Okay, now that you've got some of the logistics out of the way, I have to throw some more at you.
This blog is for anyone who doesn't have the foggiest where to start, is an author or designer and pretty much anyone who wants to or has always wanted to create their own app. In essence become a software studio. That's what I did, and I'll show you how too!

I have little to no background in coding aside from HTML 3.0. But if I see something that is popular and alows me the flexibility to publish something that I've created, I'm going to do my best to figure out how to do it.

Today it's easier than ever to create your own app without the need of a programmer. But that wan't the case in 2009 and 2010 when building apps was in its infancy stage. Since I'm not a programmer, I found one on Craig's list in my area and hired him. He did a great job coding my first app, MyBasketballStats which is available on the app store. I believe it took between 3-6 months to complete. For my second app, I wanted to have more creative control, decrease the production schedule, and save money. I thought about going the route of someone else publishing it for me and their are lots of companies out there that do that, but their terms didn't seem that attractive to me. I wanted complete ownership without paying any royalties to anyone, aside from Apple of course. (By the way, Apple takes 30% off the top. More on that later).

Back in June of this year (2011), my old college roommate asked me how to start making apps. I told him about the Apple Developer program he had to buy ($99), and that he had to own a Mac ($999 -$2,000), and that he needed to learn Objective-C. Although he was a programmer, he didn't know Objective-C and asked me if I had ever heard of Corona. I checked it out and after reading what they were about, my jaw dropped. Yes I reached Nirvana that day. Thanks Mike!

Corona is from a small but quickly growing company called Ansca Mobile in Palo Alto, CA. Started by two ex-Adobe engineers who worked on Flash-lite. They started their company just this year and have a huge following. More on them later. Corona is much like X-Code, but it uses .lua instead of Objective-C as a language to write code. Lua is very easy to learn and was made for newbies and professionals too. In fact, do you know that little app called Angry Birds was built using .lua.
With .lua, you can drastically cut your coding down to minutes in what would normally take weeks! I'll cover Corona more later. So here is the nitty gritty. Corona will help you make apps not only for the iPhone, iPad, and iTouch, but also Android apps, the Nook, and other tablets in the market today. So your book/or app can be seen by twice as many people as you thought possible.

I also recommend using Kwik, which is a Photoshop extension. It's great for anyone who doesn't want to write a line of code and still produce their very own interactive book or comic book. Great tech support and new features added all the time. My first book and second app in my store was created using Kwik, Opening Rome!

If you want to do this, you can. And here's your shopping list.

Corona works on Windows too but you will need to have a Mac to compile it in X-Code before you upload it to Apple. Here's the list of items you'll need.

Apple Developer Membership  ($99)* Yearly
Apple Mac, ($699-$2,000)
Corona Subscription ($199 -$349)* Yearly
Kwik ($79)
Photoshop (check prices)
Word Processor (check prices)

Nick Nebelsky, is CEO and Creative Director at Intense Media, LLC. Intense Media focuses on products that entertain, enrich, and empower their customers. They create and publish their own line of books, ebooks, CDs, and software for the iPhone and iPad devices. You can reach them at nick@intensemedia.com or www.intensemedia.com.
Nick's Daily Design Diary 08312011

Today, I have a full plate. I have about twenty things to do before the day is out, but wanted to grab a few minutes before I started. Words can't fully convey the joy I have for this book. It has been a long time coming and I'm proud how it's coming out. We're in the final phases of production but there is so much more that needs to be done. It's true that time flies when you're having fun. It also flies when you can't figure out a problem. Thank God for my wife who is an excellent programmer. I've enlisted her to finish up the coding in .lua so that I can continue working on the design and production aspect. To give you an idea of what has to go into this book, I've listed the top ten things you need to do before you even start.

1. Research your idea
2. Research your title and make sure your characters are original
3. flush out your story in word or another text processor. (I use Text Wrangler)
4. Storyboard your idea on a sketch pad (leaving room for text, notes, and SFX)
5. Grab a pen and pencil and list your assets for each page. These will become your layers for each page.
6. Allow for a title page and credits or instructions before numbering your book. (I learned this the hard way)
7. Before you lay out your book, think about how many pages you will actually use.  Although it's possible to renumber your pages, it's a pain in the but when you have to change it.
8. Use Photoshop to organize your layers (assets) on each page
9. when cartooning, use a color page and an outline page so that your strokes around your characters are crisp and clean
10. If using KWIK to create your book, export your images once, and then turn off export images so that only your buttons and animations will get exported. This will save you time in processing.

Check back tomorrow for more tips and some design tips!


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