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App description: Marble Manager is free until 1st of Feb to celebrate the release of my latest game - Jaywalk.

Launch the marbles until it becomes impossible to handle. Hunt the bonus items while racing against the build up. Try to beat your highscores and get all level bonus marbles. Get saved by a huge chain reaction when it starts to look really bad.

An easy to use, colorful and addictive game that will keep you amused for hours!

Features:
* Four different bonus items
* Symbols to make a difference between similar colors if needed
* Saves the game state when application exits - you can continue the game.
* Support for retina display
* Three difficulty modes: easy, medium and hard
* Highscores and game statistics for all modes
* Leaderboards and achievements in Game Center

LordGek's comments:
This game is good simple addictive fun! Tap anywhere on the screen to have the current bubble dropped there and clear out groups of same colored bubbles once you have both a positive and negatively charged bubble in the color grouping. The key is to make huge linked groups of a single color of bubbles which will become more and more difficult as you move up the levels and new colors are constantly being added. Rack up big bonuses by clearing multiple groups in a row and or causing scoring cascades. One clever twist the game has are the level bubbles. Once you clear a level a black level bubble will drop. While it will clear once any adjacent group is cleared next to it, if you manage to clear an adjacent group with the same number of bubbles as shown on the level bubble (not counting the level bubble), you'll receive a nice bonus!



Lite Version:
http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/marble-manager-free/id396324231?mt=8
10-21-2010, 09:26 AM
#2
Joined: Oct 2010
Location: Finland
Posts: 64
First of all: thanks for the review. Since someone already posted something about my little game here, I can advertise a bit and say that version 1.2 is coming out soon. It will include support for Game Center, meaning some achievements and online leaderboard. There are still a couple of minor things to do, some testing and finally, some waiting in App Store approval process.

I hope this won't be too offtopic but I can share a bit about the development of my game. Marble Manager was my very first iPhone app and I must say it was a fun thing to do. I learned a lot of new stuff while implementing it although there were some moments that weren't so much fun. It required some work to get the game to the store and as a techie I didn't enjoy the bureaucratic part. However, I got the game out and it will be much easier to publish the second title.

For those who think App Store is a gold mine and easy money, I'll say: forget it. I know my game is not competing with titles such as Angry Birds and Cut the Rope. I still consider it addictive and fun game to play although my opinion may be a bit biased. My biggest obstacle on the way to success is definitely visibility. I really suck at marketing and you can probably see that from the game description. I just found out this forum even existed while I was googling for my game.

The biggest disappointment for me was the number of free downloads. I kind of hoped the game would have got more free downloads and therefore some visibility among the gamers. If I had got 10k free downloads and 10 full ones I would have known for sure that my game really sucks. Now about 10% of all downloads have been full ones but the absolute numbers are very low. Anyway, 80 new games and about 600 new apps per day just hides your app to the mass unless you are able to advertise it somehow.

The point of my post was not to whine about the poor stats of my game but to share my experiences with other people who may be planning to implement their own games. If you have a great idea for a game and/or enjoy programming like I do, I say go for it! However, if you're just after the big bucks you're too late. The days of gold rush and easy money are over.

And yes, I would still implement my game if I knew the number of downloads beforehand. It was worth it even though I haven't earned anything with it.

10-21-2010, 10:19 AM
#3
Joined: Feb 2009
Location: Saratoga, CA, USA
Posts: 11,775
Quote:
Originally Posted by hopihopi View Post
First of all: thanks for the review. Since someone already posted something about my little game here, I can advertise a bit and say that version 1.2 is coming out soon. It will include support for Game Center, meaning some achievements and online leaderboard. There are still a couple of minor things to do, some testing and finally, some waiting in App Store approval process.

I hope this won't be too offtopic but I can share a bit about the development of my game. Marble Manager was my very first iPhone app and I must say it was a fun thing to do. I learned a lot of new stuff while implementing it although there were some moments that weren't so much fun. It required some work to get the game to the store and as a techie I didn't enjoy the bureaucratic part. However, I got the game out and it will be much easier to publish the second title.

For those who think App Store is a gold mine and easy money, I'll say: forget it. I know my game is not competing with titles such as Angry Birds and Cut the Rope. I still consider it addictive and fun game to play although my opinion may be a bit biased. My biggest obstacle on the way to success is definitely visibility. I really suck at marketing and you can probably see that from the game description. I just found out this forum even existed while I was googling for my game.

The biggest disappointment for me was the number of free downloads. I kind of hoped the game would have got more free downloads and therefore some visibility among the gamers. If I had got 10k free downloads and 10 full ones I would have known for sure that my game really sucks. Now about 10% of all downloads have been full ones but the absolute numbers are very low. Anyway, 80 new games and about 600 new apps per day just hides your app to the mass unless you are able to advertise it somehow.

The point of my post was not to whine about the poor stats of my game but to share my experiences with other people who may be planning to implement their own games. If you have a great idea for a game and/or enjoy programming like I do, I say go for it! However, if you're just after the big bucks you're too late. The days of gold rush and easy money are over.

And yes, I would still implement my game if I knew the number of downloads beforehand. It was worth it even though I haven't earned anything with it.
Hi Hopihopi,

Yeah, I've seen way too many little indie devs come in with a nicely polished and innovative game come to the nasty revelation that:

1) It's hard to be seen in the morass of new apps added EVERY DAY in the AppStore.
2) To lure any purchasers even if noticed you have to either give your game away for free or only charge $1 which at about $0.70 a pop will take thousands of sales to ever hope to break even.
3) A vast majority of the reviewers are either well meaning idiots or just nasty twits that will write you a 1-star review either simply to be a douchebag or because they couldn't be bothered to reboot their system after installing the app.

