Awesome, lots of questions! Should have answers about everything below. Thanks for all the feedback!
But first, a few things to note:
- The original Fieldrunners for iPad has an update that is about to begin exit testing (final in-house testing phase). Barring any issues discovered during exit testing, I expect to see it live in the App Store in the next 4 weeks.
- There is currently no IAP in the iPad version. This is likely to change, but for now, you can update safely without adding IAP to the game (although people with the iPhone version say that they don't notice it there, either).
- We did indeed fix crashing bugs, long load times, and other funkiness with this update. The audio issue was not fixed, but I've got it on our to-do list.
Originally Posted by Sithinious
I'm not even sure there IS IAP in the HD version... Maybe in only the basic feildrunners 2? If there is an IAP store in the HD version, it's incredibly well hidden.
No IAP in the iPad version yet. There probably will be in the future. That said, it will be hidden enough that you won't notice it unless you want it
Originally Posted by pavarotti2007
What you're offering is not DLC though is it? I'm all for IAP for extra content/DLC etc as I don't think devs should update their games with new content for nothing. So paying for new maps etc is great but coins? Optional or not, this game is £5.49. Any IAP imo should be for content. A better way for you guys to cash in a bit more would have been just to add an IAP of unlock all or something similar. Consumable IAP in a game with this kind of price tag is not good.
You have said in the past that the price tag was high because you felt that it needed to be priced like that so you could keep making games and because it was a premium game with no IAP. So now that you have the IAP stream of income, will the initial price of the app change? Or are you having the best of both worlds?
Take a look at Tower Madness, the IAP model in that game is great. Maybe you'll learn something. I gladly paid £5.49 for that game, then paid 4x69p for 4 map packs and then a further £1.49 for the recent map pack and it was well worth it.
Totally valid argument. It's hard to determine what is "DLC" and what isn't. Is the new BOOM-kin Tower DLC? Maybe, but I usually associate DLC with expansions more than a single new weapon. Whether it is or it isn't, we plan on continually introducing new content like this and we wanted it to be purchasable with in-game currency. Our approach to IAP allowed us to let folks earn coins to buy this stuff the old fashioned way or simply buy coin bundles to pay for this content. Seems like a reasonable trade-off, since most people here will get new content for free, while others will pay for it.
Regarding the price, you have to understand that this game cost significantly more to develop than just about any other iOS game I've ever heard of. We definitely had to go with the price point that we did, and while it may have been possible to recoup expenses with that alone, adding IAP will theoretically reduce the risk on our end by a huge amount. Since game development is inherently risky, it's crucial to reduce risk as much as possible whenever you can (without hurting your game, which is exactly the trick that we managed to pull off).
Thanks for the suggestion about Tower Madness - I'll be sure to check it out!
Originally Posted by Sojourn
I think the frustration from a lot of players (or at least posters in this forum) is coming not from the argument of IAP as an inherently good or bad thing, but from the experience we've had with the game so far:
1) The game was previewed on TA. Hype built. Lovers of the first game were excited for FR2. iPad owners were reassured that their issues would be addressed once FR2 was released, as all resources were being poured into the sequel.
2) The iPhone version launched, to great acclaim. iPad owners were disappointed -- not only was the game not Universal, but the iPad version wasn't even ready yet. But it was coming soon. So we held on.
3) iPad users kept hearing how awesome the iPhone version was. "Soon" turned into two months of waiting for the iPad version, which was especially difficult for users like myself, who were holding out for the iPad version to stay "spoiler-free". Meanwhile, the original FR for iPad did not get updated (for Retina or bug fixes).
4) The iPad version finally launched much later than originally announced. Many users, myself included, bought it instantly -- only to find it mostly unplayable. Constant and consistent crashes, lost progress. Frustrating, not only for a game that was relatively expensive, but moreso for a game we had been so eagerly anticipating, and had been told was delayed due to exhaustive QA testing.
5) Since then, it's been a month and a half, there has been one update that has fixed some but not all of the crashing, FR1 on iPad still hasn't been updated, and now we're finally getting a new update (which is already half a week late according to your forum post last week, Alec) that instead of just fixing the issues keeping all of us from enjoying the game we purchased, are adding a controversial new feature.
Here's the thing, and I want to make this totally clear -- I think you guys have put a tremendous amount of work into FR2, and it's a beautiful game that you should be very proud of. I don't want to take that away from you, because I can only imagine how much time and especially care you have obviously poured into this creation of yours. I can see it in all the little details of the game, and I love it because of that.
However. I am frustrated as a customer because I haven't gotten to fully enjoy all that care, all those little details -- because my game keeps crashing. I've been waiting for a month for an update to fix it (more), all the while being reassured that it would be put out as soon as possible . . . and instead, I'm getting an update with IAP. I don't begrudge you adding it like so many here probably will -- I probably won't use it, and I respect that you've designed it so I don't have to -- but I wish the update that would have let me actually *play* the game had come out a lot sooner, instead of feeling like it was delayed so this new payment structure could be added. A version 1.15 would have been much appreciated before 1.2. I know you have limited resources, and you're limited by the update approval process, but we've all seen developers push out bug fix updates much faster than one month later to fix basic usability issues.
In any event, I've been checking my App Store updates multiple times a day to see if FR2 is in there -- I'm really excited to give it another whirl. The times I've played it without it crashing have been pretty great -- but it's always crashed at some point. I'm excited to see that come to an end with this new update, and I hope this helps to explain the reaction you guys are getting here in the TA community. I'd love to hear your thoughts (including other TAers -- hopefully I explained the situation accurately and fairly)!
That makes perfect sense, thanks for articulating how folks feel! You'll be glad to know that this update fixed most bugs AND we've got the update for the original Fieldrunners for iPad just about wrapped up
Adding IAP was less than a day of work, whereas all the bug fixes took much longer, so it definitely didn't do anything to delay those other fixes, despite what it may have looked like.
Thanks again for sharing! I hope to hear that this new update solved all the problems you pointed out in our game
Originally Posted by sapphire_neo
The simple solution to consumable iAP in high-score and leaderboard games is to immediately sandbox customers into separate leaderboards as soon as they buy iAP. They want convenience? Sure, the price is the inability to compete with people who don't want to pay for convenience.
Interesting suggestion. I'm pretty firmly in the camp that the competitive advantage someone gains by buying coins instead of building their skills and working their way up is nonexistent. If someone didn't put the time in to unlock those towers the old fashioned way, there is simply no way they will be able to compete with your scores by simply buying the towers. They just won't understand the game mechanics as well as someone who works their way up. Do you feel differently?
Originally Posted by defred34
I said the same thing in the iPhone thread. With the game being so difficult even in easy mode, I suspect it was part of the plan to incorporate IAPs some point in the future. They created a smokescreen for their envious plans. Shameful developers.
So, if you've played the original Fieldrunners, you know that we don't make games that are easy. We tuned the difficulty independently from any thoughts about IAP. There definitely was no plan for us to make it really hard in an effort to get people to buy IAP - if there was, it would have been kind of silly for us to make casual mode easier and decrease the cost of items, like we did in the first update. Not saying that to be defensive, but it seems appropriate to shed more light on what's happening behind the scenes.
(1/2 cont'd below)