Aug 31

StoryZOT – A Mystery in 4 parts –

Part IPart IIPart III – Part IV

"Hello Sir, please take a seat; ZOT will be right with you. We just have a few questions for you before we process your application. Would you like a cup of coffee?"

"No thanks, I’ve had my double-espresso already. As for the questions, fire when ready."

ZOT: When you first heard about the StoryZOT, why did you decide to apply?

DEV 3: To get my app into more hands and allow the public a peak into the human behind the app (me). Plus it’s been fun to watch the comments with the insider info I’ve got

ZOT: If you were to tell the readers the upside and downside of being part of a StoryZOT process, what would you say?

DEV 3: The upside is knowing that a good amount of people get a super great deal. I think almost everyone will find one of the apps in this bundle worth the price tag. I haven’t found the downside yet.

ZOT: Right, so far nearly a thousand people are willing to risk their $5.95 using the Buy Button up top to support the developers involved. It’s quite inspiring.

ZOT: Can you discuss the experience of developing software, and then having to market it when you’re done?

DEV 3: It’s like finishing a race and then realizing you’re only at the half way point. And, if you’re like me, you’re unfamiliar with the terrain in the second half. It’s all new.

ZOT: How long have you been developing?

DEV 3: I’ve been developing for OS X for almost a year exactly. I’ve been programming for 11, 6 of those professionally.

ZOT: Where do your ideas for applications come from?

DEV 3: My ideas come from solving a problem that I have. If I find myself doing something painful. Healing that pain is a good candidate for an application.

ZOT: What does your spouse think about your work?

DEV 3: My wife isn’t technical, but she understands I jiggle bits and things happen. She respects the work and appreciates that it’s a passion of mine and supports that (although it probably helps that my passion helps support the family ).

ZOT: Speaking of support, how close are you to giving up your day job and making a full-time go of independent app development?

DEV 3: Probably a ways away. we need more savings. we’re not planning on taking any major risks yet. mostly due to the kids and my day job is pretty good. but that’s still the goal.

ZOT: You’ve got a couple of applications now, anything exciting that you’re working on?

DEV 3: My other app (free) has gotten stale while working on my app in this bundle. I have an update for the app in this bundle coming soon and then I want to focus on bringing my other app up to speed Mw/ the things I’ve learned recently. The goal is to update the free version and supply a shareware version as well. As for other ideas they’re always brewing. Deciding what to do next isn’t easy, but it’s a good problem to have too many ideas than not enough.

ZOT: What would be some advice to people you’d give who want to get involved in the Mac application market?

DEV 3: Advice I’d give is to get involved in the community. Blog. Read other developers blogs. Ask questions. I’ve yet to contact another developer and not get a sincere reply.

ZOT: It sounds difficult to juggle multiple apps, a family, a full-time job, and promoting your wares? Which piece is the most time consuming?

DEV 3: I’ve yet to accurately time how many hours I put where, but the most rewarding tasks are the family (I’ve got two small girls) and developing my apps and watching them progress.

ZOT: Are you developing any software for your daughters?

DEV 3: Hehe, no. Not yet. But my three year old loves art rage 2 (

ZOT: What are 3 resources you’d recommend to somebody who wants to write a cocoa app for the Mac OS, but has a short attention span?

DEV 3: #1: Aaron Hillegass’s Cocoa Programming for Mac OS X
that book has fairly short chapters that you can go through here and there with a short amount of time.
it’s well written and got me started pretty quickly
#2: not really a resource, but just look around your desktop. as a ZOT’r I’m sure you’re running a handful of 3rd party apps. The quality of the 3rd party apps on OS X is really impressive. Analyze your favorites. Learn from them. Get inspiration from them. Use that when developing.
#3: If you can, find a "buddy" in a similar situation. Nothing’s easy. Having someone to help kick you through the "I don’t feel like coding today" or "this bug sucks" times is a huge resource.

Great resources! Thanks for your time.

"As the developer got up and walked out the door, ZOT made few notes on the application. It was clear there was some solid experience behind all the people involved.

But who would it be? Which developer’s products will be included in the final bundle?

If you’ve come this far, click Buy up top. The $5.95 is going to support young people with a passion. Some are supporting new families and juggling heavy work loads. However, it doesn’t quell their desire to deliver excellent applications.

