Today’s interview is with independent app developer Rebekah Moriss of funki frog. Rebekah had the dream to create an interactive book ever since she designed her funki frog series of paintings but wasn’t sure where to start. Here you can read all about the trials and tribulations of making her first app for iPhone and iPad called ‘The Girl In The Spaceship‘ and how she fulfilled her dream.
Please tell us a little about yourself.
I am an artist and enjoy writing and am now delving in to the world of apps to bring the two together. I am also a mother.
How did the idea for your app come about?
The idea for ‘The Girl in the Spaceship’ came from an amalgamation of one of my paintings and also from a sketch book that I had. The painting (funki frog) comes from a series of paintings called ‘Party Animals’. From there I came up with the idea for my app.
How long was the process from the original idea to the release of the app?
The process took roughly about 6 weeks. Once I had the idea I wrote the story quite quickly, mainly because I had wanted to incorporate elements of my paintings for some time and also because I enjoy writing. I then did a rough storyboard with pencil and paper so that I could see the story and images in front of me.
Did you hire a developer or do it yourself?
I decided to hunt around for an interactive epublishing company as, unfortunately, I have no programming skills and also lack of cash meant I could not afford to hire a developer. I also had no knowledge of how to find a good developer. Therefore I searched the internet and came across was Talespring. Their software is free to use and then if you wish to publish it to the app store there is a one off charge and they then take a percentage of the profits. Their software was extremely easy to use and you can contact them for advice if need be. I liked the idea of a fairly low risk investment in an interactive story as this was my first venture.
What has been the hardest obstacle you have had to overcome in the development process?
I would say it was the music, which may sound a little silly, but I was worried about using music that was already published because of copyright issues. I ended up searching for ages to find something appropriate but each time I found something I liked copyright law kept on frightening me so in the end I made the decision to create my own music! I had never done this before but am very happy with it. As I used an epub company they dealt with sending my story to Apple which took some of the pressure off.
Have you had much support during the development process (from family, peers, Apple Inc.)?
I received some support regarding using Adobe Illustrator from Extractstudio a graphic design company, to help me illustrate my images in a vector format. I also received a lot of support from my son. Also Talespring were available if I needed them.
What are your plans for the future? Will you be developing any more apps?
I plan to continue to make apps. ‘The Girl in the Spaceship’ has been fun but time consuming but I love the idea of bringing art and stories to life and love the whole interactivity that is available now. I really want to incorporate art somehow into an app for children.
What advice would you give to anyone considering creating their own app?
Give it go… you never know unless you try! Have fun but remember it can be hard work. Try to think of what you want before you begin and be prepared to change ideas if they don’t work. Also, don’t expect to be a millionaire, if it happens that’s nice but don’t go in to making apps thinking purely about the money. I would recommend joining a forum as well for support. I found Moms With Apps after my app had been released but wish I had known about them sooner.
Thank you Rebekah for completing the interview. You should be very proud of what you have achieved so far and I look forward to hearing about your new projects in the future!
If you’re an app developer and would like an interview like this, click here!