Category Archives: Games

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

 

30 Jul

Facebook Tweaks for iOS Game Development

Did we tell you about the upcoming update to our little time travel arcade game? We’re pretty sure that we did mention it somewhere in here.

The road to this major update was a lot smoother than the road to the initial release. We tried to optimize our dev process and we will talk about one aspect.

Tweaks

Facebook recently introduced Tweaks, a library that allows small adjustments to be made very easily, while the game is running.

Basically, by just shaking the device, a modal view is presented with the variables that  you have marked for tweaking. After changing those values, they are update in the live app.

If this sounds like something not related to game development, good. Continue reading. iOS Game development is tons of fun!

Read More

29 Jul

Game Screenshots that sell on the Apple App Store

moWOW Screenshots that Sell

You’ve just uploaded the binary, created an awesome icon, added the description and then iTunes asks you for the screenshots.

Now, before talking about game screenshots that sell, let’s think from a user’s perspective what is the order of importance of those elements when it comes to discovering and choosing your game. This is more or less what happens:

  1. The user searches for something on the App Store (not a specific game name).  Usually from their mobile device.
  2. He/She look at the icons and focus on those that are good looking and high quality
  3. They eliminate those that usually have less than 4 stars. I would say 3, but would you be able to answer me if I asked what was your last 3 star game that you installed?
  4. At this point, they compare the first screenshot.  App information is now displayed in a card (icon, title, ratings/reviews, price and the first screenshot).
  5. They tap on those that seem at the same level. And they start reading the description, right? Well isn’t that cute… but it’s wrong! They go straight down to the screenshots.

So the order is in fact: icon -> rating -> screenshots -> (maybe) description. I say maybe because sometimes they get all their info from the reviews below the screenshots.

As Jen Gordon from Designboost wrote in a similar article:

“You tap into comparably priced and comparably reviewed apps to see which one looks the best”

Apps or games.

With screenshots being so important, we wanted to examine some tips and tricks for creating screenshots that will help sell your game.

The first screenshot 

In short, that baby needs to be so good players will be attracted to it like flies are attracted to lights.  That first image needs to convince them to tap on the game and find out more.

Splash image or in game visuals?  Depending on what your game is about, an in game screenshot might not do it justice, even with captions or text. That is why some games prefer to create an attractive wallpaper-ish image.

  Read More

09 Jul

The Way Home: Next update is waiting for review

The Way Home game hardcore levels

We’ve submitted the next big update for “The Way Home” to the App Store last week and it’s waiting to go in review.

Here’s some of the cooler stuff that the update is bringing:

– A hardcore “throw your phone” story with Dex as the main character
– A creative update to the scoring that rewards players for doing streaks (finishing as many consecutive levels as possible without dying or repeating the level… similar to bowling)
– Reduced iAP prices for powerups: all $0.99
– Reduced price for unlock all: $2.99
– Increased number of powerups you get (10 second winds, 3 slows)

We’ll give a shout out (and probably another review voucher sweepstake thingy) when the update is out and ready to download.

In the meantime, download the game if you haven’t already. The Way Home is free.