The best part about buying a bundle backed with so much passion is you’ll likely get access to many more great products. You can voice your ideas and opinions and support these developers as they work directly for you — the Mac user.

Stay tuned.. the time of the reveal is the final Mystery!

52 Responses to “StoryZOT – Q&A with Dev 3 – Part IV”

  1. Bryan Zarzuela Says:


  2. Sturek Says:

    Exciting. I have no idea who these developers are, but I sure like their stories. And i hope I like their apps too ;) So again 24 hours of waiting I guess :/

  3. pashazade Says:

    From a comment on StoryZOT 3

    “I speak on behalf of all the people that visit MacZOT every day when I say congratulations, you have done a great job.”

    No you don’t this is boring, long-winded and irritating. Just say what the deal is and leave it at that. I don’t want to trawl through lot’s of text to get to the real thing.

  4. Erichd Says:

    I’m having fun with Art Rage also….I should be sleeping.

    Oh, everyone who likes 3-D design needs to know about this:

    Bryce 5.0 FREE until Sept. 6 (a $70 value) (TUAW)

    There’s aslo a way to get 5.5 for $20 (a $100 value).

  5. SoftwareJunkie Says:

    I hope there is as much substance as there is marketing.

    The idea of great ad copy is preferable to a sparse definition and a screen shot. The Mystery thing is somewhat entertaining, but without a good payoff, the anticipation is wasted.

    Here’s hoping.

  6. Dean Says:

    pashazade: agreed, I’ve found StoryZot very boring too.

    If this was a one day, no repeat MysteryZot I would have paid the $5.95, but I just don’t want to encourage another week of painful fiction!

    I’ve bought a lot off Maczot but I think they’ve lost their way in the past couple of weeks. Keep it to one-deal-per-day-take-it-or-leave-it. That’s what kept me coming back.

  7. gryphonent Says:

    I like to learn more about the developers… but it shouldn’t be in such an anonymous way. The deal is unbelievably great if the value is right… then again, Stickler is/was valued around $10 and I wouldn’t have paid a single cent for this piece of s***. By the time this mystery is revealed I won’t remember the stories anymore and (if there will be pictures of the developers) cannot associate them to the corresponding app. Having said that the profile for the guy behind Cast Life was great (though next time get rid of the blurred edges on the photo that made it look like an obituary).

  8. Austin Says:

    …and that little boy grew up to write…
    Adobe CS3

  9. Mickeh Says:

    Gryphonent I can’t agree with you more about what you said about Stickler… It is a pretty bad application…

    I think this is boring and fun; it is like all the other “MyzteryZOT’s” but there is just a story incorporated into it. :)

  10. Bucca Says:

    I bet the last one is NinjaKitten

  11. Mickeh Says:

    So… Does that mean we are getting four applications here?

  12. Matthew Williams Says:

    Ok, Ok, Ok….. I’m in.

    I’ve dabbled in the indie OSX development scene but couldn’t afford time with my new job and getting engaged. Hopefully my $5 will support and help out some developers and I’ll score a couple cool apps; that aren’t repeats!

  13. Chris Says:

    This is interesting: “But who would it be? Which developer’s products will be included in the final bundle?”

    So, does that mean that only one of these developer’s apps will be included? So this last guy, if I read right, has one app, and one freeware app. I can’t quite figure out the logic there then, cuz then that would have to be one $69.85 app, and one free app to come up with the total value. The picks must already be made since the value is already determined. I’m probably just thinking too much about this (or in the wrong direction).

  14. Mike Says:

    People, stop being so damn compulsive. They won’t put good software into a mystery bundle, because they can charge more for it if you know what it is. This is the stuff they know won’t make $6000 if they tell you what it is.

    All you are doing by buying this is encouraging them to do it again, and most of the people that bought it this time next time even though they hardly ever use the app that they got.

    Instead of throwing the money away on the mystery donate the money to a software project that you actually use already so that it can continue to get better.

  15. the valrus Says:

    “Stay tuned.. the time of the reveal is the final Mystery!”

    No, seriously, how about you just tell us when the reveal is.

