App developer's game an overnight hit

CLAIRE ROGERS
Last updated 05:00 16/01/2013
App developer David Frampton
Fairfax NZ
UNEXPECTED SUCCESS: David Frampton’s iPhone app The Blockheads has been downloaded almost two million times in five days.

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A Hawke's Bay iPhone app developer has struck the big time a second time, with his latest game topping charts and reaching two million downloads in five days.

David Frampton's game The Blockheads was the top-ranking free iPad app in the United States and seven other countries yesterday, and the No 3 free app in the US iPhone charts after peaking at second place.

As of last night, the game had been downloaded by two million iPhone and iPad owners since its release on Thursday.

The Blockheads, which is free to download but lets players buy items in-game to progress faster, sees players use "Blockhead" avatars to explore a randomly generated world, and mine, craft and build increasingly sophisticated resources.

Mr Frampton's first game, Chopper - a helicopter game - was also a huge success, reportedly earning him US$4000 (NZ$4762) a day at one point, allowing him to buy a house with the proceeds.

The game and its successor, Chopper 2, have now been downloaded about 2.6 million times.

Mr Frampton, originally from Wellington, said The Blockheads was "the game I've always wanted to make.

"About 10 years ago when I started developing I imagined this game where you manipulated people like The Sims, but in a cross-section of the world. You start in a world with basically nothing and you have to find flint and craft tools and evolve up to iron and steel."

Most reviews of the game so far had been "extremely positive".

He had copped some flak about its similarities to another game called Minecraft - from which he drew inspiration - but that was probably due to similarities in graphics, he said.

Other developers had promoted The Blockheads in their own apps, which had been a big help in getting its name out there, he said. "It's been amazing. I had no idea it was going to do this well."

He had no plans for new games, and for the next while would add content to The Blockheads.

His 1-year-old son, Thomas, was also a Blockheads fan. "He recognises the icon and makes this noise; it's kind of cool."

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- The Dominion Post

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