Categories for Business

A Story About Clones – A Recap (Sales, Installs, Revenue, Press)

January 13, 2015

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A Story About Clones header

A Story About Clones – the first game that I released as a self-employed (→ I’m self-employed since May 2014. Why? Read about it in this blog post: The beginning of …)

It’s time to show some numbers. It’s time for some thoughts. It’s time for a recapitulation.


  1. A Story About Clones PAID – Sales
    1. Appstore Sales
    2. Playstore Sales
  2. A Story About Clones FREE – Installs
    1. AppStore Installs
    2. Playstore Installs
    3. Press
    4. Comparison with my old game |  Thoughts
  3. Browser Version – Gamejolt vs. Kongregate
  4. Amazon’s Apps  – Developer Select
  5. RevMob vs. Chartboost

Additional read: Discussion on reddit /r/gamedev/


1 – A Story About Clones PAID – Sales (August 2014 – January 2015)

Price: ~$1,99  |  Since January 2015: ~$0,99
Appstore: 12  |  Playstore: 16  |  Windows Phone: 1  |  Amazon: 1

1.A – Appstore Sales

Appstore - A Story About Clones - Sales

Appstore – A Story About Clones – Sales

1.B – Playstore Sales

Playstore - A Story About Clones - Sales

Playstore – A Story About Clones – Sales

 


2 – A Story About Clones FREE – Installs (October 2014 – January 2015)

In October 2014 I released the free version of the game.

Price: 0,00$
Appstore: 424 |  Playstore: 112

2.A – Appstore Installs

Appstore - A Story About Clones FREE - Installs

Appstore – A Story About Clones FREE – Installs

That’s crazy! What a spike! I had high hopes when I saw that and I didn’t expect that the downloads go back to zero so quickly and abrupt.

2.B – Playstore Installs

Playstore - A Story About Clones FREE - Installs

Playstore – A Story About Clones FREE – Installs

In contrast to the Appstore it had not many downloads on the release day but do you see that spike in November?! That’s because androidpolice.com featured the game as WTF game of the week 🙂

2.C – Press

And yes, I wrote to the press. I sent out about 60 mails to inform gaming sites about my game. I got a hand full of responses (from which some suggested to pay for a review) and three features (androidpolice and two reviews from German sites) that I list on the game’s website astoryaboutclones.com.

2.D – Comparison with my old game

Now look at my Flappy Jam entry Urban Bird Flip 3D (October 2014 – January 2015):
Installs: 1014

Playstore - Urban Bird Flip 3D - Installs

Playstore – Urban Bird Flip 3D – Installs

Whaa?! Why are the people still downloading my old game? The game that’s almost a rip-off of Flappy Bird. The game that has no personality at all.

I want them to play the successor, my new game. I want them to play the story mode. I want them to laugh about the jokes I put in there. I want them to enjoy the visuals and the different gameplay styles…! And the music I made.
Maybe it’s because they want smaller games with one simple mechanic. Maybe it’s because A Story About Clones is too weird, too unpolished, too offbeat. Maybe the description isn’t good. Or they simply don’t know about it while Urban Bird Flip 3D got some attention as an entry to the Flappy Jam.


3 – Browser Version – Gamejolt vs. Kongregate

I also released a browser version of A Story About Clones. I put it on Gamejolt and also on Kongregate. What I find interesting when comparing the receptions of my game from both sites is that they seem to have completely different audiences.

Gamejolt:
Plays: 107
Overall Rating: 4.5/5 (8 ratings)

Kongregate:
Plays: 25
Overall Rating: 1.86/5 (N/A)

That are not enough plays to draw a conclusion from but I think that Gamejolt is the better place for indie developers to find an audience that is interested in weird and experimental games.


4 – Amazon’s Apps  – Developer Select

A Story About Clones qualified for Amazon’s Developer Select program.

In order to get the game qualified it has to meet certain requirements like GameCircle integration, device compatibility and HD optimization.

The Developer Select Benefits:

  • 500k free mobile ad impressions
  • Premium Amazon Appstore placement
  • Coins rewards for customers who download your app
  • Credit towards AWS services

500k ad impressions. Sounds like a good thing, right?! Premium placement! I want that! People will see my game and they will buy it!

