Fredrik Wahrman

TicBits

First full year with TicBits

by edi on Dec.11, 2011, under TicBits, iPhone development

TicBits was founded in April 2010, and, now as 2011 nears it’s end it marks the end of the first full calendar year that we’ve worked with TicBits full time. The year started off in a good way, we had achieved the goals we set for ourself for 2010, we managed to reach our estimated budget and we had managed to release iAssociate 2 both on iOS (iAssociate 2 in the App Store) and Facebook (Facebook iAssociate 2) in a quite successful way. So the foundation for 2011 was already set, we now just had to follow our plan and stick with it.

The beginning of 2011 was a really fun time for us. We kicked off 2011 with a trip to the Mobile Games Forum conference in London in late January, and stayed there for 3 nights, meeting some fun people and having a few drinks, as well as getting some good insights and contacts from the conference. After that we had just enough time in February to finally get our first non-iAssociate game released. The game in question was Sudoku, which we released around the middle of February. Sudoku (Sudoku in the App Store)was our first game that we’d monetize fully by only showing ads during gameplay, so we were really interested to see how it would perform.

But before having too much time to check those stats (just a few days later) it was again time for us to go to another conference, this time the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco. We had decided to head there early, so that we’d have time for some other activities besides the conference itself, so we flew into San Francisco already a week before the conference and started the trip by renting a car and taking the Pacific Coast Highway down to Los Angeles, where we’d stay for a few days before driving back up. (During those days we had time to visit Universal Studios, Warner Brothers, see Conan, and such). After leaving LA it was then time for the GDC itself, a really content packed conference which had grown a lot since I last was there (which was in 2003).

After GDC was over, it was finally time to get back home, and start writing code again. The next project that we finished after this was Minesweeper (Minesweeper in the App Store), which was released in April. We had already seen pretty good results with Sudoku so we were hoping to add more to that with Minesweeper. This project was followed by some recruitment as well, in late May and early June we recruited one more developer and one graphical artist to our team, which meant that we also got to move to a bigger office.

As we finally got a full time graphics guy this also meant that we’d be able to start working with a little bit more visually appealing games than the ones we had released so far. The first results of this can be seen in the next two games that were released, first Solitaire (Solitaire in the App Store) and then followed by Mahjong (Mahjong in the App Store). Mahjong was extremely well received immediately, and it’s steadily climbed in the charts since then, giving all our products much more exposure as well as many more daily active users.

Around the same time as Mahjong was released, in September, we were again recruiting, this time we added to our iAssociate 2 level design capacity, by bringing on full time level designers. With iAssociate 2 our biggest bottleneck had been in getting enough content released before this, so with this move we hoped to finally start producing enough new content so that we could give our users more content more than once a month.

Our final expansion for 2011 came now in late October, when we hired one more developer to join our team. This meant that we now again got to move into a bigger office, where we finally had everything under our own roof, meaning our own kitchen, poker room (also used as meeting room) and recreational room, everything a game development company needs in other words!

Our final release for 2011 will be FreeCell, which as I’m writing this has already been submitted to Apple for review, and should appear in the App Store within a week hopefully. After that we’ve already got a few projects that are progressing nicely, so we should have more new games coming ut in early 2012 as well. All following the same formula as all our games in that they’re all free to download and play.

Our growth in 2011 has been number wise quite significant. Not only have we released more games and added more developers to our team, we’ve also managed to do this in a profitable way which means that we go into 2012 with a really strong foundation on which to build on. For 2012 we have again raised the bar on what we hope to achieve, and our long term goal is to one day have at least one of our games installed on every mobile device out there.

2011 – Awesome times behind us
2012 – Awesome times ahead of us

Links to our games:
iAssociate 2 for iPhone and iPod touch in the App Store
iAssociate 2 for iPad in the App Store
Facebook iAssociate 2
Sudoku in the App Store
Minesweeper in the App Store
Solitaire in the App Store
Mahjong in the App Store

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Decisions

by edi on Sep.03, 2011, under Personal, TicBits

A lot of people, including me, seem to be of the kind that have a problem saying No, making tough calls when they are needed. Most people always try to please each other, promising to do stuff when asked for, never trying to disappoint other people. For some reason saying No to someone, no matter what the reason is, is a hard thing to do. So, sometimes instead of immediately saying No, we just extend the inevitable, saying Yes, sure I’ll do that, only to later realize that there’s no way you can fulfill that promise.

In business this kind of behavior ultimately leads to failure, as sooner or later, something will come up that will require a tough decisions, a decisions where you cannot exactly predict where each choice will lead and which path leads to success. In these places, all you can do is trust your own instinct and your own ideas, and, if that means making a decision that might make other people unhappy then so be it. Ultimately, you answer to yourself, and if you compromise your own thoughts and ideas then there isn’t much left to work for.

I must say, that this past time at TicBits has taught me a great deal about these kind of things, we’ve been faced with some places where hard decisions have been required, without us having all the information at hand to know exactly where each choice will lead. The only thing we’ve had is our own vision and thoughts, and I’m really happy that we’ve been able to follow that, even though it’s meant saying No on a few instances.

And now, after these decisions have been made everything seems so much clearer. I believe that we’re on the right path for building TicBits into something even bigger, the future seems incredibly bright and we’ve got everything it takes to bring TicBits to the next level!

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The evolution of iAssociate

by edi on Apr.11, 2011, under TicBits, iPhone development

Tomorrow, April 12th, will mark the one year anniversary of TicBits Ltd, and a couple of weeks after that will mark the two year anniversary of the release of my first iPhone game, the word association game Mercury Mind.

Mercury Mind was quite short lived and I quickly re-released it as iAssociate, with improved graphics and levels. After that iAssociate led it’s own life for almost a year, until me and my cousin in April 2010 founded TicBits Ltd and decided that our first game that we’d release would be iAssociate 2.

Since the release of iAssociate 2 for the iPhone in May 2010 a couple more versions have been released, the iPad version in November 2010 and then a version for Facebook in January 2011. (And yes, we still have a Android version under work =))

To show a little how things have evolved since then I thought I’d post some screenshots, of how it looked back in the early days, and how it looks now. (There’s even a screenshot from a version that is still unreleased…)

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Not since God invented sex has there been as good a time killer as this!

by edi on Jan.21, 2011, under TicBits

For those of you looking for a fun way to kill time, something that you can do even if you’re at the office, then here’s some Great News! We’re happy to say that we’ve now launched the popular iPhone word association game iAssociate 2 also for the Facebook platform, meaning that millions of people will now be able to experience iAssociate 2 for the first time since the original game was launched for the iPhone in 2009!

If you are one of those wondering what Miss Piggy and Yoda have in common; how Chess and Jedi Knights are related; what common word Hardcore and Gender relate to; and so forth, then look no further, as in iAssociate 2 you will encounter word associations in lots of varied topics, covering everything from food, drinks, movies, video games and lots more!

You can find iAssociate 2 on Facebook from the following link: iAssociate 2

iAssociate 2 for Facebook

iAssociate 2 for Facebook

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Facebook version of iAssociate 2 launched

by edi on Jan.21, 2011, under TicBits

We’ve just launched a Facebook version of iAssociate 2. It can be found at http://apps.facebook.com/iassociate/

The game works just like the iPhone version, meaning that the basic game is free for all to play, with a number of levels unlocked already at the start of the game. The game features lots of never before seen levels, including one of my favorites, which is the Video Games level, which features all kinds of video games, both old and new, starting from the Super Mario games and including such classics as Max Payne, BioShock, games by LucasArts, etc. If you’re a video games fan then I suggest that you definitely check out that level!

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