Introduction To The Reskinning Apps Business


So, you want to get into the mobile apps business and don’t know where to start?  Or maybe you have heard of this reskinning apps thingie and want to know more.

Maybe you are an experienced developer and/or apps publisher and want to get a wider reach for your apps.

Possibly you are just bored and decided to take a look at this eBook from an Aussie with a funny surname. 

Whatever the reason, you are in the right place.  This ebook was written with the express aim to help people to build a sustainable apps business by reskinning existing apps.

When I was researching this topic, I found that in some ways reskinning apps is like fight club.

Remember that movie from 1999 starring Brad Pitt and Ed Norton?

What I mean is that no one is talking much about reskinning apps at anything other than a superficial level.  When I first got interested in the topic, I found it hard to find out anything much about it, unless you were involved in the business already!

Oh I mean people were talking about it, but the actual things that you needed to know, that was very difficult to find.

Being a geek, I created a website and started talking about my findings and spreading the word, and as it become more popular, the idea of putting together an eBook to make it easier for people (particularly non geeks) to get a handle on this business emerged, and hey presto!  One eBook about reskinning apps.

I will be posting updates to this eBook on a regular basis (the Kindle platform makes it easy for me to publish updates as I make them).  If you also want to follow my ramblings on my regular website, you can visit the site below.

To this day I keep it updated with a collection of the best material I can find about reskinning apps, including the tools, training, and resources you can use to shortcut your learning.

I also welcome your feedback about this eBook, or any of my other material, so drop me a line, I’d love to hear from you.

So lets straight to it, you know first questions first.  What does reskinning an app mean, and why would you do it?

Is it anything like the old saying “there are many ways to (re)skin a cat” (see what I did there)?  “reskin” and “skin”?

Seriously, that’s a little sick if you think about it  🙂

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101 Definition time.

My definition of reskinning an app is as follows.

To take an existing app that has already been developed, and to then replace the graphics, sound and music, effectively re-branding it as a new app.

For all intents and purposes it’s a new app.  It has no direct relationship to the original app, it looks different by virtue of a fresh coat of paint (the graphics, sounds and music).

For the record when I say “app” in this ebook, I am referring to a mobile app that runs on an Apple iPhone, iPod, or iPad or an Android smartphone or tablet.  Technically any computer program can be reskinned, but I am focusing on mobile apps in this ebook, because that is the huge opportunity right now.

Want to see what a reskin looks like?

Let me show you two screen shots.

This is a game called Kingdom Prince

And this is the second game.

The exact same game but reskinned – This one is called Kamikaze Bike Racer

The second one I reskinned.  Notice how the graphics are completely different?  You would not think they were the same game at first glance would you?

While the app looks different and sounds different, and has a different name, it is important to realize that internally it’s the same app.

The functionality of that app is identical.  If the app showed the weather in Adelaide, Australia before the reskin, then it will do the same after the reskin, it will just do it in a different color, font, or whatever.

So if you knew how to “clock” the old game before the reskin, you can do exactly the same with the new game.  The controls will be the same, the scores you obtain, will be the same, etc.

If you are wondering  what “clocking” means, then this Urban Dictionary reference should help.   It’s a term that was very endearing to me growing up as a 80’s teenager (not that I was able to say I clocked many games). Space Invaders (the original one) was one game I could clock.


If you knew of a special cheat or hidden level, then it will still be in the new reskinned app, it will just look (and sound) different.

In the case of Kingdom Prince and Kamikaze Bike Racer, both will play exactly the same (feel free to search the app store and download both to try them out, both are free to download).

Any good (or bad) functionality will exist in both the original app and the reskinned one.

Here is an “in-game” screenshot of both games.

In game action with Kingdom Prince

And Kamikaze Bike Racer in play

You can probably see at first glance from the two screenshots, that the games look like entirely different games, but if you study it more closely you will see lots of similarities.
The two wheels, coins, the player “sprite”, the scores in the top left corner, the pause button in the top right, etc.

To the casual observer though, this IS a new game  🙂  That’s the beauty of reskinning an app, it allows you to release new apps at a heavily reduced upfront cost compared to developing a game from scratch.

In this ebook, I am going to use the word apps and games interchangeably.  A game is an app, but an app is not necessarily a game.  The big opportunities in my opinion are game related so that’s where I will focus on this ebook.  But the concepts apply equally if you want to produce a exciting new reskin of a calculator app.

Just to show I have no bias to our “non gaming” buddies and/or apps of the world, let me tell you about an app that was not a game but did very well as a reskin.

Mustache Bash App

It allowed you to take a picture and “dress up” your face with a moustache  🙂  fun times (unless you had a moustache, then it was plain silly).

At this point you hopefully have an idea of what I am talking about, and know what this ebook is about, and have an idea on what the process of reskinning is, so lets move on and answer the big question….

Click here to read another reskinning apps article

About the Author Tim Buchalka

Tim and his team completed over 500 reskins for himself or clients, and is an expert in the field.He has written 3 complete games, and has two complete video courses on Udemy that are about reskinning (as well as an Android development course with over 16,000 students!). You can find out more about Tim’s video courses here. He has also written a 110 page ebook about reskins that will give you the knowledge and skills you need to succeed with reskins which is available on this website. You can get a complimentary copy of this ebook as well as discounts to his video courses by visiting this link. To contact Tim, visit this sites contact page.

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