After the January Game Jam I wrote about previously, I found out about @McFunkyPants one game a month and decided to jump on board! I was able to use Audiball as my January submission and got to work on February’s game. After spending last semester learning Unity and furthering my experience with this amazing tool at the Global Gamejam, I decided to continue developing with Unity. I was looking for a fairly simple concept for February’s game and eventually decided on a game design with similar mechanics to pac-man. The twist I introduced was a randomly generated graph which allowed the maze to criss-cross in different ways.
Throughout the month of February I had a lot of ideas about how to develop the idea, but couldn’t try them all! The result is a fairly playable version I titled, “Red Node Attendant”. The Player must get to all of the red nodes on the graph; traveling along the edges without backtracking or running into the yellow enemies. Some gameplay changes occur as your score improves. I had a blast making this game and look forward to the next one. RVAGameJams is hosting another game jam this weekend called Flow Jam. Hopefully we’ll see some great new Flow Themed games get made! Interested in learning more Unity or working on a Unity project? I’d like to talk to you!
Let me answer the first question first. Yes, your business does need a mobile strategy.
Does this mean developing an “app”?
App development can be expensive ~ $10K and up per app is not unusual. “Native” apps (apps that run directly on a mobile device and can run without a live network connection) typically cost cost more than a so called “web” app, which is often just a web-site designed to look good on a smaller screen. While native apps are much loved by users for their excellent performance and polished “look and feel,” sometimes the less expensive web app might be a better choice. As with any good business decision, making the right decision requires a thoughtful analysis of your target user group, your business goals, your budget, and the extent to which mobile technologies compliment your existing legacy systems and the data they contain. In the finally analysis, the decision to invest in mobile technology is a business decision and not a technology one, and all the rigors of good business apply.
Business rigor sounds, um, corporate. Bureaucratic. Stifling. What if I am an entrepreneur with a great idea for an app? Do I still need to get mixed up in all that blah, blah, blah?
Yes. You do.
Your app is not your business ~ your app is a business enabler. It is just one componant in a business ecosystem that you must rule. Just getting the app developed is only one part, albeit a key one, of your overall go-to-market business strategy. Creating the value people are willing to pay for is the superior goal, and that means being everywhere in your app’s “space” ~ blogging, podcasting, network marketing, affiliate marketing and all the rest.
Rule your space! If you don’t, your app will join the crowd of millions bobbing in a sea of app flotsam, waiting to be found. Good luck with that. You will have invested, but the returns will be meager.
So where do you start? I am old school in a new world order ~ I still believe in taking the time to develop a business plan, starting with your financial model. Model several different mobile monetization strategies ~ there are at least five that I know of. If your model, however tweaked, does not “Show You the Money,” then move on.
Need help with a business plan? All kinds of help exists, often for free. I steer folks to their local Chamber of Commerce or government Small Business Development Center. It is common for those organizations to offer business planning classes and even free business planning software. The written results don’t have to be an 800 lb tome, but the “back of the napkin” biz plan is a romantic myth. You get out what you put in, and you should at least have a one page executive summary of your business plan written out so that developers like us can “get it” with a five minute read.
OK ~ enough preaching for one day. We at Shockoe stand ready to help you, however you may need it, with services ranging from business planning to mobile development to backend integration. Whatever your mobile strategy is, get out there and rule!
The votes are in and everybody agreed that the I.E competition was a great success. Teams who had survived to the final
round took the stage one last time to showcase their creative ideas to the audience and a panel of judges. The remaining group of finalists brought a large crowd who were excited and ready to vote. More than 800 people voted mobile via android/iphone/and other mobile devices and over 160 people downloaded the iphone App to vote.
Bonfire Funds managed to pull in an impressive amount of votes (over 250!) to win the “Crowd Favorite”. It was inLieu, however, that won the judges approval and came out on top and won the competition. After being crowned as the regions next best start up, Kailey Raymond and Geoff Weathersby walked away with $10,000 to launch their idea off the ground. The young entrepreneurs were also was awarded with six months of free office space and a $500 gift certificate to La Difference furniture to help them transition into the business world.
inLieu runs on the power of gift giving and redirects people to charitable causes instead of non essential items. The socially responsible compnay was backed by a flexible business plan that impressed all of the judges. inLieu had managed to win against 142 other contestants who were all worthy competitors. Chrystal Neal, the Director of Creativity and Innovation at the Greater Richmond Chamer, noted..
“All of our finalists, and indeed all of our contestants, should be tremendously proud of the creativity, energy and dedication they’ve shown throughout the Entrepreneurial Trilogy. We could not have asked for a more diverse pool from which to select our eventual winner. It is our hope that all will experience momentum based on the exposure and networking provided during this process.”
Thanks to I.E for exposing Richmond’s diverse group of talented visionaries! Start up businesses require lots ofdetermination and creative innovation and the I.E competition showed that Richmond has no shortage of supply.
El fin de semana pasado, Aryz nos visitó y dejó un mural muy bueno detrás del edificio de las oficinas de Shockoe.com en el corazón de Richmond, Virginia.
Mira aquí en nuestra cuenta de Flikr las fotos del mural detrás del edificio localizado en 111 N. 17th street, Richmond, VA 23219
Having detailed logs of how your services are being used is important, but sometimes it’s nice to have immediate notifications of critical events. Enter Notifo, the super-easy-to-use push notification service.
We recently updated WP-Logs to support the Notifo service so you can now receive notices just about anywhere. We have some of ours going straight to phone, email, and growl.
WP-Notifo is required and must be configured properly. After you’re all setup, use it with WP-Logs by adding the ‘notifo’ key to your event call; i.e.:
The benefits of using Amazon S3 to store static resources is already well documented. It’s almost a no-brainer if you are building an app that hosts a lot of static files.
We just converted an app that we’re working on to use S3 for all user uploads. It not only sped up our development time, it also basically eliminated the need to worry about file-server scaling in our prototyping stage. And we may not need to worry about it for a quite a while after that.
Check out http://getcloudfusion.com/ for more information on the Amazon S3 SDK for PHP.
Welcome to our new website. We are still transitioning to our new online home… But we wanted to give you a quick taste of what we can do to help your business grow by showing off our new web-site and products offerings.
We also wanted to inform you about our new Mobile development services. We have been working closely with a group of talented folks that develop super-cool Mobile applications– not just for the iPhone, but for the new iPad, Android and, very very soon, for the entire BlackBerry line of mobile devices.
Have we piqued your interest? Please contact us via email, twitter, facebook or phone. We’d love to partner with you on your next project– whether it’s a new, ground-up engagement, or an enhancement consultation for your current site or web application