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Tapulous

December 21, 2010, 12:12 am · 0 comments · Filed under: iPhone, Mobile, Web Development

I started at Tapulous 5½ weeks ago. Last night we launched version 4 of the most downloaded app (not just game) ever on the iPhone App Store, Tap Tap Revenge. Almost instantly, it vaulted to #1. Yeah, you could say I’m pleased.

Just to be clear, I didn’t have that much to do with TTR4. The app was in development for quite a while before I came on and my role over the last few weeks was mostly to fix bugs leading up to the release. Still, it was simply awesome to be part of the effort to get the app ready for launch and then watch it catapult to #1 in the App Store in just 18 hours.

For those following along at home, I was working at Digg—and loving it—up until Black Monday.

Digg was awesome. I learned a ton there and met some really amazing people. I wouldn’t trade the experience for anything. In the end, I wasn’t part of their plans going forward. Life goes on.

Thankfully, I landed on my feet quickly. I started work at Tapulous just 16 days after hearing I had been made redundant and I couldn’t be happier. In crisis is borne opportunity, or so they say.

What it’s like at Tapulous

We’re hiring. If you’re into fast-paced, pressure-packed, high-visibility iPhone and web development, then Tapulous is your kind of place. Our apps are hybrids. That is, while game play is built using native Objective-C, much of our apps (especially in TTR4) is web views built in POSH + CSS + JS (plain ol’ HTML[5], CSS[3], and JavaScirpt).

Not just that, but our back-end is just PHP/MySQL (with a bit of Cassandra sprinkled in where appropriate, along with memcached and load balancing, of course), sometimes within a CodeIgniter framework. The thing I think people don’t realize is that building games isn’t rocket science. It’s often not even computer science!

Building great games is about finding the sweet spot where game play is addictive and flow-inducing. That is, it’s all about the user experience. The technology is secondary.

And, I’m OK with that. There is plenty of room for improvement in our code base. That’s why I was hired. The cool thing is that we’re at a point where we have the resources to start making orders-of-magnitude improvements to our code base, and we have the network to push a game to #1 in the App Store. Wow, what a powerful combo.

The future

It would be the height of presumptuousness for me, after only 5 weeks, to pontificate on the future of Tapulous. But, hey, I’m blogging, so what the heckfire. I think the best days of Tapulous are ahead of us. I see what we’re working on. I play those games that aren’t yet released. I think y’all are going to love what we have in the pipeline.

We’re adding to an already amazing team (again, that you could possibly be part of!), and we have momentum and the resources of Disney (for gawd’s sake!) on our side. It’s going to be a fun ride, if nothing else.

The bottom line

I have worked a lot of places. Tapulous is the place where I feel my talents are most valued, the place where I feel my potential is most likely to be realized. The work is challenging.The people are awesome, smart, and supportive (in no small part due to the influence of Jessica). If mobile is your thing, you should really get in touch. We’re doing great things.

In the meantime, I’ll be busy doing what I love, mobile JavaScript, CSS3, and HTML5…all on WebKit. Hallelujah!


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