Senior Writer with the 148Apps Network since September 7, 2010
Jen lives in not so sunny Wales in the UK. A keen games player for the past 25 years, she cites Final Fantasy VII and Goldeneye as 'life-changing', but is just as comfortable delving into the varied world of apps too. As a freelance writer, Jen has found that sleep is an unnecessary complication in life, and isn't entirely sure what she'd do without her trusty iPhone and iPad.
How do you make an Endless Running game more than just another Endless Running game? By adding real life prizes to it, of course! That’s the thinking behind StupidFast: a game designed for football enthusiasts, and the brainchild of former college football star and current NFL free agent, Taylor Martinez. It all came about due to his career path changing quite drastically and suddenly.
“This past season was my senior season. I tore a ligament in my foot and separated my shoulder – both in the first game. I ended up not finishing the season as Quarterback. After the season, I entered into the NFL draft. I did my pro day at Nebraska and waited for draft day,” explained Martinez, “I ended up going to the Philadelphia Eagles. I went down there and they took a MRI and X-Ray on both [injuries]. They said that they weren’t going to take me any more. My dream was crushed and I didn’t know what to do. I decided to make a football app, and this is what I came up with.“
“I [have] been building apps for four years now,” he elaborated, “I love doing it and have a lot of passion doing it… Stupidfast is different than any other app because it allows users to earn rewards and prizes. This concept is the first of its kind and would allow users to compete and earn rewards.”
Taylor’s lined up some fairly big companies too, with the likes of Sol Republic, HobbyTown, Cutter Gloves, Shock Doctor Mouth Piece, and Black Fly sunglasses all currently on board. Martinez also explained how there will be different console games you can win along with other prizes, including a “GoPro Raffle for every time you share a Kamcord.”
Kamcord support should prove quite a hit with StupidFast too, given its fast-paced nature. Players tap as fast as they can to try to run away from the safety, as well as jump over pillars. A stiff arm can also be employed to break the pillars, ensuring there’s plenty to do.
Martinez explained that, “prizes will be won based on your daily high score, best high score, the achievements [via] Game Center, and playing the football game. Inside the game, if you land on a certain number, you will win that prize.”
Achievements are varied, with awards for getting tackled by the safety and knocking your helmet off, falling on your butt when you hit a pylon, falling on your face hitting a pylon, collecting stiff arms, and passing 50 and 150 points in game.
“Every time you break your daily high score you will have a chance to enter into a raffle,” Martinez went on to explain, “Inside the main menu you can click Earn Rewards, and see what prizes you can win that day and what raffles you can enter into.”
Thanks to Taylor Martinez for taking the time to answer our questions. StupidFast is set to be a freemium game with in-app purchases available for more stiff arms, lives, and ad-removal. It’s set for release September 7. We’ll be sure to let you know when it’s out.
We all take plenty of photos, right? That’s the joy of having a reasonably powerful camera in your pocket, thanks to your trusty iPhone and a bevy of similarly useful apps. Wouldn’t it be great to make some money out of those snaps? While your selfies might not garner much attention, there’s sure to be some great shots that will appeal to someone keen to purchase the rights. That’s the thinking behind PicsaStock, an app that allows you to sell your photos to professional creatives around the world.
Proving to be remarkably simple to do, you can connect your account to the likes of Instagram, 500px, Flickr, and Dropbox, thereby sharing individual photos with the community in the hope of selling them elsewhere. We had a word with head of Mobile Marketing & Press, Lars Poeck, to learn more.
148Apps: Where did the inspiration for PicsaStock come from? Lars Poeck (LP): Before PicsaStock.com we founded YourPainting.de. This is a global gift franchising for customized photo paintings. During this process, we realized the complicated licensing process for photography. We also learned about a huge demand for authentic pictures – by agencies, bloggers, websites and even big brands. But these photos are hard to get. This is a strange situation. We all “produce” pictures like this everyday – everywhere. Each smartphone comes a high-tech-camera – right in your pocket. You are able to do even night shots or long exposure pictures with some photo apps.
