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  #1  
Old 06-18-2014, 05:49 AM
NathanMalville NathanMalville is offline
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Default My second game, some experience feedbacks and income report.

Hi everyone

I just released my second game «Bouncy Pirates» on June 4. Here are some points that it seems worthwhile to share. I hope that can help some guys here.

Before Bouncy Pirates I did in 2012 my first iOS game on the appstore "PlicPlic."
I'm not a developer and this was the first time that I was developing, so I had to learn everything by myself for about six months of work.
although PlicPlic was not a financial success, it received some good reviews from major sites (toucharcade, 148apps, etc). It has been rated one of the game of the year 2012 for TouchArcade. This gave me the desire to continue the adventure.

Not having much time available, I decided for the second game to do something very simple, in a very short time.
I worked there in the evening after work and on weekends, for about 1.5 months.

The game is inspired by the old games "game and watch", just click on the barrels at the right time to bounce pirates to the island treasure and bring them back to the boat.
You can see the trailer here:

Low bandwidth Version | Pop Up


Two weeks after its release, the game has been downloaded 44000 times and i won 434$.







Here are some experience feedbacks:

Positives:
- IAd supported.
I decided to do this game completely free with integrated ads. I really like this solution it helps to have a lot more downloads and therefore visibility, it’s very encouraging. While offering players a game in which he will not be blocked at some point. Or where it will not always feel the need to pay extras to be able to appreciate the game.
I tried in PlicPlic, other possibilities (paying game and after free game with in app purchase) and it’s by far the iAd solution that suits me the most and who has a better conversion rate.

- The game is much more intuitive than PlicPlic, the player understand the goal very quickly. And it looks like is much much more fun than PlicPlic (according to players feedbacks). I did not need to show players how to play they get there right away by themselves. It was a very big problems for PlicPlic.

- The music, for this game I did not put music (the only thing I do not do myself), it allows me to reduce the development time and I feel that it does not really miss . It seems to me that the vast majority of players cut the music when they play.

Negative points:
- The promo definitely. I'm really bad for that. I still do not spend enough time to promote the game and I make big mistakes.
I decided the release date without realizing that the same week there was wwdc and e3 next week. Bad idea. And from the moment I started to promote the game among sites and the day of its release I left only one week, I feel that this is too short. What do you think?
For the moment i have only little site who talked about it, about major site only Pocket gamer made a short new about it.

-I should have integrated another system pub (chartboost, admob, ...) because even though I am very happy with iAd, this system generates money in very little number of countries (about 13 I think). China for example (which is the second largest country in download) not receiving iAd and I received absolutely no benefit in this country (and many others).

-Design. I really like the design that I use in my two games. I just think it's a little too childish. I feel that seeing the images of the game people imagine that this is a game for children when it is not. That not good at all for the game.

That’s it for the moment, I hope it will serve you.
Feel free to give me your opinion or questions.

thanks

Nathan Malville
www.facebook.com/nathansgames
twitter.com/MalvilleNathan
nathansgames.wordpress.com

Last edited by NathanMalville; 06-18-2014 at 06:06 AM..
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  #2  
Old 06-18-2014, 01:49 PM
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1pxOff 1pxOff is offline
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Hey Nathan,

First off great name!(I am Nathan too). Secondly, thank you for sharing your experience on the app store, it is awesome to hear other ppls story.

I wanted to ask you real quick about your promotion strategy. I too released my second game just last week. Similar to yours it is very simple, with very little instruction needed, and only took me a week to build (you can see it here:
https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/super-lazy-angry-robot-flying/id885564312?ls=1&mt=8). Also my game is iAd driven and completely free to the user.

Now here is where we start to differ, one week in and I am sitting at 90 downloads with around $.90 US in ad revenue, lame. One of my big problems that I know of for sure is that I did not send out promotional emails to any of the review sites. This is my bad for sure, and reflects directly in my revenue. I guess the thought of trying to come up with promotional materials and send them out terrifies me, but really there is no excuse.

So do you think that even though my game is live on the app store, it is too late to send any emails to the review sites? or should i just start focusing on the next game? Do you have any suggestions on how to boost the visibility of the game?
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Old 06-18-2014, 04:20 PM
Destined Destined is offline
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A cent a download isn't terrible!

Your screenshots aren't overly appealing to me and the name is ridiculous. App store discovery is your only tool if you aren't doing other marketing so I would consider trying to improve those 2 things.

To OP. Thanks for posting it was a very interesting read. You clearly have a lot of production value in your game. It kind of shows once you are past that initial boost from Apple your sales went away quickly which is sad.
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Old 06-18-2014, 05:56 PM
Pixelized Pixelized is offline
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Looks like a very cool game, I'll check it out!

