Is Apps By Night Making Games?

Oddly enough, I get this question a lot. Many of the iOS developers I hang out with are in the game development business and iOS games in general are a hot commodity right now (about 40% of the App Store!).

Brief Game Dev History

I received my Bachelors degree from DigiPen Institute of Technology which is known as “Nintendo University” to most people. We were required to create one game project per year, eventually creating our “epic game” on the last year. The one I worked on was a side-scrolling collect-a-thon called Skip Lancer.

Skip Lancer Menu Screen

This being the case it should be a no-brainer that I’m making games for a living, right?

Why Apps?

Anyone that has ever worked in a game studio will tell you it’s not easy work. The hours are demanding and game projects can be very unpredictable. I know some who have zero interest in games because of it and I didn’t want to be in that same place.

I like playing games and I liked creating games, but I didn’t want to get burnt out in the process. Apps are less complicated in that respect.

Games By Night?

Thanks to the mobile application space, simple games are making a comeback. People are making very profitable titles with only 1-2 people on a project and this isn’t going to change anytime soon.

As someone with a game development bug within me I feel like I should give it another go. That being said, I’m in the workings of some prototypes of what could be considered a game. Details are still fuzzy, but I’ll announce any news here first.

Your Thoughts

What do you think of the state of the industry? Is games the way to go or should you stick to app development? Have you have similar experiences with this? Leave your comments or questions is the section below.

2 Comments → “Is Apps By Night Making Games?”

  1. Mark Granoff

    3 years ago

    I agree with your assessment. Games sell, and they can be anything from a simple word game to a complex zombie killer!

    I do not consider myself a *game* developer, by any stretch. Yet, my very first app was a (crude, in hindsight) game. And ironically, my latest “black ops” project is a game. Why? Because games sell. This time, though, I have the benefit of some experience to know what makes a good app (let alone a good game) for iOS.

    My other apps have met with varied success financially. When I considered what kind of app I could add to the portfolio that had some chance of reasonable success (read: income) I decided it would be a game. I had an idea kicking around in my head for a game, so that’s what I’m doing. I’ve made some good progress, but have a long way to go to complete it. But I’ll get there.

    Good luck on your new project. As motivation, how about we race to the finish line? :-)


  2. Keith

    3 years ago

    Hi Josh,

    Haha, I’m too am a DigiPen Alumni, I agree with you that yes working at a game studio is hard work and yes you may get really burned out at one point or another. Even if you’re working on mobile game apps or triple A titles. My point is that the burn outs and upsets are all part of the journey of making a game but so are the minor victories like the gratifying feeling after solving a really challenging technical problem or even the excitement of watching your game come to life. The last two are the things that drives me on the daily basis and the first two things are usually given the typical excuse of “if things were better scheduled it wouldn’t have happen” haha. I’m glad to see that you’re giving it another go at make games. Can’t wait to see what game you’ll be making. 😀

    Also, I’m not sure if I’m the only one seeing two check boxes with “Notify me of follow-up comments by e-mail”.


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