So, with that out of the way, could you share a bit about scoring in this game, especially what those bonuses values are worth?

Tim "Lord Gek" Jordan, Game Consultant
Twitter: LordGek
GameCenter, iTunes: Lord Gek
My iTunes Reviews
10-21-2010, 11:37 AM
#4
Joined: Oct 2010
Location: Finland
Posts: 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by LordGek View Post
Yeah, I've seen way too many little indie devs come in with a nicely polished and innovative game come to the nasty revelation that:

1) It's hard to be seen in the morass of new apps added EVERY DAY in the AppStore.
2) To lure any purchasers even if noticed you have to either give your game away for free or only charge $1 which at about $0.70 a pop will take thousands of sales to ever hope to break even.
3) A vast majority of the reviewers are either well meaning idiots or just nasty twits that will write you a 1-star review either simply to be a douchebag or because they couldn't be bothered to reboot their system after installing the app.

So, with that out of the way, could you share a bit about scoring in this game, especially what those bonuses values are worth?
The development of the game was more of a hobby for me. I didn't quit my day job and I just implemented something as a nice side project of my own. Unfortunately (or should I say luckily) the other hobbies are constantly competing for my time thus making the development a bit slowish. Anyway, it is nice to get some support for my efforts - thanks for that!

The scoring system has all kinds of twists in it. The marbles are valued according to the level where they were created. This means that you should not stash a huge pile in the first levels since those won't gain any more value as the game progresses. So, a marble created in level 10 is 10 times more valuable than a marble created in level 1.

You will also gain more points if you manage to remove bigger piles of marbles in one round. E.g. removing 3 marbles in two rounds will give less points than removing 6 marbles in one hit.

The bonus items give you even more points:
* Multi Bonus will increase the value of your removal by 20%.
* Combo Bonus and Join Bonus will give you roughly 50% increase.
* Level Bonus is valued according to the number in the level marble: number 5 means 5 x 50 = 250 points bonus.

Those bonus items are cumulative and having many of them in one round will give even more points.
10-21-2010, 11:40 AM
#5
Joined: Feb 2009
Location: Saratoga, CA, USA
Posts: 11,775
Quote:
Originally Posted by hopihopi View Post
The development of the game was more of a hobby for me. I didn't quit my day job and I just implemented something as a nice side project of my own. Unfortunately (or should I say luckily) the other hobbies are constantly competing for my time thus making the development a bit slowish. Anyway, it is nice to get some support for my efforts - thanks for that!

The scoring system has all kinds of twists in it. The marbles are valued according to the level where they were created. This means that you should not stash a huge pile in the first levels since those won't gain any more value as the game progresses. So, a marble created in level 10 is 10 times more valuable than a marble created in level 1.

You will also gain more points if you manage to remove bigger piles of marbles in one round. E.g. removing 3 marbles in two rounds will give less points than removing 6 marbles in one hit.

The bonus items give you even more points:
* Multi Bonus will increase the value of your removal by 20%.
* Combo Bonus and Join Bonus will give you roughly 50% increase.
* Level Bonus is valued according to the number in the level marble: number 5 means 5 x 50 = 250 points bonus.

Those bonus items are cumulative and having many of them in one round will give even more points.
Cool beans!

Tim "Lord Gek" Jordan, Game Consultant
Twitter: LordGek
GameCenter, iTunes: Lord Gek
My iTunes Reviews
10-28-2010, 01:14 PM
#6
Joined: Oct 2010
Location: Finland
Posts: 64
Game Center support

Marble Manager 1.2 is finally available now. This version includes support for Game Center:
* 11 achievements
* Leaderboards

Check the latest version from the App Store and try to beat the highscores. There is still room in top 10.
10-28-2010, 01:20 PM
#7
Joined: Feb 2009
Location: Saratoga, CA, USA
Posts: 11,775
Quote:
Originally Posted by hopihopi View Post
Marble Manager 1.2 is finally available now. This version includes support for Game Center:
* 11 achievements
* Leaderboards

Check the latest version from the App Store and try to beat the highscores. There is still room in top 10.
Woot woot!

I may actually make the top 10 in a game for at least a day or two.

I love how it feels a bit like Snood in reverse since not only are you dropping the marbles, you are the one creating the structures you'll later hopefully clear out.

The art of the game really seems to come into trying to get the level bonuses (clearing the exact number of marbles indicated in the black level marble before clearing it accidentally with an inappropriate grouping) and knowing when to best use the charge switches.

Tim "Lord Gek" Jordan, Game Consultant
Twitter: LordGek
GameCenter, iTunes: Lord Gek
My iTunes Reviews
10-28-2010, 01:54 PM
#8
Joined: Oct 2010
Location: Finland
Posts: 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by LordGek View Post
Woot woot!

I may actually make the top 10 in a game for at least a day or two.
Considering the popularity of the game you should be able to stick there for a while.

Quote:
Originally Posted by LordGek View Post

The art of the game really seems to come into trying to get the level bonuses (clearing the exact number of marbles indicated in the black level marble before clearing it accidentally with an inappropriate grouping) and knowing when to best use the charge switches.
I agree - level bonus is the most addictive part of the game. Well, try to get the achievements including the ones that require you to get all level bonuses for levels #2-9 in one game.