So we invented PicsaStock.com as a marketplace and community for authentic photography. Sure, we keep an eye on good quality content. But as you [can] see on platforms like VSCO Cam, 500px, Instagram, or Flickr: there are millions of brilliant photographers out there that do even more than selfies or cat pictures. Some don’t have the slightest idea that they can earn money with their photography. We give them 50% of the sale price. So we invite them all to sell their photography. Our app also comes with features like a nice gallery mode [and] a special color search technology, so you can skip through your own gallery and discover brilliant pictures by other photographers with the app.
148Apps: How many people are currently using the service? LP: We are a very young company. [Note: The company was founded in February 2013, with the site launching in September 2013 and the iOS app following in February 2014] At the moment we have around 25,000 users and photographers on our platform. Some upload hundreds of pictures, some just want to give it a try and upload a few pictures. But it’s amazing to see this growing every day. In our company, we all have a passion for photography. So every morning when we arrive it’s amazing to skip through the new pictures that people from all over the world uploaded on our server.
148Apps: How many photos have been purchased since the site was launched? LP: At the moment we don’t release these numbers. But before I started at PicsaStock, I tested the service by myself and sold 10 pictures with the app. At the moment, we have 1 million approved and curated pictures and photos. Every day we get thousands of new ones. Sure, we can’t accept all of the pictures in terms of keeping up the quality standard. But it’s amazing how many people out there really know how to take a good picture – not only with their smartphones. As a tip for new users: The better you tag and name your pictures, the easier it is for others to find them.
148Apps: How is the service currently funded? LP: As we launched in September 2013, we were supported by an investment from Slamdunk Capital and other early stage angel investors. Now we [have] some more business angels on board.
148apps: Are there any plans for an iPad app for the service? LP: I love the iPad and the tablet size for displaying photography. You can use our app on iPad but it’s not optimized yet for the tablet. We’ve just launched our Android app and plan some feature updates for the current iPhone app. But sure, tablet apps are something we are discussing more and more often.
Thanks to Lars for taking the time to answer our questions. The PicsaStock app is available now from the App Store.
The recent update of Battle Command! has been quite a significant one, adding a new way of working together and sharing resources through a player-driven economy. The update adds a new resource in the form of Darium, which can be used to produce specialized troops and weapons. The unique part of this is that you can only gain the resource by working together and sharing other resources with your alliance mates. It’s a new twist on a familiar format and has the potential to change a lot within the F2P empire building landscape.
Because of that, we took the time to talk to Lead Producer for the game, Greg Mueller, to learn more about how such a significant inclusion came to be.
148Apps: How did you come up with the new resource sharing system? What was the thinking behind it? Greg Mueller (GM): Players in Battle Command! are very engaged with their Alliances. We have a boosting mechanic where players can send free production boosts and building speed-ups to their Alliance mates. This is a very popular feature in our game with close to 1 million boosts sent per day. We know players enjoy interacting with their Alliances, so we designed this new system to add even more depth and interaction to the Alliance play. We also wanted to give players a way to uniquely contribute to their friends in the game so we added the three resource types that can be shared. This way you might have Diamonds and I have Amber and we both benefit by sharing those with one another.
148Apps: In what way do you expect it to change how players interact with each other and play the game? GM: This update will definitely add even more emphasis to being in an active Alliance. Players will be sharing more, chatting more, and helping out their friends in a variety of meaningful ways. It takes the social aspect of the game beyond simply chatting or donating troops. With this new Darium resource players will also be able to build six new offensive and defensive weapons, each of which adds a new layer of strategy to the game.
148Apps: How balanced is it? Will players now be pretty much expected to be part of an alliance in order to be successful? GM: The vast majority of our mid- to high-level players are already in Alliances, so most players won’t have to change the way they play at all to enjoy this new system. We’ve spent a lot of time play testing this both internally and in public beta to make sure we keep the game balanced for players who choose not to join an Alliance.
