Post Mortem – It did not pay off
I finished two game projects over the last 6 months. For both I worked through nights and tried the best possible to make them shine. The effort did not pay off at all. Except some flattering words and good critiques, I’m happy that at least some players have played them .
Check out the statistics:
Units per month shows the amount of downloads. Consider that „The Sha Man“ was priced and had no marketing.
Sha Cat had intense marketing (unfortunately couldn’t reach the market making big sites). And I invested roughly 300 euro in marketing. Beside that I did obvious marketing fail investments (article coming soon) I conclude my games are just not ready yet, to appeal to the masses.
Conclusion – Make it simple make it meaningful
Since I try to make a living out of it I do now re-orient myself, let’s hope this road is paying off . I will switch to create smaller apps in a much higher frequency instead of investing months into one project and than having a hard time receiving any attention. It’s time to speed up the development process and increase my portfolio variance.
I will create a lot of app’s all of them free using iAD, a Banner service that pays me for player impressions. Which fit’s best for such small games.
Looking forward -> (Hidden Future)
I’m actually released from a big pressure to make it artistically appealing.
The more time you invest in a project the more you can feel the pressure rising.
I now focus on simple game mechanics, game app’s I can finish in 3 days up to an absolute maximum of a week.
This will enable me to swim through different waters and test them and maybe discover my niche.
So the game is not yet out (23rd april) but there is already plenty of new content for the first game update (version 1.1) coming up.
I already painted new backgrounds for 8 new levels which will bring the cat lady in a tropical mystical area.
Here a first sneak peak:
I really love how the colors match up in the new levels. Additional to the 8 new levels of update 1.1 there will be also a new feature.
Tripod of Powers
The idea is that the tripod will become available after finishing level 5.
It will enable the player to learn combo spells and passive powers which will be triggered by chance in battles.
I’m not yet sure how it will work exactly but here have a first look.
I love Berlin!
This pulsing energetic city just decided to sponsor me for the next 6 months for creating my mobile games!
Jeaaahh! I just received a letter this morning, after 4 months of waiting, the german „Arbeitsagentur“ decided to sponsor me, they give me the „Gründungszuschuss“, which is money for founding your own business, for the next 6 months they support me, so I can continue doing mobile games full time and still have money to survive and do marketing.
So after a short celebration break the last weekend, I’m back on track and I’m painting for the last 9 hours.
I figured that 70% of my time spend is on the visual part of my game project -> painting and animating or designing the UI. And only 30% I can spend on actual coding. Here some work in progress for level 2 and its creatures.
Here a Statistic directly out of my iTunes Connect Account showing the Amount of Downloads.
Note this is my Release Week.
In total around 30 Downloads. 18 Paid 12 through Promo Codes (for free).
Conclusion: Thats pretty poor but nice too know. So what can I learn here…
Theres a few Reason I can come up with:
1.) 250 Games get released per Day accordingly a statistic from October this Year.
Specialy as close to Christmas as now their are much more Releases as normal. All kind of Marketing Channels are affected through that, since they have an Overload on Work to do and are more likely to ignore the little Indie Developers Apps.
2.) The Name „The Sha Man“ auto-corrects to „The aha man“ and is a pain in the Ass to search for.
Additionally this removes the random Chance to get found since it will always auto-correct them away from my App. Something to check before the next App.
3.) I did start with the Marketing too late. I basically started with it on the release Day, definitely to late. If possible I will try to achieve a little hype before my next App.
4.) The Price. The pure Fact that it has one, seem to be a no go. There is no more Chance to sell Full Price Apps without having a Fan base behind you that waits for it. People want them Free and Pay a lot of Money for In-App purchases. That’s nothing new, I knew it but didn’t put this Business-model into Place because I wanted my first Title to be as easy to publish as possible. To learn about the whole Process first.
Result: Since Players can’t try and they don’t know the Brand it will be coldly ignored by the Users. The next Game will be free to play with in-app purchases so I get at least more Downloads and reach a bigger Audience before I block my Content by Prices.
Have a nice Weekend everyone!