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Bugfest Postmortem

01-13-2011, 02:07 PM
Junior Member [Original Poster]
Joined: Jan 2011
Posts: 4
Bugfest Postmortem

Hi everyone,

I have spent a few late nights this week writing a postmortem on my latest iPhone & iPad title Bugfest. You can read it on my website at http://www.fatalfrog.com/?p=25.

Feel free to leave questions, comments and suggestions! I hope you enjoy the read and find something useful for you.

Thank you,

ps: I have two promo-codes for the first persons who ask

01-13-2011, 03:27 PM
Very nice article. We use Unity too and the ability to port to different platforms, web, android, and others is a huge plus.

The game looks really polished from the screenshots.

Its very hard to get picked up by a major review site as well.

Where did you spend marketing dollars? What was your budget, did you at least break even?

I couldn't agree more with this statement by you...

"he current AppStore market is really tough and competitive. Donít come in expecting to make millions on your first try, or make sure you bring your marketing genius (and rich) cousin along!"

Its good you cut OpenFeint, that POS is on its way out, Game Center for the win and there is nice plugins now for unity to get achievements and scores in with one line of code, and even do multiplayer.

Two Cents...

I personally don't like the whole lite, paid version approach.

I hope the freemium approach and marketing dollars spent wisely will help boost our next title.

I am making up numbers but I think if you have 1000 people view your app as in click on it and view the product page and its FREE... 800 may download it. The icon peaked their interest they like your product

If you have 1000 people view your app (same people) and its at the 99c price point maybe 10 would buy it.

With freemium you have one app, and you are now making ad money off 800 people and potentially more than that 70c per customer after Apple's cut through ads if you get good impressions and a good CTR.

Then have an in app pruchase to remove ads for people who hate ads and support the developer. Now your making even more off that initial paid download.

lets say you get 800 impressions from 1000 people (and you can get more if it has good replay value) and when the ads rotate... but worse case scenario.

800 * $0.02 = $16

lets say you have a low ctr of 5%

800 * 5% * $1.4 = $56

Add them

$16 + $56 = $72

That's a worse case scenario only 800 impressions from a 1000 people trying your app and deleting it.

The longer you keep them in your app the more ad money.

lets say 40 people liked it and removed ads 10%

40 * 0.7 = $28

Ad it to the total

your now at $100.00

If you have a paid app and only 10 people out of the 1000 who bought it you made $7 bucks at the $0.99 price point

$100.0 > $7.00

Then just scale the numbers from there

Last part of the rant

People are looking for free stuff all the time, its a bigger user base, more people to spread the word (word of mouth) more people to compete in the game, so many pluses. With EA and others selling their high end stuff for $0.99 on sale, I believe doing this is the only way for the indie to go.

End rant

- Matt

01-13-2011, 03:53 PM
Junior Member [Original Poster]
Joined: Jan 2011
Posts: 4
Thanks for the feedbacks and additional comments Matt!

I'm also going with the freemium approach for my next project, as it just makes the most sense given the current market. I read an article last day showing how the current top-grossing apps on the store are dominantly freemium with in-app purchases. I'm not quite sure what to think about the ingame ads though, the numbers I've heard have been quite unimpressive so far (unless you're in the Top10 free games I suppose...).
01-13-2011, 05:08 PM
Joined: Feb 2009
Location: San Francisco Bay Area
Posts: 172
Very nice article with some good information. Thanks for posting it. I keep hearing good things about Unity. I'm going to have to spend some time learning Unity in the future...
01-13-2011, 06:24 PM
Because our game is simple and not based around virtual currency, the only IAP that made sense to us and keeping one build was an ad driven, but fully featured free app.
01-14-2011, 05:28 AM
Great write-up! I love reading post-mortems!

You mentioned having to remove some full-screen effects. If you run into this situation again, and those effects are things like explosions or glowy reward indicators or giant words, etc. consider doing what oldschool sprite games often did and make the effects half or 1/4 the size, then scale them up with the engine. Most people won't notice they're not pixel-perfect, especially if it's something like a flashy glow effect.

Hell, the one of the bosses in Marvel VS Capcom 2 (Abyss) does it for his actual entire sprite...but he moves so fast you don't really notice or care when you play.

I dug your trailer. You have a small simple concept, so a short trailer is good stuff. I see a lot of simple games have like 3 minute+ trailers and it's like man, there's no reason to buy the game if I see 3 minutes worth of the same thing over and over...I've seen the whole game. I think little bite-sized chunks of gameplay like you did is the best way to go!

- Quickdraw
01-14-2011, 09:50 AM
Junior Member [Original Poster]
Joined: Jan 2011
Posts: 4
Hey Quickdraw, thanks for the tip!

I didn't experiment too much with the actual texture size because I believe it was quite small already and reducing it further would really affect quality too much. Another issue was the exponential cost of overlapping alpablended pixels on iPad. I read somewhere it you layer them up too much, it gets expansive very quickly.

Thanks for the nice comments everyone, glad to see you enjoyed the read.