On top of running a music school, developing apps and being a new father, Joash Chee has started an iPhone app-making competition. Above is Joash and wife Kris, with their month-old twins Emma and Clara.
Local training firm DivZero Consultancy is organising an iPhone app-making competition with a difference. In this competition, all the apps have to be made using GameSalad instead of Objective-C and XCode.
According to DivZero founder Joash Chee, the company is restricting the contest to the GameSalad platform because it is an easy platform for people without a programming background to pick-up "We believe that there are many people out there that have the devices and may fleetingly dream about putting some of their ideas into apps, but fear the daunting task of learning how to develop the traditional way (Xcode, Objective-C)," he said.
He notes that a number of apps made using GameSalad have been featured in Apple's New and Noteworthy section, and the app itself is a staff pick for development tools. In fact, Joash's CHORiDICA XL was built using GameSalad and that was featured on Apple's New and Noteworthy section about two months ago.
To help newbies, DivZero will publish the apps on behalf of contestants if needed. People do not need an Apple Developer licence or even a GameSalad license. "They can build a complete app using just the free GameSalad Creator, test it with us, and we will publish for them," said Joash. "It is the simplest path for anyone wishing to get an app on the App Store without having to mess around with certain arcane processes like developer code-signing and provisioning."
DivZero conducts programming courses in GameSalad but enrollment in their course is not necessary. People can learn GameSalad on their own as well. So far, about 40 people have gone through DivZero's course to learn to publish with GameSalad and a few of them have already published their apps on the App Store.
Another unusual aspect of this competition is that all entries will be judged as much on popularity as utility and design. Half of the total marks awarded will be based on the number of downloads that the app gets.
Joash explained that this was to drive home the point that marketing is as important as developing a good app. "We wanted to give the contestants a taste of what it'll be like when they so choose to start developing for the iOS in earnest," he said. "In the words of one of the other judges in the panel, 'You may have an extremely creative app that is very useful and well designed for a great user experience. But if no one knows about it, the app has sadly failed to live up to its full potential.'"
The contest will have two categories, for iPhone apps and iPad apps. The winner in each category will get an iPhone 4 and a 64GB iPad (WiFi model) respectively.
For more details on the contest, check out the contest website.
(Note: Yours Truly has agreed to be one of the judges of this contest.)
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