What's the time Mr.Fox

News #16 - PF 2015 and the future of our studio

Dear parents and friends. First of all we want to say big thank you for your big support in the year 2014. It was really though year and we have learned so much during that year.
Thank you !

Future of Mr.Fox and friends

As we wrote it was really hard year and we were thinking about the future of our studio for many many days. To be honest, for a short time, we were thinking about closing our studio ( as couple of kids developers already did, and many are seriously thinking about ).
We changed our minds and decided to stay on the scene, and to bring fresh and even better games for kids. But we know our studio will not survive in the mode it was running during the year 2014. Therefore from the beginning of 2015 Mr.Fox and friends will transform from purely kids games developer to 50% kids game developer and 50% casual game developer for teenagers and adults.
We have some very interesting projects already in the pipeline for both of our branches so stay tuned!

In 2014 we:

2014 revenue diagram

2014 revenue diagram

  • moved from Prague to Nitra ( Slovakia )
  • released What's the time Mr.Fox to the app stores
  • got home page banner and many category features on the Apple app store
  • released Mr.Fox and shapes for iPhones
  • were invited to be part of great Nabi platform
  • were presenting our games in Japan
  • established the company - from 2015 we are no longer sole proprietor
  • launched our newsletter
  • launched our store
  • had great time developing games for kids

Newsletter 

In the year 2015 the newsletter will be a very important way how we want to inform you about our activities, important news, giveaways, contests, etc.

If you are our fan, please use the form below and sign up to the newsletter.
Don't worry, we will not spam you every day :)

News #15 - What's the time Mr.Fox new localisations

What's the time Mr.Fox - now in French and Swedish

The 3rd update of What's the time Mr.Fox brings the French and Swedish localisation as well some minor bug fixes and improvements.
The update is currently available on the Apple App store. Updated version is coming to Google play, Amazon and Nabi tablets till the end of the December.

Thank you for your support :)

News #14 - Introducing new App Bundle Mr.Fox for toddlers, Android sales and our plans for 2014

App budles

As you probably noticed - the new iOS8 is here. Besides lot of great features it brings great way how developers can market their games and get bigger sales - App Bundles.
We created app bundle named Mr.Fox for toddlers where you can find What's the time Mr.Fox and Mr.Fox and Shapes HD for a much better price. If you are new to our games, this is a great way how to get both games for toddlers and save some money. And if you already have bought one of the games, you can use complete the bundle feature and get the second one for a better price. 

Mr.Fox for toddlers - App Bundle
Learn concept of time and daily routines together with cute Mr.Fox. Explore space, meet the lion, build the ship, sail the sea, learn the shapes and colors. This is the perfect games bundle suitable for your toddler ( 2 + ). Our small family studio is proud member of Moms With Apps Know what's inside and all our games are certified with kidSAFE. Enjoy :)

Learn shapes and daily routines - that's the new Mr.Fox for toddlers bundle

Learn shapes and daily routines - that's the new Mr.Fox for toddlers bundle

Google Play, Amazon and Nabi tablet sale

This week we launched also the sale campaign on the selected android stores: Google Play, Amazon Apps and on Nabi tablets. Please share with your friends and family if you can, we will be really thankful for this. 

Our plans till the end of the year 2014

Stay tuned and keep fingers crossed :) And don't forget to subscribe to our newsletter!

News #13 - Mr.Fox and friends on Digital Children's Book Fair in Japan

Digital Children's Book Fair 2014

Japanese kids playing What's the time Mr.Fox on the exhibition Photo: Digital Children's Book Fair

Japanese kids playing What's the time Mr.Fox on the exhibition
Photo: Digital Children's Book Fair

We are really happy we had the oportunity to present our games on a Digital Children's Book fair in Japan. They proudly welcomed about 60.000 visitors and were presenting 250 apps from 40 countries which are really impressive numbers. Enjoy the picture report in a gallery bellow.

If you missed this event don't be sad and make sure you don't miss the next one because there will be another great exhibition in Tokyo taking place from October 8th to October 13th. Follow this link for more information: http://www.a-m-u.jp/english.html

Memory games collection - Farm animals

Remember the last post where we mentioned the new game? The game prototype is on 95% ready and now we are now drawing new animals and working on the animations.

The first game from this simle games serie will be about farm animals, do you like them?

Charecter design

Charecter design

Game prototype

Game prototype

The animation process

The animation process

Card creating and UV mapping in Blender

Card creating and UV mapping in Blender

Newsletter

At last, but not least we would write about our newsletter. Did you know we have opportunity to subscribe to our newsletter? Probably not. It's not visible well on our page so till we make a better design and make better place for it we decided to include this simple form to the end of  blog posts. 

