Archive for June, 2007

Tips for Improving Conversion Rate

Tuesday, June 19th, 2007

A thread on indiegamer was recently started by “Princec”, the director of, which details some tips for improving conversion rate (the number of sales divided by the number of downloads). The point is that each tip may not do much on it’s own but they all add up – so if you implement lots of them you’ll get a hike in conversion rate, which is what everybody wants! 🙂 Here’s his list:

– Try selling initially at $10 – doubled or tripled my conversion rates!
– Before game exit, show them a nag screen with option to quit disabled for a short while. Or more amusingly, make both quit and buy buttons take them to the shop page anyway 😀
– Be responsive to non-technical queries but ignore technical ones. People who make technical queries have never purchased one of my games, but many people with other sorts of question are overwhelmed by my friendliness and helpfulness and buy.
– On first install when the user clicks PLAY take them to the instructions screen before they can begin playing]
– Keep your instructions screen down to one page if you can
– Use both demo timeout AND maximum number of plays, and if possible, randomise these on first install and attempt to log which combination converts best and then lock it down to those values
– Remove as many “options” as possible from the game. Most users are entirely bewildered by screen resolutions.
– Avoid games that require both hands on the keyboard 😉
– Use humour! Stale BUY IT NOW pages aren’t very compelling. Keep your players in a good mood when they reach your shop page. (See DRoD for best examples)

Sound advice, except for ignoring technical queries. He may be correct that these people never buy but if I can improvement my framework so that it runs on a few extra percent of computers then maybe I’ll make more sales in the long run.

Some other good points were raised:

– Show them something really cool, but only for a very, very short period of time and don’t let them play with it much. i.e. End on a cliff-hanger.”
– I always thought it was silly to nag them after they already decided to quit. I like to nag them between levels or at any point when their intention is to keep playing. Once they have decided to stop playing I give up and let them exit in peace.

What makes people successful?

Wednesday, June 13th, 2007

Read a good article today about why some people are almost always sucessful. It lists some key traits that successful people have. I feel that I am strong on most of those points.

My martial arts training helps with some of them too like “They do things even when they don’t feel like it”. I think that some people just want to do all the fun bits of making games and then when it comes to the boring bits they just don’t do them and so their game is never finished, or if they do finish it, they don’t do any marketing and so it never sells.

I am 100000 today

Monday, June 11th, 2007

That’s in Binary of course. Yep I’ve hit a magical number (in computing terms). If I want to feel younger I could say I was $20.

I’m not looking that forward to the next milestones of 48 and 64 (my first two computers) but hey, I’ll try and stay healthy 😉

Working today as it’s a normal Monday, could take the day off I guess but it wouldn’t feel right. Maybe I’ll sneak in a little bit of Alien Shooter later…

I got a Spectrum 48K for my 8th birthday so I’ve been a programmer for 24 years now!