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Old 02-21-2014, 02:42 AM
Justinq21 Justinq21 is offline
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Default Making my first game, have a few questions.

As the title says, I'm in the process of making my first game and i have a few questions before I get too deep into development.

A little background: I have over 7 years of 3D modeling experience, but most of my projects are visualizations so I've never had to worry about frame rates or polygon limits. Trying to create low poly models has been quite the adjustment. This is also my first real taste of programing. I've done little bits of Java and C++ here and there but this is my first real project. Programming is not one of my strengths as I'm more of a visual / artistic person but sense I'm making this game by myself I've been relying on books and forums to help with scripts.

I can't say too much about the game right now, but it's pretty much a shooter/ tower defense game. It's got a theme that I'm sure everyone can relate to and I've made some cute lovable characters to add to the appeal. The game is still in early stages. I chose Unity 3D for the engine.

As this is my fist time making a game, the game won't be too extraordinary. The concept is pretty simple, but the gameplay is both challenging and addictive. I've been studying the app market over the past few months to see what the current trends are.


Now for the questions:

1. This is my first game and I'm obviously an unknown indie so I don't expect people to be willing to throw $$$ at me. After thinking a while I decided that my best option is to launch the game as a free app with adds. On average, how much do you make from add supported games?

2. On free games with adds, do you get paid per use, or per purchase?

3. Is it better to program iOS games in Unity 3D with C# or Javascript?

4. What are some tips to prevent my app from getting lost in the crowd?

5. I intend on releasing my app on iOS, Android and maybe Windows Phone. Are there any other indie friendly platforms that don't cost much to publish games on? I was thinking Steam, but I'm not too familiar with that ecosystem.

Thanks in advance for the help. I will release more info and screenshots of the game when it gets closer to completion.
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  #2  
Old 02-21-2014, 03:07 AM
Fahim Fahim is offline
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I'll try to answer some of your questions though I'm sure others will have other perspectives to offer too

1. First, I wouldn't say that you should decide on ad-support just because you're an unknown. Look at all the options and decide what would work best for you. It probably would also depend on your game and how it works. For instance, if you have in-app purchases, then you might want to have no ads at all. Or you might decided to have both ads and in-app purchases.

On the other hand, if you think you only want to charge a small amount (say $ 0.99 - $4.99) I would think most people would be willing to pay that no matter who the game is from - as long as the game itself is good.

Consider for instance the case of Oceanhorn - I don't think those guys were well-known. But the game looked so brilliant and the game itself got such a huge following that they went for a paid game and I don't think too many people complained about paying around $9.99 (I think that was around the price point - I forget the actual price) for it.

As far as how much you make from ads goes, that would depend on your ad network and the number of users you get. You might make nothing if you have no users but you might make $50,000 a day (that was the reported figure for Flappy Bird) if your game is a huge hit

2. I believe this varies depending on the ad network and their terms. But usually you get paid per click. They just have to click on the ad and view it. They don't necessarily have to purchase anything based on the ad.

3. Program with whatever best suits your needs and what you're most comfortable with I don't believe it will matter in terms of game performance or speed. So pick what lets you do what you want to do, or what you know best.

4. I'm not sure that there's any sure-fire methods there If we knew it, I'm sure all of us would be using the same techniques. What you can do is create an interensting game that looks good and has good gameplay. Then try to create awareness for the game by letting other people know about your game early so that you can perhaps generate some buzz. That sort of thing. People won't be looking out for your game if they don't know about it ...

5. There are multiple platforms and app stores but I think you've got the main ones covered. However, if you're looking at Android, you might also want to look at Amazon's store and a few others too.

You might want to consider how much effort is required to release on each additional store and then decide if you want to go for them immediately or if you want to release on the major ones first and then release on the others later if your game does well.

Hope this helps

Quote:
Originally Posted by Justinq21 View Post
As the title says, I'm in the process of making my first game and i have a few questions before I get too deep into development.

A little background: I have over 7 years of 3D modeling experience, but most of my projects are visualizations so I've never had to worry about frame rates or polygon limits. Trying to create low poly models has been quite the adjustment. This is also my first real taste of programing. I've done little bits of Java and C++ here and there but this is my first real project. Programming is not one of my strengths as I'm more of a visual / artistic person but sense I'm making this game by myself I've been relying on books and forums to help with scripts.

I can't say too much about the game right now, but it's pretty much a shooter/ tower defense game. It's got a theme that I'm sure everyone can relate to and I've made some cute lovable characters to add to the appeal. The game is still in early stages. I chose Unity 3D for the engine.

As this is my fist time making a game, the game won't be too extraordinary. The concept is pretty simple, but the gameplay is both challenging and addictive. I've been studying the app market over the past few months to see what the current trends are.


Now for the questions:

1. This is my first game and I'm obviously an unknown indie so I don't expect people to be willing to throw $$$ at me. After thinking a while I decided that my best option is to launch the game as a free app with adds. On average, how much do you make from add supported games?

2. On free games with adds, do you get paid per use, or per purchase?

3. Is it better to program iOS games in Unity 3D with C# or Javascript?

4. What are some tips to prevent my app from getting lost in the crowd?

5. I intend on releasing my app on iOS, Android and maybe Windows Phone. Are there any other indie friendly platforms that don't cost much to publish games on? I was thinking Steam, but I'm not too familiar with that ecosystem.

