Archive for March, 2012

Holiday Bonus Postmortem video

Tuesday, March 27th, 2012


Back in November 2011 I wrote a post about how my casual games seem to have a very long tail in terms of sales. I followed this up with a 5 minute speech/slideshow at Full Indie in December 2011 called “Holiday Bonus Postmortem”.

Here’s the video:

Stay tuned to this blog for a follow up on my December 2012 sales (hint: it was my best month ever!) and how the mobile versions performed.

Best of Grey Alien Games Blog 2011

Monday, March 26th, 2012

I’ve been meaning to collate my most popular and important articles from 2011 into a list for a while but have been waylaid. Anyway, here it is. Enjoy!


January was an important month for me because I quit Big Fish Games after working there for over 2 years to go indie AGAIN (I was indie for several years before I moved to Vancouver to work at Big Fish Games).

My Indie plans for 2011 (I did a whole load of research into all the potential platforms I could make games for and whittled the list down into my main areas of interest.)

My First Game is Live on Xbox Live Indie Games! (This was an important event for me because it was my first ever game on a console! Holiday Bonus didn’t sell that well due to low downloads (converts well though), so we never ported any other games to the XBLIG.)

Iā€™m Officially Indie (again) (Going indie again was very important to me. This post talks about a party I had to celebrate, Full Indie, and my plans for 2011.)

Mac App Store Tutorials (At the start of 2011 I ported two of my existing games to the Mac App store and put together this article to help other devs through the pain of code signing etc.)

Beans on Toast and other British toast-based snacks (This was a silly article that I had fun with that proved quite popular.)

Check out my Old-skool PC Game Collection (Just in case you are interested, there’s a photo of my huge old-skool FPS collection and other games.)


What the Dog Saw: And Other Adventures (Some book recommendations.)

12 Tips for Making a Game Tutorial (This post generated some interesting debate.)


Spring Bonus is now available for PC and Mac (This was my first new game since going indie again. I’m very proud of Spring Bonus, it’s my best solo game to date)


Iā€™m going to make 50 games this year! (This was a bold claim and I didn’t make it, but I did do pretty well because I shipped 39 games.)

Spring Bonus is now available for Windows Phone 7 (A friend of mine in the UK ported Spring Bonus to Windows Phone 7. It was my first game on that particular phone, in fact it was my first mobile game release!)

I am in control of my life (I was inspired to write this article to help people understand how many things in their life they are really in control of and can change if need be.)


My 10 simple tips for fitness and health (It was my birthday in June and I got my picture taken with two of the original Star Trek cast members. You can see the photo in this informative blog post.)

Metal Spawn ā€“ New minigame! (I organised and ran a Full Indie game jam in June and made a minigame called Metal Spawn. Check it out!)


Casual Connect Summary (I was on an indie panel at Casual Connect in Seattle and summarised my experience plus got another Star Trek cast member photo! Here’s the link to a video of the panel I was on.)


I met William Shatner! (Meeting Shatner has been a geek dream of mine for years, and I finally got the chance in Vancouver. Check out the sweet photo!)


Being indie is a long-term game (includes graphs!) (I’ve been running Grey Alien Games since 2005, and since then I’ve come to realise that games can keep on selling for a very long time and actually make most of their money after the first year. Read all about it in this very popular article!)


My Thanksgiving Sale Statistics (with graphs!) (Back in November I tried an experiment and ran a Thanksgiving sale on my website and tried to promote it via various means. It wasn’t super successful but I wrote up a full postmortem in this post.)

Holiday Bonus is out for iPhone/iPad and Android! (This was an important date for me. A friend in the UK ported Holiday Bonus to Unity and we released no less than 9 different versions on iOS/Android/Web! Those versions included multiple FREE versions.)

Always Alone ā€“ New Minigame (I participated in the Ludum Dare #22 Game Jam on the theme of “alone” and was pleased with this weird narrative-based game that I made. People seemed to think it was good.)

My 2011 Indie Game Picks (I played some great indie games in 2011, though not as many as I’d have liked to. You can find a summary of the ones I enjoyed in this post.)

And that’s it! Wow, looks like I blogged quite a lot more than I thought I did šŸ™‚

Previous Best of Lists:

Best Articles of 2008

2 Million Hits

Monday, March 26th, 2012

My site has now had 2 Million hits! (by hits I mean pageviews as measured by some crappy counter code)

Back in July 2011 the site reached 1.5 Million hits. So that’s 500K hits in 9 months = approx. 55K hits per month. The previous monthly average was 45K hits per month, so it’s an improvement, but not a huge one. Probably just down to more bots šŸ˜‰

I had hoped to reach 2 Million hits by the end of 2011, but to be honest I didn’t do much to drive traffic to my site last year. Let’s see what happens this year and if I can reach 3 million hits (double my traffic) by the end of 2012!