Pixel Mage 1.3: New Stuff
+Killed Goblins now give magic points
+The Game can be paused by double tapping the upper screen
+Tutorial Stone Statues added (teach pausing)
Would you delete your original game because the clones and follow ups were more succesful?
In 2014 me and my buddy Sabba created a series of apps.
Three Points, Four Points up to Six Points.
Segmented coloured geometric shapes which you spin on tap to match the incoming coloured ball.
Three Points was featured by Apple for all of Europe as „best new game“ and after that week even slipped over to „What we play“. The game had 400’000 Installs, the game was free and only had an ad banner so we created minimal money but it was still a big success for us.
Can we have your idea?
A marketer contacted us quickly and wanted to buy the rights to make his own version of Four Points. For a minimal amount of money we gave him the rights as we didn’t make much out of our insane amount of downloads.
A week after that their version went live and was called „Impossible Rush“ but here comes the clue. They marketed it as the invention of the back then 14 year old Ben Pasternak.
Good Story right? So thought Forbes and plenty of other influencers. Also Apple Featured then app, this time „internationally“.
The guy is currently marketed as 16 year old App Millionaire as he also „invented“ Flogg.
Respect to those wo deserve it:
A dozen of cheap clones and templates flooded the App Store and internet, trying to imitated three points and specially impossible rush’s success story.
It took a while until some company really put it to the next level.
Color switch was here and still keeps its place in the top charts of the App Store by now.
It did what we missed to do, properly fleshing it out.
Three Points is still up and running and has around 15000 active installs.
How ever I already removed the other shapes/games and also this one is not the best in monetisation and it could appear like a cheap clone of impossible rush or color switch.
Just came back from my holidays.
Here is what I did today.
Magic Projectile replaced by fireball visual.
Intro Scene tuned
Apple just decided to quit their own Banner Advertising Service called iAD.
At the same moment allowing Ad-blocking apps to appear in the iTunes store.
Of course that lead to a lot of conversation specially between Indie game developers.
And the question if a free Ad monetised app is still a viable way to go.
A strong side of more established indies kind of seem to like the idea of going back to premium games, pay for the game upfront and no further purchases within the app.
Which I think to be illusive, a pay wall I see as a bad thing specially for us indies.
It will work if you get your premium game featured or already have thousands of waiting fans, but how many of us can count on that?
Of course Games can still be free and sell in-apps just as clash of clans or candy crush do without any additional advertising. But these in-app purchase sales are much less likely to happen for us indies too, specially consumables.
In an indie game you mostly do not have that server structure keeping all the players account data saved, there for buying something consumable that can not be re-gained in case of losing the mobile phone or just mistakenly deleting the app will be not a good selling point for the player.
Ads are enabling the small man to make a living of this craft as it lowered the wall to test out an indie game for a consumer. Allowing to block ads might be nice for apple and the consumer but does hurt the flexibility and opportunity to try out smaller alternative things as an indie developer.
On the other hand you could ad block on google play since „ever“ and my main ad revenue always came from google play. So the impact might not be to much of a big deal at all.
So a quick update how it looks financial for me. As maybe some of you guys now I was supported 6 months with a „Gründungszuschuss“ from Berlin at the start of my career as Indie Game Developer. Which was basically almost the same money as I was working full-time. What ever its already 1 year and 3 months later now and I’m still a full time Indie.
My Gaming Apps
I got 26 live apps on iOS, 30 on Android Google play and 30 on Amazon Store. 90% of them created this year, 2014.
The main money comes through 2 of my 26 live apps. Which are Three Points, which was picked and featured by apple and PewDiePug a game that gets insane ratings and constant downloads due the strong fans/Bro’s of PewDiePie.
My capital + Income Stream
I started to make a monthly income which after splitting 50/50 with my creative partner Sabba Keynejad
is comparable with a internship salary(400 Euro a month). I got an extended „Gründungszuschuss“ of 300 Euro until March 2015 on top. My original start off money of 6000 Euro has been declined to around 2500 by now.
The rough 700 Euro will now probably make me stay around 2000 to 3000 Euro with my current expenses.
I got featured with Three Points back than but I only had in there iAD Banners which made out of 330 000 Downloads and over 1 million expressions rough 1000 USD. We took a big learning and added Chartboost which would have generated around 7000 USD on top if we would have had it in. All Apps now got both, some of them have an extra option to remove advertising for a in-app purchases of 0.99 USD. Even tough our overall Downloads have been reduced drastically since the apple feature past there is now a solid income stream etablished. (since the last 3 months)
The biggest Hope
The second game is our biggest hope so far, If Pewd’s Bro’s can make him play the game on Youtube this would eliminate all money worries quickly. PewDiePie was back than one of the main reasons Flappy Bird became the success it is/was.
Trying out some Marketing
So far I did post on several social media channels, PR agencies, this blog, deviantart and made youtube gameplay footage of my games. I tried admob, invested 100 Euro all in one day with CPC(cost per click) of 0.10 USD it made 800 more downloads over 2 days. Which was pretty ok already, additionally I’m now in contact with a big marketing player, which currently checks whats the best way to give my apps some more attention. Let’s see how this all works out.