I’m SUPER excited and proud to share that Manas Purohit and Michael Seleman, both seniors and first year members of the BHS Help Desk, have successfully developed an iOS application that is available for download TODAY for the iPad and iPhone. Banana Boom puts “your reflexes to the test” while users “tap to dodge explosive bananas as Super Sam (your heroic monkey) maneuvers down some series slopes. Collect coins to rack up points, but only if you’re up to the task; some coins can be tricky to grab!” The app requires iOS 8.1 or later and is optimized for iPhone 5, iPhone 6, and iPhone 6 Plus.
20% Time Project Part 1:
The development of this application is part 1 of Mana’s Individual Learning Endeavor, or his 20% time, genius hour passion project. The ultimate goal for his ILE is to develop a Help Desk mobile application, with an anticipated launch date of April Fool’s Day (no joke!) Michael is no longer enrolled in Help Desk for the second semester, however he will continue to collaborate with Manas on the Help Desk app as an equal partner. Below are the details of how Manas and Michael went about programming their first iOS app and what their plans are for part 2 of their ILE; a BHS Help Desk mobile app.
Where did the idea for Banana Boom come from?
“It came from the old Mario game where Donkey Kong is throwing barrels against Mario. We thought, ‘what if we put Donkey Kong on a sled and made him dodge bananas?’ Then we added the coins as a scoring mechanism.”
What were the steps involved in the development of the app?
“First, we had to learn the programming language Objective C. After doing some online research, I decided to use the book Big Nerd Ranch Objective C Guide because it was recommended by professional programmers. I used that book as my major resource. I prefer to use books over videos because you actually see the code written out and refer to it as you type along. I also had to learn how to use the software GIMP, which is similar to Photoshop. This is what we used to make the images in the game. We drew all the images pixel by pixel, which gave us superior precision over the exact view of the images.”
What was the hardest part of creating the app?
“I’d say the scene where the monkey is actually dodging the bananas. We had to make it difficult enough so the user wasn’t bored by the game, but at the same time, not so difficult that the user gave up on it. We had to spend hours adjusting the speed at which the bananas came down in order to get the perfect velocity. It took two and a half weeks start to finish to build the app. Then it took a week for Apple review the app and actually put it in the app store.”
How did you go about submitting the app into the App store?
“First we had to get a developers license. We went to the Apple Developers website and we had to sign up for the developers programs. That cost $99 but that was well worth it because that’s the only way you can get an application on a device versus a simulator. It only took a day for the processing to go through. Once we had the license, we connected it to Xcode. Then we had to complete an application through iTunes Connect. We had to fill out the description of the app, general information, the copyright, the license agreement, what other capabilities our app had (Game Center for example) and finally we uploaded our code and all our images to iTunes Connect. We also had to put in screenshots for app previews. Then we submitted it for review. It took approximately one week from the time we submitted the application to when it actually became available in the App Store. I received an email from Apple last night that said, ‘the following app has been approved and is ready for sale.’
Why did you decide to make the app free?
“We as students would most likely not pay for a game, so we thought that most of our users would go through the same thought process, so making the game free would result in the most downloads, which was our goal. If you can get a lot of downloads, you can have ads on your application which could allow us to eventually make profit.”
How will the creation of this app help you develop the BHS Help Desk app?
We are now more experienced as far as user interaction goes on iOS devices. So, using this knowledge we can create a better user experience for the users of the Help Desk application. Additionally, we know how the app review process works with Apple and we can configure the app so that it is reviewed and available as soon as possible.