Local Windows app developer scores big with his sheepish game

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With technology becoming more and more prevalent nowadays, it’s become easier and easier to stay connected. Of course, human and social interaction also takes a backseat lately, with more and more addictive applications being released everyday.

Feel the need to explore the history of whiskey while you enjoy a good, strong scotch? There’s an app for that. How about a quick and enjoyable game that will provide weeks of entertainment? Try Jetpack Joyride then.

The thing is, there are very few local people in the industry that are making apps. Fortunately, we have Justin Southey, one developer who not only made a popular app, but a successful one as well that just netted him R50 000.

The Most Addicting Sheep Game, a rhythm challenge game that uses the woolly creatures, recently picked up top honours at the Microsoft’s Windows Phone Application Development competition after Southey retooled the Xbox indie game original for Windows phones.

 “It took quite a lot of redesigning to make the game look and feel at home on a touch screen, but the response has been so worth it and the developer tools that are easily available online are fantastically user friendly, which made the journey a simple one,” Southey said.

Launched by Microsoft to in order to make the local scene grow further with regards to marketplace content, the contest has since seen 70 new homegrown applications hit the market. “The Most Addicting Sheep Game” was a favourite among the judges for a variety of reasons,” says Microsoft’s Suliman  Noor-Mahomed.

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“Not only is it incredibly addictive but it is also a quality app, with the design, structure, multi-gestures, movement and sound all being seamlessly integrated.”

 Clifford de Wit, developer and platform lead at Microsoft SA, said that the contest helped drive home the fact that the South African developer market is far larger than people would actually estimate.

“The talent that lies within our borders is astronomical and we really can’t wait to see how local developers take advantage of a new platform, namely Windows Phone, especially now that Nokia has announced the Lumia”, De Wit said. “And Microsoft will be right there throughout, helping to market highlighted apps through various channels going forward.”

It’s always great to see something local come out of our borders, and hopefully, we’ll be seeing a lot more in the future.

Last Updated: February 13, 2012

Darryn Bonthuys

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