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

Developer Lessons Learned

05-25-2009, 04:52 PM
#1
Joined: Apr 2009
Posts: 89
Developer Lessons Learned

After building quite a few games and putting them on the app store there are a bunch of lessons I have learned. These apply to the store as it currently stands.

1. Spend no more than two days max developing any game or entertainment app. If it takes more than two days you are likely spending way more than you will ever make.

2. Game play, the game has to be coded so that a 3 yr old can beat the first two levels if not you will get beat up in reviews.

3. Accelerometer controls are great but you will get beat up for implementing them because the vast majority of users cannot figure it out.

4. 3d games are cool but the device does not have enough juice to run complicated scenes and you will get beat up for not having 50K poly high
resolution graphics.

5. Farts and Pee and other bodily functions pay anything else good luck with it.

6. Ignore the review system there are a ton of malicious idiots that think they are going to get a clone of "WOW" for 99 cents. The people that do like your game will not review it.

7. Promo codes you might get 1 or two reviews max for every 50 you give out.

8. Paying customers give better reviews, make it free and you get beat
up. I have no idea why this is but it is a fact.

9 Lite versions have no impact on sales any longer in fact we have found that they only hurt sales.

10 If you make the code easy to port to another platform it is a good idea because you can probably make more money with ad supported games.


Be prepared to make less money than you would if you where begging on the street corner. Like a idiot I will keep developing for the platform in hopes that someday apple will fix the store. The way it works now is completely broken and encourages junk apps.


Any more things to add to this list?
05-25-2009, 05:01 PM
#2
Everything you have said we have found is false...

In the end it comes down to 1)making good games and 2)luck

05-25-2009, 05:10 PM
#3
Joined: Oct 2008
Posts: 2,326
Felt kinda bad, d/l teeter now, if I like it I'll buy your other game and review both.

In the end it's bad luck sometimes

Check out Randomness is green
some youtube comment:
Quote:
She's smart...
in a parallel universe, 100 billion years ago
05-25-2009, 05:11 PM
#4
I agree with jonaswillis.

Ever think that this:

Quote:
Be prepared to make less money than you would if you where begging on the street corner. Like a idiot I will keep developing for the platform in hopes that someday apple will fix the store. The way it works now is completely broken and encourages junk apps.
Might have something to do with this?

Quote:
1. Spend no more than two days max developing any game or entertainment app. If it takes more than two days you are likely spending way more than you will ever make.

Didev Studios || Twitter || YouTube || Facebook
Releases
GeoSnake || Bugz || Review Scraper (Open Source)
05-25-2009, 05:12 PM
#5
Joined: Apr 2009
Posts: 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by jonaswills View Post
Everything you have said we have found is false...

In the end it comes down to 1)making good games and 2)luck
Actually some of your review stats support at least some of my points. Bounce on for instance how many 1 star reviews? I have played it great game also by the way, anyone rating it a 1 star needs to be hit up along side the head.
05-25-2009, 05:14 PM
#6
Joined: May 2009
Location: Vancouver!
Posts: 11
I also think a successful game/app also comes down to building a good brand. If you consistently put out good games, build good partnerships and play the branding game well (consistent messaging, great logo, visibility) you will be more inclined to win. Making iPhone apps/games is like any other business. People want to spend their money on something reliable and you may have the best game in the world, but if the consumer doesn't trust you they won't buy it (generally).

The tricky part is building brand awareness takes time, consistency and talent. When us developers are not making a dime its tough, but on the bright side, investors do understand this component of building a company and they are willing to listen to the right pitch.

Farrah! Follow me on Twitter.
Resident loony at Genius Factor Games

Titles out: Gravity Well
Coming soon: more super fun games we hope you like
05-25-2009, 05:15 PM
#7
Joined: Apr 2009
Posts: 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by InsertWittyName View Post
I agree with jonaswillis.

Ever think that this:



Might have something to do with this?

