The OldGuy Blog

Low poly mountainsSpace Forest Dilemma

Posted by Michael Nov 29, 2014 12:13AM

Papas Finest
The stressful period of the launch is definitely over. A period where I wanted to do everything post everywhere and talk to everyone just to take advantage that the game was a new release. The feeling was always that we should have started marketing earlier and had a larger group of testers and supporters. During the launch we have acquired some people who really like the game and some that are really interested in analyzing the concept and the depth of the game play. These are the kind of people we want to connect with earlier in the process for our next project.

I have started a list on Twitter called Papas Finest where I store our most valuable contacts and advocates of the game. We are also putting together a list of e-mail contacts of bloggers, you-tubers, and game journalists that has covered us in any way.

Looking ahead
We have started coding again and we are planning the first update of the game. Also we are turning one eye to our next project where we have a prototype and some concept art. Marketing vise we are continuing the Chinese localisation project with a Shanghai based company. We will continue to create cool content on Twitter and focus on making connections and relationships rather than pure selling(simply because no one wants to hear it). This is starting to pick up and we are gaining followers and interactions.

Blog imageAsia is a very interesting market for a new puzzle concept like ours that is why we are pursuing a Chinese localisation.

About to hit 800 downloads

Downloads are really slow since two weeks back, we have about 5 downloads per day during the weeks but only one or two during the weekends. On the positive side we are really close to the 800 downloads mark(Currently 796).

*Total downloads: 796
*We reached 277 followers on Twitter.
*GameCenter players reached 299
*The Space Forest Dilemma discussion thread on Toucharcade has had 2990 views.

Low poly mountains
Looking at our download chart over the period we can see that there is a signinficant number of the total downloads coming from launch day and day two. After that our marketing efforts have affected the curve but only in a very little way. I will draw more conclusions in a later post and simply leave you with the curve for now.

Blog image Click image for the larger version with the actual numbers.

Only 204 downloads left to reach our goal!
Help us reach a 1000 downloads. I you feel supportive please download the game and play it with a friend.

(The game is free to download and there is an non intrusive in app purchase available to get an extra 60 levels.)

Please download the game and become part of our launch story.

Best regards!
Michael



FlatlineSpace Forest Dilemma

Posted by Michael Nov 24, 2014 08:10PM

Question: How many download does a positive review and a tweet to 40k gamers result in?
The answer might shock you, none or negative, we actually saw a decline in downloads from the day of the tweet and there after. This kind of makes my last post about the big break a little embarrassing but hey that was kind of the point of this blog. To show the emotional roller coaster that is an indie app launch. We did see some interest in the form of twitter followers.

Blog imageOur review in 148apps did nothing to keep the download stats from dropping to almost zero. The review was posted on the 20 nov.

Learning from others
Last night I had a chat with Ed Farias of Elf Games who has been blogging every day for a month after his launch of Hungry Hal. Our statistics are pretty similar and I learned a lot reading his blog. For example that the way people discover apps is really different than I expected. I Ed's post he shows that Top Charts, Word of mouth and featured listings kicks mobile gaming sites and Twitter by far. I also listened to another podcast by Paul Kemp where he talked to Digital Strategist Jennifer Clarke That episodne taught me what I had already suspected, that Twitter is basically useless as a marketing tool unless you start providing interesting content and really start creating relationships with people.


Where to go from here?
Well there are still a lot of positive things and experiences learnt from this launch and we still have a few aces up our sleeves. We have gone to the next step with the China localisation efforts and also we are trying to get our app featured with Apple.

Here is our current status:

*Total downloads: 780
*We reached 260 followers on Twitter.
*GameCenter players reached 288
*We become nr 1 in HOT GAMES on toucharcade (Puzzle Free category)

Only 220 downloads left to reach our goal!
Help us reach a 1000 downloads. I you feel supportive please download the game and play it with a friend.

(The game is free to download and there is an non intrusive in app purchase available to get an extra 60 levels.)

Please download the game and become part of our launch story.

Best regards!
Michael



The BIG breakSpace Forest Dilemma

Posted by Michael Nov 20, 2014 07:46AM

Right now I'm really exited. Last night our game was reviewed by one of the big ones. It was a really positive review. You can read it here! In addition to that they talked a bout the depth of the game and also encouraged people to go premium. They also tweeted about it to their 40K followers. We immediately noticed an increase in our twitter followers. The statistics for yesterday has not yet arrived but we have seen a slow but steady organic growth during the last couple of days. Probably due to the social Game Center leader board and the activity in the TouchArcade forum.

Total downloads rigth now: 730



One week after launchSpace Forest Dilemma

Posted by Michael Nov 14, 2014 11:04PM

Time for a summary
The launch week has been exhausting. Mostly because all social interactions takes a toll and there are hundred things you should be doing.

So the downloads did not reach our goal of 1000 the first week. We will get there but it will be harder than anticipated.

AppStore downloads: 619(+42)

Downloads for nov 11, 12 an 13 was 15, 11 and 16. Thanks to my dad who helped us turn the trend by texting his entire contact book.

Event list
*We got picked up by a French site JEU.info
*We dipped our toe in the sea that is Facebook ads
*We reached 214 followers on Twitter.
*Our competition was a hit and the hat went to Brazil.
*GameCenter player reached 163

Blog imageWe managed to turn the trend away from zero with the help of my father who texted all his contacts last night. That is the Europe downloads we are seeing. :-)

As for strategy goes the Facebook competition seems to be a lot more cost efficient than buying clicks with Facebook ads. We will do another competition soon. And evaluate the ads in the next blog post.

Only 381 downloads left to reach our goal!
Help us reach a 1000 downloads. I you feel supportive please download the game and play it with a friend.

(The game is free to download and there is an non intrusive in app purchase available to get an extra 60 levels.)

Please download the game and become part of our launch story.

Best regards!
Michael



And the hat goes to...Space Forest Dilemma

Posted by Michael Nov 11, 2014 09:38PM

People are playing our game and enjoying it
We are currently giving away a one of a kind Space Forest Dilemma hat to the person who is number one on the game center leader board one week after launch. This has spurred some amazing scores that we as developers haven't even been close to. People are playing our game and enjoying it. That is a huge rush in itself.

Outnumbered

Being in the middle of of the haze that is launching a game on the AppStore I can hardly believe the numbers for day four and five. Day four had 23 and day five had 25 downloads. This is puzzling because so many cool stuff is happening for us right now.

*Chinese site www.v.youkou.com made a gameplay video that you need to see!
*Reaching 200 followers on Twitter.
*137 players on game center social leaderboard
*Picked up by German game site I Play Apps
*Chinese site www.5253.com did a gameplay video
*Chinese site 18touch did a short game description and a link to the AppStore

Blog imageThe overall interest from Asia proves that we are on the right track with our localisation endeavors.

On the bright side
The bright side of having daily downloads in the small numbers that we have right now is that you can actually affect them significantly just by talking to people on the bus or sending an text message to a friend asking for help. All marketing efforts counts and our goal is crystal clear 1000 downloads.

The ratio between free and premium players i 2%. Meaning that 1000 downloads would result in 20 paying customers. The game is constructed so you won't need to go premium until you have mastered the first 40 levels. Therefore we probably have not seen the true ratio yet. The ratio seems OK we just need to drastically increase the number of players.

Blog imageNumbers for November 9 and 10 are undoubtedly disappointing with only 23 and 25 downloads. The download total is now 576.

Only 424 downloads left to reach our goal!
Help us reach a 1000 downloads. I you feel supportive please download the game and play it with a friend.

(The game is free to download and there is an non intrusive in app purchase available to get an extra 60 levels.)

Please download the game and become part of our launch story.

Best regards!
Michael







Social gaming and Asian downloadsSpace Forest Dilemma

Posted by Michael Nov 09, 2014 10:12PM

A little better than expected, a little less than we had hoped
While the 299 downloads on launch day was quite OK it did of course take us down to earth in the means that it was not causing a download boom across the globe. We did not expect that but perhaps there was some tiny fiber in my body that had hoped for a miracle.