All for now, and don't forget to subscribe :)

News #12 - What's the time Mr.Fox on nabi tablets

Hello,
it's great to share a good news with you again.

nabi tablets

You can do

Besides Apple App Store, Google Play and Amazon App Store we have been selected as a trusted developer for a great product called nabi.

nabi products are made specifically for kids. And yet they're good enough for adults. It's the reason why they're high quality. And why they're stylish and at the same time durable. nabi products are fun, engaging, and rewarding. It's an experience.

nabi app store is only running on the device natively - if you buy or have one of the nabi products you can find us easily.

Photo: nabitablet.com

Photo: nabitablet.com

What's the time Mr.Fox?

In the next update there will be Swedish localisation along with some small bug fixes.

Birds

Our new game Birds (we wrote about it in News #10) was set to low priority for a while because Edit has been illustrating an elementary school book.

Simple games serie concept

As the Birds game take some time to be completed we decided to bring on app stores a game classic but in a cute and kids friendly Mr.Fox and friends style :) Bellow is the first mockup.

News #11 - What's the time Mr.Fox available on Google Play and Amazon App Store

Dear Android users,
the waiting is over and we are happy to tell you that you can now download our most popular game What's the time Mr.Fox? on your Android powered phones and tablets.
And from now, all our up-coming games will be automatically ported to Android too.

Share with your friends, enjoy with your kids!

We did it! Now available on Google Play and Amazon App Store

We did it! Now available on Google Play and Amazon App Store

News #10 - Localisations and working on the new game

What's the time Mr.Fox

Hello and welcome - so as usual a new game update brings also new localisations. Now you can enjoy playing What’s The Time Mr.Fox  in German.  Quick tip: you can switch language selection  in the ‘for parents section’ - please see the video below

Next plans for What's the time Mr.Fox is  to localise it to other languages ( French is coming up next ) and of course to port it to Android and Windows platforms.  We will inform you all about the progress on our blog and twitter.

New game - Birds (code name)

We are happy we can let you know that we start working on our new game Birds (It's just a code name as we don't know how we name our game for now) :)

Every week we'll bring you the fresh news, teasers, sketches and behind the scenes exclusives. Below you can enjoy couple of first mock ups.

About the game

With this game we are focusing mainly on the younger players to create a fun and enjoyable playtime experience.

What are we doing

At this stage of development we are working mainly on illustrations style and on little bird movement and game logic. We are really excited to show you the progress. 

Thank you, bye for now.

News #9 - On the way

Hello, we’re back with really big changes here at Mr.Fox and friends.
After some planning and discussing we decided to move away from Prague, to be closer to our families and friends. We switched both cities and countries, anyone who has moved this way knows what is it all about...
So we are a little bit tired but really happy we are getting slowly back to work.

Nitra

We are now based in a small city called Nitra - 90km away from the Slovakian capital city Bratislava. Nitra is not such a ‘big rush’ city as Prague, which is really great, but it also brings its own challenges. For example although our apartment is situated in the city center, we still have some issues with internet connection. Yes we didn’t inform ourselves about internet connectivity, because our apartment is in the city center, so who would expect any problems? Well, we forgot how it goes here.


What’s the time Mr.Fox?

In the next two weeks we will do our best to bring French and German localisations in next update. 

Coming up next

Coming up next

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News#8 - Home page feature and other stories

What's the time Mr.Fox?

Home page feature

We did it! You can spot our little Mr.Fox on the big banners on the App store! You can imagine how big satisfaction and honor it is for our small family studio. We are also thanfkul also for various features in the App store across the countries in both edu and games category.
If your kids are enjoying the game please share your the moments with us, it's one of the main reasons while we are doing the games.

We did it!

We did it!

Next steps

It seems you guys like the game but mainly from big countries we are hearing about localisation. You asked for it and we decide to spent some time and money to make the game better and playable in your language too.
Our plan is localise it to Spanish (coming soon in few days btw.) following with German, French, Swedish and Slovak language. We will release the new languages in the next few updates.

Then packed with all those languages we are going to release the game for the other platforms and stores.

TheKidsWantMobile

Looks like Fox and Sheep is about to upload the talks videos soon. Meanwhile enjoy this short trailer :)

How we made What’s The Time Mr.Fox?

Our new game helping young toddlers explore concept of time and daily routines What's the time Mr.Fox? is on app store for a week now and to celebrate this we decided to share some behind the scenes with you.

