The success of 10000000 ($2.99) is one of those feel-good App Store stories. One guy, with a vision, makes a video game in his spare time. After a year of work, he launches it. He expects nothing, just downloads from friends. But then a wave of positive feedback hits, and now his low-budget, spare time video game rockets up the paid app charts just like a new Disney Mobile or Gameloft game usually does.
The creator of 10000000 is Luca Redwood. He’s a software engineer during the day, and the designer of a top 30 game by night. He had nine months to develop 10000000 and execute on the ideas in his head while working his full-time job.
Redwood explains the crunch in our latest edition of the TouchArcade Show. “It’s pretty hard work," he says. “The thing that made it really busy was that I wanted to this game and I’m thinking, ‘OK, cool, this is going to be good.’ And then my wife was pregnant."
“And I’m like, hang on, I’ve got nine months and then after that I’m going to have no time left," he says. “I said to [my wife] that I’m going to be really busy throughout the pregnancy — you alright with that? She was very supportive."
Redwood describes his time developing as a slugfest, one big nasty nine month crunch full of iteration and cut ideas. He had a three-month head start, so all together he spent a full year of his spare time on 10000000.
There was no expectation of success. Redwood had the slightest of hopes, but he didn’t put any pressure on himself. In fact, he’s still kinda surprised that people are digging his take on the puzzle slash adventure game genre.
In fact, 10000000 is really just a game that Redwood made to make his trips to his day job more entertaining. “I commute to work on the London underground," he says. “It’s underground so you’ve not got any Internet access. And it’s only 20 minutes. I really like games I can play for five to 20 minutes, get a little far, have some good fun in that small period of time. But, in the next time I play, it’s also fun but I’m a little further ahead." Redwood digs progression.
10000000 is pretty high on the charts, so that means more than people than just Redwood are playing it. We loved it, our users loved it — people are celebrating it, and deservedly so. Redwood describes the sudden wash of sales as “weird," and lets us in on why the explosion couldn’t have happened at a worse time.
“It was really weird. It got approved by Apple, I think it was on a Thursday. That night, I was going out with a bunch of my friends to celebrate having a baby. I didn’t really have a chance to do anything — to do any marketing or such. So, I just got out and got really drunk," he says.
“The next day I was really, really hungover. I had arranged to work from home that day because I knew it was going to be a big night. So I managed to move over to my PC, log onto work, and I then I had a bunch of Skype messages from my friend."
“And then they linked the TouchArcade review by Eli and the forum thread. I’m like, what?"
“It took me awhile to comprehend. Since then… everyone’s talking about it. It’s really weird," he tells us.
Redwood is a great guy, and he talked with us about a lot of fun topics on our show this week, including what he’s learned during the development process. He even teased what he wants to do next. Spoiler: content updates are in the pipe, and he’s open to a full-on, blown-up sequel. Catch the audio in the links above, or subscribe to us on iTunes.