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  #1  
Old 03-18-2013, 05:43 AM
aheydeck aheydeck is offline
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Default Game Center - Waste of time?

Hey!

Long time reader, first time poster!

I'm an indie game developer, with my first iOS game getting ready for publishing real soon.

What i'm wondering about is Game Center integration, achievements and leaderboards.
Are people really using it, like the way that xbox gamers hunt achievements on xbox games. Would it be considered an added value to a game in such a way that it would drive more sales or more playtime?

What are your thoughts on this, and do you think that it's worth it, or just a waste of time?

// Andreas
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  #2  
Old 03-18-2013, 05:54 AM
KennyK KennyK is offline
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Hi there, welcome to the TA forums!

As an avid gamer, I have to say that Game Center integration is pretty high up on stuff that I'd like to see in games.

I'd definitely say it'd drive more play time. Especially when you're competing with friends and others globally for a high position. From personal experience, I can say I've spent hundreds of hours on games where most people would spend a maximum of 10 hours, just to get a good position on the leaderboard.
Achievements also drive more play time as most of us want to get all the achievements. I'd say sales would definitely improve as well, so definitely not a waste of time.

I'm sure many of us would love to see what your game is about. If you want, you could post us some screenshots/video gameplay of your game in the upcoming games section of TA. This is another useful way of increasing coverage, and hence future sales, for your game.

Good luck and all the best!
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  #3  
Old 03-18-2013, 06:04 AM
aheydeck aheydeck is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KennyK View Post
I'm sure many of us would love to see what your game is about. If you want, you could post us some screenshots/video gameplay of your game in the upcoming games section of TA. This is another useful way of increasing coverage, and hence future sales, for your game.

Good luck and all the best!
Thanks! =)
I'll post a video there. I suck at doing trailers, so i'll just add a "lets look at" video someone else did for the pc version of the game. It's the same game, but iOS-ified.

Alright, but in that case it seems like it would deffo be worth it then. The game already has ingame achievements that'll easily translate into game center achievements. I'll just try to figure out some good metric for the leaderboards. It's a sim game where there's not a "score" of any kind. I'll think about it, and ask my beta testers and see what they think. =)
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  #4  
Old 03-18-2013, 07:15 AM
Lost_Deputy Lost_Deputy is offline
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Only recently have I used it more. Not in the same league as Xbox live but when done right it can be great fun
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  #5  
Old 03-18-2013, 07:33 AM
KennyK KennyK is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aheydeck View Post
Alright, but in that case it seems like it would deffo be worth it then. The game already has ingame achievements that'll easily translate into game center achievements. I'll just try to figure out some good metric for the leaderboards. It's a sim game where there's not a "score" of any kind. I'll think about it, and ask my beta testers and see what they think. =)
You have beta testers already? Or are you looking to find some?
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  #6  
Old 03-18-2013, 08:23 AM
aheydeck aheydeck is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KennyK View Post
You have beta testers already? Or are you looking to find some?
You like sim games? =)
I have around 20 testers already, but i can always use more! =)
Give me your email address and i'll send you a Testflight invitation.
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  #7  
Old 03-18-2013, 05:31 PM
Wizard_Mike Wizard_Mike is offline
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One thing to consider is that if a game uses Game Center, it will show up for your friends. As in, when I look up a friend in Game Center, I see a list of all his Game Center games. I don't know how many people actually look at each other's Game Center profiles, or how often. But it's potentially free advertising.

Sounds good on paper, at least.
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  #8  
Old 03-18-2013, 05:33 PM
KennyK KennyK is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aheydeck View Post
You like sim games? =)
I have around 20 testers already, but i can always use more! =)
Give me your email address and i'll send you a Testflight invitation.
Ah it's ok you already have some. I'm studying so I might not get the time. Good luck with it though!
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  #9  
Old 03-19-2013, 12:42 AM
Simengie Simengie is offline
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As a developer I will put my position on this out there.

Integrate at least a basic High Score leader board. At a minimum it gives YOU an idea of how many folks play your game daily. I find that very helpful at launches. Before the numbers start coming in GC boards fill up and I am like Success or the they don't fill up and I am all sad panda face. Like wise sales drop way off but daily users says level tell me I have a good retention. It is tool for you as much a feature for players.

Now how we do this. And this goes to why it can and should be always the best choice to integrate GC. When I started with GC integration I created a Singleton class that houses all my calls and setups for a single high score leader board. Once this was done all I have to change game to game is the "leader board id" for the single high score leader board. Then the singleton gets called in 2 places. To connect to GC is the first. To submit a score to GC is the second. It takes about 5 minutes to setup the iTC game center leader board section and about 5 minutes to integrate the reusable singleton into our games.

So is 10 minutes worth having the visibility to you of how played daily your game is? Is 10 minutes worth having at least minimal game center integration? Is providing a feature that can set you apart from another game worth 10 minutes? For us the answer is yes to everyone of those.

Sure there is the time it takes to create the GC Singleton (the first time) but if you do it like we did then you have a reusable component for future games. This gets a bit deeper into game dev but we use Cocos2d and as such I have a custom AppDelegate we use for all games that has hooks for iAds, chartboost, GC and some other stuff. I also have a template Scene for Game Play and in it I have predefined variables like "theScore" and functions like "doGameOver" and in doGameOver we call

[[BBBGameCenter sharedGameCenter] submitHighScoreToGC:theScore] ;

Because we use this template for ALL our games that 10 minutes I discussed is now actually like 5 as it is really just about setting the GC leader board in iTC and putting the id into the singleton in one place.

If you build your reusable code properly and realize that having a standard way for coding game to game then you will find GC integration is just another check mark on creating a project that is really no different than adding a background image and displaying it. Actually you have to write more code to load and display a background image in Cocos2d than we do to add basic GC using our reusable class.

Did not mean to get on a soap box but I wanted to touch on the fact that it is the little things like this and how you do this that can set you apart from the totally failed iOS game dev and the successful and enjoying life game devs.

On a side note, I see achievements as a way to help you understand how far you game is being played as well. If achievements are progressive as most are and you set them up right you can get a good feeling for how far people progress through the game. If you have a platformer with a "Completed All Levels" achievement and no one ever gets that then perhaps you should revisit the levels and see why people are not finishing them all.

TLDR:
Integrate GC. Integrate GC smartly. Don't under estimate GC's value.
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  #10  
Old 03-19-2013, 01:35 AM
MidianGTX MidianGTX is offline
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I got into Xbox achievements and PS3 trophies, but for some reason GameCenter never grabbed me. Too many games I wasn't invested in enough, I guess. Nevertheless, I've been on these forums since before GC integration came along and I'd definitely say that when it's missing from a game it tends to be the most requested feature for an update.
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