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

Quality vs. Quantity

08-09-2012, 01:06 PM
#1
Joined: Mar 2012
Location: Bangkok, Thailand
Posts: 200
Quality vs. Quantity

Hey guys,

I've been noticing a trend lately of Quantity being greater than Quality on the app store with small studios just trying to crank mediocre games out as fast as they can. I visited a small game development studio recently and was kind of surprised to hear that they aim to have all their games finished in 2 months with another 2 for testing and polishing. I mean, sure, you can get a mega jump or angry birds clone done in that time but to really do something worthwhile, it would take more time than that. I think the big differentiator between average app store drivel and stuff that I want to actually buy is quality. Still I see small developers just go for the "Release as many apps as possible and hope that one of them is an Angry Birds success".

I'm working part time but I still plan to spend a full year in development on my game. Am I a fool for focusing on quality for my first app? I feel like it will pay off in the long run but maybe I'm wrong.

Thoughts? Opinions?
08-09-2012, 04:57 PM
#2
Joined: Jan 2011
Location: UK
Posts: 195
I've discussed this topic with a few other devs in the past, the trends are very clear and disheartening

The mobile app/game market is russian roulette:
there is no guarantee a high-quality game will hit big, just as there is nothing stopping a low-quality game from becoming amazingly popular

Many developers feel if they keep churning out low/mediocre quality games quickly then that will improve their chances of striking gold sooner.
Can't argue with that, statistics 101
Gameloft seem to be strong believers of this at any rate, seems to be working for them

But there are also many developers who are willing to gamble on their beliefs and create high-quality games

Each developer has their own opinions and bias on the subject, but most of the devs here on TA will probably agree with you (myself included):

better to put in enough love and effort to make higher-quality games, instead of pumping out shovelware and further polluting the market

Afterall, the more low-quality games there are on the appstore, the more likely that customers expectations will change and things will get worse for everyone in the industry (especially for the small indie devs already struggling)

08-09-2012, 07:32 PM
#3
Quote:
Originally Posted by CharredDirt View Post
Hey guys,

Am I a fool for focusing on quality for my first app?
If you don't aim for quality what's the point?

__________________

Disparity Games
Run Fatty Run
08-09-2012, 08:09 PM
#4
Quote:
Originally Posted by CharredDirt View Post
Thoughts? Opinions?
Honestly the current Timeframe seem to be more like six Months or even less if it comes to the big Studios. This often leads to Bugs that are so obvious that a few Years ago Reviewer would have literally wrote the hole Review about those and not about the Game itself.

But since nowadays less and less Reviewer that don`t have more experience then a few Months simply try to make something Bad still look good or even advise to live with it less and less Developer/Publisher will keep actually caring about if a Game is free of Bugs/Glitches/... or if they are still Bugs left that are Plot stopping or not just because they wanted to rush out a Release on Day X.

I know of at least two Publisher/Developer where the Intern Testing Team clearly gave the advise to postpone the Release Date and the Games were still launched while well knowing what will happen if someone loads the Game up on iDevice X.

The current behavior is unacceptable but in a time where nobody does have the will to write about it and only drops a Rating when a Publisher stops advertising on some Websites I can understand the reasoning of those that keep it the current Way.
08-10-2012, 03:58 AM
#5
Joined: Jun 2012
Location: Devon, UK
Posts: 121
As its your first game then 1 year sounds like a long time. What I've found each cycle (on third) is that I learn lots of new things that I only thought I knew.

So I too have spent longer than average developing each app, but in hindsight I would have learned the easy way a lot quicker had the other two apps only taken 3 months instead of 6 months each. This one is taking around a year, too. I feel the quality level is relatively right up there - I still worry about getting word around more than anything and sometimes wonder if it was wise taking longer instead of shorter!

Web: www.zenout.co.uk
Follow: @zenoutJez
Developer: BubbleSand Tetroms (Attic Eyes...Soon!)
AppStore search string: "Jez Hammond"
08-10-2012, 04:00 AM
#6
Hi guys,
I'm Catalin nice to meet you! I'm part of a two man team of Appsolute Creations.
I saw this thread and I had to post my thoughts because of what we have experienced with our game. Granted our graphics are not the best just yet (currently working on an update for that) but the gameplay and everything else is solid. 1 year was spent on the game. People who play it totally love it. I beta tested all over with different age groups of complete strangers and I was sure I had something good. So what happened? Well we fell off the radar in 2 days! We tried sending out emails to reviewers, posted around online, did the facebook thing, and twitter, etc. Seemed like we did everything by the book. So we were excited to launch. Launch day came and went and no one payed attention. We had ONE review published while people who were downloading were actually leaving 5 star reviews in the store.

