Tag Archives: Games

10 Apr

A crazy bread simulator and an awesome retro mashup to play over the weekend

We always keep our eyes open for new and fun games to play and this weekend is starting to look like a very unproductive one! Here are two to try out:

I am Bread – Don’t be fooled into thinking that the goal of the game is to get that perfect spread or ideal toast burn. This is not your average slice of bread. Have a look at the latest trailer:

Pacapong – Take Space Invaders, Pacman and Pong. Mash them together. Add a bit of donkey kong for seasoning. You get Pacapong. An incredibly fun and challenging retro mashup by @dickpoelen. Check out the gameplay below:

 

We shared our find. How about you? What else should we play over the weekend?

22 Jan

Ad to Cash and Ad to Fun Ratio in Free To Play Games

Ad To Cash Ratio - moWOW studios

I was reading the other day about Crossy Road and how they made 1 million dollar from video ads.  In the past few months I’ve seen better and better integration between games and ads where currency is being replaced with watching a 15 second video or a banner.

It got me wondering what is the ad to cash ratio in these games and if there is any average or standard to it.  In other words many ads must a player watch to match a $0.99 IAP? Here’s a few games that I tested out and their ratios: Read More

19 Aug

Visiting Gamescom and GDC Europe

Some really smart people scheduled the European Game Developer Conference in the exact same week and location as Gamescom. Since we were already attending the Big Indie Pitch we could not miss the opportunity to network with fellow game developers, publishers and industry veterans.

As with all events of this scale, in the evenings sponsored meetups take place in various locations outside the main event. Usually for networking over some snacks and drinks. No game developer should miss these opportunities of talking with people, so we were present at one event every evening.

Right on Monday we attended the Mobile Mixer, organised by PocketGamer. To take a break from talking, playing and drinking, the organisers held a discussion panel. People in the panel debated what mobile platforms can do to evolve and outperform other platforms. Some of the panelists included the CEO of Paradox, Oscar Clark – Everyplay and Unity Evangelist (this fellow really enjoys talking and he does have a lot of fascinating insight + a quirky hat), one of the founders of The Dutch Game Garden and some top executives from advertising networks.

Mobile Mixer Panel

Two points struck me from the panel discussion:

  • Fredrik Wester (Paradox Interactive) mentioned that they have a rule in their games, to never ask money from their players based on frustration.
  • Oscal Clark shared some experience about why an App Store driven by charts is broken. In the past, when he introduce top charts in an App Store, revenues for the platform owners dropped considerably because the top games were already more or less ubiquitos, so there was no incentive for users to re-download them.

Tuesday was the Big Indie Pitch, organised by Pocket Gamer again. And a swell job they did! Following a speed-dating workflow, we pitched to members of the media, sponsors and organizers. You can find more info about this over here. One interesting point is that both here and at the Mobile Mixer from Monday, there was a contest where people played Timberman for a chance to win some VIP passes for the upcoming event in London. Nice way to attract attention from the right crowd!

Big Indie Pitch Table

Wednesday Vungle organised a meetup in a pretty fancy location. We met a bunch of very interesting people over there and enjoyed a few drinks. The organizers were super open and friendly, giving us a lot of new info about their video ad platform and what is to come.

Thursday we followed the Gamescom calling, feeling a bit envious on all the people we saw around the city flashing their event badges the day before. We started with the business area which was quite temperate and calm. Most stands were exclusively for the press. The only lively places were the stands for each country with UK, Spain and Holland sticking out. The big companies (Rockstart, 2K, Activision, Blizzard, etc.) had big and closed areas, accesible only to the press.

In the evening we attended the Chartboost meetup where Bleau met the guys who developed Timberman and this happened:

Timberman group shot
Note: Only one beard is real. Guess which one.

Friday was solely dedicated to the Gamescom entertainment area. Oh boy! That’s a lot to cover! 6 enormous halls packed with huge stands, cosplayers and waiting lines.

One of the huge halls

Some major cosplay

The big game companies brought their best. The only line which we thought was worth waiting in for almost one hour was the Oculus demo area (note: one hour is a short waiting time ). Here we got a chance to demo the Oculus playing some Eve Valkyrie. The experience was not disappointing. So what if we looked funny from the outside, twisting our heads like mad men? We actually could inspect almost every inch of that sci-fi cockpit and dodged some missiles. And looking out the side window in space was quite something.

The Indie Mega Booth, while much smaller compared to the rest of the stands, was pure visual pleasure. We discovered several games which are a blast to play: Out There, Chroma Squad, Broforce, Typoman, The Next Penelope,

A few monsters playing Broforce

Oculus Testing

One observation: Twich.tv was present everywhere. Kind of gives a sign of how powerful of an influencer it has become.

For more photos from the event head over to our Facebook Page and click that Like button for the photos you enjoyed. If you will also like our page, we’d be grateful. 😀

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?

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