148Apps: How will the story-arc be affected by this new resource and gathering method? GM: The Darium update comes with its own original story. The update introduces a new class of units and defensive structures that all look, feel, and act very unique. We had a lot of fun with the story and artwork to make these new units feel powerful and mysterious and fun to use.
Thanks to Greg for taking the time to answer our questions.
Tap Sports Baseball is a pretty simple game to learn, but that doesn’t mean it’s an easy game to master, by any means. To start your batting career off well, we thought we’d give you the heads up on some handy tips and tricks.
Curious to see what we made of this whole “tap to bat” management sim? Check out our Tap Sports Baseball review!
Learn when to hit the ball. It’s not always every time the ball comes at you.
Sometimes you should let the ball go. Recognize what the pitcher is doing and whether that means there’s going to be a strike or ball up ahead.
Miss the curveballs till you get your timing spot on. It’s all too easy to get a foul ball early on.
Turn the sound up and listen for the sound of the ball hitting the ground to know it’s coming in low. If it is, don’t bother swinging for it.
Learn when to hit early and when to hit late. It’ll change the trajectory quite significantly. Swinging later tends to place the ball on the opposite field while swinging early focuses on power.
As in real life, right handed batters tend to do better against left handed pitchers, and the same occurs in reverse.
Statistics are Important
If your player has a low hitting or power score, and there’s a runner waiting on first, bunt to get that runner across. You’ll sacrifice one out but it’s often worth it.
Consider the speed of your runner when running for a base. 6 or higher and you’re fine, but lower than that and you should play it safe.
If your pitcher is getting tired, the game will let you know. Acknowledge those prompts, sub him in exchange for a new relief pitcher. You don’t get to control the pitcher directly so take advantage of this limited power that you’ve been given. Tired ones will just make mistakes.
Keep an eye on everyone’s stats. Hitting dictates the batter’s ability to make contact, while power tells you how far they can hit the ball. Speed is how fast they can run to base, and bunt indicates how well they’re going to bunt. Adjust your strategies accordingly.
You’re given bonus games occasionally. Use them. There’s no reason not to and they’ll often help you progress faster.
You can earn free gold by watching videos. Do this as much as possible as you probably don’t want to spend real money unless you have to.
Plenty of things can be purchased but focus on upgrading your pitching and hitting coaches, as well as the other coaches available. Buying a free agent might seem tempting but focusing on coaching means the whole team benefits rather than just an individual player.
Remember you can’t help with defense/pitching, so focus on those upgrades as that’s where it’s really going to count.
Have plenty of games going on at once. Not everyone plays very often, or sometimes at all, so it’s more fun that way to ensure there’s always something to do. More importantly, advancing to the league playoffs depends on a certain number of wins so you want to work towards those as quickly as possible.
So, it’s finally happened. A Pokémon game is actually going to hit the App Store later this year. Who’d have thought it?
Pokémon Trading Card Game Online is that game, and thanks to the photo snapping skills of Josh Wittenkeller on Twitter there’s a sneak peek at what it looks like. The photo was taken at the Pokémon World Championship, which took place last weekend in Washington D.C, with the iPad game being shown to some attendees there.
Nintendo has said for a long time now that they have no intention of releasing any games on the App Store but it looks like that’s set to change soon. A spokesperson for The Pokémon Company told VentureBeat’s GamesBeat that a game is set for release later this year.
We’ll be sure to let you know more as and when we get it.
Be vewy, vewy qwiet. I’m hunting wunners featuwing wabbits, and luckily, it’s duck season wunner season. Zynga has unveiled Looney Tunes Dash!: a runner featuring Bugs Bunny, Tweety Bird, Road Runner, and more. Following on from fan feedback, the developers have aimed to give players a game that has a sense of progression – meaning that, […]