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Anniversary Celebration – A New Game and a Sale!

We have some exciting news as we wrap our week-long anniversary celebration! We have a new app in the App Store! Well, technically it is an updated version of an older app. Just in time for our anniversary we are re-releasing Henry’s Spooky Headlamp!

Version Two is chock-full of updates – new artwork, an interactive new prize system, and a few spooky surprises! The new version is also optimized for Retina iPad and the brand new iPhone 5! You can download the game for iOS or learn more about Henry’s Spooky Headlamp. The game is a great deal at only 99¢!

However, the fun doesn’t stop there…

For one day only – Saturday – all of the other games in our Henry suite will be FREE! That’s right, to finish out our anniversary celebration Henry’s Winter Headlamp, Henry’s Smart Headlamp, and Henry’s Summer Headlamp will all be available for free download – TOMORROW! (Note: This sale applies only to the iOS versions of our games and does not include Henry’s Spooky Headlamp). We ask nothing in return except that if you enjoy one of the games, please consider leaving us a review in the App Store.

You can find all of the apps by visiting the following links:

Henry’s Winter Headlamp

 

 

 

 

Henry’s Smart Headlamp

 

 

 

 

Henry’s Summer Headlamp

 

 

 

 

Thank you so much for all of your support during our first year! It has been an amazing year and we are very much looking forward to the next year.

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Happy Anniversary to US! – Part Two

*This is a continuation of our post Happy Anniversary to US! – Part One. You can read that post to find out what happened during our first six months. 

During the winter, Shawn and I moved into a new house and office, hired two part-time employees Courtney & Connor, Shawn started a new job outside of Campfire Apps, and we started planning projects for the new year. It was a slow few months compared to the previous three in terms of app development, but it was nice to take time to settle in to new routines and a new space.

In the Spring we started work on Caddy2Go, our mini golf scorekeeping app, which is very near and dear to us. We released our first “app” (not game) in May, just in time for Memorial Day weekend and the start of vacation season.

We wrapped up our cycle with our app club, and quickly realized that this was something that other schools were interested in. We had interest for our Patapsco APPlied Club trickling in from about February until the end of the school year. Shawn and I thought this might be a good time to pursue our passion for education and working with teens a little more seriously. So we started the APPlied Club brand / company! We didn’t have a great idea of where this would lead us, but we knew that word was spreading about the work we were doing and that it was probably in our best interest to keep up! Over the summer we taught 2 workshops to groups of teachers about how to run an APPlied Club at their own schools. We are happy to share that, right now, we have 8 other schools participating in APPlied Club this year! We started meeting with our group at Patapsco last week and we are really stoked about the possibilities we are opening ourselves to.

Knowing that we might have some other clubs under our wings this year, we spent most of the summer working on curriculum and content for APPlied Club. We also spent time working on Henry’s Summer Headlamp, the 4th game in the Henry Suite, for iOS and NOOK. We also worked on a version of Henry’s Smart Headlamp for NOOK.

That brings us close to today…whew! We have spent the last few weeks working on an update to our very first app, Henry’s Spooky Headlamp. We submitted for approval to Apple and NOOK last week and hope to share the updates with you very soon. It was nice to go back and work on that app again, it feels like we have come full circle. Man, have we had a busy year!

If you had told me a year ago that we would have released 5 games / apps under Campfire Apps, 2 more with APPlied Club, and be running two companies – I would have laughed at you! Our jobs are so enjoyable, we wear many different hats and play many different roles with each of our companies, but the rewards are so plentiful. There’s not a day that goes by that we aren’t thankful that we get to live this lifestyle and enjoy working for ourselves. Sure, we are crazy busy, but we wouldn’t have it any other way.

It has been a wonderful year, thank you for joining us and supporting us in this adventure! To celebrate, we have a special announcement on Friday, stay tuned! In the coming weeks watch for a new version of Henry’s Spooky Headlamp (once again, just in time for the Halloween season) and our goals for this coming year.

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Happy Anniversary to US! – Part One

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!

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360iDev with the Campfire Apps team!

 

Our 360iDev Pals – Ray & Vicki Wenderlich and Brandon Trebitowski

On Sepetember 8th, the Campfire Apps team jumped on a plane and headed to Denver! We were there from the 8th through the 13th for the 360iDev conference. This conference is a place where iOS developers from all over the United States (& World) can come together for one week to learn new things, meet new people, and have a great time. We did a lot throughout the week, we even took a trip to the top of  the mountain, Pikes Peak, which is over 14,000 feet high.

