Thursday, July 23, 2009

What Is App-a-Day?

I've seen some people and some reviewers who I don't believe really grasp what exactly App-a-Day is intended to be. I've read reviews where the games were treated like full productions, and some individuals who don't seem to get why I didn't really add the polish the games deserve. I'd like to try and explain that.

As a video game designer, I come up with a massive amount of game ideas. Some are pretty crappy, some are so massive a team of hundreds would be needed to make it, and some just walk that line of "it just might work!". In the game development industry, for big funded companies, there is a rule when it comes to testing out a new game idea - you get a month. If your team is unable to produce a fun prototype in 30 days, then the game is typically considered too big / too complex of a project to be financially manageable, and you move on to something else. App-a-Day is sort of like this, only I give myself 1 day to do the entire polished-prototype phase rather than 30. It is an incredibly vigorous cycle with a lot of me staring at a blank monitor and asking myself, "What the hell kind of game can I make with a bottle cap??".

App-a-Day was not started for me to make 30 blockbuster, AAA video games that will be remembered for all time. However, it was created for me to stretch my legs a bit as a designer. I don't have project managers breathing down my neck. I don't have a budget I have to manage along with 15 employees who I have to oversee and make sure they get their work done correctly and on time. All I have to worry about is taking an idea - be it fun, questionable or flat out quirky - and turn it into a playable game. Not a finished game, and by no means polished - but a game that shows off my concept, and might even show off a glimmer of something larger.

I have always planned to do something more with App-a-Day when it is finished. Because when I am done, I will have created and published 30 playable, polished, finished prototypes. All 30 of these will be in the hands of people around the world, and I can ask the public, "What did you like? What did you not like? What do you want to see more of?".

Actually, that sounds like a good idea... I should ask the public. In fact, I think there may even be a contest out of this. A contest where you, the people, vote on your favorite App-a-Day game, and the winner gets turned into a very polished, big title, where I place a team of developers on its development, and the game is produced as a full and complete title. And I think whenever you enter to this competition, it will also enter you to win a prize. Maybe an iPhone, maybe an iPod Touch. Maybe an Xbox 360... heck, maybe I'll give away all 3!

So let's hear from you. 7 App-a-Day games are released, and my crazy contract work is slowing down, allowing me to begin to dive back in. What do you, the people want to see?

What would you like to see from a competition?

What prizes do you want?

What themes do you want to see in upcoming App-a-Day games?

I'm a video game designer by trade, and it is what I love. By nature, I am an entertainer, and I wish to entertain you. Tell me how you want to be entertained - and I shall fulfill!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

iPhoneRoundup Loves Tumblecaps!

The excellent video reviewers at iPhoneRoundup have included 'Tumblecaps' in iPhoneRoundup #12! Check out what they had to say in the video on YouTube here:

Tic-Tac-Bacon featured on iPhone Bacon Roundup!

There's nothing like the sizzling sweet smell of meat candy, and agrees! In their iPhone Bacon Roundup, they featured a number of Bacon-centered games and apps from the iPhone App Store - including Tic-Tac-Bacon!

Check it out here:

Monday, July 13, 2009

Temporary Hiatus

The past week or so the various contract jobs I am doing have been running me ragged - pretty much wake to sleep hours working those, and as those pay the bills I've had to focus on them to make sure I can do things like pay rent and feed myself. So, I haven't gotten to work on App-a-Day stuff lately - but no worries, I am not ending it! I will continue to produce all 30 apps, with each app made in less than a day. Let me just make sure my contract clients are happy and the work is all in order, first.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Happy 4th - Time for Ultimate Dungeon!

With nothing more than Knitted Bacon Armor and a Sharpened Pencil, you enter the catacombs of the underworld to face the most horrid creatures ever! Using the almost patented Random Enemy Randomization System to make sure you (almost) never fight the same enemy four times, you are (almost) guaranteed to (almost) never have the same experience twice (almost)! This game also uses my almost patented incredibly advanced Ultimate Dungeon Interaction System that's so easy to use, even your cat can play, and what cat doesn't love bacon? So what are you waiting for? It's the 4th of July, and you're bound to need a bathroom break at some point - and what better way to survive the boredom of your big sit than to navigate through the most zany, most insane and most random dungeon ever created?

