Archive for July, 2008

Framework Sales Hit $10,000!

Thursday, July 17th, 2008

Earlier this week I made my 175th BlitzMax Game Framework sale which took total gross revenue to over £5000 (approx. $10,000). This is a great milestone for me to reach! So, a big thanks to all my customers!

Those sales have occurred over the last 26 months, which is an average of $384 per month. One of those sales was direct (via cheque) and the other 174 were made up of 118 Paypal sales and 56 Share-it sales. I added share-it in case people didn’t want to use Paypal for any reason – good job I did! Because my customers are worldwide I made 3 buy buttons so that people could purchase in Dollars, Pounds and Euros depending on what they are most comfortable with (and people do use all three).

In total I’ve spent 387 hours on the framework. The bulk of this was the initial development (lots of development time is now often logged separately as part of whatever game I’m working on currently), and the rest is marketing and supporting the customers.

After my costs (£830), which include Paypal and Share-it fees, VAT, BlitzMax and promotional refunds, I have worked for £10.78 per hour which is not stellar but it’s pretty good considering I just had an idea one day that went “Hey, this framework is pretty good. I wonder if anyone would buy it?” – and the rest, as they say, is history ;-) Don’t forget that I needed the framework ANYWAY for my own games, so any money made selling it is pure bonus. Plus my customers have helped me to improve it and fix bugs and I’ve met some great people – bonus! :-D

The power of Penny Arcade

Friday, July 11th, 2008

My game, Fairway Solitaire, got a small mention on Penny Arcade (scroll down to the bottom) a couple of days ago.

Some people told me that this would result in a sales spike but I was dubious because I didn’t know the “power of penny arcade”. Well I monitored the game’s position in the BFG Top 100 and it’s gone up 20 places in 3 days (from 43 to 23). That’s DEFINITELY a spike! It’s also gone from around position 20 to 7 on the Mac games page, which is nice :-)

I’ll be watching the top 100 for the next few days and will report any more changes. I’ve also been given some sales figures by BFG (which I can discuss I’m afraid) but I gather there was a one day increase in sales of 400+% which is pretty cool, plus it’s remained high since then.

So there you have it folks, the power of Penny arcade!

Spending Money on your Body makes Business Sense

Thursday, July 10th, 2008

I recently had a minor hernia (probably caused by holding a sneeze in – I’ve snapped a belt before when sneezing!), which I’ve just had repaired by keyhole surgery. I paid to have the surgery performed privately instead of waiting for an operation on the NHS. Why? Read on…

2nd dan grading

I’m training up for my 2nd dan grading in Aikido which is in September. This is the culmination of 11 years of training and teaching – so it’s pretty important to me. Having a hernia meant that I couldn’t carry on with my hard training in case it got worse, so I needed to get it operated on ASAP in order to resume training.

Health Mind and Body

Aikido helps to keep my mind and body healthy, and when my general health drops I get more tired, ill more often, and less motivated to do stuff (like work). Also, when not training, I notice that my mind thinks about work all the time and starts to get paranoid about dumb stuff. Aikido really helps because when I’m there I’m doing something totally different – so I don’t think about work or my day to day life. The breathing and meditation also helps a LOT of course, so I’ve tried to keep that going.

Waiting around is not good

If I waited for an operation on the NHS I would have missed my 2nd Dan grading and had to wait for a whole year before I could take it again. Furthermore I would’ve been walking around for months knowing that I had to be really careful not to make my hernia worse. Plus my health would have suffered and, ipso facto, my work would have suffered. Therefore I decided to take action and pay to have the operation done privately.

Spend more for a better result

I was given a choice of two types of operation: open surgery and keyhole surgery (which cost more). Keyhole surgery is less invasive and so there is a quicker recovery time. Thus I opted to spend the extra money on keyhole surgery because:

a) it meant that I could get back to work sooner and thus earn money sooner (the extra cost of the operation would be offset by increased earnings by getting back to work days earlier)

b) it meant that I could start training for my 2nd dan again quicker and harder (and as a side effect my work motivation and output would improve)

c) in theory there would be less pain (well it still bloody hurt!).

Your body is like your car

So there you have it. Let me make an analogy: if you had a car that you needed for work, you’d spend the money to get it fixed ASAP rather than waiting around for a friend to fix it for free several months later. Also if you had a choice of two repair methods and one method cost more but you’d make that money back through your ability to work sooner, you’d do that too because it makes business sense right? Well that’s what I did with my body.

Now spend some money on yourself!

As an aside, people would often PREFER to spend money on their car than themselves, when maybe they need to see a dentist, or get some new glasses, or have a massage or some acupuncture, or even just join a gym. This is quite amusing, but it’s a common trait. So, I challenge you to think “how could I spend money on my body or some holistic treatment that will improve my life and work?” and then go and do it!

P.S.

I want to say two more things:

One is that I think the NHS is great and we are very lucky to have it. I just needed things to move faster this time which is why I went private. I’m considering health insurance so that I can have more choice in the future – this seems to make sense if your business can be affected by your health; after all, you insure pretty much everything else right?

Also, I didn’t have enough money for the operation. I used all my savings and also asked for money gifts from relatives for my birthday which helped (thanks all!), and then I got a thing called a BMI card which is basically a medical credit card that has 0% interest for 6 months – bargain! I put the remainer of the cost on the BMI card and will pay it off before the interest kicks in. There’s always a way if you look for it!