What I Learned Making PKPKT
PKPKT was an iOS game I made for lols that lets you steal from other players via Bluetooth. There was also a chat component. It may or may not still work. pkpkt.com
- •Bluetooth is finickyIt's gotten better but omg my beard turned gray from this. Ok, became a little more gray.
- •Saying Bluetooth to people gets easierSome people tune out cos they only think of Bluetooth earpieces and those are rarely cool
- •Making a game that requires close proximity to others makes it very hard to grow (especially with no advertising budget)Unless you worked at GroupMe or Betaworks, you probably never encountered another player
- •^^That's ok if your goal is to learn and not make a billion dollarsI hadn't used BLE or SpriteKit before this. I've since used BLE in Without, another side project that is for long distance relationships.
- •The first time you encounter another player (that you don't know personally) is actually fucking thrilling.The best steal I made was from someone on the L train as they entered the station. It was too packed for me to get on the train but I stole before they left.
- •Making videos to promote a side project is almost as satisfying as making the product itself.Ok, not really. But it is a lot of fun.
- •Use very small data payloads with Bluetooth.
- •Not having a server component is a great restriction to force yourself to rely on Bluetooth for all communication.
- •Getting messages from strangers over Bluetooth is weird.You know you can probably see them, but in a crowded room, you don't really know who it is.
- •Sometimes features can kill the vibeAllowing people to buy a head start was misguided--at least for the office use case where multiple players had an ongoing theft battle. It made people stop playing altogether if someone bought the weapon. Even after trying to lessen impact by allowing weapon holders to opt out with benefits, it was too late. Luckily(?), not too many people paid for it.
- •Entering any space while having the app installed became stressfulNot sure, but may be why my anxiety levels in the past few years has been worse than any other point in my life.
- •If you're going to write a proof of concept, you might as well try and make it fun.
- •Make sure to release all references to Bluetooth peripherals or you will never get notified about them again.
- •Stealing from pedestrians while hanging out of your 3rd floor window feels like heaven.