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The wrong side of the app store!

02-07-2010, 08:21 PM
Joined: Jul 2009
Location: Victoria BC
Posts: 1,170
The wrong side of the app store!

I have released my first game that belongs on the other side of the App store. All my other apps are serious puzzle games. " Caveman Test" is my first attempt at the kitschy, gimmicky and hopefully the mass market side of the store.

The inspiration for this app came from a great discussion on this dev forum regarding the A side and B side of the Store. I guess some of the frustrations expressed in this discussion were the fact that a stellar execution of a great game or app can easily be outperformed by some "stupid" simple idea that only required a few days to programme.

We all see apps with terrible ratings in front of " our apps" on the lists and with amazement we ask " What ? How? and Why? The answer is very simple these crappie apps are usually from the A side of the store, something about them tickle enough people into buying.

Spending 20 000 dollars or endless hours on an app is a very scary proposition right now. Flop or success are really hard to predict. Maybe the "A" side of the store is a safer bet.

One positive thing that came out of this "A" side experiment with " Caveman Test" was the fact that we had a lot of fun with this app. More fun than all my other apps combined.
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Last edited by Syndicated Puzzles; 02-07-2010 at 08:31 PM.
02-07-2010, 10:09 PM
Joined: Feb 2009
Location: San Jose, CA
Posts: 546
I'm interested to see how it goes. I hate the 'A' side of the store, but respect the influence it has. As someone who likes playing games, it's hard for me to come up with anything on the A side that I could actually stand working on.

02-07-2010, 10:35 PM
Joined: Jul 2009
Location: Victoria BC
Posts: 1,170

Most of us here on the forum are B siders. Perfectionist that take an extra month to complete an already perfect game or app. We are our own worse enemies distancing ourselves out of reach of the A side. Adding endless features and options to apps sometimes kills the simplicity the A store thrives on. If it is 3 o"clock in the morning and you just came up with the greatest add on to your app. Just think of the disappearing simplicity at the same time. The A side definitely can provide some great lessons and insights, that every developer should understand and embrace.
02-07-2010, 10:51 PM
Joined: Feb 2009
Location: San Jose, CA
Posts: 546
Yeah, you make a good point. I download lots of A-side apps just to understand what people like about it. Then I get caught in the trap of wanting to 'improve' it by adding tons of features, expansions, etc... It's vicious I would agree that even B-side developers could learn some lessons from the other side.
02-08-2010, 02:04 AM
Joined: Mar 2009
Location: Oslo, Norway
Posts: 731
Originally Posted by Syndicated Puzzles View Post
Adding endless features and options to apps sometimes kills the simplicity the A store thrives on.
Frankly, even the gamer in me sometimes shy away from games with too many options. I guess I'm just too lazy to bother learning them all. Personally I find the best games are the ones with one simple central mechanic that manages to tailor a rich experience around this.
02-08-2010, 02:10 AM
Joined: Sep 2009
Posts: 330
I approve of this thread.

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02-08-2010, 05:04 AM
Joined: Feb 2009
Posts: 25
Syndicated Puzzles, that Caveman face creeps me out , is that you in the morning ?

but yeah, i would love to hear more about how this "A" side thing turns out for you. hopefully it will do well...
02-08-2010, 09:34 AM
Joined: Jan 2009
Location: Stuttgart, Germany
Posts: 262
so A side are the good selling crappy games and B side are the smart and bad selling games?

I made an A and B side game. Quozzle Quest is my B side, nice rules, art, strategy and deep gameplay and a lot of content. It is outselled by my A side game Avoid Hitting Piano (Beethoven running and jumping over Pianos with the music changing to the running speed ).

Quozzle Quest took me more than 6 months, and Avoid Hitting Piano took me a couple of weeks

I like them both, but I should have made 5 A side games instead of 1 B side game.

Magnus The Small will be an A side game which I will update on a weekly basis.
02-08-2010, 11:43 AM
Joined: Jul 2009
Location: Victoria BC
Posts: 1,170

The caveman is Gord a good friend of mine. We bought a mask and it came with everything. We glued it to his face so that the only things visible were his mouth and eyes. Pretty amazing product.
Gord is amazing I have used him as Noah, Santa Claus a survivor of Pompeii and now
"Ufkah" the caveman.


The A side don't necessarily need to be crappie games, they can be great games but the execution has focused on simplicity with a great presentation. The game behind "Caveman Test" is "Sticks and Stones" it is top notch, but we stripped it down to the bare minimum and added the Caveman theme.

The real secret to an A game is if the theme doesn't feel pasted on. This is very hard to do.

Last edited by Syndicated Puzzles; 02-08-2010 at 05:34 PM.
02-10-2010, 03:38 AM
I agree with your idea and hope this goes well for you.

Like most of you here, I've spent countless hours downloading popular games and figuring out what makes a bestseller and I've come to a conclusion that the best way is to just tap every genre possible and release a small title for each--including the "A-side". I've started development on my "A-side" game and I'm actually excited how this venture works.