Amazon started the campaign for my game on January 1st and it will run the whole month. To get some people to buy it I set up a second campaign for the same time frame. A price drop from $1.92 to $0.99. I named it Urban Price Drop Deluxe 🙂

Now its January 13, and I still sold only one copy.

500k impressions… What kind of impression?
Is this is an impression?

 ____   ____   ____   ____   ____   ____   ____  
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|____| |____| |____| |____| |____| |____| |____| 
 ____   ____   ____   ____   ____   ____   ____  
|    | |    | |    | |    | |    | |    | |    | 
|____| |____| |____| |____| |____| |____| |____| 
 ____   ____   ____   ____   ____   ____   ____  
|    | |    | |    | |    | |    | |    | |    | 
|____| |____| |____| |____| |____| |____| |____| 
 ____   ____   ____   ____   ____   ____   ____  
|    | |    | |    | |    | |    | |    | |    | 
|____| |____| |____| |____| |____| |____| |____| 
 ____   ____   ____   ____   ____   ____   ____  
|    | |    | |    | |    | |    | |    | |    | 
|____| |____| |____| |____| |____| |____| |____| 
 ____   ____   ____   ____   ____   ____   ____  
|    | |    | |    | |    | | my | |    | |    | 
|____| |____| |____| |____| |game| |____| |____| 
 ____   ____   ____   ____   ____   ____   ____  
|    | |    | |    | |    | |    | |    | |    | 
|____| |____| |____| |____| |____| |____| |____| 

Developer Select Campaign metrics:
(January 1st – January 13th)

  • 240,419 Total Impressions
  • 1,433 Total Clicks
  • 0.596% Click-through Rate

5 – RevMob vs. Chartboost

With my first Android game (Urban Bird Flip 3D) I tried out RevMob to make some revenue.
On October 22, I switched to Chartboost to see how that would change my revenue.

Revenue
Chartboost (10/14/2014 – now): $4.62
RevMob (02/22/2014 – 10/14/2014): $10.56

Most of the days Urban Bird Flip 3D makes no revenue with Chartboost but a few people installed the advertised apps and that converts to significantly more money than only an impression or a click on it. With RevMob I never had installs. I guess the ads Chartboost delivers to the users are more appealing to them. That’s why I’ll use Chartboost for my next game.


If you want to play A Story About Clones check out the game’s website.


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The launch and a new challenge

October 6, 2014

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Phew,
the launch of my first commercial game “A Story About Clones” wasn’t what I call a success.

A Story About Clones header

I sold about 15 copies.

I think I didn’t manage to communicate what makes my game a unique and fun experience. On top of that I released the game when Apple released iOS 8. Wasn’t the most clever thing to do, I guess. But I’m still learning here 😉

Nonetheless I got a review from a German website and a Let’s Play.

They liked my game and it was great to get feedback after all the months of developing it.
The downside is that it had ZERO impact on my sales.

New domains and websites:

I have a new website for the game:
astoryaboutclones.com

And a new domain for my games:
xfunnyname.com

What’s next?!

I challenge myself to make a game every month!
You can do that, too. Check out onegameamonth.com!

My next project will be a 2 player multiplayer game that you can play together with a friend on one mobile device.

There will be more about “A Story About Clones” and the new project soon.
Stay tuned,  spread the word and…
Get The Game!

Thanks 🙂

 


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Beer, Birds and Eggs

May 8, 2014

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Wooshh!

Topics in this blog post aaaarrreeee…

Blender

  • Beer bottle render
  • → Quick Tip: Condensed Water

Games

  • Urban Bird Flip 3D update
  • → Quick Tip: Unity, Optimization for Mobiles
  • Easter Color Beat Machine
  • → Quick Tip: Unity, Rhythm games

Business

  • RevMob & Gamejolt Revenue

Let’s go!


Blender LogoBlender

For a friend I designed labels for a fictional beer brand. The ship in the logo is a render of gregzaal’s model which you can download here: http://www.blendswap.com/blends/view/66638

hafenbrause_klabautermann_front

I also modeled a bottle in Blender and rendered a promo image.

Beer Bottles

Beer Bottles

 

QuickTip

–> Quick tip on how to get condensed water on bottles in Blender :

  • Model a few variations of water drops and group them.
  • Select your bottle and create a Particle System.
  • Choose the group in the Render section.

