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Introducing MicroPoints!


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#1 TiM

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Posted 30 March 2010 - 12:35 PM

Hey guys!

Welll sorry about my complete lack of presence... again. :$

As always, I'm completely snowed under by work and most other commitments.
This year, in addition to web dev, I've become a tutor at the uni where I work, teaching some upcoming young students the finer points of introductory multimedia. :)

And while it's still taking a hefty while, we do have some UberGames stuff coming through the pipeline still.
That being said, one of these projects finally came to fruition last week. Something I've been somewhat slow to formally announce here. XD

RedTechie and I have been studying iPhone development. We've purchased an Apple Developers account and have spent a little time in the last few months playing with the SDK.

The first iPhone app we completed together has now been released on the Apple App Store. :D

The app's named MicroPoints, and as you might be able to guess, it's an app that converts normal currencies into Microsoft Points... something that anyone with an Xbox 360 would find handy. ^_^

Since MicroPoints is our first app, it's a bit of a small one. Most of the dev time was spent learning the ins and outs of coding the iPhone (things like building UIs, button callbacks, saving user data, loading static data etc), so it went quite slowly. But all in all, we're glad at the outcome.

The app is on sale on the iTunes store for $0.99 USD. After doing some comparisons, we figured the quality of the app is on par with the other paid MS Points apps on the store, so we'd see how it goes down.
(I might touch up on this later... this may serve as a bit of pre-cursor to some other monetary based endeavors later on...)

There are some plans to make it free for a limited time soon so stay tuned. :D

Thanks guys! If you have an Xbox, please check it out! ^_^

#2 Alex H

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Posted 30 March 2010 - 03:10 PM

Any possibility of a Windows Mobile one for us Microsoft devotees? :)
Since you know if we have an X-Box then we'll get a Windows Phone in all probability (that and the iPhone sucks... so does the Windows Phone in-fact, so make it WM2003-6.5 they're good OS's :))

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#3 TiM

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Posted 30 March 2010 - 03:39 PM

Erm... not at the moment. I probably should study how to write Windows Mobile apps... I hear they're just lighter .NET apps, which probably means it's WAY easier than writing iPhone apps. :$

ROFL! Nuh-uh, iPhone is coo'. I know lots of people with Xboxes and iPhones. XD

You could also use MicroPoints on the Zune marketplace... but who the heck would have a Zune AND an iPhone...? :$

#4 Alex H

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Posted 30 March 2010 - 08:36 PM

Perhaps... :)
Though yeah the Zune kinda sucked as well :P

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#5 TiM

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Posted 31 March 2010 - 04:05 PM

Whaddya mean kinda? XD

#6 Lee

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Posted 31 March 2010 - 04:44 PM

The Zune is amazing.

I've never had a 360 but would converting dollars to Microsoft Points be a simple multiplication problem?
3.141592653589793238462643383279502884197169399375105820974944592307816406286208998628034825342117067982
14808651328230664709384460955058223172535940812848111745028410270193852110555964462294895493038196442881
09756659334461fnord28475648233786783165271201909145648566923460348610454326648213393607260249141273724587
006606315588174881520920962829254091715364367892590360011330530548820466521384146951941511609

#7 TiM

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Posted 01 April 2010 - 04:37 PM

Maybe. But it's pretty obvious it's no competitor for the equivalent Apple products. XD

Yeah it is. Static data tied to a UI. This just makes it a bit more convenient than having to remember the right multiplier.

#8 TiM

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Posted 01 April 2010 - 05:19 PM

Okay, quick heads up. For the duration of the Easter Weekend, MicroPoints is now free. :D

So if you thought it was a little too expensive for your likings, now's your chance to give it a try. :)

Enjoy!

#9 Martin Thompson

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Posted 04 April 2010 - 09:43 PM

Alright, I´m dlling this on my dads iPod touch, so ill have a look.

Looking....

Looking....

BTW did i tell you I agree with Brex (this time) that the iphone sucks ? :P Widnows mobile sucks too, I guess that leaves Android, havn't tried it yet though but there is an SDK for that too so I'm curious. Im getting an Android phone this week so ill certainly have a look at how to write programs for it.
Itll probably be complicated and you probably need Linux with an uberly vague command line promt thing to compile the code so i will probably fail at it.

Oh and i just had a look at "Micropoints" but eeeeh....
U know, the conversion doesnt rlly count if you know where to buy your microsoft points, since they vary in prices across the interwebs, ofcourse if you have plenty of money and want to pay full price for them and purchace them from microsoft, i guess the programs works ok. Nice attempt at an App though. But seriously, not worth 0.99, actually not worth anything really, so im glad i got it for free :) Sorry to burn you off, but, ya know, i like to see better stuff in the future :) Maybe even something for Android? U know, EF-Mobile or summing? :P

BTW, you probably dont know me because this is my first post here, but i made a new account, you probably know me as Com-man, so if you feel like yelling at me for completely yelling at your App, you have my msn XD

#10 TiM

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Posted 26 April 2010 - 01:26 PM

Wow.... such an impressive post full of hate lol. Why do you hate me sir? :P

Yeah Windows Mobile sucks. Android looks absolutely amazing because of the amount of freedom you have with it, but current majority of market penetration lies with the iPhone. It's that simple. :)

I am upset at the fact that Apple tries to maintain control with the software component (ie only having apps through App Store etc), but that doesn't really matter since my iPhone is permanently jailbroken, which renders that a bit of a moot point.
And since it was recently shown that some extremely cool guys have managed to get Android OS dual-booting on an iPhone, it's possible to have the best of both worlds on one unit, so you can't really argue with that. :D

Onto MicroPoints. XD
Yeah I'm aware that the currency might fluctuate from each purchase point, but the conversion rate I used was if you bought them off of Xbox Live with a credit card... call that the default rate if you will. In any case, with 100 points equaling $1.65 in my currency, it's extremely hard to work out the basic value of something in my head, so I at least find it useful.

