milfgard said that for such frank advertising the hawkers just bury me in the ground two meters, but still gave an invite), and simply because I have an exam in 2 hours and 30 minutes, for which I was poorly prepared.

    And sorry for such a long sheet.

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