Game Design, Programming and running a one-man games business…

App store submissions process hell.

I had the best of intentions I really did. I was going to handle the mac side of stuff within positech in the future. In the past I’ve partnered with other companies (redmarblegames)  to get my mac ports done, and basically handed the whole ‘mac versions of positech games’ out to another company entirely, and not really focused on them at all. It was time for a change, for two reasons:

  • I wanted to grow positech, and by taking this stuff ‘in house’ it’s a way of effectively growing the company, as I am then spending mroe time/money up front but reaping greater rewards. It’s an easy way to ‘grow’ without producing more games.
  • Windows 8. This was a BAD idea. I panicked a bit that windows may be dying, and mac rising, and I needed to pivot slightly that way. I’m less concerned now balmer is going, but now we have the possibility of SteamOS. Either way, being windows-only isn’t a good plan.

My crazy solution was to just hire a developer to do a mac and linux port, at which point I take over, and then handle the app store submission and so on.


Seriously, I know it’s probably easier if you live and breath the world of apple, but is the process some big elaborate joke, or is it actually this arcane and silly? I had been warned, MANY TIMES by other indies who have gone through it, but I thought ‘how bad can it be?’. Firstly it took Apple 3 months to approve me as an apple developer, for which I get the honor of paying them $100 a year for the opportunity to hand them 30% of my profits. Thanks guys. Before the process ended, they sent (from a do-not-reply address or a ‘fuck you’ address as i call them) a ‘customer satisfaction survey’ which they demanded I respond to within in seven days. Nice touch…

They *did* phone me to check I wasn’t a terrorist who was going to undermine the reputation of apple by releasing porn apps (I presume this is what they care about. personally I’d be more concerned that there were anti-suicide nets set up at the factories where my product was being assembled, than any reputational damage likely to be caused by a stray bit of naked flesh but hey…) The MI5 standard identity-check phone call went like this”

Them: “Is this your address? (reads out my address unprompted)”

Me: “Yes”

That’s it. Nice security there.

Anyway, I’m now getting someone else to handle the appstore submission, because frankly, life is too short and the insane bureaucratic nonsense just upsets me and angers me. I’m a game designer, game programmer and business dude, and I should be doing what I’m good at, not making sense of stuff other people already understand as routine. Arggghhh.

Anyway, although ballmer fucked up a lot at microsoft, something they really understood, and apple really REALLY do not, is that keeping developers happy is REALLY important. If I didn’t already have a unity app on the cusp of being released, I’d have abandoned the idea of selling through apple this week. Maybe ballmer had a point in this video?

2 thoughts on App store submissions process hell.

  1. “MI5 standard identity-check phone call”
    We had the same experience when our Apple Dev Agent left the company. A phone call we had to answer with “Yes” was all it took to make me the new Apple Dev Agent.

  2. Cliff, you’re dead right, it’s horribly broken, and has been for some time.
    But it’s getting better, at least in terms of review turnaround.

    The iOS store is significantly better because that’s where they focus their efforts. The upside of course is that if you stick with it, a LOT of Mac users ignore reason and will only use the Mac App Store as a means to buy games (some Mac games reportedly sell better on the App Store than on Steam)

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