ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- Rock Valley College is the first community college in the state to offer an IOS app development course. Students just wrapped up the spring semester and their walking away with much more than credit hours.
"I think this is mindless fun," says Matt Becker.
Mindless fun that took a lot of brain power to make. These Rock Valley College students developed the Bubble Baller app.
"Think of it as under water basketball."
They designed it through RVC's first ever IOS App Development course, the only community college to offer it in Illinois.
"At first it was very complicated, we were looking at the code bewildered, like how does this work, how does it interact? So it's been a great learning experience. And I feel like I have a great understanding of the code now," says Daniel Slabaugh.
"It's kind of fun to be able to customize your own phone, just to be able to make whatever you want," says Taylor Willard.
Taylor Willard made an app for a women's conference at a local church and hopes to eventually launch more event-specific versions.
"There are so many businesses that need that, it's just such a huge field," says Willard.
That's probably what kept beginner students motivated. Professor Chuck Konkol says 95-percent of them stayed the entire semester, a rarity for any programming course.
"They blew me away with the quality of the apps they're creating and I think they blew themselves away, I don't think they realized they could create an app like that," says Professor Konkol.
Especially ones like "spelling challenge". Tom Kinser designed it for his daughter who's in the fourth grade.
"There will always be a demand for educational apps." he says.
"I can't even win."
They might win big on this side of the screen. Professor Konkol says even a mediocre 99-cent app can rake in 60-to-80-grand a year.
Here's hoping gamers find Bubble Baller addicting. The developers would like it to hit the Apple Store by the fall.
The guys who created Bubble Baller are continuing their partnership beyond school. They're now working to add more levels and sports so they could make a stronger pitch to Apple. The goal is to initially make it a free app financed by advertisers.
Professor Konkol hopes to offer a boot-camp type course on the weekend and possibly more than one class. The fall class is already half-way to capacity.