Sunday, August 3, 2014

Mobile Income Report #2 - July 2014 (monthly income report from Android, iOS, Tizen, bada, ... games)

previous parts
  Mobile Income Report #1 - June 2014
  Mobile Income Report #0 - Portfolio (what are my assets?)

 If you do not want to miss any of my Income Reports you can follow me on Twitter. Just click the button above.

 Under Income Report #0 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 July

  • as we met Amzon Developer Select conditions we got 500k ads to promote our Fruit Dating. The promotion campaign was scheduled for July. Here are the results:
Fruit dating Amazon promotion campaign

  As you can see we really got promised 500k ads. The average clickthrough rate was less then 0,5%. This was not surprise for me as I expected something like this. It is more or less similar to clickthrough rate when I am on the publisher side. What is not shown in chart is the conversion rate - to how many purchases those  2327 clicks led. And truth is so, that in July we sold only 1 copy of the game.
 This is really bad. But as time flows it looks that this game is not for masses. It is puzzle game and while it has cute and modern graphic, it has rather oldschool gameplay difficulty. The puzzles really are not easy. It may be worth to try to focus on some special segment of players, like some puzzle clubs or so.
 Anyway, it is experience again. We got promotion campaign for free. Of course we had to meet the conditions. Most important was, that the game must run on Kindle Fire HDX without any stretching of the graphics. Kindle HDX has screen resolution 2560x1600. The advice is: if you want to fulfill this condition, create your graphics at least for this resolution. Yes, it is terribly big. But downscaling is easy, while upscaling is often impossible.
  • if speaking about Fruit Dating, I have to mention that for more or less week we were featured at Here is shot of the screen to keep this memorable moment for future generations:

  • in second half of the July we finally finished big update of Shards - the brickbreaker. In the update 10 new levels has been added (60 levels in total now), added 2 types of glassy enemies - Shardiens - and added various graphical effects. Most noticeable one is that Shardiens distort space when destroyed:
    Shards - the brickbreakerShards - the brickbreaker

  I also corrected some bugs in ads networks manager in the game code. This decreased the number of errors and thus reduced bad ratings. Current rating at google Play is 3,84 and I hope it will reach 3,85 soon, which is often displayed as 3,9 rounded. The best review of the month for paid Android version I got from Amazon user fjk who wrote: "I bought Shards on a whim. It turns out it to be the best brickbreaker I have. The controls are excellent, and the 60 screens are terrific. Give it a try."

  • on 25th July we finally passed Apple's approval process and Shards is now at iTunes! It is only short time there now. To support it I sent free promo codes to various iOS games forums. Unfortunately, none of the users wrote any review nor gave any rating to the game. I got one 5* rating from who bought the game: "This has quickly jumped into my top five brick breakers. Smooth controls, great level design and simply gorgeous to look at! A real joy to play! Thanks devs and here's five stars you truly deserve! " Words like this and previously mentioned comment are the ones that makes you happy and increases your motivation.
 As a conclusion of this part I have to say, that it is really hard to let the world know about your game...


 Here are figures for paid apps for July:

 There is decrease in total downloads from 34 to 26. But the earnings increased from $23,5 to $40,7. It is mainly thanks to Shards launch on iOS at iTunes. The decrease is in bada OS downloads. No wonder, bada is dead system now.

 The most profitable was Shards. It increased its share from 71% in June to 80% in July. The game has good user reviews and we plan to add new levels. I hope to attract more new users.

 For the ads supported versions the July was bad month. The income decreased from $138,4 to $118,6. The decrease continued from June and lasted till half of the July. Then we released update of Shards and the trend turned.

 Most of the earnings came from Chartboost again. We prefer this network in our ads networks manager. From July the manager also supports Amazon interstitials. These are first fallback if Chartboost fails to load ad. Amazon ads are available in US and some limited number of European countries. So if this also fails then AdMob is selected. AdMob is the last one as the earnings are lowest, but on the other side it works as great safe network because it is available almost every time.

 So, total income for July = $40,7 + $118,6 = $159,3 (-1,6% compared to June Report)

 It is currently far from my mid-term target which is $750.


 From 1st August there is 2 moth period with guaranteed $6 CPM at Amazon for apps newly implementing their interstitials. I implemented these ads into free version of Deadly Abyss 2, but I do not expect any big traffic.
 I am still studying C#, Objective-C and Unity.
 There are still some opportunities how to utilize current games - for example convert Fruit Dating for iOS, HTML5, ...
 It is almost time to think about new game!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Mobile Income Report #1 - June 2014 (monthly income report from Android, iOS, Tizen, bada, ... games)

 On 1st June 2014 I left my previous job and became true Indie game developer. It is big adventure and I started this series of Income reports to share my experience with other small developers.
 If you are interested what are my games like, you can see detailed Portfolio here. The portfolio page will be regularly updated.

What I did in June

  •  I was working on adjustments of our games. The main one is prepared set of new levels for Shards - modern Arkanoid / Breakout game. Lot of players asked for more levels, so we made adjustments to add them easily. Jupiter who is responsible for graphics and levels created set of 10 new ones. The total number is 60 now. We also added Shardiens - glassy enemies that are spawn from hives. Both enemies and hives can be destroyed and when this happens it affects the screen space with distortion effect. The update will be published in July.
  • iOS version is finally coming - most of the work was done and I hope it will get published in July,
  • we adjusted Fruit Dating to support 2560x1600 screens without stretching images and published it at Amazon store. Thanks to this we reached the Developer Select program and we got 500k ads impressions campaign to promote this game. The campaign is scheduled for July,
  • although my games are for Android (beside other OS systems) I am not Android programmer. So in June I took deep studying of Android programming. I want to do the same for iOS in July. My target is to be able to write not only games, but also non-game apps,
  • beside this I am learning Unity for 2D game programming.


