Support our Sponsors:
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 09-29-2012, 12:25 PM
Hobbsicle's Avatar
Hobbsicle Hobbsicle is offline
Developer
iPhone 3GS
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 212
Default Great Reviews, Bad Sales

Hey there,

Looking for some advice on what to do with my first game that has been out about 2 and a half weeks.

The game is called "The Way We Roll" and it is a puzzle adventure game. I have gotten some very positive feedback on it. iFanzine reviewed it on Day 1 and gave it 4.5 out of 5. Their only complaint we already fixed for the first update we'll be submitting in the next day or two.

Here on the forum, the feedback has also been very good, with people saying it is "one of the best puzzlers on the app store", being "surprised" at how good it is (which might be a clue?), saying it is a game that "defines what iOS gaming should be", saying they enjoyed it more than Blast-A-Way, and other comments that seem very exciting.

Trouble is, my sales are quite low, and I'm trying to figure out what I can do to encourage more sales, because I am still pretty green at the business side of the app store.

So far, we have a website (which is so-so), a blog, a Facebook page, a Twitter account, and a presence here on the forums. I sent out a good bit of press kits at launch, but iFanzine is the only one that gave us coverage (aside from a few small or foreign blogs).

We're about to submit an update which addresses almost all of the complaints anyone has had so far.

Launched at 99 cents as a "launch sale". About 2 weeks in, I switched it to free for 2 days, which got it about 4,000 downloads, rising into the Top 5 Puzzle games in France, but lower ranks elsewhere. I then ended the sale, and brought the price up to $1.99. Gotten 1 download a day since then...

We didn't launch with a free version, but are about to submit one that will have fewer levels and links to buy the full version.

I'm also considering a different icon, a better main graphic, etc. but I wanted to get some outside feedback about what might be a good approach at this point...

Thanks for your help.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 09-29-2012, 12:46 PM
BazookaTime's Avatar
BazookaTime BazookaTime is offline
👮 Spam Police 🚓
iPhone 5s, iOS 8.x
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Colorado
Posts: 5,050
Default

I am no expert but having a launch sale and then going free so quick only to rise the price was probably not a great idea. People are already cheap if they see you went free, they will wait for free again. The people that missed the .99 or free sale probably won't be paying 1.99.

I released a game at 1.99 and had good sales. I dropped the price to .99 and eventually free and the sales decline. now at .99 it never recovered.

Any luck with some other review sites? I will look into the game and can leave review.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 09-29-2012, 12:55 PM
Hobbsicle's Avatar
Hobbsicle Hobbsicle is offline
Developer
iPhone 3GS
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 212
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by BazookaTime View Post
I am no expert but having a launch sale and then going free so quick only to rise the price was probably not a great idea. People are already cheap if they see you went free, they will wait for free again. The people that missed the .99 or free sale probably won't be paying 1.99.

I released a game at 1.99 and had good sales. I dropped the price to .99 and eventually free and the sales decline. now at .99 it never recovered.

Any luck with some other review sites? I will look into the game and can leave review.
Thanks for the feedback. I feared that going free at all at that time was probably not a good idea. The sales had already dropped to 2-3 per day at 99 cents, so it was kind of an impulse decision that I made with the hope of keeping up some momentum. But yeah, I can see that it might not have been the best.

It was our plan all along to launch at 99 cents, then raise to 1.99, but my free promotion there in the middle was unplanned, and possibly unwise. Regardless, though, it's what happened and so now I'm looking to move forward.

Haven't had any luck with other review sites yet, but maybe I should send out a second round of requests after the update hits?
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 09-29-2012, 01:17 PM
mobile1up mobile1up is offline
Senior Member
iPad 2
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Munich, Germany
Posts: 752
Send a message via Skype™ to mobile1up
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by BazookaTime View Post
I am no expert but having a launch sale and then going free so quick only to rise the price was probably not a great idea. People are already cheap if they see you went free, they will wait for free again. The people that missed the .99 or free sale probably won't be paying 1.99. I released a game at 1.99 and had good sales. I dropped the price to .99 and eventually free and the sales decline. now at .99 it never recovered. Any luck with some other review sites? I will look into the game and can leave review.
i agree, take your time.

you do not have to make a lot of money immediately. let it sit, give away a few promo codes to review sites and see if they will cover it. after three months (minimum), run a campaign - like with "apprewards club" - also run by a few members of the forums here. my app, caveman is currently (today) going this this.. after, it will switch back to the original price..

the app store can be a very ugly place.. you just need to learn from everyone and hope for the best.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 09-29-2012, 01:18 PM
Eoghann Eoghann is offline
Senior Member
iPhone 4, iOS 5.x
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: New York
Posts: 1,191
Default

I saw 15 mins. of gameplay from Sanuku's video to get an idea of what the game is about. Here are a couple of personal observations (good and bad) as to why or why not, as a consumer I would consider this game.