How we did it

Everything starts with an idea. In our case it was relatively easy as we always try to develop our new game to the needs of our son, Adam. (Why? Read our story)
Immediately we had an idea. We started to sketch out both on paper and iPad. While pen & paper is great for quick sketches, on iPad we can see in an instant how it will looks in 1:1. Which is really helpful.

In the beginning the concept and game-play was not very clear and it was a little bit complicated. We always try to focus on the only problem the game is all about. In this game we could have also included aspects of linear time concepts over periods of weeks, months and years. We could have also made puzzles and included ‘mini games’ - but this was not our goal. Our goal was to introduce the abstract notion of time so children could develop understand of daily routines.

First sketch vs Final

First sketch vs Final

As soon as we had a clear idea, we started to code a playable prototype. No animations, no sounds, only rough image placeholders and sketches. If everything is working well and we are satisfied with the game-play mechanisms, game length, we the start to develop "the Game".

What about you?

What about you?

We are wearing various hats, we are able to do everything except of music, sound effects and dubbing. On this part of project we outsource talents. Although we are not doing the sounds and music, we find it very hard to describe the sounds you have in your mind so it's not that easy to find some music and SFX references.

After couple of weeks when the game is playable we launch closed and then open beta test where we are looking for all types of issues (logical problems, if game is not crashing, sound issues, animations problems, etc.). If everything looks stable and nice, we launch the game. 

How much time

Everybody loves diagrams, right? Here is one showing how much time we spent on each part of the game creation process.

Time tracking summary for What's the time Mr.Fox game

Time tracking summary for What's the time Mr.Fox game

We wish we could work on the game for 16 hrs a day together. In fact it's less than 8 hrs / day.

We are trying to split the day so I'm working in the morning while Edit is playing with our son Adam, preparing some food and doing whatever is needed at home. Then we switch in the afternoon. With this system we are able to complete the game in the time period you see bellow and enjoy both work and family quality time.

3..2..1...Launch

We wrote and sent promo codes to several email addresses. It seems like you really have to use all 100 promo codes to get at least small feedback. For promoting and writing we have booked one week and it looks like for our next game we will take at least 10 days. We use promo codes mainly to ask for review and giveaways.

Launch day was a little bit hectic, because we are moving from Prague nowadays and we were without internet connection in the middle of mountains on that day. So we had to go to the nearest city, took some coffee and made a huge scheduling of tweets and facebook posts.

Launch week on Apple AppStore -What's the time Mr.Fox? vs. Mr.Fox and shapes HD

Launch week on Apple AppStore -What's the time Mr.Fox? vs. Mr.Fox and shapes HD

UPDATE: What's the time Mr.Fox got home page feature after couple of days!

UPDATE: What's the time Mr.Fox got home page feature after couple of days!

What we use

Speaking of tools we are pretty conservative and we are trying to use as few tools as possible. Here’s a list of what we used to produce What’s The Time Mr.Fox?

Development

Utils

  • Clockodo for time tracking
  • Trello for project management, bugs tracking, to-do lists
  • Buffer app - definitely saves our launch day

Illustrations and graphics

Sounds

Trailers

We hope you have enjoyed the article and you now see a little better how much effort and knowledge is needed for two people, parents like us, to develop and promote a game. This is why it's not possible to make games for free. As much as we would like to.

If you want to support us on our journey, please don't wait for our game to be free. Every purchase makes more and more possible for us to develop next games. Also sharing with your friends, family and your positive comments on app store are more than appreciated and we are thankful for everyone.

Thank you for reading :)

News #7 - Launch week for What's the time Mr.Fox?

4, 3, 2, 1 - GO. 5th June on your iPhone or iPad

4, 3, 2, 1 - GO. 5th June on your iPhone or iPad

We are really excited because this week on thursday 5th June we are going to lauch our new game therefore all our effort is focusing now on promotion. Yes and on moving too, but it's another story...

What's the time Mr.Fox ?

Well, what to write here. Everyone who once created and launched a game or an app knows that feeling very well. We are so curious. Not about numbers itself, but about kids reactions - will they like our game as much as our son does? We will see soon.

In case you want to help us share the game with the world plase let us know. We would be very thankfull for all tweets, blog posts, facebook posts, photos.  
We can provide some promo codes in case you want to make small review for us too.

And don't forget to keep an eye on our social networks we have prepared some free goodies, toys and other nice stuff for you.

