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  #11  
Old 09-29-2012, 10:11 PM
Connector Connector is offline
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Why didn't you make this game universal? I really think these days that if you don't have a dedicated hd version, any Indie game really needs to be universal to maximize popularity and promotion. Especially a puzzle ball game which would almost always play better on the ipad.

I know for me, I loaded it on my ipad, said the 2x graphics weren't that great, and then instantly deleted it.

I really think unknown Indie titles really need to be universal,or they are kind of shooting themselves in the foot. But that is my personal opinion. Plus screenshots of the ipad version always look good on youtube and the descriptions which helps too.
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  #12  
Old 09-30-2012, 06:32 AM
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Rubicon Rubicon is offline
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I think part of the problem is the screenshots. They do look well made and professional so it's not like it makes the game look bad. But they also give no clue as to what the gameplay actually is about.

Most people don't read the blurb text on the store if they just want a quick fix. One day when one of our games has utterly died, I'm going to prove that to myself by changing all the text to "rhubarb rhubarb rhubarb" filled with occasional "don't buy this game, its shite" to see if it actually has an effect.

Now you've gone free, I'd recommend putting revmob advertising in. It's not as obtrusive as banner ads and can pay dividends by all accounts, though not trialled it yet myself. Or maybe a bit of iap. In short, continue to think of this as a free game and not a paid game that's still on promotion.

People can stomach missing out on a sale if they don't happen often, but if you get a rep for having one week a month at a lower price, all those using appshopper etc will spot the trend and wait until next time.
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  #13  
Old 10-01-2012, 03:11 PM
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Hobbsicle Hobbsicle is offline
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Thanks for the further clarification. I see what you mean with those screenshots. I mean, those were perhaps a little bit too saturated, or at least would need some color adjustment, but when looking at those screenshots side by side, the first one does look a lot more drab by comparison.

And the video in the trailer possibly looks more vivid because it probably is. I upped the contrast and saturation on the video I shot, because the footage I had was pretty low contrast to begin with.

I'll mess with some of the color settings and see if I can get it to stand out better.

And we have a few puzzle elements in the first world that don't show up in the gameplay video. Things like moveable moles, turning bridges, and hidden portals in levels that open up secret levels. In world 2 there will be even more, some that we're really excited about. It seems that I might need to figure out how to better convey some of these things in the screenshots.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eoghann View Post
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).
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  #14  
Old 10-01-2012, 03:13 PM
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Hobbsicle Hobbsicle is offline
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A couple people here have said that it's one of the better-looking games at 2x, but I can't say, because I don't have an iPad myself. Regardless, we are working on making it universal, so once we do, I'll let you know, and maybe you can instantly reinstall it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Connector View Post
Why didn't you make this game universal? I really think these days that if you don't have a dedicated hd version, any Indie game really needs to be universal to maximize popularity and promotion. Especially a puzzle ball game which would almost always play better on the ipad.

I know for me, I loaded it on my ipad, said the 2x graphics weren't that great, and then instantly deleted it.

I really think unknown Indie titles really need to be universal,or they are kind of shooting themselves in the foot. But that is my personal opinion. Plus screenshots of the ipad version always look good on youtube and the descriptions which helps too.
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  #15  
Old 10-01-2012, 03:20 PM
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Hobbsicle Hobbsicle is offline
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Thanks, Rubicon. I've struggled with figuring out how to make the screenshots really convey the game, what it's about, and the unique elements. Not easy to do in a few single frames, but I'll see what I can come up with, possibly by blending together some images to convey some sort of animation. Any advice on what to do with the screenshots would be greatly appreciated.

And the game is no longer free, we put it back up at $1.99. For now, I'd prefer not to keep it free, so we'll just leave the price where it is for a while, and put out the updates we're working on. If sales never pick back up, I have thoughts of some ways I can do some unobtrusive IAP that may allow me to drop the price. Not for a while though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rubicon View Post
I think part of the problem is the screenshots. They do look well made and professional so it's not like it makes the game look bad. But they also give no clue as to what the gameplay actually is about.

Most people don't read the blurb text on the store if they just want a quick fix. One day when one of our games has utterly died, I'm going to prove that to myself by changing all the text to "rhubarb rhubarb rhubarb" filled with occasional "don't buy this game, its shite" to see if it actually has an effect.