Now that I've got you all warmed up and ready, make with the clicking on the following link to be directed straight to the Ultimate Dungeon product page so you can pick up your copy today. For only .99 cents it's practically free, which is certainly better than 'not free at all'! So why play Rolando today, when you can be playing Ultimate Dungeon!

Ultimate Dungeon Product Page

Ultimate Dungeon - Only in the Apple App Store

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Crazy Dave's Crazy App Giveaway!

The 4th of July is an amazing day.

People make some pretty sweet bar-b-que. We watch stuff explode - and who doesn't love explosions, especially in all kinds of nifty colors? This was also the day we fought off alien invaders who wanted to mine our planet... no, wait... that was a movie. But we can dream!

What else makes the 4th of July special? Everyone is home and looking for sales! Well folks, I won't let you down when it comes to that. For all of Thursday, July 2nd, I will be giving away free codes to App-a-Day games! They're all awesome little coffee-break casual games - something great to play on that ride to Uncle Judy's or Aunt Richard's big cookout. Or maybe you'll just play them while drinking a beer?

So you're probably by now foaming at the mouth and asking yourself, "How do I get a code, Dave??". Well, it's simple - all you have to do is follow me on Twitter (my Twitter name is @BahamutZaero), and watch for the offerings.

Oh, and there's a catch. I may just be giving out codes - but you'll have to convince me to give them to you! All day I will be doing trivia and challenges / dare's, and giving out a few codes for the quickest / best entries of each one. I've already posted the first on Twitter... but I won't make the Twitter followers have the first one easily. I'll post the challenge here as well.

So rev up those Twitter clients, follow @BahamutZaero, and let's roll in the 4th two days early with the craziest give away EVER!


Dare #1 for Tumblecaps: Post a photo of you and a soda bottle and convince me why you should get a free copy in the photo! Be creative. I'll give away a code to the best 3 photos. Annd....BEGIN! (I may share your photos on my web page - so prepare to be famous!)


Wednesday, July 1, 2009 giving away 10 free copies of Tumblecaps!

Haven't slapped down .99 cents yet for a copy of the fast-spreading game Tumblecaps? No worries - is giving away 10 free copies!

How To Enter: Create an account and log in to to enter the give away. 10 people will be randomly selected to receive free promotional codes to download complementary copies of Tumblecaps. The giveaway ends on July 5th, 2009. gives away free copies of lots of apps and games. Go, sign up and prosper happily with the free goodness that they provide!

I'll make going to their site very easy! The following sexy image will take you straight to, so click away!

App Giveaway

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

'Trounce' - Now Available in the Apple App Store!

App-a-Day #5, Trounce, has been released in the Apple App store! Get your monster-squishing finger ready to save the town!

Direct link: Trounce in the App Store

Monday, June 29, 2009

'Tumblecaps' Has Been Released for Purchase!

App-a-Day #4, Tumblecaps, has been released in the Apple App Store! For only .99 cents, you can go purchase it right now on your iPod Touch or iPhone and enjoy a fast-paced game about bottle caps.

Check it out now at this Tumblecaps iTunes Link.

Friday, June 26, 2009

App-a-Day #8: Spot the Bug

Sit back with some peaceful music from renowned composer Matt Sayre and collect ladybugs! In this surprisingly calm matching game, the eighth game to come out of Dave Calabrese's App-a-Day Project, ladybugs with different numbers of spots crawl down the screen from the top to the bottom. Tap the ladybug to stop it in its tracks - now count the spots on its back, and tap that many other ladybugs with the same number of spots.

This simple game with its calming music and playful art is certain to surprise you with its engrossing gameplay and re-playability. Before you know it, you'll have been playing for 5 minutes, be at level 12, and have a score of 20 million.

Wait... #8? What happened to #7?
Well, let's say that I've learned you really cannot make a strategy game complete with micro-management within 24 hours. I did get a very long ways through production of it, and I kept saying it was ready for release because it was - however the more I played it, the more I kept feeling like it needed more statistics, more micro management control... just more 'stuff' to really make it a solid 'business sim' game. I'm planning to still finish it up during App-a-Day however and release it as the official #7 - it just won't be the 7th app actually submitted.

