I am very proud to announce this beautiful new iPad App for kids: Wee Rockets!

Why is this one so special?

Because it’s the first time one of my own ideas has come to life as a finalized product. The idea started when I bought this little rocket toy for my youngest son Arthur. It’s a wooden rocket that can be taken apart, and all the parts snap back together through magnets. This toy and the fact that rockets and space are just a very cool subject to work with, made me think about creating a small App for iPad that had to have rockets in it. And the target audience for my App are little boys (and girls) of ages 2/3 and up.

JARocket500x200

An idea is born!

After that I started creating some sketches on paper how the game should work. The main goal of the game would be building rockets with different combinations of rocket parts. The more parts, the more rockets are possible. And this should be easy to extend afterwards with new rocket parts. But only creating rockets is not enough, you should be able to launch that rocket you just assembled into space and fly with it. Everything must be easy enough that every child in the world should be able to do this without any instructions, because there is no text or voice anywhere in the app.

How did I build it?

I have a fulltime job as a developer at Nascom, so this is a free time project that I worked on in the weekend and evenings. At Nascom I already has some experience by creating applications like Bumba, Bumba in Afrika and Piet Piraat. These apps were targeted at small children and also built with the Cocos2d Game Engine.

I really like the Cocos2d Engine. It’s very powerful and you can quickly get something built that runs smoothly. It was also a very good excuse to experiment with things like particles, animations and parallax scrolling. I used some tools that helped me a lot during the development process. You can read more about that in my post: Must-have Tools for an iOS Game Developer.

I also had some excellent help from my 3 year old son Robbe who was always willing to test out every version of the App. I even had a very early version tested by his class mates and got some excellent feedback.

Why does it look so good?

I couldn’t create those stunning assets myself, so I teamed up with Paddy Donnelly who is a great designer but also has some pretty awesome illustration skills. Paddy created all the artwork and animations, and also the very lovely soundtrack of the game.

Where can I get it?

It’s available in the App Store. It’s not free, but I hope that the small fee to download this app won’t stop you from checking it out. We are open for feedback and are already thinking about the next release. Talk to us through Twitter or our Facebook page. One thing is already sure: there will be more different rocket parts to choose from in the next releases.

And remember: This is just a start!