But let's start at the beginning: As you might know, beside the main products I'm working on, I'm also doing some experiments here and there, trying out how to make money today by writing smaller pieces of different software. That way, I also have a handful of apps on various app stores.
Last week, I received a "one star" rating for one of the nicer apps I have on there, along with a text like:
And this for a quite complicated app, nearly without bugs, which solves a specific problem and needed in total about 4 man months of development time. And is updated regularily.
With apps in the app stores set to a price between 1 and 3 euros, people simply got used to these low prices. This way people begun to think that software is only worth about one euro. The problem: If you as developer don't have an app which sells a couple of thousands of times every month, you won't be able to live from this.
So here is a simple idea: Stop setting such a small amount of money as price for your software. You are destroying the market with this. Instead, demand a healthy, acceptable price, and restore the value of software development with this as nice side effect. I'm doing this already: My software is priced usually between 20 and 50 euro. And people buy it. And there are interesting side effects:
- Before buying, people really read the description of your software, and actually think before hitting the 'buy' button. You get less negative reviews, less complaints, and it seems in average more 'intelligent' users.
- Less people will buy your app, meaning you also get much less support requests.
be supported in the next Internet Explorer. That means all major browsers will support this now in the very near future. Will this open a new era for games, playable directly from the web? I think so.
Basically, I believe you only need to use a framework like my WebGL game engine to create your games and be able to run your games on all devices and operating systems, soon. But maybe I'm wrong, let's see. Exciting times :)
the video I created about a month ago showing CopperCube in action? Back then, I really liked it, but actually it wasn't that nice. It was too confusing, the aspect ratio wasn't correct, and cuts from the shown apps weren't ideal. I just recut it, with about 70% new video material and it feels much better now:
The resolution is a lot nicer, the action clearer, only sometimes the framerate dropped, unfortunately (like in the scene with the Jump'n'run game). Hope you don't notice this too much. I feel I'm getting a bit better with creating videos now. But that's also what I thought last time. :)
That image is from the main menu, though. Although rendered directly from the game level, I just set the 3D camera into the face of the player. :) You can play the game, let me know how much it sucks. :)
After Earth. I heard before that it wasn't great, but after I saw its trailer and some people also told me that it looks a bit like my book, Die Wiederentdeckung der Erde, I just had to watch it. And it wasn't that bad.
Unfortunately, we entered the cinema hall a few minutes after the film had started already, so maybe I missed some essential explanations like why they are only using melee weapons, but who knows, maybe without explanations the movie appeared better to us as it was. :)
All in all, I'd recommend to watch it, it's at least lightweight entertainment, especially if you like science fiction.
This disaster now comes after this big Windows 8 and Windows RT user interface failure. Windows RT devices still don't have many apps, and the tablets themselves are very, very, expensive. The touch based user interface makes no sense on desktop, and the Apps sold in the Windows Store are fullscreen apps. I cannot even imagine how the decision makers at Microsoft are able to come up with such an amount of weird decisions. What are they smoking?
For me as developer, Windows is my "home" operating system. All apps I create are usually written first on Windows, and then - if I want at all - ported to other platforms. I still love Visual Studio, even although Microsoft started to destroy that thing as well (monochrome icons? Developer registration renewal every 30 days?
I blogged about the Asus VivoTab RT I bought, which is basically a tablet with removable keyboard, running Windows RT on it (Details on the official website). Now I've used it for quite a while, time for a review:
In short, that device is really nice, and I'm really happy with it. It has quite some advantages:
- As known from Windows 8, also Windows RT is very, very fast. As programmer, I'm really impressed, and also wondering how they actually managed to do that. Boot times are so short that you don't think twice about shutting the system down anymore. You can start it up again within 3 or 4 seconds.
- The duration of the battery is incredible. I think there is a second battery in the keyboard, and I'm using the device usually attached to the keyboard, so maybe that's the reason. But since about 2 months, I've used the Vivo tab quite a lot, and had to recharge it only two or three times. I estimate that the battery endures something between 15 and 20 hours for me. Quite impressive.
- As written before, the keyboard is great for typing. The one on Microsofts Surface (Pro) sucks compared to that.
- Although I hate to use the Internet Explorer, Microsoft managed to create a really nice touch screen version of it. It's very fast and responsive, and IMO especially the scrolling feels much better than the browsers on Android or iOS. Not sure why, tough.
- I can actually use it for doing work. And that's what I'm using it for. Since it is so small and very light, I noticed that I'm taking it with me nearly everywhere, without thinking much about it. I didn't do this with my notebook before, maybe because it was about 3 times heavier.
- There is a big lack of apps for this device. The app store is getting bigger every week, but I still cannot find for example great games. And the few I tried to download stopped the transfer, because of a bug: The app store keeps claiming my internet connection is too slow. Yeah, right.
- The mail client has a nice interface, but sucks big time. It doesn't support POP. Really, no joke. That's like creating a web browser without HTTP support. What did microsoft think? There are two official workarounds: 1) tunnel your mails through an outlook.com account. (Really? - sure, and while we are at it, the NSA is reading my mails too, as we've come to know recently) 2) Download a mail client with POP support from the store. - Yes, great. The only client on the store supporting POP is ok, but has lots of tiny bugs (loosing mails in my case), preventing me from using it.
- No way to install apps yourself on the device. Apps have to come from the app store. Even the apps I program myself using Visual Studio and put on the device don't really belong to me, they become invalid after some time. WTF.
- Developing apps for Windows RT is another story. I think I might create a short blog post about this later.