Stark lack of sound effects, just a beautiful acoustic guitar. I know it may be soothing for some...boring for others. Soundwise there is not much going on..not much difference from playing it on mute if you're not into classical guitar.

Some sounds of leaves rustling when the ball hits the bushes, or a tapping when it hits the stones, or a hollow wooden noise when hitting a log, something to give more life to the area. The plot of the game is to rescue survivors from different areas, though it appears that the same red gentleman with big eyes needs saving. Some variety maybe?

The game indeed has color...sadly, not vibrant. When I think of vibrant colors I think Subway Surfers, Run Roo Run, Mega Run, or Lili. Maybe turn up the saturation a bit on the colors.

Lot's of humor! Really love the dialogue and the hand drawn schematics.

The puzzles look impressive and challenging. Some quite daunting even.

Upon seeing gameplay it definitely looks like a very nice game that I would be willing to try, but that's because I saw gameplay. Had I not seen that, I would have passed along this game because to me it doesn't stand out.

I hope you don't find these comments hurtful or mean spirited, I try my best to provide constructive criticism on games that have a great idea or mechanic but can use some improvements to engage the user.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 09-29-2012, 01:25 PM
Hobbsicle's Avatar
Hobbsicle Hobbsicle is offline
Developer
iPhone 3GS
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 212
Default

Thanks, that seems good advice. I always hear these stories that you will make all the money you'll make on the game in the first couple of months, and so I think my reactions were based on the fear that waiting would kill my game.

But I know plenty of older games that I've picked up after having been released a while, so I should exercise some patience. Difficult when you're all freaked out about your first game!

Quote:
Originally Posted by mobile1up View Post
i agree, take your time.

you do not have to make a lot of money immediately. let it sit, give away a few promo codes to review sites and see if they will cover it. after three months (minimum), run a campaign - like with "apprewards club" - also run by a few members of the forums here. my app, caveman is currently (today) going this this.. after, it will switch back to the original price..

the app store can be a very ugly place.. you just need to learn from everyone and hope for the best.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 09-29-2012, 02:41 PM
mobile1up mobile1up is offline
Senior Member
iPad 2
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Munich, Germany
Posts: 752
Send a message via Skype™ to mobile1up
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hobbsicle View Post
Thanks, that seems good advice. I always hear these stories that you will make all the money you'll make on the game in the first couple of months, and so I think my reactions were based on the fear that waiting would kill my game.

But I know plenty of older games that I've picked up after having been released a while, so I should exercise some patience. Difficult when you're all freaked out about your first game!
if this is your first game of many.. relax! so much more potential!
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 09-29-2012, 06:51 PM
Hobbsicle's Avatar
Hobbsicle Hobbsicle is offline
Developer
iPhone 3GS
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 212
Default

I missed this earlier.

Thank you very much for your impressions. Not taken negatively at all, very constructive, and honestly the kind of thing I was looking for.

Here's the fun thing about all that. And by fun, I mean not that so much.

We DO have sound effects. And quite a few, actually. In fact, I've gotten some comments about how those sound effects really add to the ambience. Problem is, they were not implemented correctly the first time around. The sound effects were tied to the system sounds, so whatever method is used by Sanuku to create those videos does not pick up those sounds. We fixed this for the upcoming update, but a bit too late, unfortunately.

As for the variety, we released with the first world, which is most (or all) of what you see there. There is also a bonus underground world, but the green grassy place is the majority of the gameplay at this point. So that accounts for two of the survivors. Were already at work on the second world and corresponding bonus world that will introduce 2 more survivors. I think once that hits, I'll be able to design the screenshots and the trailer to include much more variety.

