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Something I miss: The success

DGAppDGApp Posts: 25Member
I have five games up (+1 in Review +1 in work) and currently I sell 2 a day for all five games. I know they are not the best ones (I'm working with GS for less than a month), but I wish I could get more sales. On my best day I sold 6 but on all the others between 0-3 and my oldest apps sell nothing.

http://itunes.apple.com/artist/david-georgi/id422950384

Tell me what you think

PS: Please don't say something like: "Put more work on your games"
I will! Thats not the problem...but I want to get something back.
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Comments

  • StusAppsStusApps Posts: 1,352Member, PRO
    Looking through your games I would recommend the following things:

    - get some better fonts, paid are best but fonts4mac.com are all free and pretty good.
    - try to add some sense of story or purpose to your games, they kinda lack personality. Maybe some characters.
    - don't use GS fonts in game, custom font scores are easy to do and look 100 times more professional
    - perhaps a bit more depth to your games, the descriptions and screenshots are clear but don't strike me as being too much fun
    - graphics are all very basic, your screenshots and icon are your only real selling tool for people browsing the app store, if they don't look really proffesional then people will buy something that does for the same money
    - as much as you don't want to hear it :-) take more time. 5 games in a month tells me they were done quick. All the things above are what takes the time. Polish it, polish again and then a bit more til it's perfect.

    Hope that doesn't sound too harsh, but it's my feeling having looked at them.
  • okimokiokimoki Posts: 159Member
    if your into it to get something back.. thats your first problem.
    Second one is, you need to hire a graphic designer, your games are probably fun and all, but they don't look like it.. just good gameplay doesn't cut it on appstore..
    also, what are you doing for your marketing?

    Maybe put some of them up for free? That way you'll get attention to your other games..
  • DGAppDGApp Posts: 25Member
    thanks for feedback!

    There is something i would like to know...

    What is the most important selling-factor?
    Game Quality? Marketing? Or only luck?

    and:

    Can you really boost sells when you make an update which really improve a game in all categories (graphic, fun, levels)?
  • DhondonDhondon Posts: 717Member
    Looks like shareware games from the 90s.
    All of the looks really basic.
    I think the beast advice is:
    "Put more work on your games" and hire an artist/buy good clipart(just make sure you end up with an consistent style).

    I think you should focus on quality , not quantity.
  • alexander144alexander144 Posts: 93Member
    Game quality is most important, marketing second and I believe that luck plays a very small role as I have not played one game that isn't popular and gone "wow how has that not gone anywhere?"
  • apps4everyoneapps4everyone Posts: 103Member
    Hey BCG - this seems to be a very common question on this and other forums. Have a read of http://gamesalad.com/forums/topic.php?id=19618 and http://gamesalad.com/forums/topic.php?id=19652 for example.

    In the latter topic, I said,
    apps4everyone said:

    ... I am questioning conventional marketing techniques.

    When people want an app, mostly they go to the app store first. This means the only influence we, as developers and sellers, have is our icons (http://bit.ly/hKRXcN), which could lead to the app's description, screenshots and reviews ... This is perhaps why I've yet to see a consistently good marketing strategy for apps.

    The first person to devise a consistent, winning app-selling strategy will be king!
  • BackUpAndDownBackUpAndDown Posts: 685Member
    BCG said:
    thanks for feedback!

    There is something i would like to know...

    What is the most important selling-factor?
    Game Quality? Marketing? Or only luck?

    and:

    Can you really boost sells when you make an update which really improve a game in all categories (graphic, fun, levels)?

    I would say game quality since a good product sells itself and people are more likely to tell there friends if it's a good game etc.

    I doubt it would hurt sales if you put out an update but I also wouldn't really expect a huge boost either. It seems like most of an app "fame" happens within the first week of release. I could be wrong though.
  • apps4everyoneapps4everyone Posts: 103Member
    At the risk of some backlash, I don't think game quality is the only important thing for game sales.

