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  #31  
Old 10-12-2012, 09:27 AM
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Hobbsicle Hobbsicle is offline
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Thanks for all the help, guys! Update just submitted, and I think all of your suggestions are really going to help improve this game, and hopefully its sales as well.
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  #32  
Old 10-12-2012, 05:01 PM
MarcJay MarcJay is offline
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We just released our debut game, Operation Smoochy, for the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad about a week ago.

The game is based on my Boston Terrier, Smoochy (my wife named him; I swear ), and the premise of the game is simple, but the levels themselves are quite challenging: Roxy and the puppies have been captured by the evil monsters. Get revenge by using Smoochy to blast your way through hordes of zombies, killer clowns and frankensteins using a combination of reflex and skill.

We have a number of solid reviews/ratings, some decent sales so far, but I agree things move frustratingly slow and you start to question if your game will ever gain traction/do I suck. Hoping some app review sites come through, but my guess is they are backed up for a bit because of all the new games and updates due to the release of the iPhone 5 (developers want there 50 new promo codes )

I think its getting harder and harder to stand out as more publishers with large budgets flee consoles for the App Store. The bar is now ridiculously high for expectations of users. Like the girl from Willy Wonka-they want the world; they want the whole world. That means app icon, gameplay, graphics, music/sfx-EVERYTHING-must be top-notch to stand out in a crowded market. If you saw the movie IndieGamer, we are the games, that if sold at Gamespot, etc, would have to be asked for by customers as we're not on the "shelves." That's a rough starting point.

Best advice is the advice I've seen here, which is stay patient, listen to the feedback and adjust from there...and pray.

IMO, $1.99 is just not where the market is these days. I'm not saying you didn't work hard or its not "worth" that, but the market is really free and 99 cents for the most part, especially as an indie.

If anyone has suggestions on my game, please let me know as well. The game can be found at http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/operation-smoochy/id555651007?mt=.

Our game trailer can be found at http://www.youtube.com/OperationSmoochy.

Because our star is a dog/boston terrier, we've been posting on all Boston Terrier sites and have stickers and tshirts with Smoochy on them that we'll hand out at Boston "meetups."

I'd love to hear people's thoughts/criticisms at marc@4allstudios.com.

Thanks and good luck to all the indie developers out there; it ain't easy, but is there anything cooler?!
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  #33  
Old 10-12-2012, 06:06 PM
Misguided Misguided is offline
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I saw this thread title and immediately thought of TWWR before I clicked on it. The real shame to me is that it got no attention from TA. I know they can't review everything, but this is a fantastic app that deserves more attention than it has received.
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  #34  
Old 10-12-2012, 09:52 PM
pluto6 pluto6 is offline
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I don't have a lot of suggestions for improvement - I got the game while free, mostly to try out, but as noted had no idea what the game was about. Turned out to be quite good, but I would never have bought it, as I had no idea what the puzzle aspects of the game was about. Really needs work on conveying the type of puzzler it is.

Nothing to do with improving sales, but I never understand why the minimum number of moves is never advertised? I mean does it need to be a secret? Mondrian had a clever way - finish the puzzle, then it tells you what your move number is, and what the minimum is. I think people that like these types of puzzles tend to be OCD about getting all 3 orbs, and getting the star as well.

I am hoping you do well with this, as I will be looking for future offerings from you, but I understand the app store is a tough market.
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  #35  
Old 10-13-2012, 12:02 AM
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Hobbsicle Hobbsicle is offline
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@MarcJay: Thanks for the thoughts, and congrats on your new game! I'll be checking it out here soon, and will let you know my impressions.

@Misguided: As always, thanks for your awesome support. With fans like you, who needs sales? Well, I guess we still kinda do. But seriously, it's great knowing that there are people who have really enjoyed our game and have been vocal about their encouragement and support.

@Pluto: Thanks for your thoughts! You'll be glad to note that everything you mentioned has been dealt with and is included in the update we sent to Apple yesterday. You will now know when you start a level what the required number of moves is, and also have a counter to let you know how many you're at. We've also updated screenshots and description to hopefully aid in knowing how the puzzle mechanic works.
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  #36  
Old 10-13-2012, 12:33 AM
MarcJay MarcJay is offline
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Thanks Hobbsicle. I wish you much success as well buddy. I find it very hard to get your point across via static screenshots and text as well. It's not just you. I think you've actually received some very good ideas here. When we first designed the backgrounds for our game, we went with more realistic colors as it seemed to make sense logically as our settings were a city, carnival and castle. Then you have to take a step back and say, although logic is great, I'm making a game so I don't have to bound by all the rules of reality. We brightened our colors to make them pop more and I think (or do we just say hope ) it made a big difference. I also agree that the app icon is HUGE and main characters have to be lovable and/or cool so I think your changes will help. i think users almost become the main character and who doesn't want to be lovable or cool?

Last edited by MarcJay; 10-13-2012 at 12:38 AM..
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  #37  
Old 10-13-2012, 04:58 AM
blackseabl blackseabl is offline
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I see your game and think it's good, I think the main problem is not the game itself, but the promotion. I'm a new developer too, hope you find some effective promotion measures. Maybe you can contact some publishers
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  #38  
Old 10-30-2012, 04:41 AM
pat3ck pat3ck is offline
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Have you contacted app review sites? Here's a list of about 100+ sites that you might want to consider pitching your app to: http://maniacdev.com/2012/05/ios-app-review-sites/

Hope it helps!
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  #39  
Old 10-31-2012, 02:47 PM
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sumiguchi sumiguchi is offline
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This probably has little impact... depending on the traffic your site gets but...I went onto your site and played the web version. I don't know how close it is to the iOS version - but I wouldn't buy the iOS version after playing it.

The rolling animation doesn't always move in the right direction, the guy rolls off the screen (instead of falling), no sound effects or music, no way to reset after dieing...

If your iOS version is any better than this web version - I'd quickly replace the web version with a video of the gameplay.
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  #40  
Old 10-31-2012, 03:02 PM
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Hobbsicle Hobbsicle is offline
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Yes...much better...I forgot about that. I was planning to use it as a contest, but later realized that I didn't want people to think that it was the same experience as the mobile version. It in fact was something that I just whipped up in a morning using a few of the same visual assets.

I intended to take it down, but forgot. Thanks for pointing that out, I'll get rid of it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sumiguchi View Post
This probably has little impact... depending on the traffic your site gets but...I went onto your site and played the web version. I don't know how close it is to the iOS version - but I wouldn't buy the iOS version after playing it.

The rolling animation doesn't always move in the right direction, the guy rolls off the screen (instead of falling), no sound effects or music, no way to reset after dieing...

If your iOS version is any better than this web version - I'd quickly replace the web version with a video of the gameplay.
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