 

Steph, Shawn, & Courtney – The Campfire Apps Team – at the top of Pike’s Peak

On Tuesday night, we participated in the 360iDev Game Jam. This was an awesome event hosted by some of the attendees of the conference. During the day on Tuesday we received a theme for the Game Jam – “Growth” – and after dinner settled in for an evening of programming, design, and all around fun. The Game Jam started around 7:00 pm and participants had until 9:00 am Wednesday to create at least a prototype of a game to share with the group Wednesday afternoon.

 

Our Game Jam table: Brandon, Shawn, & Courtney

Our game was (tentatively) called “Present Drop” and the goal of the game is to ‘grow’ a tower of gifts as tall as possible without knocking it over or losing too many gifts along the way. As you might have guessed, our game is also holiday-themed, which was a lot of fun. Here is a peek at what the title screen looks like for our game:

This was our first time participating in the Game Jam, and we will definitely be participating again next year! We had so much fun working quickly to get our game ready. It’s amazing what you can accomplish in such a short period of time when you just sit down and focus on it.

360iDev is an awesome opportunity for iOS developers to get together, talk shop and experience this amazing community. We have really been impressed the last two years that we have attended and have made a lot of new friends through this conference. We left the conference with so much inspiration, and so many new ideas! The Campfire Apps team has been brainstorming, so be on the look out for new goodies soon!

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Live from the 360iDev Game Jam!

The Campfire Apps team has been working diligently for the past 5 hours on an app for the Game Jam at the 360iDev conference in Denver. Our game for the game jam is “Present Drop” and it’s Christmas themed! Shawn has been working on the coding, while Stephanie has been designing the artwork for the game. Our goal is to finish the game tonight; or at least get it to be functional. Keep an eye out for more updates about the game, because it’s one that we hope to be releasing this winter.

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Henry’s Beach Friends

In case you missed our announcement earlier this week, we are hard at work on a new Henry’s Headlamp game!

This latest version will have a summer theme and will take place on the beach! (Does it get any better than that?) We already shared a sneak peek of what Henry will look like in the new game, but today we want to share a little more with you.

We are pleased to introduce some of the new characters that will appear in Henry’s Summer Headlamp:

 

Which is your favorite?

The new game will feature all of these great beach friends and a bunch of familiar summer hidden objects for you and your family to enjoy finding together! Stay tuned for updates about a release date for Henry’s Summer Headlamp!

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Henry Goes to the Beach!

Here at Campfire Apps, we see the change of seasons as an opportunity for change and a fresh look at things. The change of seasons is always so exciting and as a Kindergarten teacher, this meant time for new classroom decorations and thematic activities and projects. I don’t think I am quite ready to let that go yet!

We are very happy to share that we are working on a new themed project in the studio these days! Our beloved Henry (from most of our other games) is getting a fresh look for the summer.

Henry looks ready to hit the beach, what do you think?

We have been hard at work to make this new version of Henry’s Headlamp available to you as soon as possible. We are hoping that it will be released before the end of July! Until then, we hope you have enjoyed this little sneak peek of our friend Henry!

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Happy 4th from Campfire Apps!

4th of july celebration

The Campfire Apps team wants to wish all of you a Happy 4th of July! We hope that you have a safe and fun filled holiday with your family and friends!

 

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What Work is Like at Campfire Apps

I’ve been working for Campfire Apps since December, and the experience has been great. It’s taught me so much about deadlines, scheduling, etc., many things that I’ll need when I get out to the real world.

Working at the Campfire Apps Studio

Working for Campfire Apps has been a lot of fun! It’s a very laid-back environment and everyone on the team works together to finish whatever needs to be done. We’ve spent a lot of time together, working on apps, testing apps, writing blog posts, and much more.

The work must never stop! Working while on vacation in Ocean City.

Throughout this experience, and my APPlied Club experience, I’ve learned a lot about technology, and about myself. I’ve learned that technology can be the key to anything. It can help lead to careers, friendships, and much more.

As a team, we’ve done a lot together. We’ve taken a few trips together to test apps and work on our latest projects. We’ve also participated in a lot of community outreach, such as the Insquared Conference.

Shawn and I waiting to get into the Insquared Conference

And last, but certainly not least, we always make time for fun. Whether we’re out testing Caddy2Go for hours at a time, or having a friendly competition at the go kart track, we always find time to fit fun into our busy schedule.

Riding go karts in Ocean City

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Caddy2Go!

Our latest app, Caddy2Go, a mini golf scorekeeping app, is still available for free download in the iTunes App Store! We strongly encourage you to download it, use it, and give us feedback!

This is a great app for families and friends, especially during the summer months and we hope that you have as much fun using this app as we have. We’ve had multiple trips to play putt putt and test out our app ourselves, and we have had a great time doing so.

We hope that you will enjoy using this app as much as we have!

 

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