post mortem? i'm not dead yet! i'm getting better...i think i'll go for a walk.
so downloads have tailed off for “suddenly aliens” – paid downloads stopped a week after release. just about after my friends stopped buying it…
#68 ranked arcade ipad game in denmark! (one copy) #2 action game on samsung in senegal!(one copy)… one of the things I love making games for mobile devices is the global reach of the stores.
android has about 2000 (free) downloads, iphone more like 300. i’ve sold 3 copies on amazon. and about 10 on the nook. in 200 years i may turn a profit. The game has been downloaded in more countries than i could name off the top of my head. It’s just a _very_ very very niche product.
I now know the chinese for “not fun” (不好玩) and that at least one person in spain likes my game. (“Es muy bueniiisimo del 0 al 10 le doy un 100 y descarguenlo”) . i know someone reviewed my game gave 2 stars and said there should be a tutorial, even though there’s a level called ‘tutorial’. guess i should make that more clear.
I sold precisely one copy on the google play store and the game was then available for free less than half a day later on chinese and russian web sites.
With flurry analytics i know that somewhere in the world someone is stuck on level 18 and they try to beat it every other day. however i also know that most people play one or two levels and then the tutorial and then never touch it again. flurry is great however, when you track levels played and you see someone ‘get’ the game and play through a bunch of levels. and return for more. anonymous someones i salute you.
(though in my last game “trampoloons” i released a version with a level that was impossible to complete, i updated the version, but had no way in that game to tell people a new version was out. it was both sad and comical to see level72 appear in the flurry stats over and over. i could feel the anonymous player rage burning through the browser…..oops )
i learned a lot developing “suddenly aliens”, it took me about a year on and off. i made lots of mistakes, the biggest being
i need to get some people to playtest it a lot – for example one friend at work who bought and played the game all the way through mentioned he had the most fun using one of the very last upgrades you could get. that’s just doing it all wrong. (the balloons, if you were interested)
the game is a bit different – it’s not an endless runner, or angry birds physics game or a match three game, and i found it hard to explain to people how to play, even though it’s a very simple concept. that should be a red flag straight away. But i maintain there is fun in there… many’s the time in development i found myself grinning when an exploding bunny set off a chain reaction of explosions sending aliens everywhere. good times.
i guess i need people to find the fun faster. fff!
the worst thing about developing is i’m usually so burned out by getting the thing finished that short cuts are taken and “marketing” is so rushed as to be ineffective. The most interest i garnered in the game was from people trying to get me to pay them to give it away free. I suppose that’s the new app economy. plus my twitter account has one follower (hello!) . one! . i fell short of facebook likes – 24. even though i offered on a forum a free code for a ‘like’….
but after all is said and done as a part time game dev, the journey is the payoff. it’s the challenge not the prize, the race not the medal, the, erm… anyway
i did learn corona is both a fun and frustrating sdk to develop with. It’s complexity level is just about right. simple things are easy, which is just as they should be… but i’d just like a _little_ more power under the hood – shaders, procedural geometry generation for example…. but it’s at a perfect level to get things done with.
which is the important thing when your working as a small team.
and for my next game, i’m going to start by making sure firstly my kids want to play it, and not just use it as an excuse to get hold of my phone to play angry birds! now that game has some fast fun finding!