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iPad: The Blackhole for iPad (twist on match 3 game)

05-17-2011, 04:45 PM
#1
Joined: Jul 2010
Posts: 262
The Blackhole for iPad (twist on match 3 game)

Please check out this game and let us know what you think. We are looking for feedback to improve this game. You can download the free version as well.



Thank you.

ComboApp Marketing & PR Agency

Last edited by ImNoSuperMan; 05-18-2011 at 03:21 AM. Reason: appinfo
05-17-2011, 05:34 PM
#2
Joined: Nov 2008
Location: Houston, TX
Posts: 735
Downloading now.... This looks interesting. I love this type of game. How did I miss this one?

06-10-2011, 01:24 PM
#3
The best game of its kind?

The only feedback I get about this game is positive. People seem to love it. Fun, addictive, innovative, relaxing, exciting, zen, etc... I have several fans, one of whom says its his favorite game ever (his high score is outrageous). The app store rating is 4.5 stars right now. Many people say it's the best game of its kind.

I have some good ideas for an update, which could be out soon. The thing is though, I'm not totally sure I should bother with it anymore. For over a year now I've spent countless hours developing updates, and taking this game to the next level. I've spent over $2,500 on marketing campaigns. And for whatever reason, I've only sold $550 worth of downloads total.

Is it a total waste of energy, time, and money? Do you think I should make another update? ComboApp, my current marketing agency, created this thread to get feedback on ways to improve this game. But does the game need that much improvement if it has a 4.5 star rating?

I don't understand. If people seem to like it so much, why doesn't it sell?
06-10-2011, 02:54 PM
#4
Joined: Jun 2009
Posts: 5,765
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChristopherJude View Post
The only feedback I get about this game is positive. People seem to love it. Fun, addictive, innovative, relaxing, exciting, zen, etc... I have several fans, one of whom says its his favorite game ever (his high score is outrageous). The app store rating is 4.5 stars right now. Many people say it's the best game of its kind.

I have some good ideas for an update, which could be out soon. The thing is though, I'm not totally sure I should bother with it anymore. For over a year now I've spent countless hours developing updates, and taking this game to the next level. I've spent over $2,500 on marketing campaigns. And for whatever reason, I've only sold $550 worth of downloads total.

Is it a total waste of energy, time, and money? Do you think I should make another update? ComboApp, my current marketing agency, created this thread to get feedback on ways to improve this game. But does the game need that much improvement if it has a 4.5 star rating?

I don't understand. If people seem to like it so much, why doesn't it sell?
Christopher -
You might want to check out the developer forums areas within Touch Arcade, and ask the same question there.

From the gamer point of view (my own) - there are certainly a lot of things that make a game appealing, and standing out. Touch Arcade forums have LOTS of threads that people talk about hidden gems - and yours could be one of them. Exposure is everything, and unfortunately you don't have exposure in the one place that probably really matters - on the iTunes store - being a staff favorite, being in the new and notable, maybe climbing into the top rankings, and then when people do searches, they would see your game.

On the marketing side, having trailer and in game videos are helpful within TA so people get an idea of what the game is. A lot of the developers tend to be pretty active within the forum, holding contests, giving away promo codes to try and generate interest, etc.... All that being said, I can't say that helps all that much. Probably being featured by Apple, and getting your game reviewed by the "big boys" (IGN, GameSpot, 1Up,etc) is much more likely to generate you revenues.

Like tangerine said above "How did I miss this one?" I follow the forums fairly closely, but I never saw your game, so one post from your marketing company does not really cut it in a place as active as TA - thread bumping is "illegal" here at TA, and if the thread falls off the front page, people won't see it as much... so updates get posted, interest gets generated, new videos, etc... Again, I have no idea what the actual business of selling apps is, I may be completely off, but this is what I see other developers doing.

OTOH, I am a match 3 fanatic, so maybe I'll give your game a try. I am not sure about the whole circular thing, ones that I have played in the past with circular models have not worked very well for me.. maybe your is different / better. I certainly love to see hard work pay off, and wish you well.

GameCenter ID : oldestgamer
06-10-2011, 04:04 PM
#5
Thank you Pluto6, for such a well thought-out answer. I hope you do try out The Blackhole, I would be very interested in your opinion. The Blackhole Limited is a free trial version that plays to level 10.
06-11-2011, 01:57 AM
#6
Joined: Jun 2009
Posts: 5,765
I tried out the lite, and did not read the description well enough. I was expecting a faster paced game, and got a zen like experience somewhat reminiscent of Osmos. I liked the game, and it is slow paced, allowing for organization. I have to be honest and for me too slow paced, but I think it's more for the genre. I generally hate timers, but mostly for puzzles.