I would like to agree with you but searching through stuff 1000 and less in rankings I see some really great stuff down there that will never see the light of day.
05-25-2009, 05:17 PM
#8
Joined: Mar 2009
Location: Seattle, WA USA
Posts: 4,761
Quote:
Originally Posted by codepunk View Post
Actually some of your review stats support at least some of my points. Bounce on for instance how many 1 star reviews? I have played it great game also by the way, anyone rating it a 1 star needs to be hit up along side the head.
Actually the problem is with Apple.. it automatically rates a game 1 star when you delete a game.. alot of people leave reviews saying they like the game and then rate it 1 star.. It should automatically be 3 stars if anything at all.
Of course people that delete a game won't like it as much as people that keep it on their iPhone/iPod.
05-25-2009, 05:26 PM
#9
Joined: Sep 2008
Location: Los Angeles, USA
Posts: 722
Quote:
Originally Posted by codepunk View Post
1. Spend no more than two days max developing any game or entertainment app. If it takes more than two days you are likely spending way more than you will ever make.
There's no way you can make a decent app in two days. (Well, maybe a ~2% chance.) The best you can hope for with this is to be a DSEffects, who I assume are profitable because they still exist. Maybe that's just the way things are if you want the best chance of making money.. Isn't this is what killed videogames before the NES, tho? Developers spammed cheap '99c' games, no one noticed there was any good games anymore among all the crap, industry crashed.

Last edited by spacecowgoesmoo; 05-25-2009 at 05:30 PM.
05-25-2009, 08:41 PM
#10
Quote:
Originally Posted by codepunk View Post
1. Spend no more than two days max developing any game or entertainment app. If it takes more than two days you are likely spending way more than you will ever make.
I disagree. Take the time to do it right. I spent around four months making my first game, and made six figures and counting.

Quote:
Originally Posted by codepunk View Post
2. Game play, the game has to be coded so that a 3 yr old can beat the first two levels if not you will get beat up in reviews.
Or provide excellent instructions, that they are forced to read during the first launch.

Quote:
Originally Posted by codepunk View Post
3. Accelerometer controls are great but you will get beat up for implementing them because the vast majority of users cannot figure it out.
See #2.

Quote:
Originally Posted by codepunk View Post
4. 3d games are cool but the device does not have enough juice to run complicated scenes and you will get beat up for not having 50K poly high
resolution graphics.
I don't make 3D games, but I've seen enough to know it's plenty capable.

Quote:
Originally Posted by codepunk View Post
5. Farts and Pee and other bodily functions pay anything else good luck with it.
They're fads. Fads die quickly. Real apps win in the end.

Quote:
Originally Posted by codepunk View Post
6. Ignore the review system there are a ton of malicious idiots that think they are going to get a clone of "WOW" for 99 cents. The people that do like your game will not review it.
I disagree completely.

Quote:
Originally Posted by codepunk View Post
7. Promo codes you might get 1 or two reviews max for every 50 you give out.
I disagree completely.

Quote:
Originally Posted by codepunk View Post
8. Paying customers give better reviews, make it free and you get beat
up. I have no idea why this is but it is a fact.
Absolutely agree. Kids get the free stuff, and review accordingly.

Quote:
Originally Posted by codepunk View Post
9 Lite versions have no impact on sales any longer in fact we have found that they only hurt sales.
Disagree completely. My Lite versions bring in tons of sales.

Quote:
Originally Posted by codepunk View Post
10 If you make the code easy to port to another platform it is a good idea because you can probably make more money with ad supported games.
Ad supported games revenue fades quickly, according to studies.

Quote:
Originally Posted by codepunk View Post
Be prepared to make less money than you would if you where begging on the street corner. Like a idiot I will keep developing for the platform in hopes that someday apple will fix the store. The way it works now is completely broken and encourages junk apps.
Don't make two day apps. Spend time on them, and make them little things of beauty. If you hit upon something good, people will buy it. But you must also market yourself, as nothing will just sell because it's there anymore.