Ethan on Games
Some news on Driving Reckless 3 months after it’s release:
250,000 downloads with more > 1,500 daily downloads
First update just went live with new content (see picture)
Downloads are equally split between iOS and Android
The iOS version makes 2x the money of the Android version
The steering is quite hardcore which isn’t the best idea for mobile games. I think it would be best to just use one-touch input for mobile games (think of Flappy Bird, Doodle Jump, Angry Birds etc.) to get better reviews and to keep it casual enough for the masses.
Because Free 2 Play means that you need masses and the mass wants casual controls and casual games, right?
So even if you find your niche on mobile you still have to create a really casual experience around it if you choose F2P, right?
I still have to learn a lot … that’s the only sure thing about it. ;)
Anyway: 250,000 downloads in 3 months! Not bad at all.

Some news on Driving Reckless 3 months after it’s release:

  • 250,000 downloads with more > 1,500 daily downloads
  • First update just went live with new content (see picture)
  • Downloads are equally split between iOS and Android
  • The iOS version makes 2x the money of the Android version

The steering is quite hardcore which isn’t the best idea for mobile games. I think it would be best to just use one-touch input for mobile games (think of Flappy Bird, Doodle Jump, Angry Birds etc.) to get better reviews and to keep it casual enough for the masses.

Because Free 2 Play means that you need masses and the mass wants casual controls and casual games, right?

So even if you find your niche on mobile you still have to create a really casual experience around it if you choose F2P, right?

I still have to learn a lot … that’s the only sure thing about it. ;)

Anyway: 250,000 downloads in 3 months! Not bad at all.

Download Numbers & how accurate is XYO.net?

Today somebody asked how accurate the download estimation on XYO.net is and I answered by showing him the estimations for my games side by side with the real download numbers:

Driving Reckless (iOS release December 2013) (App Store link):

Real downloads: 90,000
XYO.net estim.: ~4,800 (wow, that’s not accurate at all!)

Raccoon Rumble (iOS release August 2013) (App Store link):

Real downloads: 11,000 (boohoo no downloads for my raccoons :( )
XYO.net estim.: ~8,000

Highway Run (iOS release: April 2012) (App Store link):

Real downloads: 660,000
XYO.net estim.: ~585,000

As you can see the download estimations aren’t that bad except those for Driving Reckless. Maybe it’s because Driving Reckless is just 1 month old and still very fresh?
Only XYO knows!

If you made other experiences with XYO’s download numbers, feel free to get in touch! My twitter handle is @vidiludi

Cheers :)

My latest 2 months project just arrived in the App Store and Google Play:

Driving Reckless

After the rather disappointing launch of my last game “Raccoon Rumble” I decided to release faster to make my mistakes earlier.

So far it looks very promising:

  • More than 6,000 downloads just yesterday and it’ll be even more today!
  • Thanks Canada and USA players for the first bought IAPs ;)
  • 4 of 5 star rating which is excellent for my MVP (minimum viable product)
  • No crashes and good feedback

What does that tell me?

Release early and fail early. Move on and learn from your mistakes. Raccoon Rumble is a great and polished game and I love it, but it’s not niche at all which made it drown in the casual app mud. It was very hard to find the right App Store keywords which had some traffic but low competition. For Driving Reckless and Highway Run it was rather easy to find great keywords, which drive nice traffic to my game.

I didn’t spend a dollar on PR nor marketing and it looks like I get more than 6k downloads a day on the App Store and Google Play with Driving Reckless and almost 2k downloads only on the App Store for Highway Run. Raccoon Rumble on the other hand only gets like 80 downloads a day on both stores.

But anyway … these are promising numbers for a cheap one man company! ;)

More information about Driving Reckless:

http://drivingreckless.vidiludi.com

App Store:

https://itunes.apple.com/app/driving-reckless/id773164971

Google Play:

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.vidiludi.drivingreckless

It’s been a while since a posted sth. here!

My first full time indie developed mobile game “Raccoon Rumble” went live on the App Store and on Google Play some weeks ago and it’s doing … well not as good as I hoped.

So what went wrong?

I guess if you are developing casual games for a wide audience you have to do a lot of marketing to get visible next to all the successful casual games out there like Cut the Rope, Angry Birds etc.

That means in this case you have to buy downloads via ingame ads.

So why didn’t I buy downloads then?

The problem is, that your free to play game has to squeeze plenty of money out of its players to be able to justify the cost of a bought download.

Example:

You buy 1000 downloads for $1000 through an ad network on ONE day in ONE country because this has the best effect on your ranks.

Those downloads push you up the rankings and your game will get more downloads, because your game got more visible.

So let’s say the 1000 downloads you paid for cause 4000 downloads in the end, because of your better rank.

You would still have to make more than $0.25 per free download with your In App Purchases and ads to win some money.

