T+5 years and counting.

Posted by on October 22, 2013 in Distant Suns App, Essay, iPhone/iPad | 1 comment

T+5 years and counting.

5 Years ago today, I got this fun little message in my mailbox:

Dear Mike Smithwick
The status for the following application has changed to Ready for Sale.
Application Name: Distant Suns
Application Version Number: 1.0
Application SKU: 2001


All Distant Suns packages ever sold.

All Distant Suns packages ever sold.

I sold 8 copies that first day.

It’s been a fun ride, most of the time. At the start it was pretty easy, in spite of the Appstore crossing the boundary into the unknown land of more than 10,000 apps that same week. “How can I even compete against 10,000 (!) other applications?” I mused. But now there are over 1,000,000. But in those 5 years the entire app marketplace has been slowly migrating from legions of sleep deprived midnight engineers who would make the walking dead look like the “after” advertisements for that chiche health club, you know the one, around the corner from your work, mocking your every misplaced eyebrow hair…oh, I degress… and their kitchen tables, to the big guys. With bigger budgets, better artists and really pissed off birds. They raise the stakes in artwork, design and functionality, so much so that the era of the single programmer title is fading. At least, moneymaking titles that is.

I had the good fortune of being there virtually from the beginning and managed to keep Distant Suns alive with thanks to Red Bull (hey! can you guys sponsor me?) and 70 hour weeks. And I expect to do so for the foreseeable future. I have lots of cool stuff on the back burner and as long as I have customers who send me “best app ever!” notes from time to time, I’ll still be waiting for those messages from Apple saying my application is Ready for Sale.

And if you really want say thanks go to Amazon and contribute to the effort with gifts of M&Ms, as in this.

A few boxes of those should get me through the next year at least.

1 Comment

  1. Hi Mike,
    I have still my windows copy of distun suns! Not working anymore, but I cannot leave my cdtom 🙂 I have been loving this application for years.
    My compliments and thank you for you execlellent work.

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