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Meet the Devs - DJantel Ware

In this week's developer interview, we talk to Daniel and Janina, a husband/wife developer combo who recently released their first game!

Published onFebruary 24, 2015

developer interview
Welcome back to our Meet the Devs segment! In this piece we take a little time to get to know the people who really make Android what it is today and that is the app developers. In this week’s developer interview, we are talking to Daniel and Janina Knittel of DJantel Ware.

Name: Daniel and Janina Knittel

Developer Name: DJantel Ware

Country: Germany

Social Media Profile/Page: Google+

How many people on your team? 2

developer interview

About your company?

We are a two man team from Germany. Actually we are a man and woman team, as me and my wife decided to try the life of indie game developers. We both studied at the University of Hamburg, where we gathered a lot of knowledge that comes to good use in our projects. We have several games in the making, and we released our first game (Nightmare Defender) several days ago.

What level of experience do you have with coding and development?

Both of us studied computer science at the University of Hamburg, we developed countless “traditional” desktop tools during our studies, for work and for my thesis. Plus we have several app projects in the making. So the coding part is very well covered.

What level of experience do you have with design?

Me (Daniel) is interested in art since I can hold a pencil. I have a long history of creating graphics for games and for flash movies.

What apps have you made?

We have several games that we still work on, the only finished project so far is Nightmare Defender. We have one very big project with the working title “Living in Hell”, where your objective is to survive in a zombie apocolypse not by simply killing everything that moves, but also thinking about gathering food, building up a home and keeping it zombie free. But this is something for the future.

How do you monetize your apps?

Our current approach is to show ads. We will see how this works out.

Do you consider yourself successful?

Nope, not by now. It is too soon to make conclusions like that.

developer interview

How difficult is it to make money as a developer?

Pretty difficult. Getting visibility in the Google Play Store is very hard, and downloads are the only thing that can generate money for you.

What can Android do to improve?

This is hard to tell. One point would be to improve the synchronization frequency of the store. The numbers shown to the people and to the developer are horribly wrong. Sometimes it takes days so that the users can see the proper ratings the app got, ratings that may have conviced people who already left because of the lack of any download numbers or reviews.

Why did you choose Android? Do you develop for other platforms? What are the differences between them?

I developed for iOS as well during my studies and for a client I once had, but having no Apple device for my personal use (and you need apple to “be allowed to” develop for apple) this is not an option for us at the moment. But it is definitely a market we want to concer in the future. One of my side projects is an engine based on libgdx, which basically ports Cocos2D/AndEngine concepts over to the libgdx framework, enabling us to develop cross platform apps. But lacking any apple device (and the money to invest :D), this is also something for the “far away future”.

Android is something that we can do with our equippment and we both personally prefer android phones.

developer interview

What are your thoughts on iOS and Windows 8?

Windows 8 is not an option and at the moment. Their market is just too small. Read the previous question to get my thoughts about iOS :).

What do you think of the Android design guidelines?

Not much.

What are your favorite apps?

WhatsApp is definitely an app I would miss.

What has been your experience been like working with Gooogle?

We have not that much experience with Google by now. They made the app available pretty fast, which is a good point. The developer console and the numbers in the store are horribly wrong, which is a bad point. In general we are grateful that Google made all of this possible in the first place.

developer interview

What does the future of development look like?

Well, everything is getting faster and easier. It is already amazing that one or two man teams can produce pretty big and advanced games and apps. As the technology ripens, we can expect even greater things to come.

What tips do you have for aspiring developers?

If you do not like it, change it. Do not compromise. Every time I thought “oh, I will let it be like it is” I always had to come back later and change it anyway, having far more trouble than I would have if I changed it right away. If you have a clear goal in your mind, do not mess with it by compromising.

Anything else you’d like to share?

We would like to thank AndroidAuthority for this amazing opportunity to introduce ourselves and our game Nightmare Defender. Indie game development is really hard, getting visibility even harder. And thanks to anyone reading this. It would be really awesome if you gave our game a try.

Developer interview wrap up

We want to thank Daniel and Janina for chatting with us in this week’s developer interview!