Tag Archives: games

Final Week for iOS Super Sevens and Super Hearts

This week (and a half!) is the last chance to get Super Sevens or Super Hearts for iOS.  I obviously will not be renewing my Apple developer account, so my apps will be removed from the App Store soon.

It’s also the last chance to try Climby Charts on your iPhone or iPad.  So please hurry and download it… 10 million times… or it will truly be lost in the app heap forever!

For Android users, all three of my games will remain on Amazon since there’s no annual fee over there.

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Filed under Super Hearts, Super Sevens

I’ve Been Writing Game Reviews

If anybody’s interested, I’ve been writing reviews over at ipadgameszone.com for a while now.  It’s similar to the Good Games Buried Deep series I did on this blog, but it’s geared more towards games that are (or were) popular.

Here are some quick highlights:

1. Walking Dead: The Game – Season 2 is the most gripping game I’ve played in a long time.

2. Plants vs. Zombies 2 received a lot of unnecessary hate.  I think it’s even better than the original.

3. Madden NFL Mobile has been consuming my life.

4. FTL: Faster Than Light is soooooo worth the $10.

5. Skyriders might just be my favorite iPad game.  It’s an older one, but it’s really fun and really challenging.  Plus, it was pretty much made by one guy!!!

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Filed under Good Games Buried Deep

The New and Improved Super Hearts: Double Deck Cancellation Chaos Version 1.2!

superhearts100round

Hi, Mom (and the two or so other people who play my games)!  I just wanted to let you know that Super Hearts: Double Deck Cancellation Chaos was recently updated.  So what’s this big update?

It no longer cheats!  Oops!  When playing in games where the jack of diamonds is worth -10 points, the AI would cheat and play that card at illegal times.  That sneaky ThumbSnail!  Who knew that he was really a ThumbShark?  Well, now he’ll have to beat you fairly.

This update has been applied to both the iOS and Android versions.

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A Shout-Out to the Other Games Featured in Climby Charts

If you’re playing Climby Charts and happen to notice an app icon in the background that looks visually appealing, more than likely it’s a real game made by another developer. When I was nearing the end of development for Climby Charts, I reached out to other developers on various forums to see if they would like to join in on the fun by having their app become part of my scrolling background. While not many responded, I’m quite grateful to the two who did and provided me with their icons. So when you get a chance, please take a look at these two apps!

BubbleSand by Jez Hammond

BubbleSand Icon

 

Puppy Wings by Saito Games

Puppy Wings Icon

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Filed under Climby Charts, Other Apps

One Day Until the End of the World

Well, maybe not.  BUT!  Climby Charts: Buried Alive in the App Heap does come out tomorrow for both iOS and Android devices!  Can you make it into the top charts?

Climby Charts - Death by One-Star Rating

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Good Games Buried Deep #5 – Defend the Dam

I almost skipped over this one, but I’m sure glad I didn’t. Defend the Dam (by Dragon Army) is a fun and creative take on the lane defense genre of games.

Defend the Dam Title Screen

Would there be a water shortage in California if the beavers were in charge?  I think not.

Quick description:

Defend your dam from all sorts of angry critters by building turrets… on a rotatable tank tread!  Choose wisely to survive wave after wave of creative enemies.  Comes with all the standard goodies of a tower/lane defense game (different turret types, upgrades, beaten levels can be replayed at a higher difficulty, etc.)

Why this game is worth playing:

The design.  This is by no means just a vertical version of Plants vs. Zombies.  Both the gameplay and the strategy here are completely different, all thanks to the moveable conveyor belt of weaponry and enemies specifically designed around this mechanic.  This combination makes for some very interesting strategic choices and, most importantly, a very fun game.

Let’s say you build a flamethrower turret.  This is great–just like in real life–for torching small to medium-sized forest creatures.  But for the bunnies with the plasma pistols… it’s not so great.  In fact, it doesn’t work at all.  This is because the bunnies stand just outside the range of the flames, mocking your choice of turret as they pelt you with little purple bolts of light.  You, however, get the last laugh when you spin your tank tread around and whip out a cannon.  Bunnies–just like in real life–are weak to cannons.

But wait!  Since you moved the position of all your turrets, a lowly pellet gun is now firing at a shielded mouse!  Arrrggh, you really need the crossbow that fires armor-piercing arrows.  But if you move the tread back around, not only will the bunny with the plasma pistol laugh at you again, that fox with the pitchfork is going to poke a hole in your dam!  Trusting that the beaver built with oak instead of pine, you opt to take care of the mouse first and then the laughing bunny.  And then that fox will get what it deserves:  a shotgun to the face.

Defend the Dam Mechanic

Beavers with tank treads? Dam.

Some advice:

Play the daily challenges.  This game is super fun when you’re trying to get the highest score possible.  Your score is determined by the number of coins remaining at the end of a successful battle.  You get coins by killing enemies and by starting the next waves early.  You lose coins by building turrets.  If you want to rank in the top ten, you’re really going to have to take advantage of the tread mechanic since you’ll be skimping on turrets to save on coins.  This makes for a very exciting battle because you’ll likely be leaving a lane exposed, hoping your dam can outlast the punishment it’s receiving as it buys you time to rotate your guns over.

Defend the Dam Enemies

Wolves with laser swords?!  Why are you reading this?  Go download this right now!

