August 21, 2013 in App Development
I think it was in the post called App Dev 2 where I laid out the guidelines I wanted to follow when planning my first app. Over the course of the year, I’ve been thinking about building my own app but it wasn’t until July that I decided to get serious about it. You see, my goal is to have my first app in the App Store by November. Now it is in the middle of August and I still haven’t made any efforts to set this goal into motion.
So what have I been doing instead of developing my app idea? I’ve been doing a lot of research. This involves reading lots of blogs and listening to podcasts. I should be a bit stressed about getting my first app built by my deadline but I’m not really too concerned about it. In fact, I’m glad it took me this long to dive into app development. And that’s where my plans are changing ever so slightly.
This is because all my research has uncovered a way where I can essentially accomplish my app development goals in a simpler way. It’s gotten me really excited because I will be able to create multiple apps in a much shorter time frame than I orignially planned… and at a much lower cost! But to recap, here are the original guidelines I set forth earlier this year:
- It has to be simple to execute
- I will create the graphics
- Outsource programming for under $500
- The app structure/template needs to be reusable
- Uploaded to iTunes by November 2013
When I look back at that list, little did I know how exact I was going to be able to follow my guidelines. The only modification I’m making to my list is the part about outsourcing the programming. I will not need a programmer (I think). Oh, and one more thing. I was originally going to develop utility and reference type apps but I’ve thrown that idea out the door. Instead, I’m now going to develop games which on the surface, seems much more difficult and time consuming. But I’m telling you it is not! Read on to learn more.
Eliminating the Programmer
I am not a programmer. I don’t know Objective C. So how am I going to eliminate the need to hire a programmer and still get multiple apps done myself? I’m going to buy source code for apps that already have a solid and proven framework to make money. Basically, I’m taking a successful source code for a game and changing out the graphics and sounds and then making it my own.
This process is called Reskinning or App Flipping. Those are the two terms I mostly hear about when it comes to this strategy. Like I said before, all I have to do is change out the graphics, sounds and a few advertising ID codes and upload to iTunes. Sounds simple, right? I could outsource all of that but for the first one, I’m going to try to do it all myself.
My Big Advantage
I believe I have a distinct advantage when it comes to the reskinning strategy. Because of my background as a professional video producer, I think this type of work is ideally suited for me! In my mind, it’s not much different than taking an After Effects template and changing out graphics and sounds for a client. It’s almost the same type of work!
I use tools like Adobe After Effects, Photoshop, Illustrator, Premiere and Audition everyday! And those are the same tools I’m going to use when reskinning apps. I’m also familiar with music libraries, sound effects, stock images and voice talent (if needed). Having this experience can really help me save money because the buying source code is much cheaper than hiring a programmer to create an app from scratch. Any of this sound familiar to you video producers or web developers out there? I think the skills are directly applicable to app reskinning!
How many times have you used a template to save time? This is exactly the same thing! And the best part is that once I buy the code, I can reskin the app as many times as I want! Just add fresh graphics and audio! I’m sure you’ve done that with your After Effects and web templates?
Where To Buy Source Code?
There are several places online where you can buy source code but one of the best places right now is at Udemy.com. There are a growing number of source codes and other resources sold there. The best part is that several of the source codes include COMPLETE video instructions. This is the best situation when you have no idea of where to start or what to do! For example, there’s a course called Make & Publish Your Own iPhone Game Today & Make Money Now which will help you get started the right way. It includes a source code for a game called Jelly Flow which is very addictive and includes 4 ways of in-game monetization. I reskinned it myself and it’s a great code for beginners to start with.
The great thing about this Jelly Flow source code is that it comes with an unlimited license. I only buy codes with unlimited licenses to help cut my costs down on future reskins. In other words, you can make as many games as you’d like with an unlimited license without having to pay the original developer again.
I’ll try to list more source codes that include video instructions in the future but you can look in my sidebar for others that are perfect for newbies just starting out with reskinning.
What Can I Do Before I Get My Mac?
My new MacBook Pro is on it’s way but I’m already getting started with my plans. I’m shopping for audio and graphics on various sites. If you’re a video producer, you’re probably already familiar with VectorStock.com and AudioJungle.com. Those are the two main resources I’m using to make a list of the assets I want to incorporate into my apps.
I also know that the a lot of source codes utilize ad networks like Chartboost and RevMob so I’m going to set up accounts with them now to get that step out of the way. As for getting my Apple Developers account, I’m going wait until I get my MacBook.
The real work for now is coming up with a theme for the game and finding graphics to fit the theme. I just hope this whole process is as simple as it sounds!
Think You Can Do It Too?
So if you’ve customized video and web templates, you are already familiar with this process. And if you have skills with any of the Adobe products I mentioned above, this should be a natural fit for you… (if you have interest app development). I love to tinker with this kind of stuff so I’m sure I will be able to figure it out. Of course, I’ll update you on all the progress for my first app. My deadline is end of November so I need to get moving now!