So where are we now? We fell off the map completely. The main reason so many crap apps are released is exactly this. And it is followed by the fact that apple took away the way updates once worked where they would push you back to the new release top. So now not only is it hit or miss as you develop, but once you do, you have NO WAY of getting noticed again after those first 2 days. We didn't get any replies about reveiws from any site. So the point becomes, why spend so much time as a small developer on something that won't be even SEEN. The big boys took over the store. The little guys are playing the lottery. And instead of updating to improve on ONE app, it makes more sense to churn out a few crap ones instead in order to say ....hey look I'm here! Look at me! In a sea of millions of dollars of advertising pushed by the big names. How can a little guy ever compete with an app like where's my water, that isn't even a good game, but has actual commercials on the disney channel!? Just an example. But I think you get the point.

I'm not trying to bitch too much lol, but the current app store set up no longer favors the little guys. Sure it allows you to put your game up and that's great. But let's be serious no one is going to flip past 25 pages of the top big name apps to find yours.

I don't know maybe we did something wrong....it's all a learning experience. But this is just what I have seen so far. Hopefully our next project has a different outcome. But then again we all think we will win the lottery eventually if we keep playing right? lol

Thanks for listening!
08-10-2012, 04:02 AM
#7
Quote:
Originally Posted by PixelPower View Post
On Toucharcade alot of developers are judgemental sometimes to the extreme of each other. There are new developers who never went to school to learn how to program and are learning on thier on time. To a developer who has had 3-4 years or more exp, they might say oh they are releasing crap but honestly the newer developer might not be able to program everything that he wants to in his game. Also unless you know objective C , you most likely use a game development tool that has limitations leading to cutting out of certain features in your game or app.

To end this what one person might think is crap , another person thinks is gold. I remember 2 years ago I downloaded doodle jump because of all hype surrounding it , even though I didnt really like the look of it from screenshots. I downloaded it and played it and thought this is a piece of garbage. Yet it didn't matter what I thought , once the game reached the top of the charts its considered the best game ever even by toucharcade.

Golden rule in most people's eye's if your game blows up, its the best game ever. If it doesnt blow up , they find a million things you could have fixed to make it better. Welcome to the appstore lottery store !!
So well said buddy!
08-10-2012, 04:25 AM
#8
Joined: Feb 2011
Location: Isle of Wight, UK
Posts: 1,509
Quote:
Originally Posted by Balloon Loons View Post
I don't know maybe we did something wrong....
You did everything wrong.

I went to check out your app but you don't even have a link in your sig. People are not telepathic - you didn't get noticed because you've clearly done absolutely nothing to get noticed.

Can't do marketing yourself? Hire a PR firm. Marketing is not optional.

Can't compete with where's my water? Downer, neither can we. But neither of us need to, do we.

Here's a fortune cookie: If you make quality, it's not guaranteed to fly. If you make crap it is guaranteed to fail. Pointing out exceptions to either statement does not serve a useful purpose, as trying to be an exception is also a road to failure.
08-10-2012, 04:38 AM
#9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rubicon View Post
You did everything wrong.

I went to check out your app but you don't even have a link in your sig. People are not telepathic - you didn't get noticed because you've clearly done absolutely nothing to get noticed.

Can't do marketing yourself? Hire a PR firm. Marketing is not optional.

Can't compete with where's my water? Downer, neither can we. But neither of us need to, do we.

Here's a fortune cookie: If you make quality, it's not guaranteed to fly. If you make crap it is guaranteed to fail. Pointing out exceptions to either statement does not serve a useful purpose, as trying to be an exception is also a road to failure.
First let me say to you. Awesome game! Nice job on thAt!
You're right about putting the link in the signature. I'll do that. But that's hardly correct to say I did nothing just because of that lol. I sent out tons of emails that were never replied back to. I even bought some ads! I posted on forums and had Only a few replies. Facebook ads. Fb page. Hmmm let's see what else.....oh yea had a hot girl who runs a website with huge traffic shoot with a balloon loons tshirt .

So maybe I should ask you. Where did you start? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
08-10-2012, 04:46 AM
#10
Joined: Feb 2011
Location: Isle of Wight, UK
Posts: 1,509
Well, clearly I assumed you'd done nothing because putting a link in all your online forum sigs is a day #1 job.

We're shite at marketing so hired a PR firm tbh. No wisdom here. The amount of release day reviews we got from that easily covered their fees.

However, this is what you should take the time to watch (it's an hour long). Watching this presentation is far more important than anything else you could possibly do in your indie career, including starting the next game.

http://vimeo.com/28846726