My next game has foreign language in it. I’m currently in the process of adding German and Polish to… my secret project. Yet, it’s a bit frustrating to type special characters. I usually launch Windows Character Map and I try to locate the letters with little hats, dots, accents and slashes. From there, I copy and paste the letters that I need. If this process seems archaic, I was even more bewildered when I wanted to send special characters via text messaging. I wondered if it was even possible. Generally, I have low expectations for mobile device performance. Yet, it was actually much easier to type special characters on Android than it was on my PC.
So OK, I’ve been doing the mobile development thing for about a year now and I’m finally starting to see some money being generated by my apps. Throughout 2009, the coins would add up. Five cents here, 10 cents there… whoa… $2.09 from a book sale… the cash would accumulate in my account. I was holding off on redeeming my earnings because Google Checkout wanted my bank account number. Suddenly, it was no longer a fun game with arcade like scoring. No, once I cashed out the money, there would be real world consequences… like income tax forms and trips to the mall. Hey, wait a minute, I like buying stuff… so Google, where’s my money? Before I could get paid, there was the little matter of account verification.
Imagine waking up and finding $25. It has a little note, “Thanks for the hard work, love Google!” That’s a nice feeling right? Imagine the next day, finding $40 from Google. Imagine the following day, finding another $75. Wow, look at all this money! It keeps coming and coming. Now imagine this. A month later, Google comes in the middle of the night, punches you in the head, yells an insult at you and then takes back the money. That’s what my experience was like, being an Android developer.
I had such a hard time signing my Google Android application that it makes me wonder how many developers just gave up. How many applications rest unfinished because the process for signing applications is not as simple as it could be. When you’re finished with your application, it’s all debugged and tested, you don’t just simply press a “make money” button. No, if you want to play in Google’s playground, you have to be tougher than that.
My project started with an idea. What if I could sell my book through the Android Market? What if millions of people all over the world wanted to read my stories from their mobile phone? My imagination was filled with visions of victory. It was an awesome dream… and it’s starting to come true.