★ TouchArcade needs your help. Click here to support us on Patreon.

Advertising for your apps??? what? why? how?

12-06-2009, 08:36 AM
#1
Joined: Aug 2009
Posts: 817
Advertising for your apps??? what? why? how?

From i quit my job to now about 5 months , an i had made 4 games(3 on sale, 1 i hidden it), 1 appliation(rejected 3 times, and now still in reviewing), with my UI designer partner. yeah, just 2 people. i design, code, publish, popularize and so on.

recently sale games

1. GeoGeo Wars(1.1 out last week, 1.2 was submitted, price 50% off)

http://forums.toucharcade.com/showthread.php?t=35517

2. Stick Hero(on promo sale, price 50% off)
http://forums.toucharcade.com/showthread.php?t=35546


another small application is still in reviewing state....

but to now, i only got payment from apple $160..., it sounds badly.
but it's true.

each guy got known that it's more and more difficulty to make a good sale for yourself app,
because the apps out speed is getting more quickly. so your apps will get fewer chance to
let customers know it.

at the same time, more big companies published apps on appstore. but they have enough
money to advertise their games, their applications. yeah, TA is a great forum for users, developers,
so many big companies came here to advertise their products.

but how about developers just like me? i think many developers are working in a small team just as me. so i come here to get your opinions,
suggestions, sure, anything will be welcome.


Last edited by adot777; 12-07-2009 at 12:16 PM.
12-06-2009, 12:51 PM
#2
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 536
There’s a number of ways you can sell your game through how you present it—much of a person’s judgement of a game goes on that icon and first screenshot. Make sure those look stunning.

Elsewhere (this is general advice for everyone):

- Get a website up for your games. The best way is to buy domains for each game now that .com websites are so cheap to get hold of. Make sure it is a top level because a subdomain can look unprofessional.

- Grab a Twitter account and interact with the community. Don’t be selling your game every tweet, just let people know what’s going on.

- YouTube videos of gameplay can really help sell a game to people.

- Create a press pack including press release, screen shots and videos. Send it to every iPhone gaming site you can find and you should find one or two who will at least preview it if not ask you for a review copy.

- Promocodes are good for giveaways, but make sure you designate your first batch for reviewers so that you can get the word out on the game quickly.

- Buy advertising. Smaller websites generally charge less for advertisement placements, and these can be viewed by many more people than their review.

Hope that helps.

Games Uncovered: The best iPhone gaming news and reviews.
www.gamesuncovered.com
twitter.com/gamesuncovered
youtube.com/gamesuncovered

12-06-2009, 01:17 PM
#3
Joined: Sep 2009
Location: Switzerland
Posts: 300
Come on find some more people and do your best and create an awesome game come on just find some programmers and do your best and i think you will be able to make a good game that will bring you more than enough money.Just find an idea,programmers and an inspiration then start making it.Im sure that if you find good people and make a good project you will earn more money than now just take your time to make the game.If you will make it pm me i want to be the beta tester.
12-06-2009, 01:34 PM
#4
Joined: Jun 2009
Location: London, UK
Posts: 3,741
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cybertox View Post
Come on find some more people and do your best and create an awesome game come on just find some programmers and do your best and i think you will be able to make a good game that will bring you more than enough money.Just find an idea,programmers and an inspiration then start making it.Im sure that if you find good people and make a good project you will earn more money than now just take your time to make the game.If you will make it pm me i want to be the beta tester.
This has got to be the best advice I've ever read. Make a good game, and use good people. It's... something beyond genius, it certainly never occurred to me. Perhaps this is where everyone's been going wrong.

I suggest you all take him up on his offer of beta testing*, cause if his feedback is anything like this you'll all be driving diamond-encrusted limousines within a fortnight.

