Welcome back to our Meet the Devs segment! In this piece we take a little time to get to know the people who really make Android what it is today and that is the app developers. In this week’s developer interview, we are talking to Andrew Trese of Trese Brothers Games.
Name: Andrew Trese
Developer Name: Trese Brothers Games
Country: United States
Google+ Profile/Page: Official Google+ Page
How many people on your team? 2
What level of experience do you have with coding and development?
Cory and I both worked for over 15 years as software developers and architects in a wide variety of industries before starting to experiment with game development.
What languages do you know? How and where did you learn them?
Cory and I became very interested in programming (as a pair of brothers) when we were in highschool. It became a lifelong hobby and profession for the two of us. I think I first started writing RPGs in MS Basic when I was in 6th grade.
SQL and database architecture
What level of experience do you have with design?
We’ve been designing games for mobile and PC for 4 years running now. We’ve been writing pen and paper RPGs for over 20 years.
What apps have you made?
- Heroes of Steel RPG
- Star Traders 4X Empires
- Star Traders RPG
- Templar Assault
- Cyber Knights RPG
- Age of Pirates
How do you monetize your apps?
One-time purchase IAPs.
Never run an ad.
Never used a consumable IAP.
Do you consider yourself successful?
Yes, we are full time indie developers and slowly growing. We have 6 apps on the market, 2 games on PC and Mac, one of them on Steam. All with just 2 people on the team.
How difficult is it to make money as a developer?
Yes, it is pretty difficult. We have a lot of respect for our work, our customers, and for ourselves and therefore we stay away from some of the easier routes to making money.
What can Android do to improve?
The areas we struggle most with in Android is in the Android development teams approach to backwards compatibility, bugs on older releases, and breaking things that used to work. We understand the need to move forward quickly, but we have hundreds of thousands of customers on older devices and there often seems to be a “only 4.Next matters” attitude in the air. We’d like to see the life cycle slow down a bit in trade for some stability and reduction in OS / API bugs.
Why did you choose Android? Do you develop for other platforms? What are the differences between them?
We started on Android as it was quick, easy, and basically free. We continue to find it as our most successful platform for our games, even though we are now developing cross-platform and the exact same games are headed to iOS and Steam.
What are your thoughts on iOS and Windows 8?
Not sure about WIndows 8 phones. Every time I meet someone who has one, they are -effusive- about how amazing it is. I think they’re hiding something.
iOS is an important part of our ecosystem, but still significantly smaller than Android. I think our deep gameplay and simpler graphics appeal to the Android crowd.
What do you think of the Android design guidelines?
Very interesting and helpful at times. Other times, not so much.
What are your favorite apps?
It’s very important for a developer to play their own games.
What has been your experience been like working with Google?
Overall, very positive. Few rough spots, nearly kicked off Google Play once, but we love Android and our users to death.
What does the future of development look like?
I really, really hope it doesn’t include keyboards. Wow, my wrists are sore.
I love to see the IDEs they are building for children. The future looks bright.
What tips do you have for aspiring developers?
1. Get your game out there as soon as possible.
2. Take it in stride, take criticism well. Stay positive. If you can arrange it, have a slightly older brother who also loves making games.
3. Be your own meanest critic. The reviewers and bloggers are going to see it and say something about it if you ignore it.
4. Play your own games. A lot. If you don’t love ‘em, who will?
5. Community first.
6. Do unto gamers as you would have them do unto you.
Anything else you’d like to share?
I get up and code & draw for games every day because of our amazing community. I read every post on our forum, and am never stingy with replies. I’ve made so many friends from fans over the years.
It ties into #5 above, but its critical to making it in game dev. Find some fans, and stay close to them. Otherwise, when you have a bad day, who will lift you up?
We want to thank Andrew for chatting with us in this week’s developer interview! If you’re a developer and this looks like something you’d like to do, check out our Meet the Devs form! We look forward to hearing from you.