As for App #8, 'Spot the Bug', I am honored to be allowed to include music from the respected game soundtrack composer Matt Sayre. If you are working on games and need music, there is simply no one else to even consider going to - he's the best, without question! Take a moment to visit his home page and become more familiar with Matt Sayre and his awesome work:

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Review Codes Available

Like what you see here with App-a-Day? If you want to review the games, the project or just talk about it on a blog, site, radio show, TV show or whatever else that has some followers - let me know, tell me what the target is, and I'll set you up with review codes for all 30 apps as they are released.

Simple as that!

Send me an email at BahamutZaero (@) Gmail (.) Com

(Sorry the for email chop-up... gotta fight those email sniffing robots somehow!)

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

App-a-Day Slowing Down for a Little Bit...

Well, looks like I need to slow down the App-a-Day project a little bit, simply for the reason that I've been able to score some contract work and a potential job, and need to make sure those all go through smoothly.

I've got no intentions at all however of stopping 'App-a-Day'... I just won't be trying to finish and release an app in a single day. Instead, I'm going to create an app over a course of a day or two (or three), but still never take more than a total of 4 - 5 hours producing it over that time. This way I can still get App-a-Day completed with all 30 apps under something close to the original guidelines, and make sure I can do things like eat and pay my rent. ;)

Here is a preview of what's to come....

App-a-Day 7: Burgerwar
App-a-Day 8: (Unnamed Ladybug Themed Puzzle Game)
App-a-Day 9: (Unnamed Tower Defense Game with Farm Animals)
App-a-Day 10: Brew (Name might change.... a unique "solve the problem" game involving coffee)

Moving forward as always - here we go!

Tic-Tac-Bacon and Pegburner in the Apple App Store!

In what must be legendary, epic speed for App store release (as I've always heard it takes over a month for release), both Pegburner AND Tic-Tac-Bacon were released today in the Apple App Store!!

Check them out at these direct iTunes links:


Pick up one, pick up both - you're sure to love them! Tic-Tac-Bacon is classic Tic-Tac-Toe against a computer using Bacon and Fried Eggs, and Pegburner is a fast and frantic game where you have to tap the numbered pegs in order before the fireball and turn them to dust.

Check them out!

Oh, and while you're here, feel free to sign up for the App-a-Day Mailing list over on the right side of this page to keep up to date on everything App-a-Day as I progress through this project.

Monday, June 22, 2009

App-a-Day #7: Burgerwar

Ready for the tastiest war ever? Prepare to duke it out in a town where fast food joints were illegal - until a recent vote overturning the legislation. Now all the big companies want to be 'the' burger chain in town! Choose a chain and do some micro-management to take over and make your company the top. Purchase the competitors shops and turn them into yours, and dream of the day where every street corner has your chain!

And there we have it. I made a small strategy game with micro-management as an 'App-a-Day'. First off, you may be wondering what happened to Saturday? More job interviews! Yay for me, bad for App-a-Day, as the ones I've been doing are very long - and apparently also on weekends. I'm happy, though, as I think my search for a job is nearing a conclusion.

Anyway! App-a-Day #7 is ready for the app store. I'm exhausted, so I will post images and more data tomorrow. Until then - get ready for Burgerwar!!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

GardenGrow Released in Apple App Store!

Apple has approved their first app from the App-a-Day project - GardenGrow! Check it out and purchase this fun little sound-making / flower growing toy on iTunes here:

Saturday, June 20, 2009

App-a-Day #6: Ultimate Dungeon

Prepare to sharpen your sword and wear your... bacon? In the sixth app to come out of Dave Calabrese's "App-a-Day" Project, you become a mighty adventurer traveling through the strangest and most random dungeon ever!

While the game plays like an old-school text adventure, it is far from the norm. To play, you simply tap the screen. Your only decision - do I tap, or do I not? Do I risk continuing, which could lead to certain doom, or will it instead reward me with a plastic sword to fight with?

And the best part of Ultimate Dungeon is the Random Enemy Generator Code Thingy! You will almost never fight the same enemy twice thanks to a highly advanced and incredibly well thought out generator that tosses some dice and splices together a random enemy name. You will find yourself doing battle with enemies such as the Handdrawn Video Game Artist of Unfortunate Secrets using nothing more than an Old Gym Sock and some Wool Mittens.

