Published on November 27th, 2013 | by John
9 QUESTIONS FOR LUCAS ZANOTTO, MAKER OF IPAD KIDS APP DRAWNIMAL
His app DRAWNIMAL is a fascinating hybrid of the analogue and digital world. It connects on-screen animation, learning and real drawing around the iPad. We asked Lucas 9 questions.
How did you become an app developer?
It started with an idea about an app. I got fascinated by it and wanted to hold this product in my hands. Bit by bit I started to enter the market, teaming up with people and developed the workflow.
How big is your team and how did you find it?
We are a part-timer team of 3 people spread over europe. The programmer Niels Hoffmann I met through a friend and Ulrich Troyer, the sound designer I knew already fro my childhood.
You recently moved to Finland. How is the app developer scene there?
It is very impressive how much is happening here in developer scene, considering how small Finland is. There are many very successful gaming companies and also many smaller startups.
How did you get inspired to develop DRAWNIMAL?
The idea was born while my daughter and I played with an alphabet book. This book showed us how to build an origami-animal out of a paper letter. I wanted to bring a similar analog and funny learning experience to our daily digital devices.”
What were the obstacles developing DRAWNIMAL and how long did it take?
I think overall we worked 2 months on it. The main obstacle was to find the right animals for the letters. We started with 4 languages and wanted to minimize the animations. So we had to find animals that worked for all the 4 languages and move them around the alphabet. We ended up to cover english, german, spanish and french with 32 animals. That was quite a task.
What did you learn from developing this app?
That it will take always at least 5 times longer then planed. We learned a lot about the workflow and can use now our knowhow on the following apps we are producing at the moment.
What tips would you give someone who is just starting out developing apps?
To make a good plan. To give yourself deadlines. Accept compromises. Don’t be to eager to launch.
What is your next project and how did you come up with the idea?
We will launch soon a children app where you can mix animals. It is based on a classic flip book. It will be full of lovely hand drawn animations. It will be funny and a very simple app with a little educational twist. The idea came again from some old school books. We did not find so far a version of this flip book on the appstore, which convinced us, so we wanted to try it out.
Finally, what app is most fascinating to you right now?
I just stumbled across the game Drei by Etter the other day and I am really impressed about the experience, design and the simple 3d in it.
Lucas was kind enough to also give some behind the scenes pics.