Creating an app

by · October 30, 2017

Mount senior Mark Maino works on his gaming app, Fish Fights.

Recently, Mount Information Technology senior Mark Maino created his own app, Fish Fights, available in the Apple App Store, after discovering a passion for programming during a Mount course. We asked Mark to tell us a little bit about the experience and what made him want to create an app.

Mark: “It all started when I got an iPod Touch while I was in high school. I would download a lot of games on it from the App store. Much later, in my sophomore year of college at the Mount, I took a programming course that made me love coding. At this point, I knew I wanted to make an app for an Apple device, similar to the ones I’d been playing for the last several years of my life, so in my junior year, I started working on my first app known as Fish Fights.

My app is a combination of the many types of tutorials I found online that were made for beginner programmers. The application I had to use to make the app is called xCode, and the language I used is called Swift, which I learned by watching online tutorials. By spring semester of junior year, I had a mostly-finished application. My app, which is a game, involves the user using one thumb to move a fish from side to side, while the other thumb fires bubbles at incoming enemy fish.

Mark Maino, Mount senior and creator of the app Fish Fights

Making the app didn’t just require programming skills. It also took my knowledge of Photoshop so that I could make the app look nice. By the end of the semester, I had learned a lot about how to program for Apple devices, but the app was still not completely finished; I wanted to add more. This summer, I added my own in-game currency known as shells. You earn shells by playing the game, and how well you do determines how many shells you get. With shells, you can purchase different looking fish, and a better bubble shot that has more range. Also, I added the Game Over screen, which has links to Facebook and the Messages app so that users’ scores can be shared easily.

After the app was finished, I just had to upload it to Apple’s site known as iTunes Connect, where I added what a potential user sees on the App store, such as the app logo, description, and gameplay screenshots. Now that the app is in the App store, I can update it whenever I please. As for the future, I plan to get better at programming as I make many more apps for the App Store.”

A programming course at the Mount helped to make Mark’s app creation aspirations a reality. Mount Information Technology students are consistently encouraged to make real world connections with the information they’re learning in class through leading internships, trips to view IT infrastructure at companies like NPR, and mentoring opportunities through the Byte Knights Club. To learn more about the Mount’s Information Technology major, including a new concentration in Cybersecurity, click here.

Mark Maino, Class of 2018, is an Information Technology major from New Hyde Park, NY.