Remember we mentioned Tetris 3D an App which made it to new and noteworthy games by Apple I got a chance to talk to the creator behind Faisal Saeed, here is what we talked about.
He is the perfect example of some one who has ditched the comfort regular income for some thing more exciting. Dreams of making top iphone game.
GnW > Tell me about your self, whats your back ground where did you graduate from what were you doing before you embarked on this path of creating tetris 3d.
Well, I graduated from FAST, then worked for different companies. My main experience was at TRG where I worked on VOIP recording system that records VOIP calls for TRG call centers. Then I left TRG and joined Vahzay, where I worked for one year on a Microsoft Exchange related product, but then was moved to iPhone. There, I developed an app called TellMyStory. Then I left Vahzay to do my own iPhone development and contract projects. Have been doing that for one and a half year almost. Tetra3D is not my only Tetris game. In fact, it was my second tetris game. First 3D tetris game was Tetricity – The 3D Tetris Game which is a top view normal 3D tetris. Tetra3D was an attempt to modify it from on an Isometric view. Tetricity is not on appstore anymore because EA claimed a copyright infringement. But there were no claims on Tetra3D.
There is also a third Tetris game that I made. I maybe the most experienced Tetris game developer in the world, having made 3 different kinds of tetrises. The third Tetris game is called Tetra Defense, its on appstore. I developed it with MindStorm studios in close collaboration with Babar Ahmad. Tetra defense has been featured in new and noteworthy on US store in games at #10 position. After remaining in New and Noteworthy for one week, it went into What’s Hot and stayed there for two more weeks. This was right after the week in which Tetra3D was featured in New and Noteworthy. For one month, at least one of my iPhone app remained featured on the iTunes. Apple even asked for the large artwork to feature on their main banners at the top of iTunes in games section. They said they will put this app in that week’s possible candidates for mainly featured apps. It was an honor that they should even require the large artwork.
GnW> Why did you choose to develop a product when you could have made a lot of money doing projects for clients i have heard iphone development fetches a heft 25USD per hour?
I have been doing lots of contract based services. As a matter of fact, I am the person who was involved in the oDesk iPhone app for GeniTeam. Other than that, I have done a number of services projects which have been the bread and butter and allowed me to work on my own schedule and find time and freedom to do my own products.
GnW> How much time it took you to develop and launch this game on app store?
The actual time was about four to five months part time but was spent in a long span of about 7 to 8 months because of interruptions by services projects and challenge of being a single developer and producer that has to manage art and everything. Getting the concept right was also a challenge. Had to undo lots of stuff and redo lots of stuff. A really painful exercise.
GnW> Technology wise I understand nothing required to do is taught in college, how difficult it is for some one to learn and start coding for iphone.
Generally, for people with good IQ, its a piece of cake as far as engineering goes. If you have object oriented concepts right and excessive exercise in college training, you can start off on any technology in 5 minutes. If you are talking about game development however, there is a lot more to it. Getting the concept right for the market, getting it balanced just where the user experience is maximum, is the real challenge. Game development for individuals like me is a big challenge because of massive requirement of investment on art and effort on the engineering side. You never know when a product is going to come out. You just can’t plan for the future in game development and you are always looking at a range in terms of expenses which mostly developers are not able to meet.
GnW> What opportunities you basically looked away from while pursuing this dream.
Well, I quit my job at Vahzay, quit the opportunity at GeniTeam to work as their Engineering lead, quit the same opportunity at MindStorm, my dream is to make a top game and that I am going to achieve. My next game is going to be a classic Inshallah!
GnW> How did the collaboration with Geni Team come along? Do you find it was helpful collaborating and working together?
Yes I did, and I still am. Khurram has been a friend and a colleague and has been supporting my ventures. Although I have worked with MindStorm as well on Tetra Defense and possibly will do more games with them. However, I plan on continuing my venture with Khurram and launch the ultimate chess database app and probably next games with him. We have produced top quality results together in oDesk app and Tetra3D. The Game Boss, which was initially my vision also took off nicely. As far as results go, I like what has been accomplished with Khurram and plan on continuing it.
GnW> What is next for you what do you plan to do ?
I plan on making a top iPhone game and then retire -:) But there are smaller steps to the ingenious algorithm, and lets see how we come around them.