Archive for May, 2010

Memorial Day

Monday, May 31st, 2010

When I was growing up in Southern California, our family would gather every Memorial Day. I didn’t understand until much later why it was such a big deal to us. Lots of families have grandparents who lived through World War II. But my family, being Japanese-American, had a particularly complicated experience during the war.

My father was just a toddler when the war broke out. But soon after Pearl Harbor, American suspicion towards anyone Japanese (even if they were born and raised in America) was so high that the government decided to intern people of Japanese descent in internment camps. My dad’s family lost everything when they were forcibly imprisoned by the American government. But even after they went through all that, his uncles volunteered to fight for the US. One of them, Kaz Masuda pictured above, died while charging a German machine gun nest in order to give his men a chance to escape. He was 25 years old.

So every year, we would gather to honor our relatives who fought in the wars. They intrinsically understood how deeply flawed America could be, but still chose to risk their lives defending it. It’s something worth remembering.

No Brazilian (or Korean) Games

Friday, May 28th, 2010

A reader commented in my last post that I’m not the only one having problems selling apps in Brazil (and apparently South Korea). It seems that both those countries don’t allow games to be sold without going through their games approval board. Since Apple has its own approval process, apps don’t go through Brazil or South Korea’s game approval board and so apps that are games aren’t normally available there.

Some companies try to get around this by categorizing their apps as “Entertainment” instead of “Games” and that’s what I’ve tried to do for Mach Dice. I’ll let you know if that works.

No Brazilian Mach Dice

Wednesday, May 26th, 2010

Someone in Brazil was kind enough to email me that they wanted to buy Mach Dice. Sadly, for some reason, Mach Dice wasn’t available on the iTunes Store there. I’ve followed up by emailing customer support at Apple but now I’m a bit concerned. Are my apps missing from other countries?

If you happen to live outside the United States, would you mind clicking on this link and seeing if you see all four of my iPhone and iPad apps? You should see something like the image above. Thanks!

Lost Finale

Monday, May 24th, 2010

OMG, can you believe last night’s finale?!?

Actually, I haven’t seen it because it hasn’t aired yet. Or, rather, it hasn’t aired yet for me because I’m writing this on Sunday afternoon. So here are my spoiler-free predictions for the finale:

  • Lots of people are going to die.
  • If there are any minorities left, they will heroically die first.
  • No matter how it ends, lots of fans are going to be unsatisfied.
  • I’ll probably still like it anyways.
  • The last line will either be, “Welcome … to Fantasy Island!” or “Gilligan, is that you?!”

I know I’m going out on a limb with some of these predictions, but man, that would be so awesome if my last one was true.

Grilled Cheese Sandwich + Spaghetti Sauce = Pizza

Friday, May 21st, 2010

For some inexplicable reason, my wife gets very dubious whenever I’m in the kitchen. But the other day, I was in there and had a culinary epiphany: a pizza is a pastry product topped with cheese and tomato sauce.

A pastry product with cheese? Sounds like grilled cheese sandwich to me. And tomato sauce? I’ve got a whole jarful of spaghetti sauce where tomato is the first ingredient. Therefore, grilled cheese sandwich + spaghetti sauce = pizza.

Of course, you can’t just put spaghetti sauce in a sandwich. It’d be way too messy. (I found that out the hard way…) You have to put the spaghetti sauce in a bowl and use it like a dipping sauce. It also helps to cut the grilled cheese sandwich into sticks for easier dipping, too.


Wednesday, May 19th, 2010

On of my friends made a puzzle game, PowerUp!. It looked neat so I downloaded the free trial version, which only has the easier levels. But it was so much fun that I went and bought both the full iPhone version and the iPad version.

If you’re into puzzle games like Sudoku or Nicoli type pencil and paper games like Slitherlink or Yajilin, this game is for you! It involves rotating tiles to light up all the tiles on the grid. That’s all there is to it. But it gets incredibly challenging at the higher levels, especially with wrapping turned on. And games typically last 5-10 minutes, so it’s perfect for a short break. Check it out on iTunes!


Monday, May 17th, 2010

One of my friends (Asaki Oda, of Loco Roco Nursery fame) has a younger sister, Kazuha Oda, who started a band in Japan called Kazha. The band is doing their first tour in America and started off in the Bay Area so a group of us went and saw her this weekend.

They were playing as part of the Asian Heritage Street Celebration. The other bands were good, too. But Kazha really went all out and it was tons of fun! So if you happen to be in any of the following cities, check them out:

Breakup After Sex

Friday, May 14th, 2010

Dear Mach,

Why do guys wait until after having sex to break up with women?

Perplexed in Preoria

Dear Perplexed,

I write iPhone apps, people! Okay, I also do visual effects work in the computer graphics industry. But what the heck do I know about relationships?! I’ve only ever had one girlfriend and then we got married. So breakups are not something I have much experience with.

But since you asked … I dunno. Guys like sex and it seems like they’re a lot more likely to get it before breaking up than afterwards, amirightoramiright? Haha… Seriously, though, I think it has something to do with intimacy issues. Guys aren’t really good about opening up and talking about their true feelings. So perhaps physical intimacy leads guys to confront the issues in their relationships that they were theretofore suppressing, thence leading to the breakups.

My advice? If you’re in a relationship with a guy and you think there are problems, train him to suppress his emotions by pretending to fall asleep and snoring loudly after sex. “But Mach, what if he says to me, ‘Honey, we need to talk about our relationship’?” No. This is not a thing you have to worry about. No guy will ever say this.


Have an iPhone question? Feel free to email me and I might answer in a column like this! Heck, I’ll probably answer non-iPhone related questions, too.

Revenue vs. Ads vs. Visitors

Wednesday, May 12th, 2010

I’ve used up my $100 credit from Google towards AdWords and at the end of it all, it doesn’t look like it made much of a difference, if any.

The chart shows roughly what my revenue has been per day for the last couple months (which also shows why I’m just doing this as a hobby — can’t quit the day job on $20-$30 a day!). That’s the red line. The green line is how many visits my website gets. And the yellow shows my little ad campaign over the last week or so.

A couple of observations: There’s some between revenue and visits as I suspect a number of people buy my apps and visit my website once out of curiosity. (Welcome, new visitors!) Occasionally, my website will get significantly more traffic if something I post gets picked up somewhere (like the Loco Roco Nursery by Joystiq or my Iron Man video by StumbleUpon). But those visitors rarely buy my apps because they just happen to be here for that one thing. The other observation is that ads don’t seem to make a difference, at least not the way I was using them. I think people tend to buy apps more based on what their friends suggest or based on reviews and articles.

Here Be Dragons

Monday, May 10th, 2010

Well … one dragon, anyways. My goal when I started playing We Rule on the iPad was to get to level 20 and build a dragon den. I managed to do that over the weekend so now I’m going to be playing a lot less frequently. But if you’d like to see what a dragon looks and sounds like in the game, check out my kingdom. My username is “MachWerx”.