Interview with Craig Mitchell, Developer of Head To Head Racing
Jan 14, 2010 6:05 AM –
We’re interviewing a finalists in Google’s second Android Developer Challenge who wrote the Android game Head To Head Racing. We’ll learn more about the game and developer Craig Mitchell.
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
I’m a Java developer living in Sydney, Australia.
Why did you create your app?
I finished a corporate Java job and decided to take some time off and program something fun. I also wanted to enter into the Android Developer Challenge 2 (Head To Head Racing made it to the final round: http://code.google.com/android/adc/gallery_games_arcade_action.html)
What technology did you use in creating your App and why?
Eclipse running under Windows. It’s what I’m familiar with and the Eclipse Android Plugin is excellent.
About how long did it take to create your App?
About 1 month. However, I built it ontop of another one of my games (Craigs Race) which took 3 months. I did all the programming working full time and a graphic artist (Liam Welford) in the UK did all the art working part time.
What is a cool uncovered tip or trick you can do with the App?
There is a special F1 car at the end which has a regenerative boost feature, and the game lets you drive it on all sorts of tracks including snow covered rally track. Sliding a Formula 1 car around a snow covered corner is strangely fun!
What other interesting uses can come from the App?
The game uses intents to share races, so you can create a race and e-mail, sms, or even tweet it to a friend.
Can you tell us about future feature enhancements with your App?
When Android 2.0 becomes standard, I will add multi-touch support so you can accelerate and brake manually using screen controls.
What did you really like about creating Apps on the Android platform?
It’s fun! I love seeing my games being played by so many people.
What are some things you would like to see improved with Android?
The Android Marketplace. There are so many people that can’t buy paid apps (me for one) because of the country they live in, or the telco they use. Also, the marketplace doesn’t currently allow me to cash out my earnings, as I don’t have a US or UK bank account.
What is your opinion of the Android App Market’s distribution method? In comparison Apple’s model (strict control over the iTunes store) or the Windows Mobile model (no store at all).
As a developer, I think it’s great! the iTunes review method would never work for Android. Imaging your app didn’t work for a new phone, you’d want to put a fix out right away. If you had to wait for someone to review the fix first, that would be totally unacceptable.
What is your Opinion on the state of the Rating/Feedback system in the App Market?
The ratings system seems to work well, it’s good that it is simple. The feedback comments system is a great, however, is always going to be subject to some people writing nonsense.
Do you have plans on releasing Apps for other markets (i.e. iPhone, Windows Mobile, Blackberry, etc.)?
Your app is a paid app, why did you choose this model over the free model, and how to you project its success?
Actually, there is a free version that lets you race the first 3 cars on the first few tracks. It’s going very well. Over 100,000 downloads of the free version and over 1,000 copies of the paid version sold.
Must-have Android Apps?
WiFi OnOff widget (to save battery), Facebook widget, ixMAT Scanner.
What advice would you give to another aspiring mobile application developer?
Give it a go! Write a small app to start yourself off, then do your big app.
Can you tell us what future Android Apps you have brewing?
I’m currently writing a detruction derby car game.
Thanks Craig, and keep up the good work. We look forward to future upgrades of your Android Game. Don’t forget to read our review of Head To Head Racing!