Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Making a Toddler App - The Fun Way - With My Own Daughter!


I have been sitting on this idea for a quite a while. Yes, IDEAS are indeed to be sat on :P

It will be a Toddler / Sub-toddler App!

I have started to make it earlier, but then I realize that I am no judge to the content of such app.
Who else is a better judge for a toddler app other than toddlers themselves? So, meet my new
app tester and Quality Assurance manager:

(She's doing the "not impressed" face)

Currently I'm paying her with chocolates. XD

Anyway, the new app will have lots of toddler toys (or what toddlers like to play with).

1. A SCRIBLLE PAD 

I've been working on this for a week. I found out a few new things about CGContext drawing and found out a way to use "brushes" type and so those are going into this "toy". I also think I need to rearrange some of the pens and eraser. Graphics for other type of pens are not done (now they're all the same pen). Code-wise, i still need to implement the color palette so that we can change color of the pen.
Other than that, this "toy" is almost done.

[UPDATE 6:02am, 30/12/2012]
The Scribble pad is done. Didn't expect it to be powerful as this though. Used it to sketch
using my finger and end up as below (okay, I'm no artist I admit it :P) :

There is "Save" feature so you can save whatever drawn in there to the Photo Album.
Or you can draw and continue later because the app remembers your drawing.
4 brush/pen types available. It is more than enough to produce more cool drawings.
Although this app is targeted for toddlers, I feel it would be a shame not to provide such
powerful drawing capabilities for the parents as well.

2. A BUBBLE BLOWER THINGAMAJIGGA (I have no idea what to call it yet).

My daughter suggested this to me, so I just go ahead and do it. After I was done with it,
again, my daughter says she wants to pop the bubbles by tapping on them. So that was
included as well. This "toy" is also completed, just today! Animation is really smooth
eventhough I just use a simple Block animation. And using the layer.presentedlayer to
track their positions. This bubbles are activated by microphone input - the idea is you
blow into the mic, and out comes the bubble. However, I feel I need to add "Sensitivity"
slider to this because in a noisy room, the bubble would just go on forever (but I do
limit it to 20).



[UPDATE 11:17pm, 1/1/2013]
Happy New Year!! Mayan people predicitions are now officially deprecated. :P

3. A PIANO

So third "toy" is a realistic piano with auto play music.
You can see the piano in action in the youtube video:

It's functionality is DONE just now. Not graphics though. I need to spend some time to make
realistic piano looking keys. Coding-wise, as I intend to make this piano to be as realistic as possible,
I overwrite the UIButton touch function with touchesBegan, touchesMoved and touchesEnded.
It is a bit mindboggling but I managed to achieve what I want, especially that special slide finger
across multiple buttons action. It works! See in the following video:


[UPDATE 3:19pm, 3/1/2013]

So Piano is completed. Pretty happy with the graphics. Inkscape really rocks.
Took me about 2 days to design the whole of the piano graphics.
Check it out!


So I also added 3 more songs to the Auto Play feature. Should be fun for toddlers.

Next on to the next "Toy".

[UPDATE 7:44pm, 3/1/2013]

4. AN ANALOGUE CLOCK

This was my idea. I notice that my daughter likes to play with our desk clock when she was
little. And an analogue clock is also helpful in teaching kids about time. AND, more importantly
it will serve as valuable asset for a future app - a clock obviously, complementary to the ClockStand
app.

I've started coding this clock 2 days ago as well. And today, seems everything is working fine.
This is not just any old clock. The interesting feature of this clock is that you can interact with it
by moving the needle with your finger. I'm satisfied with the clock appearance right now.

My daughter says it is nice. :P



Oh yeah, tapping Current Time will set the clock to current time. Hm. On second thought, I am thinking to change the clock body color. Or perhaps put some buttons to change on demand? Hm.
That would be cool right?


[UPDATE 12:44pm, 18/1/2013]

5. A TOY FAN


Yeah. So anyway work was delayed because I got ill. Still recovering from a pretty bad flu. Some of the work continued while I was ill, but I didn't have the time to update the blog. So the fifth toy is a fan. This fan is created to behave like a real toy fan. You can interact with it - touch and spin it slow, or fast, in either direction.

See the video here:

Blame the iPhone for the choppy video. Meh.


6. A MATCH-2 CARD GAME

This is my own idea really. My kid seems to enjoy a match-2 card game, so why not include it in this app. Pretty sure all toddlers and kids would love this simple matching game.


I made this game packed with cool animations and sounds. And plus, there are up to 12 cards to be played depending on your choice. The app name is also final (see the back of the card ;) )

Ok. That's it for now. I'll update again when more work is done on the other toys - mostly graphics and animations that are needed to be done. Ciao.

[UPDATE 10:55am, 25/1/2013]

7. A TOY PHONE
8. A SHAPE MATCH TO ITS HOLE TOY
9. ALPHABET TOY

Ok I have finally completed all the toys. Some still needs a little bit more polishing. Sound effects are also almost done and I had so much fun doing this app. My daughter gave so many feedbacks as well - for example, the Bubble toy she wanted to be able to pop them.

And latest feedback from her is that she wants to color the things she draw in DrawPad without interrupting the drawing she made earlier - so I created another layer just for coloring. While playing with the app, I drew my self portrait - check it out!

Nice? :P

Also, here is the preview of all 9 toy apps.





I'm now thinking to make a good app icon.
Zero idea at the moment. -_-
Hope to submit before the month's end.

______________________

29 Jan 2013: App has just been submitted to the appstore!! Finally!!
I didn't expect it to take a month, but then I did fell sick with flu rendering
almost 1 week not doing anything with the app. And considering the app
has 9 full fledge app in it, I'd pretty satisfied with what I came up with.
The app will be FREE with In App Purchase to unlock all toys.
Not sure how it will do in iPad AppStore. Depends on my daughter's luck
I guess.

Anyway, thanks to those who follows my blog post. It has been fun
developing an app with my daughter. She loves the app very much and
keeps on playing with it. 

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