Monday, November 28, 2011

The Aliens Have Landed

Hope everyone had a nice Thanksgiving holiday – that is, if you live here in the United States.

If you live in other parts of the world, like Australia, you may have noticed a change today in the App Store.

That's right, I'm talking 'bout aliens.

You might say we're a little bit obsessed with the cute and quirky little critters – we've been tracking them for months now.
Google Analytics reports they've already landed in Australia and our sources tell us they're making their way to the US App Store tonight.

So keep your eyes peeled.

The Alien Buddies will be here when you wake up.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Alien Buddies - The Movie

SPOILER ALERT - This app is fun and educational and your kids will love it!

As Steve is busy trying to squeeze all the Alien Buddies goodness into a download-anywhere under 20MB package so we can submit to Apple later today, I thought I'd share the brand new video trailer with you.

We looked at lots of options for video capture using the iOS Simulator but we were getting weird gradient banding in the background art, so Lis went off on her own for a few days and came back with this.


Friday, November 11, 2011

Artgig Wins Gold For Website

Very pleased to be part of the team that won a W3 Gold Award for!

There's more to come from the dynamic duo of ESI Design and Artgig...

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Lots Shakin' at Artgig Apps!

I was going to say it's a bit of a stew today at Artgig Apps but a stew isn't nearly fast or exciting enough - it's more of a salad, one that is tossed together quickly but expertly, and comes together with just the right balance of complimentary flavors.

And avocados.

I love avocados.

As lunch quickly approaches, we're buzzing, making final launch preparations for our new Pre-K and Kindergarten educational app, Alien Buddies.

The Final build goes out to testers tonight and we're planning to submit to Apple next week so  (fingers crossed) we can be in the App Store by the end of the month!

Speaking of testers, we've got some really good kids, parents, and teachers working this app over and giving us great feedback and ideas, and I cannot thank them enough.

This app has been a lot of fun to build because it hits a sweet spot for lots of little kids I know and the testing gives us great confidence that we've got something special to share with you and your children.

And let's not forget about our other apps - Shake-a-Phrase and Being Benny were both updated last week!

We love tinkering with Shake-a-Phrase - every time we crack the hood we can't help refining and improving the vocabulary for the best possible user experience.

We also added some slick new sharing features, so you can share your favorite phrases by SMS or take advantage of the iOS 5 Twitter integration to tweet all about it.

And we're not done tinkering!

The chefs at Artgig Apps added an extra dash of holiday sprinkles to the Fairytale theme for some festive fun with phrases, and we'll be pushing yet another Shake update this week (v. 1.3) - so stay tuned!

We really want to hear from you, so please drop by our Facebook page and/or leave an app review for us in iTunes - all of our apps have a direct review link to tell us what you think.

Some of the changes we just made to Shake-a-Phrase are a direct result of user feedback!

We've also been hearing from a lot of teachers about using Shake-a-Phrase in the classroom for creative writing exercises, so we're serving up some stories to inspire your own school lessons!

Check out "Shaking Up The Classroom With Shake-a-Phrase," on the Shake website, to read about a 3rd Grade class using the Monster theme to shake up some spooky Halloween tales.


I'm starving!

Friday, November 4, 2011

How We Roll

What was all that white stuff that blanketed our town and crippled the Artgig command center for nearly the entire week?

It's too soon to say the "s" word out loud, but this week was a trip down Artgig memory lane.

Once upon a time, before Artgig got all fancy with a brick and mortar studio, we all worked from home.

As legend has it, way back in the days before Skype, the Artgig gang would meet around town, alternating between the diner and Jean Jacques, when we all needed to be in the same place to discuss really important things – like becoming a brick and mortar business.

When we arrived for work Monday morning and found a tree had knocked down the building power line, we assumed it would be a minor disruption and it really wasn't so bad taking Halloween off to spend with the kids.

Four days later, it had turned into a beard growing contest between me and Jim (I won), and I was ready to fire my one and a half year old co-worker for continuously ignoring my orders to stop eating my Wacom stylus.

Despite the challenges of work and home lives colliding, amazingly, I am happy to report we reached a new pinnacle of production before power was finally restored yesterday.

It seems with less pressure to do things like shave and bathe, our app output actually increased!

In a few short days we cranked out a nearly-final Alien Buddies app build, a sweet Shake-a-Phrase update with new words and sharing features, and a Being Benny update.

All while juggling client projects and grocery shopping duties!

That's how we roll here at Artgig.