  16. scottjl Says:

    i have to agree with dean. i liked maczot better when it was a deal a day, you knew what you were getting, and if you didn’t buy it then, you had to hope it re-appeared (a few things i regret missing haven’t shown back up yet). interest in maczot is fading fast with the mysteries, stories, collabirations, etc. that drag days and weeks out waiting to find out what it is or just get on to the next item.

    maczot, if you want me to continue to support your site, and hence the developers you’re trying to promote. please return to your roots. or if you’re going to pull week long events like this, run them concurrent with regular daily specials. we all know there’s another site moving in on your idea, and they aren’t dragging things out (and i hope they never do). i’m trying to remain a loyal customer, but it’s getting hard. :-(

  17. Jerid Hill Says:

    Erichd, if you think Bryce is a good deal being free, you ought to check out Blender. It’s an open source 3D application that is so awesome. Combine the two and you got yourself and 3D game developing platform.

  18. Jerid Hill Says:

    I can’t believe I spelled Blender wrong, duh!

  19. Peter Pan Says:

    What site might that be scottjl? I’d like to see it! :)

  20. Christian Says:

    Here here! End the story zot. Do what you do best; distribute independent software at reasonable prices.

  21. Sean Says:

    I do not understand why people are complaining. This is a great deal, the stories are not that bad, and you get to learn more about the developers and see that they all have a passion for what they do. If you don’t like what MacZot is doing then don’t participate, simple solution. I gave my money on the first day and have enjoyed the ride so far. Keep up the good work.

  22. Sunny Says:

    I love the developer stories. It always interesting to know about the ambitions and inspirations of very passionate developers, especially Mac devs.

  23. lonniehb Says:

    couple of things I want to toss in here:

    1. Thanks ZOT for the anticipation that this mystery has created! I am enjoying it and can’t wait to find out what I bought. The stories do not take but a couple minutes to read so I don’t know what all the complaining is for – if you don’t like them why are you reading them, then waisting more time posting about having to read them?

    2. I think the week long event is needed from time to time. There are alot of small mac apps out there, but not tons, and certainly not tons of GOOD ones. Having an app a day has to be getting very hard for ZOT to do with out some repeats or even days of not having a great app to offer. I don’t mind repeats (as long as they arn’t bundled in mystery) – but I would rather have a week long mystery or app offer that allowed ZOT to find deals on better apps.

  24. happy Says:

    wheres the game that we would get if we bought b4 friday? i need something to do while i wait

  25. Jesse Wilson Says:

    I thought we were to receive a game or something to tide us over on this last day…

    Oh wait, this is the game – a mind game :p

  26. Jim Says:

    I agree having an app a day with little to no repeats could be tough to do just for the time needed to set it up. The past mysteryzots seemed to work out good for most that lasted for a few days. The storyzot idea I think can work but this one just seemed to be thrown together from the hip and has gone for wayyy too long. Two days tops methinks. Three if there’s a good challenge within it.

    If these 5 day events keep taking place where there’s really no value in coming here everyday, I’ll be moving along especially now that MacUpdate is making an attempt at a daily deal.

    For what it’s worth I’m amazed at how many are buying into the whole value of the bundle and think that $6 is a deal when there really is little info to say what it is. Hell, I could say my post here is a value of $49.95 for reading it and I’m giving it to everyone for free and I almost think some people here might believe it. Of course I should probably make my post last 5 days so they don’t think about it too much.

  27. Chris Carter Says:

    Hrm, this was the only one I actually finished reading without falling asleep. From scanning the others, this looks interesting, but I wish they would just say when we get it, instead of making it “the final mystery.” I love MysteryZOTs but this is going on far too long.

  28. DDA Says:

    “…allow the public a peak into the human behind the app (me).”

    Peek, dammit. I’m not interested in looking at the top of your head, pointy or otherwise. :-P

    I also have to agree with those who are saying this has gone on too long. I found this site during the “Houdaspot” promo and pretty much all I’ve seen are mysteryZOTs and teasers (Disco, this). I don’t mind the fluffly stories but show me what I’m buying, too (like Woot does).

  29. Frank Says:


  30. happy Says:

    has anybody recieved that game yet?

  31. edmb Says:

    How about making the stories clues to the mystery apps. At first I thought that was what Zot was doing. Now I think that there have been no meaningful clues. I was looking forward to reading the stories and doing some detective work.

