Coincidentally, hours after I published the Inktober blog post, Procreate announced that they’re going to be having their own version of Inktober this year.
The rules are very similar, each day of October you’ll draw a black and white illustration based on a daily theme. The difference for Procreate’s version is that you’ll use Procreate for iOS and tag your drawings on social media using @Procreate and #ProcreateInktober.
In which Inktober will you be participating? I may try to do both and use Affinity Designer exclusively for Inktober since I’ll be using Procreate for the other.
A few years ago, I was commissioned to create an online course about Affinity Designer. This was when Affinity Designer was still fairly new and not a ton of illustrators used it. Fast-forward three and a half years, and it’s become one of the best graphics applications for both desktop and iPads.
Truth be told, just based on the work I had after creating the course, I stopped using Affinity Designer for awhile. When I heard they were debuting a version for the iPad, I quickly regained interest and bought it on its release day. It immediately became one of my favorite iOS apps that I own and I’ve used it almost every day since.
The iPad version is full-featured and not just a watered down version. Also, sticking to Serif’s business plan, there are no subscription payments involved, everything is buy-once, keep forever. It’s definitely worth your time to watch their tutorial videos about using gestures to control the app, as they’ve done a great job translating mouse clicks into finger gestures.
Since the iPad version release, I’ve been drawing in Affinity Designer so much that I had to update my website to display all of the new illustrations I’ve completed. Everything from t-shirt designs, concept art, and final products that I’ve used for my day job have been done all on my iPad.
I love that if I’m on the go, I can just grab my iPad and take the project I had open on my PC or MacBook and open it in the iOS version of Designer. It’s really as simple as just opening the file from Dropbox or Google Drive and finishing your work on the go.
I also have the PC, MacOS, and iOS versions of Affinity Photo, but I haven’t had a chance to use them extensively yet. I did play around with some of the features for some quick photo editing and it seemed pretty intuitive just like Designer.
Overall, if you haven’t tried Affinity Designer and Affinity Photo and you’re tired of paying for Adobe Creative Cloud, you really should check them out. If you’re an Adobe InDesign user, they’re also making Affinity Publisher, which is currently in Beta as of the time of this writing. Now if I could only get them to make an Adobe Animate CC replacement, I could completely drop all Adobe products…
It’s been quite awhile since I last released a game for myself. The other night, I decided I would try to push out a game in 3 hours or less. The result is Maddie Bear in Space.
It’s available for iPhone, iPad, Kindle Fire, Android and Android TV and requires a simple touch or button tap interface. You collect as many moons as you can and avoid the spikes to gain a high score.
It’s priced at $59, but I want to offer it to my loyal blog followers at a special discounted price of $20. The first 50 readers to use promo code BLOGFOLLOWERS or click this link will save $39 off the normal price.
Thank you for continuing to read my blog and have fun making the pinball game!
Last year, I wrote a tutorial about creating screenshots for app stores for RayWenderlich.com. In the tutorial, I mentioned using a website called PlaceIt.net because they have a great variety of options and pricing to fit every budget (yes, even Free). Today, I want to take you through step-by-step on how to fully utilize their site to create amazing promotional material for your apps and games.
PlaceIt.net lets you upload app screenshots, images, URLs, videos, or screen captures (using RecordIt) into beautiful photographs and videos to help advertise and promote your product or brand.
You can sort by devices, interactive video, still shots, video, multistage, etc. and then it will list the require resolution needed to fill the stage. You can choose to drag and drop an image, upload it, or even just provide the URL to the image you’d like to insert. If your image doesn’t fit perfectly, you can adjust the cropping to completely fill the area.
Once you’re happy with the result, you can choose to Add Effects or Download. When you click download, you’re given the options for the Small Free Version, the High-Res Commercial, or Super High-Res Extended Commercial versions.
Depending on your desired use, you’ll have to determine which version you’d like. If you’re unsure of the differences, you can click the “Not sure which license is the best for you?” link and it will explain each license in detail.
There is where PlaceIt.net really shines. Sorting by Video, I chose a panning video that would show my children’s book app, Maddie Bear’s Birthday, running on an iPad. I didn’t have a pre-recorded video handy, so I clicked on the Record Your Screen option. This allowed me to download RecordIt, and record the iOS Simulator running on my computer.
Once complete, the video uploaded and I was able to view and download it. Here you see the free version that I downloaded, which has a watermark on it. Paid downloads do not contain watermarks.
Pricing on PlaceIt.net varies depending on the type of media, license, and if you choose a subscription plan or single purchase. Still images range from Free to $59 USD for single purchases and videos range from Free to $189 USD for single purchases. If you you know you’re going to need to download a few pieces of media, it’s worth signing up for a subscription plan. Plans range from $12 a month to $299 a month depending on how many you’re going to need on a monthly basis.
Since they have pricing ranging from free for casual users through $299 a month for corporate users, it really feels like PlaceIt.net is trying to accommodate every user and every budget.
The sheer number of images, interactive videos, and videos along with flexible pricing, makes PlaceIt.net unparalleled to any other service I’ve tried. In the past, Promotee software was my go-to when I needed a quick promo image of my apps, but it is very limited in the devices you can show, and there’s no option for video. I can’t recommend PlaceIt.net enough for promos and advertising your products.
I recently recorded a complete video tutorial series on Affinity Designer for Stone River e-Learning. You can check out the entire lesson here. The course teaches everything from illustration, logo design, user interface mock-ups, and exporting for web and mobile devices. However, if you’re just wondering how Affinity Designer can help you mock up mobile user interfaces, here is a tutorial.
You can download the entire step-by-step tutorial and the resource files. You are free to use the artwork provided for personal or commercial use. However you cannot sell or distribute the tutorial.
In my last post, I wrote about my experience using Construct 2 to build HTML5 games. Since then, I have improved the Maddie Bear’s Sticker Hunt game to support touchscreen devices/game controllers and hidden areas. I’ve also created a game for toddlers that I was able to export as a native iOS application, started listening to the C2 Podcast, and the generous folks at Scirra gave me a review license for Construct 2 so that I may write/record tutorials how to use the software.
If you’re interested in Construct 2, you should definitely listen to the C2 Podcast by Alvarop and ArcadEd. They talk about their experiences using Construct, monetization and have special guests. I really enjoy listening to it as I’m working on games.
I also created a simple demo game for toddlers that I’m going to turn into a video tutorial course. It will be a great way for people unfamiliar to Construct 2 to see what it can do. It will cater to those who download the free version (4 layer limit and HTML5-only publishing), but I’ll also show you options on how to publish to an iPhone if you have a paid license. It’s also compatible with smartphones/tablets, so you don’t need a computer keyboard or game controller to play it.