By Ethan S., Age 15
The App Store is the crown jewel of Apple’s gated tech community. I wondered what it was like to publish on the App Store and decided the only good way to know would be firsthand experience. So I set out on my journey to publish there.
The first thing to do was to develop an idea for a game. I also wanted to learn online multiplayer with Photon in the Unity Engine, so I decided to make a game called “BOP!” The aim of the game is to jump on the other characters and “bop” them. You get a weapon to knock them back and power ups will spawn around the stage.
The next step was to research how to publish on Apple and what equipment was needed. I knew about a free app called Unity Remote, where you can plug your phone in to your computer and play-test in the engine with the game showing up on your device. However, I had the misconception that you could use an Apple phone to test your game with a Windows computer and soon learned that you need an Apple computer both for Unity Remote (on an Apple device) and to compile the game for Mac OS or iOS.
Only having a Windows computer, I knew the only way I could move forward would be to purchase an Apple computer- and I knew how expensive they could be. I surfed eBay and found a used iMac (intel i5 processor and 500 gb storage) for $200. Being fifteen, I didn’t have $200 lying around- but I did have an Oculus Rift headset without a working cable, rendering it useless to me. I was able to sell it for enough money to be able to afford the iMac.
While I waited for the iMac to arrive, I worked on the game’s fundamentals (like networking). The photon networking was confusing at first but I soon was able to figure it out by watching demos. I also worked on movement, aiming, and getting “bopped.”
Once the iMac arrived, I used Unity Collab to send the files between the two computers, working on the game in my more-powerful Windows computer and then sending it to the iMac for testing and any small changes.
What’s next? I need to finish my game and publish it on the App Store. Looking at the numbers, the App Store has a $100 annual fee (much more expensive than the $25 Android Play Store fee). However, as the average game on the App Store earns around $1500 (according to Evan Green, a Mobile Game Developer from Greenie Games), publishing there has its benefits. Stay tuned for Part 2 of my experience publishing on the App Store!