Thanks in advance for the help. I will release more info and screenshots of the game when it gets closer to completion.
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  #3  
Old 02-21-2014, 04:05 AM
Destined Destined is offline
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Answer to
-1. Depends on your downloads and active users
-2. is depends on the service. For example admobs generally pays $1-2 per 1000 add impressions. Something like chartboost pays per click thru install which pays like a dollar.
-3. Neither is better unless you are writing a plugin. Both languages have full access to the entire API.
-4. Differentiation
-5. There are plenty of PC platforms that are free. Steam requires greenlight which costs and isn't a sure thing although more and more are getting approved.
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  #4  
Old 02-21-2014, 05:59 AM
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ThreeCubes ThreeCubes is offline
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Just on point 3. Javascript is easier to pick up and is quicker to use as its not as strict. but JavaScript carnt communicate with external dlls. You can use both but passing static variables between the two is not that straight forward. also remember that unity javascript is a bit different from the standard javascript. I tend to use both but started learning with Javascript first.
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  #5  
Old 02-21-2014, 06:27 AM
OnlyJoe OnlyJoe is offline
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You seem to have realistic expectations regarding making games. Really wish you the best success in doing it.

As for the answers:
1. The key metric in advertising is eCPM, or basically how much you make for every 1000 times an advert is displayed. This is generally between $1 - $2 as Destined said. Also depends on the type of ads, banner or popup, and it does vary between networks. The second thing to look for is how many impressions you are getting per download, and this is going to totally depend on how long people play your game for. If it is a fun and addictive game this will be nice and high. So for a reasonable game you will probably get 20 to 30 impressions per user. Then the maths is just: impressions per user * (eCPM / 1000) or around about 5 cents per user. Make the game more adictive and you can push this up. Also have some in-app purchases you can increase this through sales.
Some how, companies like king have got this process to a point where they are getting $5+ per user on average just from in-app sales.

2. Different networks all try to do different things, so some do pay per click, other per install. But generally I have found that the eCPM doesn't change all that much around $1 - $2 mark. It is a big market the advertising world, so the forces kind of level the field across all the networks, regardless of the method they use.

3. Both languages get compiled down, and treated the same. So to do this the unity javascript is not real javascript. Like your datatypes have to be more strongly typed. I generally use C# not really sure why.

4. Don't depend on apple at all for getting your game out there. It is up to you to get it noticed. So there are a few tips that I use to try and increase sales:
a. Search is the main way your app will get noticed. And your name is the most important search term. So choose wisely. I have made some poor choices before, I called a game "Shapes" because I though it was a cool name. But search for "Shapes" and you get tons of games, and mine is like in place 20. Also most of the other games are not really related. So even if someone recommends this game to a friend, how will their friend actually find it. I have started to use much longer names for games, I made an app called "Photo Flame: Burn & Destroy", or another example, not mine "Dots: A game about connecting" this increases the number of key words that your app will show up against, and means more people find it.
b. Add a social element to the game. Share your score on facebook, etc. Or even, share on facebook to unlock this gun. This helps to turn your players into marketers for you.
c. Ask your players for reviews. On the app store it is actually really hard to do a review unless you are asked, you have to go back to the app store, find the app again, click the review tab, and then write your review. So prompting is really important, then you can automatically take your players to the right place to add a review. And a lot of people do want to review apps, they just never do because its so hard to do it.
d. You icon and screen shots are so important. Basically, everyone will judge your game by its icon. So there is so much that you need to get into it, game graphic style, type of game, theme of the game, basically everything your game is that makes people want to get it. Then second to that are the screen shots, the first is the most important, make sure you show the actual game, not just the title page. And write some text on the screen shots, something pointing out what makes your game different, and how easy it is to get into it and play it.

5. I think those three are the main ones to go for. Steam is more tricky, I think you have to get green lit by the community, or pay a large amount of money to steam to get on it. But if you do get on, you can charge a much higher price than on mobile for basically the same game.
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  #6  
Old 02-21-2014, 02:45 PM
Destined Destined is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ThreeCubes View Post
Just on point 3. Javascript is easier to pick up and is quicker to use as its not as strict. but JavaScript carnt communicate with external dlls. You can use both but passing static variables between the two is not that straight forward. also remember that unity javascript is a bit different from the standard javascript. I tend to use both but started learning with Javascript first.
You can however easily write a helper script using sendmessage to communicate in those situations (mainly if you buy an asset that is only in c#).
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  #7  
Old 02-21-2014, 05:37 PM
Justinq21 Justinq21 is offline
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Thanks for all the help guys. Its nice and refreshing to get all of this info from other indies (even though we are technically competitors).

I've been considering in-app purchases but I have to find a way to implement it that is attractive to players but not necessary to enjoy the game. As a gamer, I am 100% against the pay-to-win system that games like Candy Crush have. I want my game to be enjoyable without having to spend a cent.

With my background in 3D design and the strength of the Unity 3D engine, I'm confident that my game with be quality in both graphics and gameplay. I can't wait to show it to the world.

I wish you all success.
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  #8  
Old 02-22-2014, 12:42 AM
Stingman Stingman is offline
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You've got a good attitude. I think others have given great insight here so I will only stress one thing and one thing alone that will make all the difference: focus on making an awesome game. If you focus on making an awesome game and show your progress to people as you progress, let the monetization work itself out over time. You may not end up making the game you wanted to make if you worry about the money you'll make from it. Make the game you want to make.

And yes, Candy Crush was not created because they wanted to make an incredible game. Candy Crush was created to make money. Plain and simple. It's genious in doing so, but definitely not my cup of tea. I prefer a nice cup of the bullshit-free stuff.
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  #9  
Old 02-24-2014, 09:15 AM
simpleinteractive simpleinteractive is offline
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Some very good advice. The only thing I can add is "meet people in person". Go to games expos, try to talk to gamers, demonstrate your game (or prototype). Meet the press if you can. That way you will get exposure and also play testing to find out what works and what doesn't. And be prepared to change game elements you think are great but which baffle/annoy other people.
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Old 03-22-2014, 02:37 AM
facebookyong facebookyong is offline
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