Indie Game Developer Interview: Matthew Crandall (Appy)

Not many games get a 5/5 upon their debut, especially on Nine Over Ten 9/10, but Appy’s Stack King managed to do so back in August (check out the review here). Today, we get to interview Matthew Crandall of Appy for our Indie Game Developer Interview segment. Check it out:

Nine Over Ten (9/10): Tell us more about yourselves and how you started developing mobile games?

Matthew Crandall (MC): I’ve been developing for a long time now. I got the bug when I was young, programming in BASIC in middle school and I have been learning and hopefully growing as a developer since then. I didn’t really start programming games until I started out on my own. I’d fill the time between contracting gigs with little games that I found fun. I did a contract game for iOS. Then I formed Appy and it seemed natural for our first app to be a game.

9/10: What was the idea behind Stack King?

MC: Stack King came out of the search for a simple game mechanic. While the mobile game market has certainly progressed Angry Birds is still at the top of the paid apps list on iOS, and that indicated to us that users wanted something simple to understand and fun to repeat. We went as simple and fun as we could and built a game around that.

9/10: How has the response been to Stack King on the iTunes App Store?

MC: The reviews and user response to Stack King have been fantastic, both on and off the App Store; everyone that has seen it seems to love it. We haven’t been able to get it in front of as many eyes as we want yet. That is why we decided to make Stack King free with this update. The App Store is obviously amazingly powerful being the only outlet for iOS apps. But it is also easy to get lost in the noise and can be difficult when there is no where else to go.

9/10: Could you share with us a little on what you’ll be working on next?

MC: We can’t settle on our next game idea! We have so many fantastic ideas for games that we keep discussing what we should do next. We really want to get that hammered down. What do you like more: cute monsters trying to eat your finger or slashing zombies with a sword? In the meantime we are working a utility app that turns your iPhone or iPad into a kind of billboard. We’re calling it Say Anything. It is almost done and should be out soon.

9/10: What are your views on iOS games piracy and how has that affected you and your fellow developers?

MC: Currently we are ignoring piracy. We haven’t seen a lot of it for Stack King and generally feel like those aren’t sales we would have received anyway. We want to people to play and enjoy our game. That doesn’t mean we think people should steal it. Stack King and our other upcoming apps are our livelihood. We need people to buy them so we can keep making more.

9/10: Any words for aspiring game developers out there?

MC: To me, there is nothing like taking an idea and making it a reality. If you have a great idea that you think people would love, pursue it but know what you are getting into.

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