    Zot, I like to support developers, I am a compulsive software buyer, I want to get some great deals, I even like a mystery when I can try to solve it, but this is just getting annoying. If you can’t get a new deal everyday why not have some deals last more than one day. I know you want people to visit the site everyday but developers don’t benefit from my visits when I have no idea who they are.

    I used to look forward to each day’s deal. Now, not so much.

  32. Chris Says:

    I think we should give and receive all our gifts for the next 7 Christmases over the next 7 days. Why wait 7 years to get all the stuff? We could have it all next week! All that waiting!


  33. mbazzoni Says:

    I wonder if they are ever going to do a Zot-off! That would be cool, so many sales and then another new software item. The Zot-off! would end on AppZapper because I think every Mac user in the world has that app now…

  34. Jefe Says:

    maybe the story is the game. a mystery to figure out.

  35. Michael Says:

    I agree with a few of you. I didnt care for stickler an would not have payed 10$ for it. That being said, i DO like this “Story-Zot” but I would like it better if it hasnt gone on for so long. The day offers are cool but a few more wont kills us. Story zot = OK. But not to many of them :)

  36. Michael Says:

    Sorry for the double comment. But i just wanted to say thanks for giving the 3 resourses that would help for beginners. I look forward to learning who this dev is. :)

  37. Minezamac Says:

    Yup said I wouldn’t be back. Here I am. I must be weak, I really don’t care about the story, I just want to see if there is any news on when it will be revealed. Paypal completed my purchase on the 29th, you could at least not charge us until we receive the product, OR tell us when to expect it. You established a precident with all the other purchases I made where you told me at least when I would receive it, in this case there was a legitimate expectation to receive it the next day. So I do hope the best to whomever is being supported in addition to yourself, but next time tell me your not going to supply me with my purchase until such and such date, rather than just springing another day to day story.

  38. lonniehb Says:

    I’m going crazy waiting! lol can’t stop checking to see when I find out what I bought.

  39. will Says:

    TUAW says one of the apps is going to be KIT

  40. happy Says:

    *cough* tuaw *cough*

  41. bietmeester Says:

    Wow if KIT is in the bundle i’m more than happy! I hope it’s true.

  42. Damon Says:

    Gah, I gave in. I had to. I tried to resist, but the value seemed too good.

    Maybe next time.

  43. Chris Says:

    Minezamac: The whole thing started out with “this week…” so I think it was reasonable to assume right from the beginning that it would last through the week. I assume the apps will be revealed at midnight tonight. I suppose it’s possible they could take it through the weekend with more details about the developers or whatever. I hope not, but… whatever.

  44. Frank Says:


    You are not crazy, I keep checking to see what YOU bought ;-)

  45. Mickeh Says:

    Wow… I just read through all the posts and I can’t help thinking how many people hate Stickler… I have to admit, ZOT didn’t really pick very good applications for that “One cent a day” thing…

  46. greenldr Says:

    I hope one of them is KIT because I was just thinking about getting it earlier this week and then I thought, “but what if it is in this Zot I just bought, I better wait”… Hmmmm…

  47. Michael Says:

    STICKLER…………was nice looking but useless. I would rather open safari RSS anytime. Aside from that…. I’m missing the point of KIT. Anyone want to help me out why i would want to buy such an application? Thanks.

  48. ZOT Says:

    Game: Blocky

    Ok, this is not Enigmo or Virtual Villagers, but it’s a great way to pass a few minutes in between activities.

    Try to get to Level 6


  49. Lisa Says:

    If you enjoy Blocky, you might also want to take a look at DCSquares: or

  50. Josh Says:

    Thanks Zot Gods. :D

  51. Joel Heflin Says:

    Thank you ZOT for the awesome week long experience! I really enjoyed it and can’t wait to see what all goodies I got for just 6 bucks!!!

  52. Sturek Says:

    Hehe nice one ZOT ;) NewApplication hm ? But seriously, I kinda like that game, it’s pretty difficult and I haven’t seen this idea anywhere before (which is rare for this type of game), so thanks a lot, fun game. Maybe the presentation could be a bit more funky, but I don’t care that much about it. Kills the time :D