KlickTock after its grand success with “Little Things for iPad” is aggressively seeking an even brilliant future in a number of projects in the booming App industry. In an interaction with TheAppleGoogle, Matthew Hall describes the future of the company, his vision and experiences with Apple.
1. Little Things for iPad has been chosen as the iPad App of the Week by Apple. What was your reaction?
A little bit of dancing around the living room and a big thank you letter to the Apple team. I’ve definitely been surprised by the response to Little Things on iPad, but it’s been great to have so many people play it and enjoy it. Developers require a good amount of luck to have a success on the App Store and I’m very grateful that Little Things has been recognized as a quality game.
2. The App is about seeking objects and finding them. How did you conceive the idea of developing the App?
It was developed over a very long period of time. I had the idea about 5 years ago when Hidden Object games first started appearing in the marketplace. I wanted to try to recapture the fascination I had with seek and find books when I was a kid. Over time, however, the Hidden Object game genre has narrowed, and now most of them are story-based mysteries. So Little Things – even though it’s the same genre – is now poles apart from the rest of the pack.
3.What is your take on the new iPod touch 4G? Do you intend to port the App on the iPhone and iPod touch?
Little Things is a game all about “detail”. If I bring across those images to a low-resolution screen, there would be a lot of scrolling and not much fun. My other game “Doodle Find” is my attempt for bringing a Hidden Object game over to the iPhone. I think a sequel to Little Things should be possible for iPhone (particularly with the new retina display), but I’ll have to be careful how I design the new mosaics.
4. How long did Apple’s approval process take? Are you satisfied by their performance?
Sometimes it’s fast and sometimes it’s slow. Apple works hard to make sure their store is clear of broken apps. People will be much less keen to use the store if they knew they weren’t getting quality product. So, I’m happy with the time it takes!
5. Do you really believe the “There’s an App for that” slogan? If so, is the development game over for developers or are there loads of other ideas that could be converted into an App?
I’m always surprised by what people come up with. Sometimes I’m even surprised by my own ideas. Like – the “Star Walk” app; on iPhone 4 – with the new Gyroscope – I think it’s absolutely astonishing what they’ve achieved. Also, I don’t think there’ll ever be an end of gaming ideas. Just this last month we’ve had “The Incident”, “Dead Runner” and “Slice It” – all fantastic games I’ve never seen done before.
6. As your game is iPad specific, there is surely something that you must have seen in the iPad? What according to you makes the iPad so special and what is the future of the device?
Little Things was originally designed for the PC casual market. It was released on October last year on Big Fish Games, but didn’t find an audience there. When I first heard about the iPad I realized that it would be a fantastic fit. I took the game and modified it to make the best use of the iPad touch screen. It’s definitely found it’s natural home on iPad.
7. Apple launched a new section on the App Store, “Try before you Buy” that let’s users try an App before purchasing them. As a developer of several Apps, what do you think about the concept?
My other game, Doodle Find, is marketed around that concept. It’s initially free and users can upgrade to the full version to get some extra features. Though Doodle Find was #1 in Australia, Singapore and other territories, it never got the marketing push it needed in the United States. Free Apps can be great too, and I hope – in the future – that Apple start to promote more heavily the quality “free” apps that are released.
Personally, I want as many people as possible can play my games and a free game is the best way to do that.
8. What else should Apple do to encourage its developers?
One thing I find disappointing is the reliance on the “units” chart. I’m going to use Doodle Find again as an example; it’s a game that people love and it’s designed to be played again and again. But these games only appear in the chart on the day that they are purchased and not each time they are played. Apple should be tracking the “Daily Active Users” and “Monthly Active Users” just as Facebook do, to ensure that games that can be enjoyed for a long time are given the proper attention.