The Tangy Tingy Interview with Graham Ranson

Meet a developer, this week we meet Graham Ranson, MD of MonkeyDead Studios

This week's interview will be with Graham Ranson from MonkeyDead Studios
First, please take a moment to introduce yourself and MonkeyDead Studios.

My name is Graham Ranson, MD of MonkeyDead Studios based in Oxford, UK.
We are a small independent company focused on creating tools for game developers as well as mobile games and apps.

What is your role at the MonkeyDead Studios.
As the founder and only full time member of MDS my role is multi-faceted, I design ,create and publicise the products made. However I do contract in artists to help with game design and improving my stick men.

What is the size of the MonkeyDead Studios and would you want to introduce others?
Currently MDS is a relatively small business as it is still in the early stages of development however I would like to introduce more people into the team as MDS grows.

What is the Idea of the MonkeyDead Studios's business (self publishing, services, etc)?
As a recent graduate I wanted to start my own business as I had experienced other computer industry jobs and felt I wanted to be able to create something using my own ideas without the constraints of a 9-5 job.

What platforms do you develop for?
Currently I am focused on the Corona SDK so am only developing for iOS and Android and for the foreseeable future will go wherever Corona goes. Lime would be great on desktops so would love to see Corona go that way.

How many Apps have you/MonkeyDead Studios published
Currently I have five apps in the App Store and three in the Android Market Place. However two of these are branded duplicates.

What was your flagship app that you think brought you/MonkeyDead Studios to the limelight?
No pun intended but it would be Lime. Lime itself is fairly well known now in the Corona community, however I am not sure how well known myself or MDS are as a result.

Which is your favourite app amongst all your apps?
If I have to choose an App then it would be Airsoft Helper as I made it in 24 hours however if I can broaden that to “products” then Lime would definitely be my favourite. It has been the most fun to develop and has been the most rewarding for both myself and all the developers currently using it.

What is your favourite app that you have not created?
Does Google Search count?

What is your favourite device (Computer & Phone) and why?
Currently I am using a MacBook Pro 13” so that would be my favourite computer and I have been using an HTC Hero for 2 years so that would now be my least favourite phone. My favourite will be whatever I get next. Hopefully the HTC Sensation.

Can you tell us a little bit more about Lime?
Lime allows developers to include Tile Based maps, created in Tiled, in their iOS and Android games with ease.

It also allows for easy camera movement, integrates with the Corona physics engine with ease as well as simplifying a lot of other aspects of level development at the same time.

What was the inspiration for the app?
A user asked on the Corona forums if it was possible to create a level editor and as this was something I had been thinking about developing for a while I listed a few ideas I had. I then started developing a proof of concept prototype which was getting some interest so decided to go full speed with it from then.

What are the main categories your apps are in? (Games/Utilities/etc)

Do you advertise for any apps you have published? What was the outcome/results?
I have only ever done word-of-mouth stuff like posting on related forums which has been fairly successful. Lime was included in a press release by Ansca Mobile, the creators of the Corona SDK, when I initially started selling it but as I have no other numbers to compare it to I can’t say how successful it was.

When did you start development?
I started Lime in early November 2010 and had the first proof of concept working within a few hours.

How did you get into Development? What attracted you to this?
My father is a programmer so I have always been around computers and always loved computer games so it’s all I’ve ever really wanted to do.

What is your favourite programming language?
Currently I am really enjoying the simplicity and flexibility provided by Lua. Before starting with Corona, and thus Lua, I really enjoyed using C#.

Do you believe in the giving back code to the society to help aid development
Yes, I actively help out people in the Corona community and have submitted various bits of code to the Ansca Code Exchange.

Do you have any GitHub repositories or OpenSource or code repos?
Not currently no.

What do you do other than Development?
I enjoy playing games, watching moves and reading.

What is your method of commute? (Bike, Train, Car, Walk)
Well I work from home so it’s walking. Sometimes I get a ride on a wheely chair.

So what is next in the pipeline for MonkeyDead Studios
I am currently working on a couple of games, one a lot further along than the other as well as a few secretive tools however the main thing is still to focus on Lime as it will never be truly finished.

What advice would you give to other developers out there?
Go download the Corona SDK and get coding. Make something, submit it. Then work out what went well and do it again.

Would you want to provide your contact details if any one would want to get in touch with you/MonkeyDead Studios
Sure, I am @GrahamRanson on Twitter and MDS is @MonkeyDead. I can also be reached pretty much night or day at

Thank you for your time, we appreciate your participation
It was my pleasure!


Post a Comment