The following is the backstory behind our newest app, presented by NOMAD’s cofounder/co-owner/COO, Reuben Simonson:
A couple years ago, when my daughter was old enough to start mashing on an iPad, any frugality I applied to app purchases went right out the window. I dished out dollars for any app that looked like it would even remotely appeal to her. This wasn’t just to keep her occupied so that I could read a book or watch TV in peace. I really enjoyed discovering new apps with her and sharing in the wonderment of interactive games. It was something we could do together, that didn’t even require talking, as she was too young to communicate much that way.
The app selections were pretty thin, and I would even ask around to other parents if they had any recommendations. Often an app looked appealing, but would have a too-complicated menu system, ads, or in-app purchases.
Not long afterward, one member of our NOMAD development team thought it would be a good training exercise for some of our junior staff to make a simple kids app. I jumped at the suggestion, remembering the scarcity of good toddler apps. We decided to use the Playmaker plugin for Unity, and soon all of our junior staff members and interns were immersed in the NomNomNom Nomad project. They learned 3D modeling, texturing, game logic, and even hard lessons such as the repercussions of sloppy design.
The game took a lot longer to create than we had hoped, but it was finally released in December of 2014.
Word still hasn’t spread very far about “NomNom“, but I’ve been very gratified to see how kids react to it. During a family holiday gathering, I asked my sister if my niece had tried it. She hadn’t, so my sister downloaded it and let my niece try it on an iPod Touch. An hour later (I had forgotten about the game), I noticed my niece was still very engaged with the app. This was particularly encouraging, and I hoped we hadn’t made it too engaging…
We’ve heard similar positive reports from other parents and grandparents. In fact, our senior staff member, who had the training exercise idea in the first place, has an autistic son who loves NomNom and plays it often.
NomNomNom Nomad has been a great ride, a huge learning experience for our team, and hopefully will make for some quality app time for both toddlers and parents who want to discover along with their child. Play along with us! Leave us some app store reviews of the game, or email us your thoughts directly. We’d love to hear what you think.