Thanks to Partner's in Rhyme for the free sounds!

Royalty Free Music and Sound Effects Download the music and sound effects you need for your multimedia project today at Partners In Rhyme.

Thanks to Kevin MacLeod for the free music! Find more of his fantastic work here:

Friday, June 19, 2009

Missed a Day - For Good Reason!

Okay, I can legitimately say I missed today - though I didn't exactly spend it just sitting around. I've had job interviews all day, so I've been slammed with those. I've still got App-a-Day 6 half finished from last night, and I know what App-a-Day 7, 8 and 9 are going to be, so I'll get those cranked out asap! And I can say right now that one of them is a tower defense game... I promised myself I would manage to make a tower defense game in a day during this project, and damnit - it's gonna happen!

Keep following - lots of good stuff still to come!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

App-a-Day #5: Trounce

Prepare to save the town - with nothing more than your finger.

The demon hordes have started invading! The town of Midville is poor, weak and... well, let's face it - really really whiny. They have prayed to you for help, you, their savior - THE MIGHTY FINGER!

As the demon hordes move towards the town, use your finger to squish and crush them, stopping them cold. Since the town is just so frail, any demons that reach it will do heavy damage, so watch the damage meter. When it runs out, it's game over!

And be careful with that finger - supply carts will occasionally come in and restock the town, restoring some of its damage meter, so don't crush them!

This was a last-second idea that seemed just cute and small enough to pull off. I honestly skimped on the art for this, drawing some real quick chicken-scratches in Photoshop, just so I could get it pushed out quicker. In the end I think it's still a fun game. Check it out, and see how high of a score you can get against the demon hordes while saving the whiny Midville!

Thanks to Partner's in Rhyme for the free music, and to Bryan Todd's "Gearheart Studio" for the sound effects!

Royalty Free Music and Sound Effects Download the music and sound effects you need for your multimedia project today at Partners In Rhyme.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

App-a-Day #4: Tumblecaps

App-a-Day 4 got to be rather interesting. You may have noticed it's a bit late - by almost 2 days! So what happened? On Sunday I was working on a new game and got quite far in it. However, by Sunday night, I realized that the game needed a bit more 'oomph' to really have the quality and fun bar that I was trying to reach in that really short amount of time. So, I opted to push it forward into Monday. As I worked on it Monday, I realized I had a game with quite a lot of depth - though it would need a few days more work to really be solid. So, already a day late, I opted to shelve that game and return to it after the App-a-Day project so I can have a few days to complete it.

Monday night I sat around thinking, "I want to do a game with bottlecaps". After about an hour of staring at pictures of bottlecaps and at my wall (the wall gives me game ideas), I came up with Tumblecaps.

Tumblecaps is a frantic fast-paced game where you have to tap like-caps to create chains, then tap a different cap to turn in the chain and start a new one. The bigger the chain, the more the multipler. But you have to be fast - the Soda Bar at the top of the screen is constantly draining, and only refills when you turn in a cap chain. As you progress and your score increases, the draining of the Soda Bar becomes faster and faster! Try and store big chains and collect them when you need them, and stock up on hourglasses which slow down the Soda Bar for 4 seconds, because as when it gets fast, it moves REALLY fast!

My best score so far is 29,100. Who can beat me? Reply to this with your scores and photos of the score screen!

I feel this app has a lot of potential. This is one of the ones I am really looking forward to revisiting after App-a-Day and put a few days of polish on and rerelease it, probably as "Tumblecaps 2" or something.

Thanks to Partner's in Rhyme for the free sounds and music!

Royalty Free Music and Sound Effects Download the music and sound effects you need for your multimedia project today at Partners In Rhyme.

Monday, June 15, 2009

App-a-Day 4 - Still Working on It

After getting a good ways through App-a-Day 4, I realized I really wanted to add a lot more into the game than was already there, or I had time for in a single day. So I said, what the heck, I'll finish it up tomorrow (Monday). No big deal, just means I'll have to do 2 apps in one day at some point to make up for it. Anyway, this extra effort will give this app some extra polish, art and more gameplay, so I think it's worth it!

