My games have been downloaded more than half a million times – just trying to imagine half a million kids playing my games makes me feel pretty good about all of my efforts.
Do you know Radu Muresan? I bet you don’t.
Radu is a software developer here in Calgary. I found out about Radu when he submitted his iOS app – Kids Animal Piano – for review. What really interested me about Radu was that he had 10 successful apps for Android under his belt prior to starting iOS development. I had the opportunity to ask Radu some questions about his experience doing app development and I hope you’ll enjoy his responses as much as I did.
What got you started developing for Android?
Having been a full-time Java developer, Android seemed the lowest barrier to entry in the mobile space especially in the gaming area. I was also feeling the need to do something more creative than what my daily job offered at the time so picked up an Android book, loaned an Android device from one of my friends and started coding away. This was probably two-three years ago.
Can you tell us about your success within the Android app store?
My first game (a physics puzzler) has had very limited exposure. Reviews are very encouraging but I think the visuals and lack of exposure limited its success. I then tried doing some very simple apps/games targeting introduction to touch interfaces for young children (toddlers) as I found nothing that had a simple feedback mechanism for my son to get used to touch interfaces. The toddler space proved small enough that a couple of my apps bubbled to the top and provided constant exposure to a self-replenishing market of parents trying to get their kids using their phones (or sometimes just trying to find a distraction for them). The monetization model for some of these came from random comments from my user base (such as “I would pay for the ability to change backgrounds”). My best seller was Kids Animal Piano which turned out to be way more popular than expected (I still keep getting offers from cooperation on various app stores or to preload on kids tablets).
What made you decide to port Kids Animal Piano to iOS?
I never thought that my mobile efforts would bring in anything more than coffee money. When I “graduated” to the next level I figured it would be a good well defined objective to try to port it to iOS.
What kind of reception have you had with Kids Animal Piano for iOS?
Overall I think it’s very close to what I expected. It’s doing a bit better than when I launched on Android but it has a lot of catching up to do. I do expect it to slowly ramp up just like the Android side did.
What are your future plans for iOS?
There are a couple of features I want to add to Kids Animal Piano, but there is a long list of other games I want to make. Time will tell.
Do you work on apps full time?
I have a full time job that’s not related to the mobile space at all. All the effort put in my apps comes from the little spare time my two beta testers (3 and 1 years old) allow me to take. I have very recently started to allocate more time towards it, but it’s still a part-time endeavour.
Is there anything you’d like to mention that I haven’t asked you about?
I am on a mission to prove we don’t need ads in kids games (well, at the very least kids don’t need to see them). I have pursued alternative monetization strategies to try to reach this goal. My kids games will never contain ads. I know this has already cost me money but one of the main reasons I do this in the first place is to make a difference in kids lives – there’s nothing like getting a great comment from a satisfied parent.
If you know a developer (and you can nominate yourself – we won’t judge :D) that needs to be interviewed send us an email!