    The quality of your game will get customers to buy or look out for your other apps, get them recommending it to their friends, and get you good reviews (or avoiding bad ones).

    I think equally as important though is your icon design, screenshots and description. After all, these are the only things we can control in the selling process and it's these factors that will 'convert' a viewer on your app's page in the store and generate a sale.
  • BackUpAndDownBackUpAndDown Posts: 685Member
    apps4everyone said:
    At the risk of some backlash, I don't think game quality is the only important thing for game sales.

    The quality of your game will get customers to buy or look out for your other apps, get them recommending it to their friends, and get you good reviews (or avoiding bad ones).

    I think equally as important though is your icon design, screenshots and description. After all, these are the only things we can control in the selling process and it's these factors that will 'convert' a viewer on your app's page in the store and generate a sale.

    Agreed but it's kinda hard to have good screen shots and stuff if the game sucks. lol
  • apps4everyoneapps4everyone Posts: 103Member
    BackUpAndDown said:
    ... it's kinda hard to have good screen shots and stuff if the game sucks. lol

    but it's easy to have sucky screenshots even if the game is good! :-D
  • DGAppDGApp Posts: 25Member
    could you give me an advice for a good description?

    I do my best with icon and screenshots (and graphics generally, but the problem is I haven't got money for professional software (because I'm 15, so @dhondon I can't hire an artist or pay for graphics ;) sry ). I can only use free software :( I use blender for the most things,
  • DhondonDhondon Posts: 717Member
    BCG said:
    could you give me an advice for a good description?

    I do my best with icon and screenshots (and graphics generally, but the problem is I haven't got money for professional software (because I'm 15, so @dhondon I can't hire an artist or pay for graphics ;) sry ). I can only use free software :( I use blender for the most things,

    If you're 15 old, with zero budget and limited skills , maybe you should not expect to make money of your hobby. If money is you main motivator you'll wont last long.

    We worked 3 months on our game (http://shadow-embryo.com/games/saucer-44/) and it earned us 8$ each:) A bit depressing, but we had fun. That why we'll continue to make game, money is just an really nice bonus. It's not a waste of time, you'll gain experience for each game you make( unless you're just re-skinning GS templates or worse).
  • StusAppsStusApps Posts: 1,352Member, PRO
    Without a professional look to your games and some good looking graphics you are simply not going to get sales.

    To give you an analogy. If you want to bake a cake you have to have all the correct ingredients. Sure, if you choose to miss out an important ingredient then you will still get something in the end, but it's not going to be all that appealing to someone who wants to buy it.

    If you can't put in the required elements to your games then sales won't happen. It seems to be every week someone asks why their games are not selling. The answer is always one of comparison. Look at how other 99c games look (the ones that do sell), can you compete with these? If not then sales will, of course, be a large order of magnitude less.
  • DGAppDGApp Posts: 25Member
    I can't expect it, right. But I want to give it a try. And I will continue making games (hopefully everytime a little bit better ones ;)) even with 1€/a day or less), because I have got nothing to lose, but always a little chance.
  • StusAppsStusApps Posts: 1,352Member, PRO
    But even with great looking graphics I still think some of the other points would apply to your games. The ideas, gameplay and general personality are really lacking. They all seem really basic.

    A good description is not really going to help much.
  • DGAppDGApp Posts: 25Member
    StusApps said:
    The ideas, gameplay and general personality are really lacking. They all seem really basic.

    true, but as I said: I've developed for less than a month...and of course i wanted to start with small game projects...

    There is one thing I really would like to know:

    How long was your way until your average sales become two-digit?
  • StusAppsStusApps Posts: 1,352Member, PRO
    BCG said:
    How long was your way until your average sales become two-digit?

    First game sold a hundred or so in a week, nothing great as it was quite basic (although kinda fun looking). My second game I spent a lot longer making, sales then took off and have continued to do pretty well. Generally they have hovered around $100 a day for a while now, occasional peaks and dips.