But for the cause of this launch blog the start makes a interesting first chapter of the story. Lets write chapter 2 - The fight for downloads...


Social gaming
As I wrote in my previous post Game Center was not working the entire day of the launch, but on day two that had changed for the better. More than 100 engaged players from all over the world are right now trying to carve seconds of their TotalTime to excel on the leader boards!


Turning critics into believers
Practically all reviews of our game have been positive. Some have made remarks about the graphics but in the same breath said that this is not essential in a puzzle game. However the Game Center issue and a small bug did cause some comments in a forum at TouchArcade. We instantly explained the problem and managed to turn the problem to our advantage. What we found in the forum is now a few of our most dedicated players and advocates for going premium. We also got some really good suggestions for an update.


Twitter is a lonely place...or is it?
At first Twitter struck me as a place where millions of people simply shout out their message and where everybody only cares about themselves. That's when I decided to use a different strategy. Showing true interest in peoples' projects and looking for true ways to support them in their goals. This has of course paid off but it is hard work.

At the time of writing this we have 182 followers on Twitter, that may not be much but these are all interesting people with interesting projects and they are genuinely interested in indie games and I am confident that we will get both friends and downloads from this channel.

Downs and ups
On the second day of the launch the volumes went down from 247 to 77. "Is this it?" I asked myself. Is it downhill to zero in less than a week? Well interestingly enough we went back up to 143 on the third day. The statistics show that our downloads are no longer coming from America and Europe but instead from Asia. This has made us focus on getting Chinese localisation for the game. We will follow up on that later on.

Blog imageSpace Forest Dilemma had 77 downloads on Nov 7 and 143 downloads on Nov 8.
The game now has a total of 519 downloads.

Help us reach a 1000 downloads!
After writing this post I will try to rally a download burst by inspiring people to help us reach a 1000 downloads. I you feel supportive please download the game and play it with a friend.

(The game is free to download and there is an non intrusive in app purchase available to get an extra 60 levels.)

Please download the game and become part of our launch story.

Best regards!
Michael




Our first AppStore launchSpace Forest Dilemma

Posted by Michael Nov 08, 2014 12:09AM

A virtual Cup of coffee have never tasted so good
The day before the launch of our puzzle game Space Forest Dilemma I had a long talk with Paul Kemp TheAppGuy. Paul helped me realize that the story of the experience in putting out an App on the AppStore is probably a lot more interesting than the actual app itself.

So, we decided to tell that story. We don't know if it will be a success story or a story of how hard it is to actually launch a successful game on the AppStore. Anyhow, you are invited to the full story - no censorship. We will post our download statistics without any makeup on.

This was our status before launch day:

*170 followers on Twitter @PapaQuark
*The Scottish YouTuber Flik's Gaming Stuff made a "lets play" video with 175 views
*The launch trailer had been picked up and posted by www.appspy.com
*The launch trailer had been seen 517 times on YouTube
*Our Facebook updates have had around 1000 views
*The game site www.goplaythat.com did a really positive review

During launch day this also happened:
*A huge problem was discovered: The game was not identified by Game Center - we later found out this was due to a problem in Game Center itself and that all new games had trouble today. It was later resolved by contacting Apple directly in a specific dev forum thread.
*Touch Arcade included us in their weekly roundup of new games - sparked some comments in their forum
*Gamezebo.com included us in their summary of the 12 best new iPhone & iPad games of the week

There you have it. This is probably similar to a lot of indie developers with no marketing budget and full time jobs on the side.

Now to the interesting question...
Based on this, how many downloads will the game get?

The game was released on November 6th but due to Apple releasing the game in different time zones we got some downloads on the 5th as well.

Blog imageSpace Forest Dilemma was downloaded 299 times in the first two days.

(The game is free to download and there is an non intrusive in app purchase available to get an extra 60 levels.)

Please download the game and become part of our launch story.

Best regards!
Michael