*"- Don't beg/ask for promo codes or beta testing"

  /l、
゙(゚、 。 7 ノ
 l、゙ ~ヽ
 じしf_, )ノ

Last edited by MidianGTX; 12-06-2009 at 01:39 PM.
12-06-2009, 01:38 PM
#5
Joined: Jun 2009
Location: London, UK
Posts: 3,741
P.S. please rate my sarcasm. 1 being the lowest, 10 being the highest.

  /l、
゙(゚、 。 7 ノ
 l、゙ ~ヽ
 じしf_, )ノ
12-06-2009, 02:02 PM
#6
Joined: Feb 2009
Location: San Jose, CA
Posts: 546
Advertising is by far my weakest area. I don't really understand how to do it, and I'm usually dead tired of working on a project when it's finally released.

I rely heavily on Touch Arcade and word of mouth to advertise my games. I usually start by posting in the 'Upcoming Games' forum and try to build up some interest. Once the game is released, I'll post another thread and then check it frequently to answer questions and keep it fairly high in the the forum thread list. I haven't gotten much traction on this from past games, but I'll also submit review codes to big review sites. Finally, I'll distribute all 50 promo codes to fans of the game.

One thing that I've noticed works well for other games but I haven't tried much of yet is to really build interest through 'contests' or beta testing. I remember a quote from someone (I think it was Imangi) and it was something like "If you develop your game in obscurity, you'll sale it in obscurity as well". A lot of times, developers think their idea is really cool and unique and don't want to show their hand before their game is ready for release. However, there's a lot of risk in keeping your game a secret and having no one know about it once it's released. The chance of your idea being 'stolen' before you can release is much less of a risk. Additionally, beta testing encourages other forum members to discuss and promote your game FOR you, by keeping your thread bumped and letting their friends know how cool your game is.

I also wanted to comment on the 'competition myth'. It's certainly harder to score big on the App Store these days. HOWEVER, people make it seem much harder than it actually is. People see 100k apps and think "OMG, how can I compete with 100k apps?" You're not. People constantly want something new, even if it isn't as good as what they already have. It's easy to understand this: Gameloft puts some AAA titles on sale for $0.99 yet people still buy your game at the same price. If people can get a AAA game at a bargain price, who's buying the bargain games? The answer is that when people are tired of their old games, their willing to buy something new, simply because it's different than what they had before.

My latest game, Ski Champ, did about as well as I would have hoped, given the development time I put into it. I hit top 25 in Family, and was around 70 in Arcade for awhile. Do I REALLY think my game is one of the top 100 games on the App Store? No, not really. But I do think it was something new that people hadn't played before on the App Store.

I think the competition on the App Store gets a lot of press, but it's not quite as bad as people make it out to be.
12-06-2009, 02:43 PM
#7
Quote:
Originally Posted by MidianGTX View Post
P.S. please rate my sarcasm. 1 being the lowest, 10 being the highest.
MidianGTX: 6.5 overall, only because my sarcasm meter went off early. Unfortunately, I don't have a breakdown of the scoring system.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lazypeon View Post
Advertising is by far my weakest area. I don't really understand how to do it, and I'm usually dead tired of working on a project when it's finally released.
I think this is true for a large number of developers, marketing being the weakest and being tired after release.

For every aspect of Game Development, there is a lot of schooling involved. Developers often have a degree in CS/Programming or Graphic Design/Illustration. It isn't very often that a developer will have a degree in Marketing or Business. There is a reason people go to school to learn these things- they are difficult and take a huge amount of time to learn.

Marketing isn't any different. People go to school for 2+ years to become proficient at it and yet so many people fail to see the value in marketing. Obviously lazypeon DOES see the value in marketing, but a lot of developers simply ignore it or think of it as insignificant.

A ragdoll physics platformer:Flickitty
The artist: randall schleufer
Twitter: @FlickittyiPhone
12-06-2009, 03:18 PM
#8
Joined: Apr 2009
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 1,006
Agreed that if you believe you have a good game and want to get some initial visibility, having an eye-catching icon, title, primary screenshot, and keywords are hugely important. If the game can't catch anyone's interest even with these things, to be brutally honest, I don't know that there's much you can do that's particularly effective.