    But as mentioned by others, with money as the motivator it is too tempting to release quick games to try and make a buck. Take time and care for a much better game. Even better, take time away from game making to learn some graphics and art skills.
  • DGAppDGApp Posts: 25Member
    I've learned a lot in the past weeks and I'm sure I can make good games one day.

    Thanks a lot for your great advices, answering my questions and that you take your time to help me.

    Let's see what the time brings

    Unitl then
    Greetings from Germany
  • SparkyidrSparkyidr Posts: 2,033Member
    The thing that bothers me about this thread that you started....

    You have been working with Gamesalad for less than a month......but have 7(?) games "completed" right?....wow!

    You really need to concentrate on adding quality, and adding value to your games, THAT will help you to get people to buy them. If they look a bit half arsed and unfinished, punters will give their 99c to something that looks better/more interesting.

    You don't HAVE to release everything you make... I have a load of games that are anywhere between 50 and 90% complete here, but they are just not up to scratch for what I want to release.

    That said....there is an element of luck involved with getting sales too.

    But as said by others...if getting paid is your main incentive for making games, you will start to lose focus on what matters in game design.
  • quantumsheepquantumsheep Posts: 8,188Member
    Hey BCG, thanks for posting this question, and your thoughts and concerns.

    I'd personally go with what Stusapps says - indeed, he's right about most things. Listen to the guy - he knows what he's talking about!

    Firstly, congrats on getting five games out!

    Making games is hard work. GameSalad makes it a lot of fun, but still… it's hard work.

    Some people here have created a nice little niche for themselves. Butterbean makes attractive apps for kids. Tshirt makes cool little puzzle games that take advantage of GameSalad's physics engine. Stusapps makes games that will appeal to the widest possible demographic (just look at his graphics - high quality and attractive).

    Their games, by and large, don't naturally appeal to me. However, they are generally very well made, very polished, work, and appeal to a large amount of people and therefore sell well. Take a look at what they make, and compare your games with theirs.

    My own 'niche' is retro. It's games I used to play at your age, and still enjoy. I worked it out. My games appeal to about .0003% of the total installed iOS base (and that's being generous).

    And that's fine. Because I'm making games I want to make, and I'm having a blast doing it!

    Some people here are full on delusional though. They totally believe they have the next great hit, will make thousands of dollars, and then are disappointed when their game(s) flops.

    I'm all for positive thinking, but a little critical thought is needed to create some balance.

    Is my game honestly good enough to compete with the best on the app store?
    Can I charge the same amount of money as other similar titles on the app store?
    Is there a point of difference between my game and others like it?
    Do the graphics pull people in? Do they look professional?
    Does the game work ok? Have I tested and tested and tested it?
    Have I put the customer first?

    The last one is the most important. If you make a lot of sub-standard games, you're essentially 'conning' the audience out of their money. I've seen plenty of people do it, and not just those using GameSalad, I hasten to add.

    This is not the way to build a sustainable business/reputation.

    People come here thinking they will make the next best-selling game. The truth is, in all likelihood, they won't.

    iAds and in-app-purchases will not save you. I've overlooked (or quickly deleted) plenty of free games because they have ads in them, or relied on in-app-purchases. Indeed, I shudder to think what will happen once IAP's become available in GameSalad. If the more 'mature' people making games with Corona are turning out buggy, crashy games with horrible in-app-purchase solutions, I can't imagine the clusterf**k coming when *we* all get it…

    Rant over, honest! I don't want this to sound overly negative though. So have a think about this:

    I've been doing this for two years. My first proper 'hit' if you will is Air Supply, my most recent game. It's not made a lot at all, but it's doing ok, and far better than my other titles combined.

    Compare that with my first games, Singularity Drive: Prologue and Bugzone, which were amongst the first ever published with GameSalad (they're both free btw).

    I think that's evidence enough that if you stick at it and believe in what you're doing, you *will* get better with experience.

    Or:

    "Everybody makes games. Nobody quits."