 Now to numbers. Below is table summarizing earnings from paid versions. It does contain any iOS and Tizen versions yet as iOS version of Shards will be published in July and Tizen OS was not launched yet (its planned July launch in Russia was postponed by Samsung - developers were not given any explanation).

 Total $23,5 is not much really. It is even less if I say that this poor profit from our games will be split among other teammates who were working on the games with me.

 The most profitable was Shards. It is funny that bada - dead OS system - made the same amount as Android.

 Here is income from free versions that contain ads or in-app purchases to remove ads:

 Currently the highest income is from Chartboost ads. We use these interstitail ads during game start and then from time to time between levels. If Chartboost inventory is empty then full screen interstitial is requested from AdMob. AdMob and Amazon are currently used mainly for banners - AdMob works as safety belt for interstitials. The income from Tapjoy is very very low. We implemented it only into Fruit Dating as the other way how player can earn in-game currency (stars). If player is stuck with logical puzzle he can purchase the solution for previously earned stars and if he does not have enough of it he can earn some by watching video ads. As the number of downloads is low the Tapjoy traffic is also low. So, I do not see the problem in Tapjoy network.

 So, total income for June = $23,5 + $138,4 = $161,9.


 In July I will report experience with Amazon Developer Select campaign. I hope Shards will pass validation procedure at iTunes. It would be great for Tizen developers to finally know when it will be launched. I will continue in my Android / iOS / Unity / Objective-C / C# studies.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Mobile Income Report #0 - The Portfolio (monthly income report from Android, iOS, Tizen, bada, ... games)

  This is first post in series of income reports from my mobile games. It is labeled #0 as I would like first to introduce my portfolio. This post will be updated with changes into current list of games as well as updated with new entries when released. The first real income report will be for June 2014.

 Why I decided to publish these reports? In the very end of May I made a big step and left my previous job. From 1st June I am full-time independent game developer. I would like to share my experience with monetization of mobile games as this is not easy topic. If you are also small developer you probably know what I am speaking about. You probably also tried lot of ways that did not work and was curious what other people like you are doing...

 Back to portfolio. As you can see from portfolio entries, my games are published to various mobile OS systems. To survive and manage this I made a small  cross-platform engine that I am using. It allows me to easily compile the game with minimal adjustments on various platforms. The engine was formerly only for bada and Android, but it is now possible to build the games also for iOS and Tizen. And here comes my advice: do not throw your older games away. There are always new opportunities how to reuse it. Currently I am playing with Emscripten which allows to compile C/C++ code into Javascript - so new area is opening.

2014 - JULY
 - Shards published at iTunes (iPhone / iPad)
 - Shards upgraded to v 2.0.0 on Android (added 10 levels, enemies, additional graphical effects, ...)

2014 - JUNE
  - initial list


Fruit Dating


Fruit Dating - bada
 Fruit Dating is original puzzle game with simple rules. It was first published int the beginning of December 2013 on Android OS. There are two versions of the game: free and paid one. In the free one the user has to accept ads while the full one is without them.
 In both versions when the player is stuck and can not solve puzzle he or she may purchase solution via in app purchases. Actually, the player does not buy solution but stars that work as in game currency and solution is then bought for these stars. The player can also earn stars for playing well. In some versions we tried to reward player with stars for watching video ads. For any first IAP purchase in free version the ads are permanently removed from the game.


 Shards at iTunes

Shards - bada
 Shards is clone of popular Arkanoid / Breakout games. We tried to make a really nice clone. Every single level has its own fractal background with bricks originally arranged. The game features really great soundtrack.
 The game is in two versions - free with ads and paid without it. The users of free version can upgrade to full one directly from app with in app purchase. They can get discount by installing some of our other games (Fruit Dating, Deadly Abyss 2).
 Currently this game became our flagship.


Deadly Abyss
Deadly Abyss 2 - bada
 Deadly abyss 2 is game with submarine. You control it with screen touches and you can launch torpedoes against enemies simply with swiping with your finger. There are also three huge and dangerous bosses.
 Two versions are available - full without ads and free with it.
 You may ask where in portfolio is Deadly Abyss 1? Original Deadly Abyss was our game for old Symbian phones and if interested you can see some screenshots here.


 Futoshiki - bada
 Futoshiki is Japanese puzzle game. Similar to Sudoku but different :-) Your target is to fill Latin square with numbers from 1 to 5. The game is paid or free with ads.
 As the game contains puzzle generator inside it can generate infinite number of puzzles! It can also solve them in human-like manner so when generating it is possible to rate the difficulty and when user asks for easy puzzle then prepare easy one for him or her.
 Unfortunately, I lost Android source code so I have only bada source code. This game was written separately for each platform as in that times I did not have my cross-platform engine yet.


Mahjong Tris
MahjongTris - bada
 Mahjong Tris was first game in my "new era". Previously I had experience with Symbian, Gameboy, Atari, ...
 The game was made first for Samsung bada OS. When launching there was big contest. We made it into top 300 qualifiers and won new phone. After some time the game was rewritten to use my cross-platform engine and published on Android.