Today we are celebrating a pretty big milestone. It has been a little over a year since we first launched Campfire Apps in September of last year! It is hard to believe that it has already been a whole year, and yet, sometimes it seems like we have had much more time than that. It has been an extremely rewarding and busy first year. Today we would like to take some time and revisit our biggest milestones with you all.
Last summer I left my job teaching Kindergarten to pursue app development with Shawn full time. I had no idea when I first started out where that would take me. It has taken me almost the entire year to get used to the idea that this is now my job and that the freedoms and flexibilities of working for myself are well-earned. We spent the summer of 2011 ironing out details of how we would work together, what we would work on, and under what company we would continue. Shawn was running a hobbyist app development company, Shawn’s Bits, and had released quite a few games / apps under that brand. When I came on, and we wanted to re-brand and create something that was “ours” we came up with the idea for Campfire Apps. It has been a year and I am still as in love with and excited about our brand, the name of our company, and what we stand for as I was the day we hashed out our idea. That’s a good feeling.
In October 2011, we released our first game, Henry’s Spooky Headlamp. This was a little bit of a whirlwind as this was not the first game we had planned on. The first game was going to be a learning game but as Halloween approached we found an opportunity to release a fun and themed version of our learning game idea to test out the waters. This was my first time designing and creating artwork for anything that the public was going to see = nerve-wracking! The game did exceptionally well and we are currently waiting on approval for a second, updated version of this game (you’ll be hearing more about that soon).
After putting out Henry’s Spooky Headlamp on iOS, we felt really great about the product and the whole series of ideas we had for the character. At that time we set a pretty lofty goal of getting three apps (including Spooky Henry) to market by the beginning of the new year. (What were we thinking??) As if that wasn’t enough to keep us busy, one of us (okay, maybe it was both of us) had the idea to start an after-school app development club at our high school alma mater Patapsco High School and Center for the Arts. We started in October meeting with about 10 kids after school once a week to teach them all about making apps and the business of apps. We called this club Patapsco APPlied Club.
The end of Autumn and Winter last year were crazy busy for us – and we loved every minute of it! We worked really hard to get two more apps to market by January: Henry’s Smart Headlamp and Henry’s Winter Headlamp, which were released about two weeks apart in November and December. In December we also started developing apps for the Barnes & Noble NOOK devices. It was a really great opportunity to reach more families with our games and we still love developing for NOOK and currently have 3 apps available.
During this time we were also working with our high school students on their first app. Together we were working on an app for the school to share good news, events, and important information. In February the students released their first app PHSConnect. This was very exciting and the group received a lot of great press about the club and their app. Immediately after finishing the app, we started work on a game with the students. This game would become Patriot Dash and was released in May at an awesome launch party.
This year has been awesome…and we are only half way through! We will be back on Wednesday with the rest of the journey to today. 2012 has been just as good to us as 2011 was, check back on Wednesday to read Part Two!