How Many Pages of Code in an Indie App?

I was curious! So I just finished my iphone/ipad app: Spider Prank. How much work had I actually done? I know I’d worked like a dog for almost a YEAR on nights and weekends. But how much code had I actually written?

Well, there was only one way to find out. I saved all my code as pdfs, then opened in photoshop and saved each page as a tif. Then using some neat Photoshop actions, I shrank the images down and tiled them. I basically made sprite sheets out of them.

The result?

424 PAGES of C# code that I had personally written.

A friend joked that I had written the Great American Spider Prank novel. She wasn’t far from the truth. When you’re deep in development it’s hard to tell how much work you’re actually doing. There’s no such thing as ‘page count’ in scripting. And all your work is broken up into different classes of differing lengths.

But that’s a lot of writing!

Now granted, every page isn’t totally filled in. And it’s at least double spaced I’d say. But as a former screenwriter, I can safely say that I wrote the equivalent of at least 3 movies.

A few other notes– this is all the code that I wrote personally. But there’s a TON of other code in the app in the form of plugins I bought, cool license-free snippets I found online, and of course the huge C# and Unity3d libraries I built the whole thing on. So my code that you see below is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the bits in the game (gfx & sound aside).

Also I thought it’d be neat to highlight portions of the code to get a sense of how much code it took to create a specific result. In my app, I have a semi-intelligent spider that crawls around and reacts to swipes, gravity, taps etc. So in the code below, I’ve highlighted in RED all the portions that control the spider alone. All the rest is UI, photo import, saving/loading, localization etc etc etc. But the spider is quite a large chunk. Almost feels like peeking at a decrypted genome.

If you ever wanted a look at how much code goes into a little app, check out the code below and make sure to keep scrolling! If you’re a developer, how much code did you write for your game? I bet it’s more than you think!










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