Graphics are nice, game play is smooth and consistent. Physics are predictable. Again, for a match 3 type game, I think more people are going to be looking for a faster experience (speaking in terms of market appeal). I like the app, but it's not what I'm looking for in the match 3 genre. If this were a puzzler, I'd be all over it.

I think you have a great looking app (I love the UI), and it does what you claim it to do, now it's the marketing, and I have no experience with that. I'd ask your fellow developers. Be aware that regular users have access to those forums, and there are lots of users with absolutely no developer, or marketing experience willing to give their opinions. But there is a lot of good advice as well. Your is not an uncommon story, but I wish you well.

Oh, and I believe the app is a universal? - definitely want to get this thread in the iPhones / touch area of the forum. Readership there is much larger than iPad area.

PM me if you don't know how to put app info into a thread. Also want to have info on the lite, and have a trailer, or video of game play. Good luck!!

GameCenter ID : oldestgamer

Last edited by pluto6; 06-11-2011 at 02:04 AM.
06-13-2011, 03:55 PM
#7
Quote:
Originally Posted by pluto6 View Post
I tried out the lite, and did not read the description well enough. I was expecting a faster paced game, and got a zen like experience somewhat reminiscent of Osmos. I liked the game, and it is slow paced, allowing for organization.
Did you notice that gameplay can be sped up using the fast-forward button? Or was the fastest speed too slow for you?
06-16-2011, 08:02 PM
#8
Cell Bound

Someone just released a new game called "Cell Bound," which is clone of "The Blackhole," with some minor differences. It's a match-5 instead of a match-3, and the orbs are less sticky when they land (they slide across each other towards the middle). The game also seems to lack the particle-collision physics that "The Blackhole" has, which means there's no loose, orbiting, colliding, or dynamic orbs; they all just go straight into the middle. It has more game modes than "The Blackhole," but the basic gameplay is almost an exact clone. I'm not sure if I should be flattered, or outraged
06-16-2011, 09:51 PM
#9
Joined: Feb 2009
Location: Saratoga, CA, USA
Posts: 11,774
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChristopherJude View Post
Someone just released a new game called "Cell Bound," which is clone of "The Blackhole," with some minor differences. It's a match-5 instead of a match-3, and the orbs are less sticky when they land (they slide across each other towards the middle). The game also seems to lack the particle-collision physics that "The Blackhole" has, which means there's no loose, orbiting, colliding, or dynamic orbs; they all just go straight into the middle. It has more game modes than "The Blackhole," but the basic gameplay is almost an exact clone. I'm not sure if I should be flattered, or outraged
Get over yourself, CJ, as I discussed with you before there are a number of games that came out before Blackhole using the same mechanics! I really like your game but you need to do your research before you make accusations, here are just a few games whom the developers could claim you copied their ideas!

Repulse-O
Eyeblast
Spinstar
Spinzizzle (similar idea at least)

and many more I can't recall

So far, at least, your deal with the gravity affecting the trajectory of new pieces is kind of unique to the genre.

Tim "Lord Gek" Jordan, Game Consultant
Twitter: LordGek
GameCenter, iTunes: Lord Gek
My iTunes Reviews
06-17-2011, 12:51 PM
#10
Quote:
Originally Posted by LordGek View Post
Get over yourself, CJ, as I discussed with you before there are a number of games that came out before Blackhole using the same mechanics! I really like your game but you need to do your research before you make accusations, here are just a few games whom the developers could claim you copied their ideas!

Repulse-O
Eyeblast
Spinstar
Spinzizzle (similar idea at least)

and many more I can't recall

So far, at least, your deal with the gravity affecting the trajectory of new pieces is kind of unique to the genre.
Indeed LordGek, there are many matching games out there that play in a radial fashion, and there's only so many possible ways that one can design a matching game. It's totally possible that the developers never saw or played my game, and came up with the game mechanic on their own.

However, the similarity between our two games is uncanny. Even if it's not a clone, the controls and gameplay are almost exactly the same. Every game you listed still has a distinctly different method of play, whereas The Blackhole and Cell Bound both have orbs that gravitate towards the middle, accumulate around a circle, which the player can rotate, and then end game happens when they reach the outer limit.

I'm not saying that Cell Bound is bad game. I gave it four stars. It's actually pretty fun. The different game modes and power-ups are cool. Even if they did copy my game, I don't really care that much. It's totally fine.

The Blackhole has been on the market for over a year, and yesterday I discovered Cell Bound (just recently released), downloaded it, played it, and observed that it's similar enough to my game to be a clone. I would not say that about any of the games you listed.