Now you've gone free, I'd recommend putting revmob advertising in. It's not as obtrusive as banner ads and can pay dividends by all accounts, though not trialled it yet myself. Or maybe a bit of iap. In short, continue to think of this as a free game and not a paid game that's still on promotion.

People can stomach missing out on a sale if they don't happen often, but if you get a rep for having one week a month at a lower price, all those using appshopper etc will spot the trend and wait until next time.
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  #16  
Old 10-01-2012, 04:49 PM
SkyMuffin SkyMuffin is offline
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I generally agree with the other comments in here.

Your icon and first screenshot both fail to really tell me much about the game and what it's about. The description is written "in character" but I am still not really sure how it works after reading it all. These are all aspects that could be clarified.

Besides the color thing, the fact that you can see lines between tiles makes it feel a bit "cheap" or low production. That could be smoothed out. Best of luck!
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  #17  
Old 10-01-2012, 06:36 PM
Connector Connector is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hobbsicle View Post
A couple people here have said that it's one of the better-looking games at 2x, but I can't say, because I don't have an iPad myself. Regardless, we are working on making it universal, so once we do, I'll let you know, and maybe you can instantly reinstall it.
Yup, that I will do for sure. I'm not saying it looked bad in 2x or anything, but having a new ipad, I only keep games that look really good graphics wise on it. And your game had a lot of promise, so let me know when it is universal.

My point was that small Indie companies need as much support as they can get. While there isn't that big of an ipad market, the typical ipad user is more dedicated to ios and more likely to buy games. So without their support, it will be even harder for an Indie company to survive since most Ipad owners won't buy iphone only versions anymore.

Plus ipad version screenshots and youtube videos look so much better when promoting a game. I notice that many big name companies use their ipad version in their promotions rather than their iphone versions.

So any little thing will help small Indies become succesful.
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  #18  
Old 10-01-2012, 07:58 PM
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DemonJim DemonJim is offline
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I think the in-game graphics look great, very polished and really make me want to wander around this world. The icon however does not convey any of this though, and as SkyMuffin also says the first screenshot is bad just showing the title screen (in the wrong orientation) - this first screenshot really needs to be the best to show off the game.

I also agree you would be wise to get it working on Retina iPad making it Universal. Even people without an iPad will like it as they are getting more (and they probably want to get one at some point)

So my advice for a quick fix improvement is make the icon more striking and change screenshot 1. Longer term, go Universal (Retina and definitely support bigger screen of iPhone 5 etc.) and keep adding cool new features to updates. Then watch the sales go up and up - all the best.

Last edited by DemonJim; 10-01-2012 at 08:07 PM.. Reason: I are idiot
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  #19  
Old 10-03-2012, 12:22 AM
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Hobbsicle Hobbsicle is offline
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Thanks for all the advice, guys. Really helpful. I've already made the graphics more saturated, decreased the grid lines so they are barely noticeable, and began working on a new icon. I'll work on some better screenshots and clearer description, and get all this out in the update we'll be submitting this week.
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  #20  
Old 10-03-2012, 06:15 AM
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amroc amroc is offline
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Hey there Hobbsicle,

Just bought the game and I like it very much. I wanted to throw in my opinion. I agree with most of what's been said, and I do like the graphics. Seeing the screenshots of the level and the island like landscapes definitely intrigued me to try it. However one thing that did put me off was the icon and particularly the main character.

Sorry, I hope to not cause offense! The whole balls with eyes approach is extremely hard to design well. So it generally doesn't look very nice, with few exceptions. World of Goo managed to pull it off somehow, it worked as a whole, perhaps because there were so many of them. But just a single World of Goo ball as a game protagonist wouldn't have looked good, imo.

I know you probably don't want to make such a major change, but I do believe a main character redesign could make an enormous difference.

Gameplay is great, and that style of game can do very well (I met the dev who wrote a lovely game called Quell once, and that's had a decent amount of success I think). I can understand it's tricky to communicate this style of gameplay in screenshots, perhaps a screenshot with a series of faint arrows indicating the path of up/down/left/right movements to complete part of a level might work? The key thing is communicating the "movement until you hit something" aspect, as that will immediately be recognized by fans of the genre.

Hope this helps!

Last edited by amroc; 10-03-2012 at 06:20 AM..
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