Other goodies:

Take a little time to read the descriptions of the weapons.  There’s a section that distinguishes them by the sounds they make, and it’s hilarious.

Defend the Dam Boss

Looks like this guy hasn’t been sharing his porridge…

Try it out:

Defend the Dam (by Dragon Army) is available for free on iOS, and it’s well worth your time.

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Filed under Good Games Buried Deep, Other Apps

Good Games Buried Deep

Your App Lost in a Sea of Trash

It’s time to go digging for shinies! (Original via)

As part of a new approach that I can only assume will soon join the ranks of my other “Failed App Marketing Strategies”, I’ve been hanging out on the Touch Arcade forums in the hopes of attracting a little more attention to my games.  Regardless of whether or not that comes to fruition, I still think it’s been a good use of time.  The forums have been far more interesting and enlightening (and even fun!) than I thought they’d be.

One of the things I’ve been doing is going through the New Game threads looking for games that haven’t gotten many replies or views.  Yes, some of those games are low quality (whether first programming attempts or just poorly tested).  Some of them are major fixer-uppers.  But some are actually really interesting and deserve more attention than they’re getting.  And those are the games I’d like to highlight in a new series of posts.

So, without further ado, it’s time to write some articles that no one will ever read about some games that no one will ever play… which is too bad because these games are definitely worth a try and have a lot of potential.

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Filed under Good Games Buried Deep, Other Apps

How To Make A Profitable First App

More than likely your first app is not going to be profitable.  Actually, more than likely all of your apps are not going to be profitable.  The developer fees alone make this goal unobtainable.  So what’s a rookie developer gotta do?

First of all, you must spend absolutely nothing during the development stage.  Anything you spend here will not be recovered.  This means all the tools you work with need to be free.  This mean you need to do everything by yourself (or know people willing to work for free).  This means you already need to own a computer (or have excellent ninja skills to stealthily hide in your local public library beyond closing hours for late-night coding sessions).

Best Spots to Hide in Public Library

I hope you can wall crawl…

 Now that you’ve wisely concluded to develop your first game at no (monetary) cost to yourself, you must decide which app store you’re going to publish your app to.  This is absolutely critical.  This choice alone will likely determine whether or not your game is profitable.  Here are your best three options:

#3.  The Apple App Store

Signing up for a developer account here will set you back a hundred dollars as well as whatever tax they charge.  So let’s just say the total cost to you is:  $110.  On top of that, Apple will take 30% of whatever you sell.  To put this into perspective, if you are selling your app for $0.99, you are going to need to sell 160 copies of your game just to break even.  Or if you sell your game for $1.99, you’ll need to sell 80 copies of your game.  That’s doable, right?  Hahahahahaha!  Sorry, I used to think like you.  But unless you have a hundred friends and an incredibly large family, this isn’t going to happen.

#2.  The Google Play Store

Signing up for a developer account here will set you back twenty-five dollars as well as (so I assume; I haven’t actually done this) whatever tax they charge.  So let’s just say the total cost to you is:  $27.50.  On top of that, Google will take 30% of whatever you sell.  To put this into perspective, if you are selling your app for $0.99, you are going to need to sell 40 copies of your game just to break even.  Or if you sell your game for $1.99, you’ll need to sell 20 copies of your game.  That’s much more doable, right?  Hahahahahaha!  Sorry, I used to think like you.  But unless you have a hundred friends and an incredibly large family, this isn’t going to happen.

#1.  The Amazon Appstore

Signing up for a developer account here will set you back… nothing!  No taxes, no fees, no cost!  Woo hoo!  Now, keep in mind that Amazon will still take 30% of whatever you sell.  But to put this into perspective, if you are selling your app for $0.99, you need to sell only one copy of your game to come away with a profit of $0.69!!!  Finally, something that’s doable!

Thus, the only way to make a profitable first app is to:
-spend no money on its development
-release it on the Amazon Appstore
-find one person in the universe to buy it

Best of luck!

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Filed under Develop an App for Free, Failed App Marketing Strategies, Game Development, New App Marketing Strategies

Failed App Marketing Strategy #1: Praying for a Spot on the Top Charts

Making money in the world of apps is truly an all-or-nothing affair.  If your app makes it big, you can actually afford to eat.  However, if your app is barely noticed, you won’t make enough to cover Apple’s developer fees… or worse, Google’s developer fees…

Yes, the situation is that dire.  If you release an app on your own, you should not expect to make even twenty-five dollars.  That is simply too lofty a goal.

So what separates “bags of money falling from the sky” from “gonna have to use Jack-in-the-Box napkins as toilet paper again…”?  It’s simple.  Those in the first group made it onto some kind of “Top Apps” list or “Popular Games” chart.  Those in the second group only hoped they’d make it onto one of those lists.

And I can personally confirm that the latter approach is not a successful marketing strategy.  Hoping and wishing does not make it so.  Now, to be fair, I haven’t literally dropped to my knees and offered up any supplications (Huh, maybe that’s what successful app developers do…), so that may be one course of action you’d like to try.  Let me know if it works.

Unfortunately, all this means that you must be resigned to the fact that you will not be topping any charts.  Heck, you’re not even going to crack any list.  But there’s one thing you can do:

New App Marketing Strategy #1:

Why try to make it onto some “Best App of All-Time” list when you can make your own?!

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Filed under Failed App Marketing Strategies, Game Development