Archive for June, 2012

Dying To Live – New Minigame

Sunday, June 24th, 2012

Last weekend was the Full Indie June 2012 48-hour game jam and it was epic! 40 indies + 6 organisers and some helpers made games at the Great Northern Way Campus in Vancouver. Some people even turned up from Victoria, Winnipeg and San Diego! We all had a great time and some truly amazing games were made by the jammers.

I made a game called Dying To Live which is a short little puzzle platformer.

Because I was one of the organisers I spent about half the game jam just talking to people. Then on the second evening I began work on the level editor for the game and ran in to trouble loading and saving files in the Monkey language, so I stayed up coding until 5am until that was sorted. Then next (and final day) I spent about 5 hours putting this small 4-level game together with the help of an artist, Ola Rogula (www.dolldivine.com)

I had a GREAT time using Monkey. I’m really loving it. Since the jam I began updating my mini-game framework and tweaked the game a little bit but it’s still essentially the same as the game jam version.

I may spend more time improving this with more mechanics that I didn’t get time to implement and then release it on some Flash portals, we’ll see.

[EDIT] OK you can now play the enhanced version here or the original game jam version here

“Because We May” Sale Results

Sunday, June 3rd, 2012

Recently a bunch of indies banded together to run a sale for a week in which we reduced the prices of our games sold via distributors as well as on our own sites. Not all distributors let developers alter their prices so this sale was a nod to those distributors who do actually let us control our own prices.

I reduced the price of my games on Android, iOS, Mac App Store, and my own site. I don’t have any games on Steam. It’s not easy to modify the price of your games on XBLIG, Windows Phone and Amazon, nor on any of the casual portals like Big Fish Games, iWin, Real etc.

Price reductions

- The mobile SD versions were on sale for $0.99 (down from a temporary hike to $1.99) and the HD and Mac App Store versions for $1.99 (down from $4.99)
- The PC/Mac Direct versions were reduced from $9.99 to $2.99

My Results

Android Holiday Bonus SD: 6 units = $6 (gross)
Android Holiday Bonus HD: 11 units = $22 (gross)
Total: 17 units = $28 x 0.7 (developer cut) = $19.60 approx.
Usually I get 0 sales on Android so this was a large increase.

iOS Holiday Bonus SD: 5 units = $3.31 (usually 1 sale in same time period, so reasonable increase in sales)
iOS Holiday Bonus HD: 15 units = $20.41 (usually 7 sales in same time period, so sales doubled but revenue reduced slightly!)
Total: 20 units = $23.72
Usually I get about 8 sales, so there was a boost in units sold but revenue slightly reduced.

Mac App Store HB: 4 units = $5.24 (usually 0, so small increase)
Mac App Store SB: 2 units = $2.66 (usually 1-2, so revenue was definitely reduced)
Max App Store OZ: 14 units = $18.99 (usually 2-3, so pretty good increase in sales. Revenue just under double.)
Total: 20 units = $26.89
Usually 3-4 sales, so there was boost in units sold and revenue approximately doubled.

Direct HB (PC): 2 units = $3.48
Direct SB (PC): 1 units = $1.74
Direct SB (Mac): 1 units = $1.74
Direct Oz (PC): 12 units = $20.88
Direct Oz (Mac): 2 units = $3.48
Total: 18 units = $31.32
Usually 0-1 sales, so this was a good boost.

Total sales = 75 units = $101.53
Usually I get about 12 sales and approx. $42 if I make no direct sales. Every time I make a direct sale I get $9 so it’s by far the best method but unfortunately it rarely happens.

Conclusion

- Android got a good boost in units sold, but revenue was poor.
- iOS got a boost in sales but revenue was slightly reduced! If there were just a few more sales then it would have been better than a normal week. Basically I needed to make just over double the normal sales to make the same amount of money.
- Mac App Store got a good boost and revenue approximately doubled.
- Direct Sales got a good boost and revenue was the best of all platforms. A good portion of these sales were from existing customers who I sent a newsletter to or who saw the sale on my Grey Alien Games Facebook page.

So in total I sold about 63 units more than normal (this is about a 600% increase) and made about $60 more than normal (about a 140% increase)

Certainly I wouldn’t call this sale a big success for me but it was interesting to participate in. My games are casual games, not big name indie games so they were somewhat out of place in the sale, but I wanted to try it anyway.

You might be wondering how the hell I can survive on crappy sales like that. Well the huge bulk of my income comes from casual portals who sell my games. Of course I’d love to sell more units direct and via the platforms that give the developer the best cut (Android/iOS/Mac App Store/Steam), but it’s very hard to do with casual games. As I move into making more “indie” games, I hope to gain more traction with direct sales and those platforms mentioned.

You can also read about a Thanksgiving sale I ran last year in this article.