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We are currently in the midst of an exciting boom in BlackBerry theme development. We ... Free BlackBerry Themes forum

  1. #1
    dr_devious's Avatar
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    Some insight into the coming Paradox of Theme Development

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    We are currently in the midst of an exciting boom in BlackBerry theme development. We have seem some of the possibilities of the "leaked" Plazmic CDK 4.6. This accidental release is still definitely a BETA quality release, but it gives us some insight into what is possible. There are features such as "user" selectable icons on the front/zen screens, animation of backgrounds, animation of icons, and custom backgrounds for zen/icon/lock screens. The possibilities and creativity possible with 4.6 is just beginning to be realized. People have not typically been interested in third party themes and theme creation are starting to take notice.

    With this amazing boom in development and interest has come some difficulties that will need to be addressed or understood. The new themes and skills necessary for the more advanced theme creation are considerably more complicated than prior CDK tools. With this new difficulty level, I believe the quality level between these new themes and theme developers will become more defined. The programs contained within the CDK that are necessary for these new style themes are beginning to interface and behave more like applications in Adobe CS2/3, than general public release tools. This is not inherently a bad thing as it will give the free/low cost developers more parity with the Bplay team.

    With these new features comes greater complexity in the time spent developing and cost recovery involved in these themes. Currently themes are marketed and sold for between $3.99 - 6.99. Is there enough volume in theme sales if you are not Bplay to recover the 3-4 days of development required for ground breaking animated theme? Most BlackBerry content consumers are probably not willing to spend $9.99 or more on a theme. Will the amount of quality "next generation" themes begin to evaporate? These are interesting and complex times in theme development and sales...
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    Great post dr_devious. I'm very interested to see what the official release will bring. It is also sad that people want great themes such as the late ones you've been making with animation for free and still want more but sometimes acknowledge the fact that it does take a toll on the developer. It's not just a something you just come up with in 10 minutes. It takes time and like you said the developer's imagination into the making. Great respect for you guys who've made so many themes to please so many and yet want more for free. I always say a single word can go a long way; "Thank you". However, since everything's going down the tubes would anyone spend money on a theme? as you suggested if you're not Bplay they're really not going to and look elsewhere where it's free. It's sad but true in some cases. I have started making my themes and I know see it from a personal point of view that it's not that easy and takes a great deal of imagination and dedication. Keep up the great work dr_devious. Your themes are always ever so great! Great post!

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    I knew this was coming, and I glad to hear it. RIM has been slowly converting the BB to a more personaized device, yet not taking away from it's power and performance. Animated icons will rock! I am already lovin' the animated backgrounds. It would also be kool if we could use any .gif image as our wallpaper. Thx for the post Doc.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jbee View Post
    I knew this was coming, and I glad to hear it. RIM has been slowly converting the BB to a more personaized device, yet not taking away from it's power and performance. Animated icons will rock! I am already lovin' the animated backgrounds. It would also be kool if we could use any .gif image as our wallpaper. Thx for the post Doc.

    I think it is important for those that may not use the CDK regularly to understand where the development is taking us as a community.
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    I'd be interested to see if the themes do more than just change the icons and the home screen. I'd like to see a more complete customization to all built in applications like the calculator, calendar, tasks, memos and so on.
    But this is pretty exciting information. As I have considered making themes instead of waiting to see if someone else will develop one I like.

    ~via BB (wap.pinstack.com)~

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    Quote Originally Posted by nickjoedotcom View Post
    I'd be interested to see if the themes do more than just change the icons and the home screen. I'd like to see a more complete customization to all built in applications like the calculator, calendar, tasks, memos and so on.
    But this is pretty exciting information. As I have considered making themes instead of waiting to see if someone else will develop one I like.

    ~via BB (wap.pinstack.com)~
    I have wondered if the reason we have not seen that level of customization is because of the secure nature of the BlackBerry OS...
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    Quote Originally Posted by dr_devious View Post
    I think it is important for those that may not use the CDK regularly to understand where the development is taking us as a community.
    I think you and Raton explained that clearly. As a Stacker and avid theme user I am exited to see this advancement happen. I am also excited from the technology aspect, where this is taking our devices. If people want to start charging a price for theme creation, due to the complexity, I don't have a problem w/it.

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    I agree with you for the most part (you make awesome themes, btw).

    However, I used to make themes for WM devices, and did it for fun. I probably could have charged for the time that went into developing, but I never did. I think there will always be good quality themes (and other programs) for free, because some people just like to do it. I havent quite jumped into blackberry themes, but when I do, i plan on doing it much like you do, donations accepted

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    Quote Originally Posted by psionfenix View Post
    I agree with you for the most part (you make awesome themes, btw).

    However, I used to make themes for WM devices, and did it for fun. I probably could have charged for the time that went into developing, but I never did. I think there will always be good quality themes (and other programs) for free, because some people just like to do it. I havent quite jumped into blackberry themes, but when I do, i plan on doing it much like you do, donations accepted
    Some have a gift and just want to share the outpourings of it. Sacrificing time and money, just for the sake of others...........just because. Thx for your post.

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    I'm not condemning people that put a price on themes,I know i spent many hours tweaking a theme to get it just right (or other software for that matter), and would have loved to know i'm making money on it. But i dont do it for that. I do it for fun. I get paid really well at my job, it doesnt leave me much free time, but what little i have, i'm always on the forums (cb,ps, bbf, etc), or planning on making a theme. I make the ones i make usually because someone will make something great, but dangit, it's not exactly what i want/need, so I make something i want/need.

    I think charging is fine if you are producing a great product in a good way (bplay i've heard has some big issues). I think the good dr that started this thread could easily charge, and honestly, i'd probably pay.

    Seeing as how i get bored quite often with themes, and change them, it could end up costing me quite a bit.

    Dr_devious, if you're reading this, shoot me a pm, i'd like to not only donate, but ask you a few questions about two of your themes (i posted the idea on one of theme threads, but i'll direct it to you if you care).

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    The ability to change the calculator and maybe even more stuff is there....somewhere....if any of you ever tried the stargazer theme that was released on the mobile.blackberry.com site a while back you know that the calculator used some of the same colors that the theme had.....but so far the secret seems to have been well kept, I don't think I ever saw another theme do that.

    ~via BB (wap.pinstack.com)~

  12. #12
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    The vendors also have the ability to change things like the calculator, just take a look at some unlocked themes.

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    The calculator, media, etc can be skinned but it all has to be done in the composer which isn't user friendly...it is possible but doing it fairly easy is not. Lol, I agree with Dr, and I don't typically post over here but I have seen a growing community of people always bashing themes for either A, charging for the theme, or B always wanting something changed or something different than what the theme developer has made. Thanks for all the fellow developers that are making quality themes out there and have them for free. I try and release more free themes than ones I charge just to have the ability to give out free themes.

    Keep up the good work on the ones that take the time and bring out good quality themes for everyone

    -Brian
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