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Meet the Devs - Stix Games Ltd
Name: Tamar Schultz
Developer Name: Stix Games Ltd
Google + Profile/Page: N/A
How many people on your team? 4
Tell us about your company
Stix reinvents the social game experience for the mobile generation. We are building an international-level game company that will become a leader in the growing mobile game market. Stix was founded in 2013 with funding from the Tel Aviv Angel group. Loonies is our first commercial game.
What level of experience do you have with coding and development?
Two of our 4-member team are expert developers with years of experience.
What languages do you know? How and where did you learn them?
What level of experience do you have with design?
I am a graduate of Visual Communication studies in the Bezalel Academy of Art and Design, with 6 years of work experience in UX and visual design.
What apps have you made?
Our first commercial game, Loonies, was launched Friday, June 27th
How do you monetize your apps?
We mostly use in app purchases of virtual currency.
Do you consider yourself successful?
We’re on our way there. :)
How difficult is it to make money as a developer?
It’s quite difficult. Game development is a labour-intensive, iterative process. It’s hard to draw conclusions early on about a game in progress, but even harder to put months of effort into a project that doesn’t pan out in the end.
What can Android do to improve?
While Android is by far the more developer friendly platform we’ve tackled, figuring out what is happening on users’ devices in production is still a pain. If we had better tools for collecting and analysing bugs and crashes our day to day would be much more focused on actually making more fun and engaging games.
Why did you choose Android? Do you develop for other platforms? What are the differences between them?
Android is an obvious choice as it is currently the most popular mobile OS in the world. It gives both the end user and the app developer more control of the device and the experience than other platforms, and it makes it easier to go from the drawing board to a live game in the hands of anyone in the world.
What are your thoughts on iOS and Windows 8?
We’re targeting iOS too with our games, and we see a great response from iPhone and iPad users. We intend to keep iOS as the second supported OS for our future games. We don’t have any experience with Windows 8.
What do you think of the Android design guidelines?
The Android design guidelines are a good starting point for anyone getting into Android app development for the first time. They don’t fit every case for every app, and you need to know how to adapt to your own users’ needs, but I think every app designer should at least be familiar with the guidelines, as well as the common practices in current popular Android apps and launchers.
What has been your experience been like working with Google?
The Android API does a great job of abstracting away and managing the many differences between device vendors and form factors. It is also very well documented, making it relatively easy to use and maintain. We also appreciate the simplicity and flexibility of Google’s various service control interfaces, such as the Google Play Console.
What does the future of development look like?
We see software development as a whole going in the direction of true cross-platform, with developers using nearly the same code base for mobile, web, desktop, TV, etc. The ever growing landscapes of open source and commercial third-party services make it easier and easier for app developers to focus on the core parts which are unique to their app, without having to re-write the same code that thousands of developers before them already went through.
What tips do you have for aspiring developers?
Google (or Bing if you really want to) is your friend if you ever get stuck, persevere, read the developer docs or even ask questions on forums or Stack Overflow, because learning to code is fun!
Anything else you’d like to share?
Start small, listen to advice, think hard where you want to innovate, and where you prefer to stick by standard practices. Test on real users early (and don’t tell them it’s your app if you want to hear what they really think of it). Get the initial user experience right first, then move on to more advanced user flows once you feel the app works for new users. Think about monetization from the start, and start testing it as soon as possible.
Anything else you’d like to share?
Independent game development is a roller coaster. Some of the time you feel like you’re on top of the world, most of the time it feels like you’re on your way down. Keeping up morale while being realistic about your business is challenging, but crucial.
We want to thank Tamar Schultz of Stix Games Ltd for chatting with us in this week’s developer interview! If you’re a developer and this looks like something you’d like to do, check out our Meet the Devs form! We look forward to hearing from you.