Sunday, 17 March 2013

Battleshots aka Battleships Drinking Game for Android

Walking along the Croatian sea-front back in September lead me, Mike, Craig and Liam to have discussion about programming. This isn't a rare occurrence (we are quite the cool group). The course the conversation took was about how we all would like to start developing something as a group, that the first thing we should make should be a Battleshots Android app, and that we should call ourselves "Turquoise Pterodactyl" (turquoise after Captain Vestman's vest, and Pterodactyl after the ... never mind).

For those who don't know, Battleshots is an awesome drinking game. The way it is supposed to be played is based on Battleships, but where you get hit, you drink a shot. When we were in Bulgaria I suggested we play it one of the nights, but I changed the rules slightly. Instead of being a 1 on 1 game, I created a shared board that everybody uses, but everybody keeps their own separate board to show their ships. This way you can hit 4 people at once (including yourself if you choose).

On return, development quickly started. Neither me, Liam, or Mike had any experience with Android development, but luckily Craig had dabbled in the past.

Without going into too much detail about the development, we all pitched in early on, creating objects and test classes. Craig did a big chunk of the work by creating the graphics, and figuring out how to get the phone to show them. I worked on the objects, a few of the menus, and some of the camera/picture functionality.

The areas I am most interested in with projects like this is looking at the competition, marketing, coming up with ideas, etc. I did a bit of research up front about who the competitors are, how many downloads they have, etc.

It was a good learning experience, and now I feel comfortable enough to make apps for people now.

As for Battleshots, it turned out pretty awesome. I went to work trying to market it to different places (which I need to continue), and to date we have 784 total installs - which is well ahead of the competition. Of those people more than half still have it installed. It also has an average rating of 4.8 stars (out of 5).

It didn't all go without a hitch though. A couple of weeks ago we had an email from somebody who had trademarked "Battleshots" (which in my mind is stupid, because it's an obvious take on Battleships). Since trademark battles are never easy we decided to just change the name to "Battleships drinking game". It turned out to be a blessing in disguise. We show up top for Battleshots searches, and now we show up really high for the much more common "Battleships".

If you have an Android phone, and want to get drunk... you can download it here:

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