Some first insights about the game’s progress.
As mentioned in a previous post, we finally decided to release Spellbind as a free application. Additionally, we used ingame advertisements in a rather small percentage of the total number of screens and for a limited game time, so we didn’t really expect to have any significant income.
As expected, iOS proved to be a mature market having the majority of downloads with a valuable feedback about the game. A press release on PR Mac has been the main source of our iOS downloads. Some additional paid advertisements had a rather small effect on iOS downloads.
On the other hand, Google Play didn’t go so well. Mainly because a black screen problem related to apk licensing procedure when the game starts for the first time only, we justifiably had some negative comments and rating. Furthermore, a few posts on Android applications related forums could not give a boost to Android downloads. Surely a major warning to avoid glitches like this in the future.
However, what I didn’t expect was the activity in Amazon Store. A store with many adventure games players and with a very receptive audience as it proved to be. With virtually no marketing activity, but a few twitter posts, Spellbind had some impressive results. It received very good reviews and is listed as a top rated game. That was quite an encouraging feedback to us.
Some other facts that should be taken into account.
There were no reviews or notions about the game in any indie games channel.
We used game analytic services for monitoring custom events. This helped us understand the actual difficulty of the puzzles. Various custom funnels and dashboards assisted us on monitoring the game flow. That way we are capable of knowing stuff like the number of people that have made it to the first part of the game and finally reached the last part or the number of puzzles which players found difficult to solve so they decided to skip them using the skip option. This kind of information is going to be very useful to our next game.
What we will try to avoid next time:
- Release a game for mobile devices only.
Not delivering a Spellbind PC version was clearly a mistake of us. That said, our next game’s primary platform will probably bethe PC platform.
What we will do next time:
- Demonstrate an early prototype of our currently developed game in various channels (indiedb, pre apps etc.)
- Prepare a press release.
- Use a game analytics service.
- Try to reserve more money to spend on marketing activities.
Viewing it from a developer’s perspective, we have learned a lot of new things by working on Spellbind, things we will use on our future efforts. We have raised some visibility and received valuable feedback that will help us improve. Perhaps this is the most important aspect of the entire procedure. We certainly intend to repeat it.