On another note, I'm getting notification from Apple that they are reviewing my apps already! Had one small issue they wanted fixed in Tic-Tac-Bacon, which I've fixed and resubmitted, so hopefully it won't be long now until everyone can start playing the App-a-Day line of... well, apps!

Until tomorrow!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

App-a-Day #3: Pegburner


The third App-a-Day from my insane project has been submitted to the app store! This time around we've got a fast-paced arcade action game called Pegburner. The rules are simple: Tap the pegs in their numbered order before the fireball burning the pegs catches up with you! Tap them out of order or let the fireball burn a untapped peg, and it's game over!

I think this app is my favorite so far... it's really really addictive. I hope you all feel the same way when it's released in the app store!

Thanks to Partner's in Rhyme for the free sounds and music!

Royalty Free Music and Sound Effects Download the music and sound effects you need for your multimedia project today at Partners In Rhyme.

Friday, June 12, 2009

App #2: GardenGrow

Second day, second app - time to go green!

This small entertainment application was conceived by my girlfriend, who is actually quite supportive of my attempts to drive myself insane through programming and Application development. It is a very simple idea - you press buttons on the screen causing notes to be played and flowers grow. That's it! When I was finished developing it and sat back to play with it and test it, I realized it was actually kind of addicting. It's always the simplest ideas that seem to be the most addicting!

For this app my girlfriend developed most of the art, and the audio was developed by my good friend, PR agent and audio engineer, Bryan Todd. In terms of actual programming, this one clocked in at about an hour and 20 minutes (1:20).

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Keeping Track of the App-a-Day in the App Store

Since nothing I submit to the Apple App Store will go through right away (as Apple takes some time to thoroughly review everything before releasing them), I will be marking the status of each app on the "30 Days of Apps" menu on the right side of this page. Once an app is officially released, I will make the name of the app be clickable to link directly to the app page so you can purchase it and check it out! Each app will cost .99, meaning it won't cost anyone more than $30.00* (plus tax) to support my insanity.

Here's to the first app out the door - and only 29 to go!

* I realize that each country's "Tier 1" pricing is a little bit different, so while it is .99 cents in America, it may cost something else in another country. Regardless, all of the App-a-Day apps will be 'Tier 1', which is the cheapest tier available from Apple in the App Store for all countries in the world.

App 1: Tic-Tac-Bacon

Okay! After a shaky start with some weird engine problems, we're officially a-go for launch (or... erm... release)!

The first app is a small remake of a classic game - something to get the ol' brain juices flowing. A remake of Tic-Tac-Toe... with bacon! Yup, the first app is a game called "Tic-Tac-Bacon". I didn't put much polish into this game... just got it working and stable. Took about 3 solid hours of programming and 20 minutes in Photoshop. After the 30 Day App-a-Day project, if this all works out nicely, I may come back and put some solid polish into these games and apps.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Bugs and Delays

Well, the first game actually is finished. I wrote it in about 2 hours, and it works great. Now however I've got a weird technical problem that I have never seen before, where the game refuses to load in anything except for Landscape mode. Looks like it could be a bug in iTGB, the game engine I am using, so I'm digging in to the engine now to see what's going on.

So technically I'm still on track, since I did write and finish the first app in a day - just a technical issue in my chosen framework is preventing me from going further. I'll post updates as they come - hopefully soon!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

The Rules

With a full (4 hour) night of sleep behind me, I'm thinking clearer and staring into the distance thinking,

"Did I seriously say I was going to do an app a _DAY_ for 30 days STRAIGHT?!"

Apparently, I did. No backing out of this now - let's do it!

Though I suspect a number of people are probably thinking, "He's been planning this for months and has a hefty collection of apps ready.", and, "He'll just make 30 fart applications."

Actually, I came up with this idea around 9:30pm last night, and I'm only allowed to make 1 farting application - and it must be in the form of a game. Wait, that sounds like a rule! Yup, I'm assigning a list of rules. Here they are....

1.) I am allowed to develop my apps using a pre-developed game engine. This will allow me to focus on just creative and small applications rather than framework every single day. For the apps that I develop using a game engine, which can and is allowed to be all 30, I will use GarageGames' iTGB game engine.