To be frank, your degree of eloquence there could have been made "somewhat nicer". XD
In all seriousness, 0.99 isn't much. I've seen apps with a lot less functionality for the same amount of money. And considering its demographic is people who are serious about buying things off of the Xbox Live marketplace, the people who would make good use of it are obviously not strapped for cash.
I was originally going to make this app free, but after I saw the quality of the other paid MS Points apps on the App Store and their subsequent comments, I figured this one might stand a chance as a paid app as well.

If I'm going to be completely honest, my ultimate goal here is I want to see if I can actually get enough money out of it to buy an iPad... since I don't really want to spend my own money on it at this point (And even then, only after a complete jailbreak of iPhone OS 4 is confirmed). I don't think of it as a potential mainstream income at all... but more of an experiment to see if I can use it to get another neato gadget that I could also develop for. :)
And after that, any other money it generates will be going straight towards the maintenance of the UberGames server (which I might point out is not free to maintain. :( ). Hopefully that puts some people at ease that all of this stuff is going to a 'worthy cause' (Well, the UberGames server bit in any case XD ). It might be the start of more to come though... it'd be REALLY nice if the UberGames server could pay for itself hehe...

Either way, I'm pretty happy with MicroPoints. It was my first iPhone app after all, so I learnt all I know about iPhone dev with it (Which even tho it's a small app, still has a considerable amount of stuff in it). And at the current rate, by the time the iPad comes out here, I should have enough for at least half an iPad, which in itself would be awesome. ^_^

If you want to see EF on the Android, there's nothing stopping you. Quake 3 is already running on the iPhone tho, so I'd rather stick with that. XD

Calling it an 'attempt at an App' was a bit mean. Don't expect me to do any favors for you. :P

Haha oh okay then. Why aren't you using your old account then?
Oh no... that's okay. Any chewing out I do to you, I'll do here so others may see. ;)

Ciao!

-TiM

#11 Telex Ferra

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Posted 26 April 2010 - 06:17 PM

I don't want to sound rude.

Does it do anything except multiply the number of dollars by 80?

#12 Martin Thompson

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Posted 26 April 2010 - 09:58 PM

I don't want to sound rude.

Does it do anything except multiply the number of dollars by 80?



Uhm... no? :P

Anyway, sorry if I sounded rude TiM, ofc I realise that this was summing new for you and kinda of an experiment. The UI looks professional though which is good, I hate those apps which have ugly windows-95 style-ish buttons and text without any form or thought of design, your app has a nice ui, so points for that :). In the meanwhile I have gotten my android phone and so far I relaly like it. Downside is, Android apps are mainly written in Java which i both dont know (although im reading up about it and its a bit similar to C++ which i do know) and hate cuz my previous experiences with java werent really that positive. Forunately on android, MOST (yes, not all) applications downloadable run on it. I'm now going trough Java tuts to learn the language and then going on to reading trough the Android documentation so I can write somethign myself. WAs thinking of doing a little Arkanoid if i finally get round to it.

As for another thing, payment of apps, both on iPhone and Android, as far as I am aware, you need a credit card for that. I'd really like to support ppl cuz ive seen some truly good apps out there (for both my dads iPod touch and my android phone) but the thing is, I dont have a credit card. Mainly cuz where I live you don't really need one for stores etc cuz we have "PIN" passes (i beleive there is an English name for that too, its bascially a card you swipe trough a device at the store, you enter a 4 digit code and the money is immediately removed from your bank account). Anyway, I dont have one, I do however have PayPal, so I'm looking forward to the day that both iTunes/Apple store and the android market/Google pay will support that cuz it's a great system for people like me.

Oh and the reason why I made a new account is because in recent months I've been active in the community under this name, mainly over at 3rd Fleet Hosted, so I wanted to start fresh over here :)

#13 TiM

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Posted 27 April 2010 - 12:53 AM

I don't want to sound rude.

Does it do anything except multiply the number of dollars by 80?


If you live in America, it multiplies the number of dollars by 1.25. And it does the same for about 9 other currencies (Apple Plists for the win. XD)


@Martin

No worries. Yeah the UI is the main thing I was proud of. Apple's interface building tools are quite impressive.

Baaah. If the only language that Android supports is Java, I won't be going to it for at least a little while. XD

Ah yeah, I've noticed that. A lot of people on these phones can't actually buy paid apps. If Apple made a deal with PayPal or something, that would totally rock. XD

Suffice it to say, I'm working on another iPhone app here now, and odds are it won't be a paid one.

-TiM

#14 Telex Ferra

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Posted 27 April 2010 - 01:33 AM

1.25?

$1 =/= 1.25 MS points

#15 Martin Thompson

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Posted 28 April 2010 - 08:06 PM

If its not a payed one, ill make sure to get it on my dads iPod touch. As for Android, aparantly it is possible to code bits in C and C++ too, but from what i understand, the main "shell" is Java, becasue of Androids modular idea. For example, if your applications wants to use google maps, there is a special class in the google maps program that you just need to call and then it gets "embedded" in your app without you having to do the code again. Apparantly thats not possible with C/C++ but I dont know since this is the first time ive done anything for mobile platforms and im not a HUGE expert at c/C++ so odds are i dont know half of what its capable off :P



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