Thanks for sharing your data, it's always interesting and helps others out quite a bit.

Do you mind if I ask what you used to make the game?
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  #5  
Old 06-18-2014, 05:58 PM
arale arale is offline
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Hi Nathan,

First congratulations for your successful launch! I saw your game being featured by Apple on the front page and I played it and really enjoyed it! Thanks for posting this to the forum, along with all the valuable information.

I got a question to OP, how did you get Apple to feature you? I developed several games that I really like, but failed to contact Apple or get any feature/promote from them. I am very curious and would like to hear more story from your game!

Nowadays app store market is just like blood pool, and it is impossible for low budget games to stand out without much PR fanfare... No exposure means no downloads and no ranks, and eventually leads to the death of the game. If you could share more information, that would be very much helpful!
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  #6  
Old 06-18-2014, 11:36 PM
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1pxOff 1pxOff is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Destined View Post
A cent a download isn't terrible!

Your screenshots aren't overly appealing to me and the name is ridiculous. App store discovery is your only tool if you aren't doing other marketing so I would consider trying to improve those 2 things.
Thank you for your feedback. You are correct in that I need to give my screenshots some love. I am not a graphic designer and so i kinda suck at still graphics. As for the name, the whole game is meant to be a joke. I am working on a much more serious game, and was completely stuck with where to take it. I decided to take a step back come up with the most ridiculous game idea I could, and see how far I could take it. The game ended up being fun to play so I went with it.

Thanks again for the help!
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  #7  
Old 06-19-2014, 03:31 AM
NathanMalville NathanMalville is offline
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Hi
@1pxoff, i don't think it's too late to contact review sites, they are not 100% focus on games released on the week.
For example TouchArcade began to talk about "1000000" several days after its release.
For PlicPlic (my first game) they didn't notice my mails about the game. After the release, some guys on the forum liked the game and decided to send several mails to editorial team to talk about it, so toucharcade began to talk about it lot of time after the release date.
So i don't think it's too late...i hope...
Anyway you must to send mail to boost visibility without that it's normal you don't have downloads.
Make a press kit(here a good example), and sent it to all the site you know.
Here a interesting list here of major review sites.
you guys do you know some other list? more interesting? more complete?

@Pixelized: I used the free version of unity, it's the best solution, and it's why i must a splash screen "powered by unity" at the begining of the game

@arale: you must make a mistake, the game didn't be featured by Apple.
The only thing i know to be featured by apple is to send them an email to promote the game at this adress: appstoremarketing@apple.com.
For my two games i did it, several days after i received from an apple guy:
"Thanks for your email, we are constantly focused on finding great apps for our customers to discover. We will pass your app details to the App Store Editorial Team for possible promotional consideration. The App Store does not provide any notification of the apps that are chosen for promotion as selection is a purely editorial process, so there is no guarantee that your app will be featured. Please check the App Store to see if your app has been chosen and thanks for developing for our devices, it's great to have you on the platform!"
And after that...nothing.
I still don't know the direct mail to editorial team.
I'm sure there are some other methods if you are a bigger company, if you know the good guy at apple, or if you have money to spend in that, but i don't know those.
Some guys here knows an other methods, mail, contact, ...?

that's it
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  #8  
Old 06-19-2014, 08:57 PM
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PikPok PikPok is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NathanMalville View Post
The only thing i know to be featured by apple is to send them an email to promote the game at this adress: appstoremarketing@apple.com.
That email address isn't for "promoting your game". It is for getting things like trailers and press releases approved, and for correspondence on promotional assets AFTER Apple has decided to feature you.

I don't think you should really be using it to give Apple the heads up about games.


Quote:
I still don't know the direct mail to editorial team.
I'm sure there are some other methods if you are a bigger company, if you know the good guy at apple, or if you have money to spend in that, but i don't know those.
Some guys here knows an other methods, mail, contact, ...?
There is no disclosed method to contact the editorial team directly. Apple doesn't want you to do that so they can keep that team at arms length and maintain impartiality as well as better manage and filter their workload.

And no amount of money can buy a feature slot.

The best way to work towards featuring is through an Apple account manager who can help advise on what the editorial team is looking for and champion your games with them. If one hasn't reached out to you yet, the best way to get an account manager is to put yourself out there at events and conferences and/or create great games.
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  #9  
Old 06-20-2014, 03:46 AM
NathanMalville NathanMalville is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PikPok View Post
I don't think you should really be using it to give Apple the heads up about games.
yes but do you the good adress mail?
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  #10  
Old 06-21-2014, 04:39 AM
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PikPok PikPok is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NathanMalville View Post
yes but do you the good adress mail?
We don't have any email addresses for the editorial team.
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