2.) All code programmed for this must be done on the day that the app will be submitted. I am allowed to use code snippets, however I must have programmed them at some point in time, and they cannot be a code snippet that makes up the entire app. For example, I may use the MultiTouch code resource I posted to GarageGames, however I cannot use the TGB Adventure Kit.

3.) It is encouraged for me to create new art for each app, however I am allowed to use art that is either supplied to me by contributors, or acquired through stock art sites with a royalty free use agreement.

4.) Audio and music I am not required to make on my own - I can obtain those through contributors or royalty free use sites.

5.) Each application has to be relatively unique, both in terms of this '30 App Attempt', and in general for the app store. So making 30, or even one fart app, is discouraged - but if I can put a unique spin on it, like turning it into a game, then it is allowed - for just one day.

6.) If for any reason I miss a day, I don't lose the competition. This isn't a competition - it's an insane attempt!

7.) Each app can be of any scale - I don't need to develop an entire Silent Hill Mobile game each day, though it's encouraged to do one or two 'larger' apps that will take a bit more time.

8.) I may not accept actual app submissions from other people, however I can accept ideas.

There we go.... 8 rules that gives me a little leeway, and will also prevent me from just duplicating everything that's out there. Time to dig into the first app!

Monday, June 8, 2009

An App a Day - Day 0

What a long day this has been. A full day of work, an incredibly long evening, and now I, quite honestly, find myself struggling to make ends meet. Like nearly everyone in the world right now, I'm one of the many people who find themselves full of debt and lacking in the cash to pay it off. I've got my own video game development studio and sure, the company is doing fantastic – we've got projects coming in, great projects in production and a simply unbeatable team. But we simply aren't making any money yet. The company is new, and needs time to grow.
So this left me in a rather uncomfortable spot. Not like the back of a Volkswagen (3 points to anyone who gets the reference)... more like the back of a rusted out tank - bulky and awkward.
As I sat there pondering over my impending financial doom, I heard this odd little voice.

"Youse be one of 'dem cree-eh-teev types, though!"

After making sure no one had spiked my iced tea, I realized this was my conscience talking. I'm not sure why it was attempting to give me ideas - usually it would just warn me why not to pee in the cat's litter box, or why giving my girlfriend Peggle would be a bad idea (not because it's a bad game, more because she would never leave the house again because... well, let's face it. Peggle is “The Second Coming” awesome.)

Anyway... there I was talking to my conscience, who apparently has a bit of hick in him.

“Youse jus' gunna sit there when you be reckonin' all these fiiiine ideas?”

At this point my cats were staring at me a bit stranger than usual, most likely because I simply couldn't resist and had to ask it what it was talking about.


“A-yup, dat's me.”

“O... okay. Good. Um.... what... what exactly are you talking about (and why do you sound like you're from the Texas Chainsaw Massacre)?”

“Welp, youse got alll these ideas floatin' around in yer thick as lead skull, and youse just gonna sit there and mope 'cause yer biz-er-ness ain't hitting the multi-billions in a coupla monthes!”

“.... okay. And your point is?”

“Why dun you go and make a bunch-a things with them there ideas all quick-like?”

An odd proposition, especially coming from an imaginary figure. Though the thought certainly intrigued me.

“So... create many small ideas?”


“Like an idea a day...”

“Yu... wait, a day?”

“Perhaps an iPhone app a day.”

“Wait there now, hillbilly...”

“For 30 days.”

“..... okay, now ya jus' aren't listening to me and yer lettin' the crazy set in.”

“An app a day – for 30 days! That's it!”

I stand tall, nearly spilling iced tea everywhere and proclaim,

“I shall create an Apple iPhone App and submit it to Apple for approval by 11:59pm, every day, for the next 30 days.”

The cats stared blankly, my girlfriend gained a strange grin, and my conscience simply said,

“Boy, youse be crazier than a bag of strudel. I'm outta here.”

“On your way out, could you let my sanity know he can take a 31 day vacation?”

“I'm already outta here, duuude.”

I then wondered why my sanity had a surfer accent, but alas – it was too late. The madness had taken over, both my conscience and my sanity had fled for the hills, and the clocked ticked down on Day 0 until midnight, where the first day of “An App a Day” would begin.

I'm going to need a lot of coffee.