Wish us luck :)

New freebies for download - coloring sheets

Yesterday was the International Children's Day - here is our little present for all little artists :)

Coloring sheets for download

Coloring sheets for download

News #6 - Busy week

Last week we were super busy. We attended the great conference The Kids Want Mobile in Berlin and just couple of hours ago we all together clicked the mouse button and submited our new game to the app store for review. Fingers crossed!!

What's the time Mr.Fox ?

Mr.Fox hits app store in a while!

Mr.Fox hits app store in a while!

Little Mr.Fox is waiting in the line in the app store - for us it's time to do some marketing stuff.
Sure, regarding some articles you can find all around the internet it is probably too late. Yes, we know the theory very well and it sounds so easy and clear. But it was really not possible for us to do it next to creative process and development so hopefully it will be not that late. Greetings to all 1 - 2 people development teams, parents, doing their hard job with love and patience and with vision to deliver the best app possible for the little ones. 

 Anyway, if you want to share our story and games with your blog readers, FB friends or twitter followers just let us know and we can send you promo codes. We would appreciate that!

For parents section.

For parents section.

For parents section - design process

For parents section - design process

Cross promo page

Cross promo page

Teasers

Yes and meanwhile we did small teasers as well. Enjoy !!

The Kids Want Mobile

Berlin...

Berlin...

We are preparing separate blog post about the conference in next few days so to be short we attach only few pictures...

News #5 - Photo Story And Interview - Mothers Around Me Project

Photo story and interview 

Here is a delightful photo story by photographer Katta Tubio - part of her 'MAM - Mothers Around Me' project - showcasing our Indie Family App Development team, especially one third of it, illustrator, mum Edita Sliacka.

Photo: Katta Tubbio

What's the time Mr.Fox?

Beta test is done and seems like we are prepared to upload it for review on app store this week. We are also working on short game teaser, making of blog post, marketing stuff and much much more.

Gameplay screenshot

Gameplay screenshot

This week we are attedning TheKidsWantMobile Europe's Kids Mobile Conference in Berlin and we will try to bring you the atmosphere. Check our twitter @mrfoxforkids for pics and more news. 

News #4 - Mr.Fox And Shapes Got Another App Store Feature

Mr.Fox and shapes got another app store feature

Another week, another great news. Apple chose our game to another app store featured section Shapes and colors. Thank you Apple.

Mr.Fox and shapes featured in Shapes and colors !

Mr.Fox and shapes featured in Shapes and colors !

What's the time Mr.Fox? - beta test

We are almost there. Dubbing is done, sounds are being polished, last bugs are being fixed. We are filling our iOS beta test team with new names so if you want to be part of it, please let us know. We are looking mainly for parents with 2-3 years old kids. Also you have to own at least one of the Apple devices (iPhone 3gs, 4, 4s, 5, 5s, 5c, iPad 1, 2, 3, 4, minis, iPods).

Interested? Let us know: games@mrfoxandfriends.com

News #3 - Mr.Fox and Shapes home page feature (US)

Mr.Fox and Shapes home page feature (US)

Mr.Fox and Shapes featured in Playtime with your toddler 

Mr.Fox and Shapes featured in Playtime with your toddler 

We celebrate today! Our Mr.Fox and Shapes game got first home page(US) feature. It's really a big honor for us to share pixels in this category with big players like TocaBoca, SagoSago, Wee society,  and other great kids apps devs out there. Thanks Apple!

What's the time Mr.Fox?

Yesterday we received dubbing of our little fox. It will take some time to implement all sounds, but we can tell you they are really nice. Listen to sample bellow. Isn't he cute?

Next week we are going to fix some small bugs, to refine old and add new animations and also to do small changes in gameplay due to our closed beta test.

The biggest issue for now are music and sounds effects - we are still not happy with them. Hopefuly next week..

News #2 - What's The Time Mr.Fox?

What's the time Mr.Fox ?

Amazing voice actor Lani Minela will be the voice of our little fox, main character of our upcoming game What's the time Mr.Fox?. Definitely this was the biggest highlight of recent week. We're looking forward to cooperate with her. 20 min. long skype call with this very nice and charming person left us feeling great.

Behid the scenes

Behid the scenes

The first 90 percent of the code accounts for the first 90 percent of the development time. The remaining 10 percent of the code accounts for the other 90 percent of the development time.
— Tom Cargill, Bell Labs

Well, all devs know this, right? Yes, we're stuck in that phase now. We thought the app will be out till KidsWantMobile conference but it seems like we hit the app store a little bit later. Keep your fingers crossed :)

App icons

We did also big facelift of our icons so it will be much easier to identify our games across the app store and on the touchscreens too. New icons will appear in the next app updates...

App icons redesign

App icons redesign