Thursday, 1 January 2015

Smash Info

Smash Info is an app released on both Windows Phone and Android which details information on the characters, stages and challenges found in Super Smash Bros. for 3DS. Preliminary information about Super Smash Bros. for Wii U was added prior to the release of that game, but no further updates were made to add additional information.

Originally created just for Windows Phone, shortly after purchasing one, this was a test for me to see what developing for Windows Phone was like in a vaguely familiar environment to WinForms using C#, both which I had previous experience with.

It became evident to me during development that it would be much easier getting information from an XML file rather than writing everything in code, so I also began development on a WinForms editor for the XML files I would require.

Once satisfied with the app, I submitted it to the Windows Phone Store and it was available within a matter of hours, much faster than I had anticipated. I then began work on the Android version.

I prefer not to use Android layouts since they never behave themselves and given the breadth of devices that Android runs on that displays them differently, there is no way to ensure it looks as it should on every device. Setting them up in this case wasn't too challenging, it was reading the XML that proved difficult. In then transpired the reasons I was having issues was due to a classic mistake when developing for Android - forgetting to declare the right permissions.

Once everything was up and running, I uploaded it to Google Play. I then did two updates for each version. 1.1 on Android fixed a bug I had caused inadvertently just before submitting 1.0, whereas 1.1 for Windows Phone attempted to fix a crash when resuming the app (it worked OK on my end, but later reports showed it would still occur). 1.2 was similar across both versions by adding information regarding the Wii U version of Smash, although the Android version included adverts too.

To date, Smash Info has had over 1,000 downloads with almost 300 on Windows Phone and 700+ on Android, the most successful of my mobile projects yet which I thank mostly to Smash. The initial uptake on WP was much faster than on Android. The revenue from adverts is also next to nothing.

I have no intention of updating to 1.3 as adding what users want, and sourcing all the information which would be required, is far too time consuming.

Other posts about Smash Info, going slightly further into detail:
Smash Info App - My initial post about the WP version
Smash Info - Android edition - The Android release
Smash Info - Version Table - A table of post-release updates