My friend Kevin wanted an app to track billable hours that would allow you switch tasks in one touch. Everything on the App Store at that time was overly complicated or too slow to use, so I built Project Timer. It’s not the most beautiful app (I wrote it mostly on the bus back and forth between Providence and New York) but it does the job and every few weeks I get a nice email from a customer. Project Timer on the App Store.
Built this summer 2009 for Brooklyn Workshop’s awesome FreeRider SkateCycle. Skate Test Dummy is a 3d physics based sandbox game. You tilt the phone to gather momentum until you can jump out of the sides of the bowl and pull different tricks in the air. It’s complimented by great DJ scratching sound effects by Tim K.
The biggest challenge was tuning the physics to feel natural. Unity 3D’s built in physics system is great but from time to time a safe landing would result in a wipeout. Eventually I wrote my own physics system and the extra effort produced much smoother results.
Pardon the pixels, iPhones were a lot slower back then!
In the Spring of 2009 Elie Tahari contracted me to make an app to show off their Fall clothing line. It was my first experience working for a big company and all that comes with it – like learning to invoice properly.
One development challenge involved finding a clever way to preload and cache the images – scrolling through them normally resulted in a little pause each time the next image loaded. We ended up making 3 Elie Tahari Runway Show apps, Fall 2009, Spring 2010 & Fall 2010.
Funny note: A scope-change sent us over-budget and Elie Tahari paid me the difference in clothes. I like to think that the few good shirts I ended up with made the difference in future meetings.
Mr.Shuffle was the first iPhone app I built and it was pretty fun! Josh from Magnetism Studios reached out to me in Spring 08 before the App Store was out. Josh found me through Escort Wing, my winning entry into the 2005 Original Mac Games contest, and offered me a job building Mr.Shuffle. It was the excuse I needed to ditch my ancient camera-less fliphone for the iPhone.
Through the course of Mr.Shuffle I learned how to do custom UI, multi-touch rotation and scaling, camera access. saving files and interacting with the photo roll. It was a tough first project but we finished in time and it was available the day the App Store launched. Thank you, Josh, for taking the chance on me – you put me on a great path and I will always be grateful.