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  1. SyntaxUnknown's Avatar
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       #1  
    So, I think I've tried just about everything to get my new game noticed: , Blogs, Forum posts, Twitter, Reddit, Facebook and it doesn't really seem to make a difference. It seems like it still comes down to how long you're in the 'New' lists' front page and if you're lucky enough to get one of the 3 top level spots when the app is released.

    Over at my blog, I've posted the numbers from 'launch day' for Barnstormers. Those 4 sales are still the only I've had. It's a pretty well polished 3D game that really pushes the phone to the limit. The few reviews I've had are all 4/5 stars.

    I think in the end it comes down to getting featured. I'm just not sure if there are enough Windows Phones out there for general marketing techniques to actually work.

    I've looked at AdDuplex and that might be my next try. I sure hate to waste all this work!

    What do you guys do?
  2. diapers's Avatar
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    #2  
    As a fellow developer, read your post and blog, downloaded the game and here are my thoughts.

    I wouldn't pay 2$ for it. The game could use a lot more polish before I instantly felt like laying money for it. You need textured hills, and it needs to feel more like a game than a sim.

    The blog post essentially said "why won't anyone pay for my game. it's only 2$ you spend at starbucks". It's a weak argument. They pay 2$ for starbucks because they like starbucks more than your game.

    Lastly, from my experience, put ads in your game. That is the price people pay for the work you put into developing it. If they like it they can buy the full version and remove the ads. This is a great motivator, users dislike apps and will pay 2$ to get rid of it if it's something they use often. Plus you make a little bit of side money from tryouts or gamers that can't or won't buy.

    Random tips:
    -poke users for reviews after 5-6 uses. This is how you get lots of reviews and many good reviews and feedback.
    -instead of ads, you could pausing the game at regular intervals and show a nag screen with an ad.
  3. SyntaxUnknown's Avatar
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       #3  
    Thanks for the feedback tuufly! I really appreciate you taking the time to look through the blog and play the game.

    I had to scale back the textures to keep the frame rate up. I originally built the terrain using a world editor and laid the texture over the whole map, but it was just too costly on the phone in terms of performance.

    I'll look at dropping the price then to see if I can get more conversions. I always figured I'd have a free version as well (seems like everyone does that) and I love your ideas about the nag screens with the Ads. There isn't a lot of real estate left over for ads, so some sort of pop up thing could work!
  4. Stiv's Avatar
    Developer

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    59 Posts
    #4  
    Unfortunately it's true that people just don't look for paid apps. And the way the marketplace is designed makes it very easy to filter them out. What makes it even worse is that if people do go to look for paid apps in the "Top" category they usually just see a list that looks very similar to the xbox list. It would be great if xbox games weren't listed here.

    But just to give you an example of how much more people like free games, I released a Beta version of CastleMine some time ago. The beta was free and publicly available and did quite well (150,000 downloads).

    I then released a paid 99 cents version that was superior to the Beta in every way. Yet even right now, the much worse Beta version is downloaded 10 times more often than the paid version simply because it's in the Free column. The Beta even has a link to the paid version that tells them there is a much better version out there but no one is interested.

    I would strongly recommend to you that if you want people to play your game (which looks great by the way) that you release a separate free version with ads or nag screens. Keep the paid version available for people who have fallen in love with the free version but want to remove the ads.
  5. SyntaxUnknown's Avatar
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       #5  
    I agree completely Stiv. I think developers on the mobile platforms have really sold themselves short over the years to the point that people agonize over spending $1 or $2. Maybe that's one reason that XBOX went with a point system instead of showing real money?

    I'm guessing in app purchases are probably the way to go now with WP8.

    I ended up releasing a free version of my game with a link to the paid version if they want to get rid of the ads. The number of downloads it's getting is amazing really, especially compared to the paid version. I think I lucked out with the timing in that is showed up in the 'New' highlight for most of the weekend. Unfortunately, the eCPM is pretty low, but at least it's interesting to see so many people playing it.
  6. Gmotagi's Avatar
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    #6  
    Unfortunatly the simple truth is right now paid WP games do not make you any money unless you are really lucky and get highlighted. My game Droidodian Droidodian | Windows Phone Apps+Games Store (United Kingdom) has had aprox 2500 download but only a measily 16 purchases. I know there are a number of reasons for this such as too many trial levels, too high price (maybe) £1.99, zero marketing but it still goes to show that as soon as you drop off that new releases pages your downloads will plummit and unfortnatly WP just doesnt have the numbers yet that makes a small sales % actually give you some money.

    Luckily for me making money was not the reason for writing the game in the first place. Having a decent app in the MP is the main reason as I'm a professional programmer. I also got a free Lumia 800 from it through the Rich Dunbar Nokia program so I've come out on top in the end, although it is dissapointing.

