Apps games

WWDC 2022: Meet Indian developers building world-class apps and games

Since the early 1990s, India’s technology sector has grown by leaps and bounds. While some like Infosys, Wipro and others have turned into big corporations employing millions of people not only in India but also across the globe.

With the changing times, Indian tech companies have branched out to tap into new opportunities such as games, animation, and productive applications. And, these have actually been instrumental in overcoming the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic.

With the sudden lockdowns, people have had to make do with basic laptops and smartphones to attend meetings. Also, with long working hours, people needed a distraction from all the agony of rising Covid-19 cases and deaths. And, there was also a need for productivity tools to stay focused on work.

Here are two small independent development companies – Lucid Labs and M Square Labs – coming to play. They have developed interactive games and productive apps to improve people’s lives not only in India but across the globe.

Ahead of Apple’s World Wide Developers Conference (WWDC) 2022 on June 6, DH had the opportunity to interact with the talented founders of the iOS development company, and here are their stories.

Possessions (by Lucid Labs)
Lucid Labs, a seven-member team is led by Chirag Chopra and is based in Delhi. With an inclination for animation quite early in his growing up years, Chirag did a master’s degree in game design.

Prior to Possessions, Lucid Labs had developed “Stay, Mum,” a heartwarming game about a single mother caring for a son. And, the team has also developed ‘Roto’, a minimalist gameplay accompanied by a neat art style that will test players’ reflexes.

Chirag Chopra, Founder and Creative Director, Lucid Labs. Credit: Apple

With more experience, they worked on the Possessions pet project in 2017. They were able to complete and publish on Apple Arcade in 2019 and instantly gained worldwide recognition.

It is the first and only indie game available on the Apple Arcade platform. The Possessions is a simple and refreshing 3D puzzle game about perspective and spatial awareness.

In the game, users will have to look at various objects from different angles through their Apple device until they appear to fit, while learning the story of a family inhabiting the house. In the background there is soothing music, which relaxes the mind.

The Possessions is a wonderful concept that not only provides a distraction from the mundane routine, but also with an augmented reality feature, it makes you move around the house, thus getting a good physical exercise.

Chirag thanked the Apple experts at App Accelerator for their valuable feedback and for sharing technologies and tools to refine the game’s user interface, which is very important for users to come back to the app regularly. .

At first, Possessions was just a basic version of the game, but with the help of Apple experts, Lucid Labs was able to incorporate AR features to make the game more physically engaging and immersive.

Possessions developed by Lucid Labs

It should be noted that Apple does not offer monetary support during the development phase, but gives developers access to the latest tools and allows free interaction with experts to make it a world-class application. And if the game is good, the creators have the opportunity to submit the entry for Arcade, and there they get monetary benefits. This can be used to build a bigger team and explore new creative projects.

Lucid Labs already has two new creative games – Bloom and Mellow – in their pipeline.

Chirag shared some details about Bloom with DH. The game is about a girl and her dog. The former only eats berries and players must solve puzzles to find the hidden berry.

And, Mellow is a de-stressing game and here too users have to solve puzzles. Here there will be no blood or gore to advance to the next level, users can play in relax mode.

If things go according to plan, both games should be released exclusively on Apple’s App Store in the third quarter (July-September), Chirag told DH.

Chirag and the team have a vision to break into the high octane AAA gaming scene and compete with major publishers such as Epic Games, Krafton and others.

Here is the trailer for the Possessions game app:

Tasks: to-do lists and planner (by Mustafa Yusuf)
An alumnus of VIT (Vellore Institute Technology, Mustafa Yusuf is a brilliant engineer. He created a feature-rich application VIT Academics, so that his fellow college students can access attendance and grades, to ensure that they can maintain the average required to attend final exams Students I loved it and the app has had over 10,000 downloads.

Mustafa Yusuf. Credit: Apple

After graduating, Yusuf got a taste of fame with apps, wanted to improve his skills and got a chance to work in app development start-ups – and SignEasy.

In 2018 he got married and his wife wanted to learn English. As a developer, he thought of creating an easy-to-understand language app and called it Lingo.

This is a basic application where children and adults learn English in the easiest way possible.

Yusuf’s Lingo is a paid app (Rs 499) and users will be able to learn through interactive quizzes, illustrations, worksheets and stories. Users can instantly track their progress with reports and review responses to improve their language skills.

Lingo: Pocket English School on Apple App Store (screenshot)

Impressed by the success, Yusuf came up with an innovative app idea – Tasks, which provides users with a simple work tracking platform to conceive an idea, work on it and complete the project, like clockwork.

Unlike generic task apps, which feature rudimentary checkboxes, Tasks offers a simple and colorful user interface. Additionally, users can add and remove columns with options to add notes and subtasks in a single screen frame. Users do not need to scroll down or swipe the right or left side of the screen to see a particular column.

Yusuf developed the Tasks app in two months and with the help of experts from Apple App Accelerator, he was able to refine the app by improving the user interface and making it visually appealing.

The full-fledged Tasks app debuted in June 2020. It gained instant recognition around the world and was also featured in the productive category of the Apple App Store.

Overwhelmed by the worldwide success of the Tasks app on the Apple Store, Yusuf quit his job and became a full-time freelance iOS developer in Mumbai.

Recently, he created M Square Labs with a team of six people.

Tasks app. Credit: Apple

The Tasks app is a freemium service, users will be able to create two project tasks for free, but to add more, users need to subscribe to an annual plan of Rs 1,799 in India ($14 in global markets). There is also a Lifetime Plan (Rs 4,499) and other lucrative rates for families.

Yusuf is working on a new Expense app, which lets users track their monthly expenses. And, it can be used to plan our expenses while traveling.

Another use case is for young parents with limited income; they can track the expenses incurred for the care of the baby and synchronize all the bank statements to have a clearer picture of the expenses for the newborn.

Regarding privacy, content stays on the device at all times and, with permission, it can be stored only in iCloud, which provides the ability to move data across multiple Apple devices.

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