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About to release my first game - some questions

05-25-2011, 08:41 PM
#1
About to release my first game - some questions

Hello guys,

I'm about to release my first game, Flower Board. It's a color-lines-hex puzzle game. I think
it will do well because there are very few similar game on the App Store, and none of them seems good enough. I'm planing to release two versions at the same time, one paid and one free with ads support.

It took me about 5 months to develop this game. Including time to learn everything (iphone dev related) from scratch. I'm a freelancer. Before this game, I had moderate success with some Facebook games (PHP/MySQL), which still funding me monthly to do this one. 5 months seems pretty long, probably because I only can only work like 4 hours a day (then rest), and spent a lot of time on learning and testing.

I've been reading topics on this forum about the hardship of the App Store. So I'm a little worried as well.





Here is a link to the game on my website:
http://www.phoenixmobileonline.com/index.php

I hope it will do well once it released. But I'd like to hear comments from you.
- How these type of games (board/puzzle/color lines) normally do on the App Store?
- What do you think about the game's name and screenshots/icon?
- About the game's potential?

Thank you.

Last edited by phoenix_mobile; 05-25-2011 at 08:48 PM.
05-26-2011, 01:11 AM
#2
Joined: Jun 2009
Location: Hollywood, CA
Posts: 1,869
+1 Looks nice and clean off the bat
+1 colorful, girls like flowers
+1 ad-supported version
-1 name, icon a little bland
-1 puzzle game
-1 no characters/marketability "oomph"

so that leaves you at zero :/

In all seriousness, your game looks nice and presentable and since you mentioned there's an ad-free version, I will definitely check it out (if I remember by the time it's released, and even hear about it then). Anyone will tell you that puzzle games are "a dime a dozen" (although it's worse than that, now) so the general game-playing public is usually uninterested in them unless there is some really fancy gimmick that is obvious right-off-the-bat, or production values are through the roof. Being released by a known developer or publisher helps greatly, as well.

Honestly, from your screens/theme I do see this as "one of those games that Apple does periodically like to feature as New & Noteworthy" since it does meet some criteria (clean presentation, looks like it's simple pick-up-and-play) You can never count on that of course, and I don't mean to get your hopes up, but I would not be too surprised if I saw it pop up on that list (which still doesn't mean it would necessarily translate to any decent sales)

Overall the name of the game in these cases is marketing, gone are the days when anyone can expect anything to sell just by virtue of it being "an app on the store" alone. Invest some serious time and some kind of money in promotion, get some social networking going, if you even want to make any kind of dent. Again, as there's a free version you might be able to get some decent downloads of that (find a way to incorporate any kind of IAP in there) especially if you do push any reasonable kind of promotion.

please msg me when it releases 'cause I do want to see this game, I'll even blast it out onto a couple of networks for you Good luck!

05-26-2011, 08:42 AM
#3
Joined: May 2011
Location: Big Apple
Posts: 197
Looks quite complicated
05-26-2011, 07:02 PM
#4
Yep, most of the important things have been said. Marketing is key. You won't sell it if nobody knows about it.

Getting on any of Apple's lists will get you more exposure / downloads / sales than anything else, and that is mostly luck.

I'm not sure the paid + free model really works anymore. There is a lot of debate over this. I think our next game will be free to play with in-app purchases for add-ons and extras.

Make sure to announce the piss out of it when it's available

Regards,

MoxyDave
www.MoxyLava.com
05-27-2011, 12:11 AM
#5
Joined: Dec 2009
Location: Berlin, Germany
Posts: 1,674
Well apparently headcase and i have different taste.

I find the hole thing way too dark and depressing.. Throwing a few color marbles (with a horrible color theme) on a dull dark brown generic wood texture looks completly non appealing to me.. The other dark blue varaiant is as worse

And this becoming new& noteworthy.. oh my.. Maybe in a generic sub sub section no on cares about and visits on itunes..but on the front page of the appstore? Wow.. did not imagine perspective views so off..

Good luck with your sales phoenix.

Last edited by mr.Ugly; 05-27-2011 at 03:29 AM.
05-27-2011, 02:01 AM
#6
Joined: Mar 2009
Location: Oslo, Norway
Posts: 731
Quote:
Originally Posted by mr.Ugly View Post
Well apparently headcase and i have different taste.

I find the hole thing way too dark and depressing.. Throwing a few color marbles (with a horrible color theme) on a dull dark brown generic wood texture looks completly non appealing to me.. The other dark blue varaiant is as worse

And this becoming new& noteworthy.. oh my.. Maybe in a generic sub sub section no on cares about and visits on itunes..but on the front page of the appstore? Wow.. did not imagine perspective cab ne so off..

Good luck with your sales phoenix.

Mr. Ugly doing what Mr. Ugly does best.

Personally I think the game looks polished, but also extremely generic. I probably wouldn't give it another look if I came across it anywhere. It looks exactly like just another puzzle game. I think you might need to get some birds in there somehow. (OK, maybe they don't have to be birds, but something with a bit of personality would definitely help).

Good luck though!
05-27-2011, 02:31 AM
#7
Joined: Jun 2009
Location: Hollywood, CA
Posts: 1,869
Quote:
Originally Posted by mr.Ugly View Post
And this becoming new& noteworthy.. oh my.. Maybe in a generic sub sub section no on cares about and visits on itunes..but on the front page of the appstore? Wow.. did not imagine perspective cab ne so off..
let's make a bet I'll buy you a coke
05-27-2011, 03:37 AM
#8
Joined: Dec 2009
Location: Berlin, Germany
Posts: 1,674
A bet i never bet, nor do i gamble with money.. And getting you a coke from germany might be an expensive journey..but we can wait for the soon to be released title and then you can hit me with a "i told you so" quote of yours.. ill carry around in my sig for a while or you do

So i dont belive this game gets an apple promo on the app store (dont missjudge that with useless itunes subcategory promotions pretty much every new game gets which is not absolute junk)

As for te game the color palette is complete off, way too sinister.. I would check out pop cap games like peggle etc thats stuff that burns your eyes and makes you blind but thats casual appeal.. Like moths flying into the light.

Last edited by mr.Ugly; 05-27-2011 at 09:00 AM.
05-27-2011, 08:53 AM
#9
@headcaseGames: Thank you for your supportive comment. I will msg you when the game release.
@mr.Ugly: Quite interesting comment. I actually like the palette idea . Thanks
05-27-2011, 11:56 AM
#10
Your game seems to focus a lot on flowers, so if I were you I'd focus your backgrounds and color scheme on that wayyy more. Instead of a wooden background which has nothing to do with flowers, why not put grass fields with wild flowers, or a pretty blue sky with subtle animations like clouds and bees flying around. Maybe make weather effects like rain and sunshine in the background, or have the seasons changing on a pretty cartoon landscape.

Otherwise you are left with a bunch of flowers on wood... not very appealing.

Additionally it would benefit a lot from having some more personality and character put into the game, give it an actual cartoon character Flower Girl who is trying to save her garden or something. Or an adorable bee that is flying from flower to flower. It will make it more accessible to the lady-folk who are drawn to these kinds of games.

You've got a great start, and you have some good polish on the game, but it needs to be taken to the next level if it is going to stand a chance.

The casual game market is crazy overcrowded, and you're gonna need to give it everything you've got and then some if you want to get seen.