    I'm converting the game to a Store app now (its amazing on surface with the added space!) and I think this will have more success if I make it ad supported instead like previously mentioned.
  7. SyntaxUnknown's Avatar
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       #7  
    Yeah, I'm not really looking to quit the day job from this (though it'd be much more fun to write code for blowing up a zombie than web services to query a DB). It would be nice to at least cover expenses though (Dev Center subscriptions, tools, graphics, etc.).

    I'm so tied to XNA for my game development skills, moving to Surface is going to be a pain. I guess I need to start looking into other toolkits (which will equal to more expenses that I hope to recover).

    Having the free version reference my paid version seems to have helped a bit. I'll have more numbers on my blog as they come in.
  8. The Last Byte's Avatar
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    35 Posts
    #8  
    The idea is to find a way to get into the Top Free/Paid and once you secure that position...you are good.
  9. Stiv's Avatar
    Developer

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    59 Posts
    #9  
    Quote Originally Posted by Gmotagi View Post
    This game looks great! Downloading it now...

    Quote Originally Posted by Gmotagi View Post
    …has had aprox 2500 download but only a measily 16 purchases. I know there are a number of reasons for this such as too many trial levels, too high price (maybe) £1.99, zero marketing but it still goes to show that as soon as you drop off that new releases pages your downloads will plummit and unfortnatly WP just doesnt have the numbers yet that makes a small sales % actually give you some money.
    The way I structured my releases was to create a free beta version to build a user base, then release a paid version and hope people would jump to it. This strategy was sort of successful. About 9,000 people jumped across to the paid version and of those 1,000 actually bought it. So the conversion ratio for trial vs paid was quite high, but the overall download numbers weren’t that great.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gmotagi View Post
    I'm converting the game to a Store app now (its amazing on surface with the added space!) and I think this will have more success if I make it ad supported instead like previously mentioned.
    How have you found the conversion process to Win RT? Has it been fairly simple?


    Quote Originally Posted by SyntaxUnknown View Post
    I'm so tied to XNA for my game development skills, moving to Surface is going to be a pain. I guess I need to start looking into other toolkits (which will equal to more expenses that I hope to recover).
    If you’re tied to XNA be sure to check out MonoGame. That should keep your skills relevant. Because I never got far into XNA I’m starting to look into Unity 3D since it will support WP8 and has the added bonus of supporting ios, android, mac, pc, web, etc as well.


    Quote Originally Posted by The Last Byte View Post
    The idea is to find a way to get into the Top Free/Paid and once you secure that position...you are good.
    I'm not sure that's useful advice. That's like saying the way to be successful is to be successful.
  10. fwaits's Avatar
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    868 Posts
    #10  
    Quote Originally Posted by Gmotagi View Post
    Unfortunatly the simple truth is right now paid WP games do not make you any money unless you are really lucky and get highlighted. My game Droidodian Droidodian | Windows Phone Apps+Games Store (United Kingdom) has had aprox 2500 download but only a measily 16 purchases. I know there are a number of reasons for this such as too many trial levels, too high price (maybe) £1.99, zero marketing but it still goes to show that as soon as you drop off that new releases pages your downloads will plummit and unfortnatly WP just doesnt have the numbers yet that makes a small sales % actually give you some money.



    Luckily for me making money was not the reason for writing the game in the first place. Having a decent app in the MP is the main reason as I'm a professional programmer. I also got a free Lumia 800 from it through the Rich Dunbar Nokia program so I've come out on top in the end, although it is dissapointing.



    I'm converting the game to a Store app now (its amazing on surface with the added space!) and I think this will have more success if I make it ad supported instead like previously mentioned.

    Dude is this a modern take on the old game for C64 called Paradroid? That game was fun as **** back in the day. I'm going to try yours right now.
    "Bro, you know I lift cause I use a Lumia 920..."
  11. schlubadub's Avatar
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    #11  
    @Gmotagi - I'm probably one of the 2,500 that downloaded it soon after you released the game. I loved Paradroid on the C64 and especially on the Amiga, and this is a great twist on the theme while still staying unique. I'm surprised WPCentral haven't done a feature on it, as it's a really well polished and deserves a lot of attention. Perhaps you should tip them?

    I actually didn't buy it, simply because the tilt controls really limit how and when I can play the game. I like to play games on public transport and in bed, so the tilt controls simply aren't suitable (unless I want to look like a fool on the train or wake up my partner jostling around in bed). I did email you a long time ago to see if you'd contemplate adding touch controls, but I never received a reply and so I didn't bother with it any further. I only just remembered the game and went to download it again - I notice it's free now... Is that a temporary thing?

    Sorry to resurrect an old thread!

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