I don't know of anyone who swears by websites, twitter, youtube as effective means of promoting an app. These techniques are cheap, so I don't see any reason not to use them, but I wouldn't expect them to do much for sales. Think of it this way - how many people here bother subscribing to twitter feeds from developers? How many people bother visiting developer websites?

Promo packages are generally a waste of time. Unless you've met the moderators in person, or are already a well-known developer, the chance of getting getting an app featured on a site with a sizeable audience is generally even less than getting featured by Apple.

For better or worse, I don't know any indie developer that's has a positive experience with spending $ on advertising. Most folk I've talked to have either lost money or (barely) broken even.

Quote:
Originally Posted by different View Post
Thereís a number of ways you can sell your game through how you present itómuch of a personís judgement of a game goes on that icon and first screenshot. Make sure those look stunning.

Elsewhere (this is general advice for everyone):

- Get a website up for your games. The best way is to buy domains for each game now that .com websites are so cheap to get hold of. Make sure it is a top level because a subdomain can look unprofessional.

- Grab a Twitter account and interact with the community. Donít be selling your game every tweet, just let people know whatís going on.

- YouTube videos of gameplay can really help sell a game to people.

- Create a press pack including press release, screen shots and videos. Send it to every iPhone gaming site you can find and you should find one or two who will at least preview it if not ask you for a review copy.

- Promocodes are good for giveaways, but make sure you designate your first batch for reviewers so that you can get the word out on the game quickly.

- Buy advertising. Smaller websites generally charge less for advertisement placements, and these can be viewed by many more people than their review.

Hope that helps.
12-06-2009, 04:03 PM
#9
Joined: Sep 2008
Location: Washington, DC
Posts: 1,151
Quote:
Originally Posted by lazypeon View Post
I remember a quote from someone (I think it was Imangi) and it was something like "If you develop your game in obscurity, you'll sale it in obscurity as well".
My marketing talk is going around! I think it was something like "if you keep your game a secret before launch, it's going to stay a secret after launch." Pre-launch marketing is key.

In my opinion, the single thing you should spend your money on is meeting other people in the industry. That's going to be more helpful than anything else for a small indie team. So most definitely go to WWDC, GDC-San Francisco, and 360idev. Even more importantly, go to all the parties and networking events after the conferences. Meet other developers, meet the reviewers, meet people from Apple. We always learn so much from everyone, the conferences really pay for themselves.

Really, our last 2 projects (geoSpark and Hippo High Dive) were both born at the last 360iDev conference only 2 months ago. Harbor Master was born at GDC-San Francisco last April, when we heard all the amazing sessions on how games need to be fun (I know, blew our minds too). And App Treasures was born at the previous 360iDev in April.

Now that I write that all out, I'm not really sure what we'd be doing right now (or how we'd be feeding ourselves) if we didn't go to all those conferences and meet all the great people who helped us along the way
12-06-2009, 05:20 PM
#10
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 536
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stroffolino View Post
Think of it this way - how many people here bother subscribing to twitter feeds from developers? How many people bother visiting developer websites?
Iím not saying to swear by YouTube, FaceBook or Twitter as the be and end all of promotion. But they are literally no cost and you can get more of a sizeable buzz around your app than if you didnít have them.

Take Blacksmith Gamesóthey had a promotion on which if they got 2,000 followers they would have the price of Plushed down to 99c on launch. Sure, they didnít get all the followers initially but now they have a 3700+ strong fan base and their app isnít even out. Sure, postings on here probably helped that along but it was an inventive idea.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stroffolino View Post
For better or worse, I don't know any indie developer that's has a positive experience with spending $ on advertising. Most folk I've talked to have either lost money or (barely) broken even.
Ultimately, you have to spend brass to make brass.

Games Uncovered: The best iPhone gaming news and reviews.
www.gamesuncovered.com
twitter.com/gamesuncovered
youtube.com/gamesuncovered