    Cheers for reading,

    QS :D

    Dr. Sam Beckett never returned home...
    Twitter: https://twitter.com/Quantum_Sheep
    Web: http://www.quantum-sheep.com

  • butterbeanbutterbean Posts: 4,315Member, PRO
    @QS: Well said and good read! I think that QS and Stu have hit the nail on the head. :)

    Find your niche and whatever you think your best effort is... put even more into it.

    Beta testing is ESSENTIAL. You can get tunnel vision as a developer too, so it's important to have an unbiased perspective :)

    Good luck!
  • xyloFUNxyloFUN Posts: 1,593Member
    Hi BCG,
    Let's start this different! You have one advantage and that is your age. What I mean by that is in time you too will make money and best of all, time is on your side. I am more than 30 years older than you and I can't afford to experiment as much as I'd like to but you can :-)

    Here is how I would look at it if I were you.
    All the time and effort you have put into your five (soon 7) games earns you about 0 to 3 Dollars.
    Now imagine what would happen if you would double your effort?
    For your next game, spend:
    1 week researching the app store to find a plot which should do well
    2 weeks of planning including drawing the levels and early artwork scotches
    1 week of creating the artwork, additional assets
    1 week of stringing it all together in GS
    2 days of testing and fixing and tweaking
    1 day to create the help and info texts
    1 week or more of testing and taking notes of what your friends tell you about it

    Depending on the feedback you get, you might have to start over from scratch (not uncommon) or make changes which, if you made diagrams along the way is not that much work.
    Perhaps a little tweaking is all you have to do. Make buttons bigger or smaller and adjust placements of this and that.

    Now imagine how much such a game will earn compared to your other ones?

    Good luck! :-)

    P.S. I'm a blender user too
  • quantumsheepquantumsheep Posts: 8,188Member
    xyloFUN said:
    Hi BCG,
    Let's start this different! You have one advantage and that is your age. What I mean by that is in time you too will make money and best of all, time is on your side. I am more than 30 years older than you and I can't afford to experiment as much as I'd like to but you can :-)

    This is brilliant. I know a lot of people roll their eyes at the 'kids' that use GS - I like to encourage where I can and pass on useful (maybe!) advice.

    These are potentially the games designers of the future. If they can withstand poor sales, but pick up some useful skills and knowledge, and the game making 'bug', then everyone wins :D

    If we can help and encourage, then we should!

    QS :D

    Dr. Sam Beckett never returned home...
    Twitter: https://twitter.com/Quantum_Sheep
    Web: http://www.quantum-sheep.com

  • BlazingApplicationsBlazingApplications Posts: 340Member
    "Mama said the app store is like a box of chocolates, you never know what your gonna get"- Blazing Applications
  • DGAppDGApp Posts: 25Member
    quantumsheep said:
    I know a lot of people roll their eyes at the 'kids' that use GS

    :D

    Really thanks to QS stunapps and all the others for the fast and nice reply. i have never thought that i would get so many and long answers. What a great GS community.

    ...And I think i can withstand poor sales :D
  • DizkoDizko Posts: 498Member
    QS, truer words have not been spoken on these forums.
  • TouchTiltGamesTouchTiltGames Posts: 1,162Member
    Hey BCG,

    Yeah I skimmed over some of these comments and they seem to be along the lines of my impressions and advice too.

    I haven't played your games but by the looks of them - yes they lack polish, presentability, commercial presence etc. I try to keep in mind - make a game you would want to play and have fun making it. Can you imagine others playing it? Would you buy it?

    TTG
  • DGAppDGApp Posts: 25Member
    Today I made all my apps free. I think free it's a fair deal and nobody complain about avarice :D I'm young I have enough time to earn money ;)

    And I like the high amount of sales I get with free apps :)
  • SparkyidrSparkyidr Posts: 2,033Member
    I don't think anyone was suggesting you do that.
    It was more along the lines of things to think about for your future games.
This discussion has been closed.