Unfortunately Raccoon Rumble is not even close to making more than $0.25 per free download.

That means I have to stick with App Store Optimization (ASO) and cheap marketing to get at least to a few hundred downloads a day and Android and or iOS.

But in the end I am still starting out and I am enjoying all the things I am able to learn with my little mobile games.

Wish me luck for my next game(s)! ;)

More about Raccoon Rumble: http://raccoonrumble.vidiludi.com

App Store link:
https://itunes.apple.com/app/raccoon-rumble/id670966506

Google Play link:
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.vidiludi.raccoon

My latest blog entry made it on Gamasutra! :)

5 Ninja Tips on ASO (AppStore Optimization)

So you can’t afford buying your app/game a nice and cozy top10 AppStore rank?
No big review page gives your game the attention you are desperately looking for?
Your AppStore ranks are bad and no one even finds your great new app/game?

What to do?

Here’s a handy, fast, cheap and easy list to increase your app’s/game’s visibility in just one day of work:

1. Get an awesome icon

Increase the contrast of the icon’s colors and give it a golden or shiny frame.
Somehow icons with frames are more likely to get clicked than icons without.
It costs no more than $5 if you know where to search: http://fiverr.com/gigs/search?order=rating&query=app+icon

2. Find the right keywords

Go to http://www.appcodes.com and sign up for about $15 a month to find & observe the best keywords for your app/game.
Also sign up for the free-as-long-as-beta http://www.straply.com to get keyword ideas with low competition you didn’t even think of - like keywords with typos.

3. Translate your keywords

In my game “Highway Run” (https://itunes.apple.com/app/highway-run/id492097046) I wondered why my rank in Germany was always the best of all countries. I only translated the description and parts of the keywords in German which made me much more visible in Germany. In my last update I translated the most powerful keywords into several languages - especially Asian ones.

4. Make your first screenshot look awesome

The first screenshot is the first thing the user will see when the AppStore spotlight falls on your app/game. Show the user what your game is about. Maybe even put more screenshots into one or put a text on it with your core feature. Use it as advertisement!

5. Focus on the first 4 lines of your description & update

The text of your description and update message will be cut to the first few lines. That means you have to tell the user why your game is awesome in just that space. Use your update messages to sell your game, too. Don’t write things like “bugfixes” or other technical stuff no one understands or cares about.

That’s it for now!

I hope I could help you a little bit with this list. If anything is missing here or if you have any feedback or questions, feel free to contact me!

Contact:
Gabriel Morgenstern
http://www.vidiludi.com
http://www.gabrielmorgenstern.de

Nice Monetization & ASO Resource

Check out this page, if you are interested in how to monetize your game & how to optimize your ASO (AppStore Optimization = sth. like AppStore SEO):

http://bluecloudsolutions.com/

I am still not 100% sure if this guy works for RevMob though. ;)

There will be an update for my latest iOS game “Highway Run” with some monetization & ASO changes. I will keep you updated how it performed.

Went Full Time Indie

It has been some time since my last update, but here is a big one:

Creating games is now my full time job (again)! I left my well paid and cozy job as Software-Engineer to return to games.

That being said my upcoming game “Raccoon Rumble” needs some more polish and won’t be done till “Early 2013”.

I hope to get it done in the next few months, though. :)

Here is a first preview (Alpha footage, not final!) of my next game “Raccoon Rumble”. It’s a unique physics puzzle game and will be released on iOS in the following weeks. I will also try to port it to Android and OUYA later, so stay tuned. Hope you like it!

Here is a first preview (Alpha footage, not final!) of my next game “Raccoon Rumble”. It’s a unique physics puzzle game and will be released on iOS in the following weeks. I will also try to port it to Android and OUYA later, so stay tuned.
Hope you like it!

translation/localization community

I just uploaded a first BETA of the translation community page i was planning the last few days:

http://www.open-translation.org

This page gives you the chance to translate texts into languages you are able to speak while getting your texts translated into languages you don’t know. It’s a free service i made to make it possible to get our games in as many languages as possible without using Google Translator or expensive translation agencies.

Here is a screenshot of the submission process:


The basic idea is, that you spend credits for translating your text into one other language.
You earn credits by successfully translating a text of another person. Successfully means, the other person accepts the translation.
You could also decline it, if you are somehow unhappy with it. In that case it would return to the list of open translations.

The open translations (you access them via the button “Translate” see screenshot) are sorted after the creators “score”.
The higher your score, the faster your stuff gets translated since it’s on top of the “Translate” list.
The score is simply a percentage of successful translations of all translations you’ve made.

Before you translate another text you reserve it for 12 hours with a simple buttonclick. The translation will then get invisible for others in that timeframe to avoid 2 people translating the same text.

Please give it a try and send me all the feedback here or per PM or email.
Also feel free to share the link so we can reach more languages and users!