Thursday, October 24, 2013

Android indie developer interview: Veaceslav Grec

Even though I've just started a new game project (see the previous post), I'm still planning to do interviews and publish them every week or two. Today, you'll have a chance to meet another developer and learn a couple of tricks from him. And if you're curious about my AndEngine experiment, just wait for the first report this weekend. Anyway, enjoy your time on the blog and take as much as you can for yourself.

Bartek: Tell us something about yourself. Who are you? Where do you live? What do you do in life?

Veaceslav: My name is Veaceslav, I am 26 and I live in Moldova. I have worked as a software tester for about 2 years, then I moved to development and now I'm working as an Android developer.

Bartek: When did your Android adventure start and how? Why did you decide to do it?

Veaceslav: It started about 2 years ago. I was working in software testing but with a strong interest toward programming. It was the middle of the spring 2011, when I attended an IT event. One of the topics on the agenda was called „Mobile and Game Development” (or something like this). I remember I was so inspired by the speaker, and mobile technology which I hadn’t even considered before. I left at the end of the talk, went home, downloaded the Android SDK, and started to make my way into Android world. I chose Android because I was already familiar with Java.

Bartek: How did you learn how to create apps?

Vaeceslav: I got started with the Marakana videos, official Android documentation, and The Busy Coder's Guide to Android Development book.

Bartek: What libraries/frameworks do you use?

Veaceslav: I use Sugar ORM for database related stuff, and ActionBarSherlock for backward ActionBar compatibility. For user interface related stuff I go to

Bartek: Where do you take app/game ideas from? How do you know if they have a chance to be successful?

Veaceslav: All of the apps that I currently have are variations of what already exists. I don’t have high expectations from them, they are simple apps and mainly made to test in short time how Android works and how the whole process of monetization works.

Bartek: Where do you get resources from (graphics, sounds, music)?

Veaceslav: Some of the graphics were done by me, and some from devianART. The sounds were taken from SoundFX Now and

Bartek: What other programming tools do you use?

Veaceslav: I started to use Genymotion emulator and I like it very much. Besides the fact that it has a higher speed compared to the emulator that comes bundled into ADT, it also supports Google Play Services. So, testing Google Maps API V2, or Google Cloud Notifications on the emulator, is not a problem. I also use SonarQube (formerly Sonar), a tool that gives you various indicators on the quality of the code.

Bartek: How long does is take you to make a single app?

Veaceslav: It depends. For example, the apps that I have now on Google Play took me from a few days to a few weeks, but they are simple apps. Currently I’m finishing 2 other apps, and one of them has been more than 1 year since I began to work on it, and another about half a year. Not because they are super complex, but because there’s little time to dedicate to them. As I have a full time job I tend not to take big projects, under these time constraints finishing a big project becomes a big challenge, and there’s a good chance that that a project could remain for a long time in the IDE never making its way to the finish.

Bartek: How much are you making on your apps?

Veaceslav: Well, I can’t say at this moment I'm making any decent earnings from the apps. What I can say is that I can raise the minimum amount to be withdrawn, in a few months. But when this happens, it gives me faith and proof that making money with Android apps is real.

Bartek: How do you monetize your apps? What ad networks do you use if any?

Veaceslav: I use AdMob and I'm looking to try LeadBolt in the next apps, as I have heard a lot of good feedback in regards to it.

Bartek: Which ones of your apps were the biggest success and which ones were below expectations? Why?

Veaceslav: I could mention Demotivators Creator which pleasantly surprises me to still bring downloads and gather positive reviews.

Bartek: Do you use any marketing techniques or ASO to promote your apps?

Veaceslav: Trying to follow the standards: good description including keywords, keywords in the title of the app, nice looking icon.

Bartek: What are your favourite Android games/apps?

Veaceslav: EnFile File Manager – a rich file manager with a clean user interface. Occasionally, I play chess, Marble Blast, and Angry Birds.

Bartek: What Android devices do you own?

Veaceslav: Samsung Galaxy Ace.

Bartek: What Android blogs/sites do you read regularly?

Veaceslav: I am subscribed to AndroidWeekly and Android Developers Blog.

Bartek: What are your plans for the future? What do you want to create/achieve?

Veaceslav: I want to finish the apps I’m working on now, and then update the existing apps (at least to modify them to use the new APIs). Till now I was experimenting only with apps, and 2D game development is the next thing I would like to try.

Bartek: What advice would you give to other developers (something that you wish you had known before yourself)?

Veaceslav: Don’t limit only to Google Play store, publish your applications on other stores as well. Perhaps they won’t bring as much downloads as Google Play store brings, but when putting them together they could drive your downloads. Here are several alternative stores: SlideMe, Amazon, Opera Store.

Bartek: Where can people find you on the Internet?

Veaceslav: My Android blog:
Google Play Developer page:

Veaceslav is making great Android tutorials, so make sure to check out his blog. Another interview is coming next week, with plenty of new tips and tools. In the meantime, I'm going to keep working on my game and I'll post a report this weekend. I'm excited to share my progress with you, so don't miss it.


  1. Found the Genymotion thanks to your blog and I love it! Much much faster than the built in emulator. The only downside is that I'm not able to scale the emulator down - devices with fullHD fill the entire screen in landscape.

    P.S. I love the interviews. ;-)

    1. Thank you for the nice words. I'm glad you found the interview useful. There's more coming, so make sure to come back in a while or simply sign up for the RSS or email updates.

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