Finally, the vibrancy of color: I hadn't thought about that before. It seemed colorful to me, but admittedly it's more of a "realistic" scheme than a supersaturated one. But I'd be interested to see what you would think if I upped the saturation to see if that improves anything, so I'll whip up some mock screenshots to see how they look.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Eoghann View Post
I saw 15 mins. of gameplay from Sanuku's video to get an idea of what the game is about. Here are a couple of personal observations (good and bad) as to why or why not, as a consumer I would consider this game.

Stark lack of sound effects, just a beautiful acoustic guitar. I know it may be soothing for some...boring for others. Soundwise there is not much going on..not much difference from playing it on mute if you're not into classical guitar.

Some sounds of leaves rustling when the ball hits the bushes, or a tapping when it hits the stones, or a hollow wooden noise when hitting a log, something to give more life to the area. The plot of the game is to rescue survivors from different areas, though it appears that the same red gentleman with big eyes needs saving. Some variety maybe?

The game indeed has color...sadly, not vibrant. When I think of vibrant colors I think Subway Surfers, Run Roo Run, Mega Run, or Lili. Maybe turn up the saturation a bit on the colors.

Lot's of humor! Really love the dialogue and the hand drawn schematics.

The puzzles look impressive and challenging. Some quite daunting even.

Upon seeing gameplay it definitely looks like a very nice game that I would be willing to try, but that's because I saw gameplay. Had I not seen that, I would have passed along this game because to me it doesn't stand out.

I hope you don't find these comments hurtful or mean spirited, I try my best to provide constructive criticism on games that have a great idea or mechanic but can use some improvements to engage the user.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 09-29-2012, 08:03 PM
Eoghann Eoghann is offline
Senior Member
iPhone 4, iOS 5.x
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: New York
Posts: 1,191
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hobbsicle View Post
I missed this earlier.

Thank you very much for your impressions. Not taken negatively at all, very constructive, and honestly the kind of thing I was looking for.

Here's the fun thing about all that. And by fun, I mean not that so much.

We DO have sound effects. And quite a few, actually. In fact, I've gotten some comments about how those sound effects really add to the ambience. Problem is, they were not implemented correctly the first time around. The sound effects were tied to the system sounds, so whatever method is used by Sanuku to create those videos does not pick up those sounds. We fixed this for the upcoming update, but a bit too late, unfortunately.

As for the variety, we released with the first world, which is most (or all) of what you see there. There is also a bonus underground world, but the green grassy place is the majority of the gameplay at this point. So that accounts for two of the survivors. Were already at work on the second world and corresponding bonus world that will introduce 2 more survivors. I think once that hits, I'll be able to design the screenshots and the trailer to include much more variety.

Finally, the vibrancy of color: I hadn't thought about that before. It seemed colorful to me, but admittedly it's more of a "realistic" scheme than a supersaturated one. But I'd be interested to see what you would think if I upped the saturation to see if that improves anything, so I'll whip up some mock screenshots to see how they look.
Glad you replied. I thought I had upset you. xD

Good to hear it has sound effects. Coz I did notice the bushes and shrooms wiggle when you roll into them, so I was finding it strange how you'd take the time to animate those objects yet not make them produce a sound.

Speaking of trailer, I saw the launch trailer and noticed quite a difference between the trailer graphics and the actual gameplay graphics. I think it's because of the dark space background that makes all the colors pop! And the sky background is probably too light and gives the impression of the colors being washed?

Here's a little something I worked on to illustrate what I'm trying to say:

Left: Original, Center: Vibrance and Saturation adjusted. Right: Same settings as center, but with a space background.



As for the gameplay, I'm getting more and more intrigued by it, seems to be quite a variety of traps in there. I'm interested to know what other kinds of gadgets, gizmos, traps, enemies and helpful creatures are in each world to provide challenge to the player. Like trap doors, teleporters, tunnels that take me to secret levels or another part of said world. That should be something worth conveying in screenshots (I personally more than often decide by the screenshots than by the description).
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 09-29-2012, 08:30 PM
Dazzlemi Dazzlemi is offline
Senior Member
iPad mini, iOS 7.x
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 776
Default

I paid .99 cents for, and like it a lot. I got side tracked with other things
Reply With Quote

Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Copyright 2012, TouchArcade.com, LLC.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Copyright 2008 - 2011, TouchArcade.com. Privacy Policy / DMCA Copyright Agent