Chris Luck is the CEO and Founder of Appiteks, a company that produces iPhone apps. Appiteks launched its first game in October 2012, Boomie vs. Pirates. Chris has had a passion for games since he was a little kid and is excited to have the ability to continue the dream of building games and placing them into the hands of millions of people all over the world.
MO: What made you interested in designing games? How did your background prepare you to start Appiteks?
Chris: My interest in designing games dates back to playing Atari with my dad. When I finished my chores and homework each day, we would fire up the latest game we’d rented and play non-stop until it was time for bed. It was one of the many ways I bonded with him. Growing up, my deepest passion was to build my own game company. With the rise of mobile devices, my passion is now possible to pursue.
For the past 12 years, I’ve been a self-made Internet entrepreneur. On that journey, two of my biggest strengths have been reverse engineering the competition, and then out-marketing them. I’ve spent two full years reverse engineering all the top games that have remained “legends” in the Apple Store, then positioned, planned, and built the foundation of m y game company, Appiteks.
MO: These days, everyone seems to be addicted to a game. What is your favorite iPhone game at the moment? What was your favorite game growing up?
Chris: Honestly, I don’t have a favorite game at the moment. At last count, I had 47 games installed on my iPhone. My favorite style of iPhone game is the kind that involves puzzles and real-life physics. My favorite game growing up, however, was “Super Mario Bros.,” which was released in September 1985.
MO: You have a passion to teach others. What would have been the most helpful for someone to teach you before starting this journey?
Chris: The most helpful advice I wish someone would have given me before starting this journey was to not hire anyone from freelance websites, like Elance and oDesk.
Everyone preaches that the future of building online/mobile businesses is to outsource as much as you can on websites like those. That’s exactly where I started, and I lost a year of development time and over $15,000 to people who appeared to be reputable, but were not.
That being said, I have my own method of finding rock star designers, developers, sound effect artists, and anyone else I need to build a successful app company. That, I know for a fact, very few people are doing! I look forward to teaching others that method – and much more – very soon.
MO: For other entrepreneurs venturing into the gaming industry, what is your best advice?
Chris: My best advice is to look before you leap. What I mean is, take time and survey the vertical you plan on entering within the gaming sector (i.e., puzzles, shooters, strategy, etc.). Where most people fail is by assuming that their game ideas are revolutionary or are going to be a monster hit; in reality, they could be a complete bomb, simply because they didn’t take the time to see if their concepts had already been tested and proven.
You see, with the app industry (and this goes for just about any business), it’s crucial to go where the competition is, not run away from it. If you run away, you’re running away from easy success. If you run toward it, you’re running toward proven success. This goes back to what I was saying about spending time reverse engineering your competition. It’s easy to do, and you can simply pick apart and out-market anyone, regardless of how big your team or company is.
MO: What have you achieved so far in your career that you are most proud of?
Chris: I’m proudest of completing my first game, “Boomie vs. Pirates.” It took a little over a year to develop, simply because of trial and error. I had to find great developers, designers, and sound effect artists. Most game developers build their first game very quickly, with little attention to detail and enjoyment, just so they can get it live on the Apple Store. These people dream of making millions of dollars.
I, on the other hand, took time to build my first game, to incorporate HD retina graphics, awesome characters, over 200 levels, lots of weapons, and ultimate fun that ranks right up there with “Angry Birds.” Very few, if any, game developers will take the time to do this. I did it because I have a deep-rooted passion for building games, and this is something I’ve wanted to do since I was 4. I refuse to bring anything less than the best to the market. I believe because of this dedication, “Boomie vs Pirates” already hit the Top 100 Charts in both Action & Puzzle Games on the iPhone in it’s first 24 hours.
MO: Looking forward, what are you most excited about for Appiteks in the next 6months?
Chris: I’m most excited about two things: 1) getting my first game, “Boomie vs. Pirates” on the top 10 charts on the Apple Store, and 2) opening up “Appiteks Academy” to teach people how to build their own successful app businesses from the ground up, like I’m doing.