XMG Studio Inc. Introduces a New App Category
With the advancements in app development, we’re seeing fewer apps labeled in traditional categories and more apps that boast innovative, multi-category labels. We’re also witnessing new app categories altogether. Case in point: Totally Amp’d by Canada-based XMG Studio Inc. In January, XMG launched the app (geared toward tweens and teens) and labeled it as a mobile interactive sitcom. How’s that for progressive?
We caught up with VP of Game Development at XMG Adam Telfer, who explains the inspiration for the Totally Amp’d mobile interactive sitcom, as well as the importance of gamification. We also ask Telfer his thoughts on today’s biggest mobile trends and his advice for aspiring app developers.
- What was your inspiration for Totally Amp’d as a mobile interactive sitcom?
The original inspiration for Totally Amp'd came when we discussed creating a second-screen experience on mobile devices to go alongside a web series that was being considered. Through exploring the mobile platform, the power and potential of creating an alternate-screen experience became apparent. Instead of sending users from the web-based episodic content to a mobile device as an extension of the experience, we decided to move the entire experience to an app.
- What are the benefits of watching “appisodes” on mobile devices compared to watching regular episodes of shows on TV?
The true benefit for our audience is having the option to watch appisodes anytime and the freedom to create interactive content around those appisodes to gamify your whole viewing experience. This is far more enhanced than simply viewing an episode on TV.
- What was the biggest hurdle to overcome during Totally Amp’d’s development process? What features are you most proud of?
We were trailblazing a whole new category of mixed media and technology. We faced challenges every step of the way, ranging from overall app optimization to designing, creating and gamifying three solid interactive "studios" with original content. The project as a whole was a tall hurdle for the simple fact that we were endeavoring into so many unknowns.
Overall, I’m proud of the project's outcome, but if I were to choose something more specific, it would have to be the movie studio followed by the music studio. We made editing music videos so simple that the final video outcome always seems to look cool no matter how you cut it. And then the singing in the music studio…. Who doesn't want to be the next William Hung? She bangs, she bangs!
- What do you think is the biggest trend in app development currently? How is XMG capitalizing on that trend?
Social and community. 2011 was really the year that proved that mobile is the new frontier for social games. Many game developers are seeing the value in having a large community around a game.
XMG is building games with this in mind. Our future launches all have a focus on community, reaching out to real users and finding out what they want in the game.
- What advice do you have for young app developers?
The beauty of our field is that there are so many paths a developer can take in app development. I'd say explore and identify what you enjoy most when you experience one of your favorite apps, whether that be development, graphics or user experience. Focus on that, and don't be afraid to push possibilities, even if they seem crazy.
Search online for the best app design/development companies that are setting trends in the industry and use their work as benchmarks when creating your own projects. Don't worry about failing—it's how you learn.
Follow Adam Telfer on Twitter.
Apps I Love
Eating Healthy is a Snap with Dr. Oz’s App Pick
Photo credit: Getty Images
Dr. Mehmet Oz, famous cardiac surgeon and star of TV’s The Dr. Oz Show, spends much of his time giving nutritional guidance to his show’s viewers and patients. But we bet he never thought advice could get as simple as “take a picture of your food.”
Dr. Oz told USA TODAY that he likes the Meal Snap app. Just use your smartphone to take a photo of your food in front of you, and the app calculates how many calories you’re consuming. Bam—food recording is done.
Of course, the app is not always 100 percent accurate, but we still think the simple act of recording our food helps us be more conscious of what we’re eating. You can share your meals on Twitter, Facebook and foursquare if you want some extra motivation, and you can even view your eating patterns over time.