I used two Particle Systems. One for big drops and one for small drops.
And a vertex group to have control over where on the bottle the drops appear.

Condensed Water (Blender)

Condensed Water (Blender)

 


Games

Urban Bird Flip 3D Update

I took the time to have a look at my Flappy Jam entry Urban Bird Flip 3D again and updated a few things.

I changed the shaders, built a new GUI and updated the RevMob and Google Play Game Service plugins.
The pitch black shadows are gone now and everything feels much warmer and more cartoony.

Urban Bird Flip 3D - New GUI 1Urban Bird Flip 3D - New shadersUrban Bird Flip 3D - New GUI 2

 

I also optimized the code after I checked out Unity’s guides for mobiles:

QuickTip

In Unity:
Use object pooling instead of Instantiate and Destroy.

Check out the helpful Guides to Optimization for Mobiles:

 

Easter Egg Jam

I made a little game for the Easter Egg Jam. A game jam hosted by @Jupiter_Hadley and @i_palmentieri and the first one that used gamejolt’s new game jam system.

My entry is Easter Color Beat Machine Deluxe and you can play it here!

Easter Color Beat Machine Deluxe

Easter Color Beat Machine Deluxe

 

QuickTip

If you want to make rhythm games with Unity check out


Revenue

In terms of revenue nothing big happened last month which isn’t surprising because I did not release anything new. I’m still waiting for the job center to decide whether I get the support or not.

RevMob:

February 2014: $0.46601
March 2014: $3.65716
April 2014: $1.90376

Gamejolt:

Gamejolt Revenue April 2014

Gamejolt Revenue April 2014

 


Now I will work on a little story mission in Unity and try to figure out a good way to display dialog and make cinematic camera movements and stuff.

Feel free to comment, check out the games and beat the high scores 🙂

See you in the next post.

 


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The beginning of …

March 31, 2014

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… a success? … a failure? … something that will keep me busy for a long time?

I don’t know. But there is one thing I know for sure: I have to try it!

I want to make games. I want to be able to work on games full time. The problem is a familiar one: Money. If you don’t have money you need a job and if you have a job it might take forever to finish your own projects.

If you make games you probably have a talent for finding solutions. So I thought about what might be a good solution for my problem and I came up with one:

In Germany you can get governmental support for starting a business. In my case that support would be money to pay my rent and to keep me alive and a little bit on top of it. Of course you have to do something for it:

  • Write a business plan
  • Get expert’s opinion on your business plan
  • Make application for the governmental support (for which you need the business plan and the expert’s opinion)

I managed to write a business plan and already got a positive statement from an expert. Now I have to wait for the job center to decide whether I get the support or not.

If I don’t get the support I’ll have to think about another solution but if I get it I can start my business and the real work will begin.

I’m already working a lot to prepare the business:

  • Collecting game ideas
  • Thinking about the scale of projects because I have to finish them in a reasonable amount of time with only me doing everything (programming, 3D modeling, animating, writing story and music, marketing, etc.)
  • Working on prototypes
  • Expanding my twitter audience and looking for ways to promote future projects
  • Thinking of ways to earn money (which is tough because I don’t like ads and pay to win. I will experiment with different solutions to find something that’s a good compromise)

It’s a lot of work but it’s also very exciting and fun when your ideas begin to take shape. There is also doubt but I think that’s always the case if you try something new.

I just see it like this: If my business fails I learned a lot and created cool stuff that I can use to apply for a job. If it works out well, yeah, that would be even better. So it’s a win either way 🙂

First experiences with Google Play Store

In my last post I promised to tell you about how the ad service RevMob works out for me.
I did my first steps into the Play Store with my Flappy Jam entry Urban Bird Flip 3D.

So here are some statistics.

Urban Bird Flip 3D in the Google Play Store:ubf3d_2014.03

RevMob revenue:
revmob_2014.03

Gamejolt.com revenue:gamejolt_2014.03I don’t know what happend in the last few days. Maybe the data is wrong!?

Urban Bird Flip 3D earnings in total:
GameJolt: 2,79$
RevMob: 4,09$
= 6,88$

Hmm, it’s a start.
I’ll top that with my next game.
It’ll be something different and more original.
Stay tuned!


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