AuthorAksel Junkkila

I want to tell you a story. A story of fantastic people.

I want to tell you a story. A story of fantastic people.

3 years ago we started a mobile game company together with my brother. We took inspiration from our childhood and started making a game, with dog characters flying around in air planes and battling it out in the sky. We also wanted to do something different, and so we implemented features in the game that would support charity by donating a sum of our proceeds.

We worked hard for 9 months only to see the game be a complete flop. It was a bit devastating after putting so much effort into it but we didn’t want to give up, so we started on a new one. A new dog game! This time it would be much more simple and better, or so we thought. We got a good amount of downloads to it but it failed to monetize much at all…

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An early start on a Google Play featuring report.

Ever wondered how getting a game featured by Google impacts downloads on your Android game? We’ve just released our newest game: Battlestation: First Contact on Google Play. Last Thursday it was featured by Google and now I want to take you with us on the ride! We’ve had a featuring from Google before but this time it is during the first month of the launch, this should have a big impact since rising on the lists of “Top new free” is much easier than rising on the main list of “Top free”.

Here is the current graph of our installs/day:

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I’m an indie game developer and let me tell you why it’s so great.

I’m an indie game developer and let me tell you why it’s so great. Looking back now normal life was always boring to me, it was never enough. Sure, I found some things fascinating, but I always wanted more. That’s why I escaped to my imagination.

When I was young I would climb small hills on cold winter days, fight the ice and try to make it to the top. I was conquering Mount Everest humming some epic tune to myself as I struggled on. I would hear my friend talk to another boy and say: “Yeah, he always does that”.

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Google featuring report #2

Going up up up! And it’s gone. Here’s the second part of my report about how a Google featuring impacts the downloads of a casual game. Scroll down a bit if you want to read part 1 first.

DownloadStatsThere is the curve in all its glory. It’s clear where the featuring started and where it ended. Before we got the notion of a featuring taking place we had around 30 downloads/day. Yes, 30. The featuring process seemed to be in a form of roll out, with Google adding places bit by bit and then removing them towards the end. First places lifted our downloads to around 300, and then from there we jumped to around 5000-8000 installs/day.

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Google featuring report #1

So some time has passed and our game Ace Tales has been featured by Google. We didn’t know quite what to expect, but hoped of course that we would reach huge amount of downloads. Let’s see what has happened so far:

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How does Google featuring a game impact downloads?

We were lucky enough for our game to be picked up by Google and get featured. How does featuring by Google impact on daily downloads?

I will also post reports on incomes and how to optimize revenues through combining different advertisement streams with in-app purchases. Retention and all the good stuff!

Our 2nd launched game currently featured by Google: Ace Tales

Our 3rd launched game:Battlestation

Extensive report coming next week. Subscribe to the right, you will miss this information otherwise!

Which Android sites gave us most downloads with our games

One of the first channels your eyes fixate towards as an indie developer regarding marketing are the Android gadgets and apps centered websites. Once you have sent out 100 e-mails and got responses from 5 asking for money, your mood might be a little deflated. Is this how the mobile game marketing world works? You bet! If a website is starting to get a lot of traffic they will quickly be looking for ways to monetize. We have had a couple of successes of getting our game featured without paying, but it is hard work.

So which websites are the ones to concentrate on, and which ones are even worth paying for? Here are our experiences with our free2play games:

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What works and doesn’t work with Twitter?

feature-finalSeeing a lot of followers on an account on Twitter, or likes on Facebook might let you believe that this particular channel could bring in a lot of downloads if you just got your post in there. Our experiences with the mobile game Ace Tales tell a different story. Here are some statistics:

Twitter:

  • Retweeted by a random account with over 400 000 followers – Result: Around 0 downloads.
  • Retweeted by an let’s play account with 38 000 followers – Result: Around 0 downloads.
  • A lot of retweets by accounts having followers ranging from 1000 – 10 000. These didn’t bring in any downloads either.

When I say “around 0 downloads”, I mean that we saw no notable fluctuation in our daily download counts, which was around 200.

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Want to raise money through crowdfunding for a mobile game?

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As an indie developer company we have had the pleasure of trying out a couple of different channels and strategies regarding marketing. We even tried handing out fliers at a dog event, trying to get some cash to flow into our crowdfunding campaign. As you may guess fliers suck big time, strolling around for a couple of hours at the event the fliers started showing up on the ground. And this was a dog event mind you, with a crowdfunding campaign aimed to make a game that would support dog shelters around the world! One problem of course is that dog people and mobile games don’t mix well, not many of them are interested in mobile games.

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