Side projects of side projects are taking over!

This month I released a Yahtzee game scorer and a Yatzy game scorer, both a simple Apps which use the Costs to Expect API, they are a little bit of fun and allowed me to test some ideas.

As per a lot of the Apps in the Costs to Expect service, the game scorers are Open Source, you are free to play around with them.

I have shipped lots of updates in the last few weeks and learned a lot about the new user experience, with something as simple as the scorers it is very easy to focus on the initial experience for new users.

The lessons I have learned are already starting to improve Budget, the next App in the Costs to Expect service.

Budget is not a simple App like Yahtzee, it is going to be quite involved, no ETA yet but I would like to have a Beta out well before the end of the year, it very much depends on how much time I have outside of freelance work and contracts.

Side project of a side project

I’ve been working away building the Costs to Expect Service for a while and we are starting to make some real progress, before I started work on the next app for the service I wanted to test a couple of small ideas, enter my Yahtzee game scorer.

I released v1.00.0 of the scorer on the 3rd of August, the initial usable version was released on the 21st July. I worked on it for an hour here and there and quite quickly got it to a point where I deemed it featured enough to get a v1 label, it isn’t done but when is anything?

Building the scorer was freeing, I quickly tested some ideas and designs without having to worry about conforming to the design on the main Costs to Expect App. I discovered a couple of bugs within the API and also created new routes on the API to deal with requirements unique to the Yahtzee app, I suspect if I had ‘added’ the scorer to the existing App I wouldn’t have come up with the same design.

Looking at the API from a different perspective has been worthwhile, it forced us to rethink, rather than have a monolith App that is capable of everything, we decided to break everything up. The API is the core of the service and we are now going to have smaller focused Apps that can more easily be designed for there intended purpose.

The current App is going to be slimmed down to expenses only, a budgeting app is in the works and Pro versions of both will come along some time next year.

There are going to be more side projects of side projects, we have a few in the works. They have to take a back-seat for now as I need to get on with building the Budgeting app and I’ve a freelance project or two coming up that will steal some of my focus.