Onmadesoft: interview to the founder Antonio Ferraioli
July 24, 2020
We contacted Antonio Ferraioli, founder of the italian software house Onmadesoft, developing simulators of the board card games named Scala 40, Ramino, Pinnacola, Machiavelli and Burraco. All the Onmadesoft games are available through applications for iPhone, iPad and Mac. On the internet and on the game app stores there are hundreds of table cards, but this italian company stands out from the other games for several reasons, above all, he age of the brand, the quality of the gameplay and the beautiful story behind its founder ! Read on!
Antonio Ferraioli is the founder of Onmadesoft, in this interview he is going to focus his backgrounds and share with us the story of the birth of an “Apple-oriented” italian software house. The company’s website is: https://www.onmadesoft.com/ .
Dear Antonio, every story of a game developer begins with an episode, for example the founder of Pac-Man Tohru Iwatani had the idea of ??creating the game by observing a pizza without a removed slice… how does your story begin?
My story begins in 1983, when my father, one day, gave me a gift: an Apple II, a very good “little personal computer” that allowed me to learn to program as a self-taught using the instructions published by the italian magazine “Applicando”. It was a monthly magazine entirely dedicated to the Apple world and I learned to program in Basic thanks to that magazine (Basic was an elementary computer programming language developed in the 1960s in the States, ed.).
(in the photo: an old issue of the �Applicando� magazine)
Then, I traveled a lot for working and on the train I studied and wrote software for Mac. My first commercial program was called OnSync and it was an application that was used to synchronize the mobile phone agenda with the Mac agenda. I published it using the “Shareware” license, the software was downloadable from the internet and usable for free with limited functionality. I sold many licenses as it was the first software capable of synchronizing the famous Motorola RAZR V3 with a Mac! A business partner offered the payment method to unlock all the features and to allow the users synchronize all their contacts easier than the free version.
(in the screenshot: the 2000s first Mac OS X edition of OnSync)
And then how did you come to establish yourself as a card game developer for Apple devices?
There is another anecdote. In 2010 I was on vacation and I had the first version of the iPad with me, it was the one that was presented by Steve Jobs in the first months of the 2010. I was looking for a Scala 40 game but there was no app of this kind published in the store. It was a sin! When I was back at home from the holidays, I found a Scala 40 app for my iPad, it had an approximate and artisan lineage. Out of curiosity I played with it and immediately I said I could do better. So, I wrote and published my first edition of the Scala 40 app. Several feedbacks from the players arrived, it was important for me to receive these feedbacks, I replied to the users who contacted me and I dedicated more and more time to improving the graphics and the usability of my game.
Since then, a process of updating and perfecting your Scala 40 game has begun, and today Onmadesoft is the publisher of this excellent and beautiful edition on the App stores. When the iPhone edition came into play?
In the following year I wrote and published the iPhone version, and it had a great success. The iPhone version met the needs of an empty market, in fact the number of the players on the iPhone was incredibly greater than those on the iPad edition. As an entrepreneur I said “let’s go on!” and, in the following two years, I produced the games of Ramino, Pinnacola and Machiavelli. I managed several parallel projects, one project concerned the more modern Pinnacola and Machiavelli, another project concerned the Ramino and the Scala 40 games. For the development I used the Xcode tools and the Objective-C programming language, then I started to integrate some parts using the more recent Swift introduced by Apple. Some competitors appeared on the market, which pushed me to improve the games by adding new features, rankings, a betterinterface and the online play. And then there was a misadventure with Apple�.
In the 2016s – 2017s there were many publishers of massive applications, I�m talking about real clones of the card games with the same functionality and only the different graphical interfaces between them. An Indian developer was famous for an app dedicated to selfies dedicated to religious holidays, he distributed the same app with a different graphic variant for each of the infinite indian holidays. Fortunately, Apple occasionally decided to put the App Store publishings in order and then began to remove and reject these types of applications. Unfortunately I also ended up in this “review”, someone in Apple started to refuse my job. Ramino, Scala 40 for iPad, Scala for iPhone, Machiavelli and Pinnacola were no longer accepted as separate apps, I had was like the indian selfie apps… I was immediately discouraged, so many years of good work that risked going up in smoke. It was not easy, it was necessary to use the “Apple appeal process”.
Initially it was hard to have a human interlocutor, the replies were pre-packaged messages. Fortunately, within a few weeks I had a direct contact, they called me and we found an agreement: the versions of Scala 40 for iPhone and iPad were united in one Universal app (capable of operating on both iPad and iPhone ) and I convinced them that Ramino, Machiavelli and Pinnacola were really different games (although their usage interfaces were very similar). At first time Apple wanted me to unify all the products into one generic and integrated game.
Will Android users ever have the pleasure of playing your board card games on their devices?
I I would like to use my knowledge and my technical skills to make an Android version of each of my board card games. A few years ago I tried to do it, thanks to my strong Java background andto my dear Android developer friends, but the project ran aground. At the moment, Android games are not ready, but the development idea is still in my mind and, in general, I live being ready for change. The rector of the Faculty of Information Sciences taught me this: information technology is such a dynamic world and you cannot be part of it if Youou do not find yourself ready for change.
Really thanks to You, Antonio, for his beautiful interview! We wish You to continue making Onmadesoft an excellent italian software house in the context of board games for iPhone, iPad and Mac! Here are some useful links that we invite You to click: