Mobile Income Report #3 - August 2014
Mobile Income Report #2 - July 2014
Mobile Income Report #1 - June 2014
Apps page - Portfolio (what are my assets?)
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Under Apps page you can see my portfolio. It is list of the games that are then reported in Income Reports. The portfolio is regularly updated with new information (releases for new platforms, new updates, ...)
What I did in September
- on 3rd September Shards was featured in "Free App of the Day" (FAD) event at Amazon. What does it mean? You have to agree to give your paid app for free for one day. For 24 hours your app is then placed on the welcome page of Amazon appstore. As you can imagine it is really big promotion. In one day the game was downloaded by more than 125000 people! The average rating was 3,8 stars which is more or less similar to average rating of free version with ads at Google Play. In comments we also got some useful feedback from users. Being promoted in this way had also positive effect on paid downloads in next days - unfortunately not in thousands nor hundreds, but in ones and few days after event in tens of downloads (see Reports section of this post). What was really good, was fact, that the interest raised not only at Amazon, but also at Google Play and even at Apple's iTunes. On the other side, we did not see any changes in Samsungapps downloads.
- On 27th September we finally released our Fruit Dating game on iOS. Game has one universal binary for iPhone / iPad and it is available here at iTunes. Unfortunately, there was bug in iOS8 version (related to screen orientation) so we had to update it immediately. The update is just in approval process. The game is puzzle game with nice graphics by Tomáš Kopecký and music by Matúš Široký.
For generating puzzles I coded special procedural generator which helped us very much - really big time savings. Generated puzzles were then manually adjusted to look more attractive. Below is one screenshot from editor and final game. As the procedural generation of puzzles is very interesting topic I will publish article on it in next days.
- believe it or not, beside FAD for Shards we were featured in one more FAD event in the same month! Our earlier game Deadly Abyss 2 was promoted on 30th September at Amazon. The game got average rating 2,7 stars with more than 60000 downloads. The rating is not good. Lot of user were complaining about controls. But, unfortunately, most of them obviously did not see the tutorial. For me it means: in any other game where tutorial is necessary I must force the player to go through it. Other part of users did not like gameplay and lack of information on upgrades. These are right - the gameplay is very unbalanced. Even if you play for first time you can survive for long time. Also the explanation on upgrades in ... none. You can guess from icons, but for the next time we must add clear description.
- I still continue to learn Unity and work on "game from jungle". I was not in team from the very beginning, so lot of work was done before I joined. The intent is to make the game available for mobile devices as well as home PCs. Unfortunately, there were no performance tests before, so while the game currently runs well on PC, it is terrible slow on tablet. I am converting all of the built levels into new model that works with texture atlases instead of individual textures, replaces 3D models with 2D sprites, replaces 3D physics with 2D as well as some inflexible custom animation system with standard Unity one. As I want to do as much of the conversion automatic as possible, I wrote some scripts that do this for me. Here is screenshot of one converted level. See the nice big STOP sign, which is automatically put into places where something went wrong during conversion:
For building texture atlases I am using my SBC Tool, which we used so far for all our games. It is great tool and I have big plans with it. Currently the code inside is old and terribly written, so every adjustment is pain. But I plan to rewrite it from scratch, add some extra functions and offer it for some reasonable fee. I hope it will help me on my indie way. Good point is that I am really using the tool hard, so the functions in it have real value. Here is example of texture atlas from Fruit Dating created by the tool - you can see how nicely it is organized:
And now to figures. September was highly affected by "Free App of the Day" event in the beginning. Stats for paid apps are these:
You can see jump in Shards downloads for Android and iOS. Compared to August earning ($39,7) there is increase to $375. It is great, but from detailed day-by-day data it is clear that October will be poor again. To make reports clear I shifted downloads during FAD events (125000 for Shards and 64000 for Deadly Abyss 2) into table with free downloads.
The most profitable game was Shards again raising its share from 86% in August to 93%. No wonder - thanks to FAD. Fruit Dating is still very low. Let's see whether it will change in October with iOS version released.
For the ads supported versions the September was better than August. The earnings raised from $121,7 to $168,7 (by 38,6%)
In absolute figures Chartboost is still most profitable, but it is loosing its relative position (from 57% to 45%). It is given by increase in earnings from Amazon ads (from $17,7 to $38,0). My Chartboost eCPM is around $2,5. If Amazon keeps its eCPM higher I may consider to redirect some traffic there.
So, total income for SBC team in September = $375,0 + $168,7 = $543,7 (+ 336,9% compared to August report).
While Shards performed well in September I am still below my mid term target ($750). So, current portfolio will not probably pay my bills. It is time to move further. The Unity game I am working on is big project, it will not be finished soon, so I have to start some smaller projects beside to keep my indie life.