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Top tips for creating an app

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Today, student blogger Nadia Nadeem Computer Games Technology student speaks about her app Sneaker Search and gives her top tips to students on creating an app.

Hi Nadia, we heard that you have made a new app called Sneaker Search, what inspired you to create it?

I love playing and making video games and for much of my life I’ve also been a sneakerhead and loved streetwear. In 2017 I got my first really limited edition sneaker - the Off-White x Nike Air Force 1 for all you sneakerheads out there.

For years I had wanted a sneaker-related game to come out which allowed players to build a virtual collection, since there are so many sneakers I wanted but would never own. There was a gap in the market for sneaker/streetwear games, so during my first semester at BCU I had the idea to create my game ‘Sneaker Search’.

Did you create the app by yourself and how did you create it?

I created the app using Unity game making software as well as Visual Studio Code to create code to put all the pieces together.

I created the app by myself during lockdown since I didn’t have anything else to do. I did think about stopping the project a few times as I’m not that great at Art and thought that the Pixel Art I did would not draw that many people in, but I carried on. In the end it was worth continuing with the project since I have actually had people comment on the cool retro art and arcade aesthetic of the game.

Have you produced any apps before Sneaker Search?

No, Sneaker Search was the first app I had ever produced, so it was a bit of a learning curve especially when compiling the game so it is ready for the app stores with a touchscreen as an input mechanism and not a keyboard and mouse or a controller which is what I was used to.

Top tips for students about creating an app:

Plan out the app beforehand and construct it so it is easy to expand on when updating it further. For example, when updating Sneaker Search to add more clothes and sneakers I had constructed the inventory screen to only be able to show the sneakers that were already in there. It took me much longer to make the update as I had to change code and add in more scripts and create more art that really should have been there in the first place.

What advice would you give to students about producing an app?

All ways finish the project you are creating, you never know it may turn out to be the best thing ever. I would also advise that if you think your app is great, then publish it there is nothing more satisfying than seeing the number of downloads increasing on an app you have made!

How has the app become so successful?

I used social media a lot to advertise the app especially on Instagram, I would be on there for hours messaging people and seeing if they would play the game and then hopefully it would get shared by word of mouth or they would post it on their story.

Social media is the most important thing to use at the beginning of the launch so people get excited for the app to come out. I would also say that listening to people's feedback and changing the app accordingly helps a lot as users can see that they are being listened to and connect more with you that way. If you are really serious about the app, paid advertisements work wonders on the amount of downloads as it creates awareness of the brand to a wider audience.