All posts by Alexandru Bleau

21 Aug

Mobile Mavericks Podcast: Gamescom & Mobile Games

Yesterday I had the pleasure of joining George Osborn on his Mobile Mavericks podcast.

Since we attended Gamescom last week, we talked quite a bit about how such events cater to mobile games and why we are not seeing a bigger mobile presence.

You can listen to the podcast below or subscribe to the podcast on iTunes.

19 Aug

Thoughts and tips from the Big Indie Pitch

moWOW Big Indie Pitch 2014

As you know, last week we attended the Big Indie Pitch in Cologne.  If you have not heard of this event before, it’s a great way to present your game to a lot of journalists in one single event.  Although Twitter and Facebook are cool for making new contacts, there’s nothing better for starting or building connections and relationships than meeting the person directly.

This edition was pretty exciting as there were over 20 indie games competing for the prizes and the media attention.

We didn’t take home any prizes this time. We did however meet a lot of people and had a great time. Now, here’s some tips if you ever attend such an event:

  • Squeeze your pitch in half the allotted time – We had a total of 4 minutes (3 for presentation / play + 1 for questions). We had the pitch and presentation down to 2 minutes. However, you also have to add to that the journalists’ play time and the questions at the end. Add to that the time required to move from one table to another. We ended up pitching in 1.5 minutes and left the rest for play time and questions.
  • Your game matters more than you at the tables. Your names and the studio’s is enough. You are giving them business cards anyway.
  • If possible, leave any bag or backpack out of the pitch. It just gets in the way
  • Learn to play and explain your game upside down. With emphasis on the explaining part.
  • If you have some story or details to tell before the play, don’t show or hand the demo while doing it. Naturally, instead of listening to you, everyone will want to play.
  • If possible, have a special test build or demo build for the pitch with enough resources unlocked or powerups unlocked for all the media + for showing additional press and other devs after the pitch.
  • On the same topic of special build, make sure that the demo can be easily restarted for the next table. Otherwise you will lose time
  • At each table there are usually 2 journalists so if possible have 3 devices.
  • Have business cards ready. Use the presentation time to also hand them out. Two birds with one time stone. If you want to hand out more than just business cards, have them prepared in stacks ready to hand out, especially if you are pitching solo.
  • Don’t count on the wi-fi working. It usually does not. Find a workaround for this.
  • A portable battery to recharge your devices really comes in handy and ensures that you can show your game to a lot more people.
  • Always check on Mobile Mixer party and other parties happening around the Big Indie Pitch (especially before it). Extra connections, extra networking, plus a lot of fun.
  • Stay for the pirate party after the Pitch. A lot of the quality networking actually happens after everyone is a bit more relaxed. Also, a lot of people come to the after party to meet all the devs who pitched. And what’s not to like about a pirate themed party.

It’s true the tips are skewed a bit towards mobile game showcasing but hopefully our problems and tips will help you discover potential details that you haven’t considered. Good luck on your next pitch!

P.S. You can check out the winners on Pocket Gamer.

 

08 Aug

86% of top grossing & paid games’ screenshots on the App Store use text to support visuals

Screenshots that sell app store Last week we talked about game screenshots that help sell your game on the App Store. There were various talks as to what would work better to convince someone to download.

I thought it would be useful if we had some data on the assets that the top 100 grossing and top 100 paid games were using. So I took roughly 300 screenshots of the screenshots from 150 games (about half from top grossing, half from top paid in the US App Store) and then analyzed them all.

I looked at the cover image or first image they used and the “first” of the remaining 4 images. Here’s what I found out:

The First Screenshot:

  • 57.3% have a custom image. 20% have that new “fun coming towards you” type of photo while the rest have side views, background views, collages or variations with in game and non in game assets.
  • The other 42.7% show only an in-game screenshot or with a small character or ribbon with text overlaid.
  • 50.7% also had the name of the game present on the first screenshot. It is important to note that this percentage is 72% when considering only the games with a custom image.
  • An interesting detail is that all match 3 or linking or bubble popping style games always used in-game screenshots

The second screenshot:

  • 63.3% used only one in-game screenshot per image used. The rest usually went with more in-game shots per photo or a combo with in-game screenshot and cute or nice looking characters. And then some didn’t use in-game visuals at all.
  • 86% of all these games have additional text or ribbons with text to support the images. And close to 50% of these texts usually start with a verb: Battle, Challenge, Plan, Tickle, Twerk your way… you get the idea.

You can see all the initial data collected plus some comments here and there in the public google doc.  I did not bother uploading the screenshots but I can store them on dropbox if you think they are useful for this study.

This data is based on the screenshots taken roughly a week ago. As you know the App Store landscape changes pretty fast so of course the percentages will not exactly reflect the current list of games.

Any other useful insights regarding visuals on the App Store?

04 Aug

Youtubers and Youtube channels that cater to iOS games

Last week we launched a big update for our iOS game The Way Home. In a way, this was the main launch so we wanted to promote the game and the update accordingly.

Among other promotional activities, this also meant contacting youtube channels in the hopes that they will like and play your game.  There are a lot of lists with such channels  and there is also Pixel Prospector’s site: VideoGameCaster.

The problem is that not many cater to mobile games, iOS in our case. On VideoGameCaster‘s homepage it actually says that:

Video Game Caster youtube headline

So we started searching and we have found channels that have been covering mobile games. Some of them also take requests.

Here is the list. We hope it helps. Please leave a comment if you know any other channel that covers mobile games, especially iOS or if you own such a channel and we will add it to the list (and probably send you a review request for our game too).

The sorting method used to create this list: None.

List of Youtubers and Youtube channels catering to iOS games

 

01 Aug

Hilarious gameplay video for The Way Home and other news

the-way-home-landedIn case you missed it, the big update for The Way Home landed on the App Store on Wednesday.

If you want to support our Lamborghini renting and champagne instead of water drinking habits, please play the game and buy something. Promise we won’t drink and drive… unless one is driving and the other drinking.

Now, some quick updates and news regarding the game:

1. We’re already working on a new quick update. This one will mainly deal  with some bugs and improvements to the game. More details in a future post.

2. We’re giving away a $25 US iTunes Gift Card. More details on Touch Arcade.

3. We’ve also talked about Game Screenshots that sell on the App Store and how we used Facebook Tweaks for developing our game.

 

And finally, a hilarious video from Last Level for some friday laughs: