Jono Shields

I just hit a wall

I hit this point in every project. I get to a stage of development where the project just isn’t fun anymore, its not that ball of excitement and new energy that it was when I started. I have to seriously knuckle down and do the hard yards.

The boring stuff, the stuff I have left until the last minute, the things I just don’t want to do. Here they are…

  • Reworking the introduction/tutorial
  • Adding a pause menu
  • Upgrading ships aesthetics
  • Making the controls more intuitive
  • Making a press kit and video of the game
  • Buying iOS license and testing
  • Submitting for app reviews
  • Advertising and social media marketing

I get to this stage with every project and every time the same result, I move on. I start something else that will never get finished. This is a lot of work, and none of it will be as fun or as interesting as the journey up until now.

But it will be a journey none the less and it is a path I am going to need to go down eventually. Up until now I have always told myself that the right project will come along and I will know, I will have the motivation and the determination to complete it, to go the extra mile and polish it.

This isn’t it though, I know this isn’t it, this game is one of the least inspired, least interesting and least enjoyable games I have made.

So why? What is the point of this blog post?

This is where I talk myself into doing this, even if I do put in all this extra effort and the game doesn’t do well, then at least I will have learned something. I will know a great deal more about the release process, marketing, advertising and monetising a game. That’s fantastic, but ultimately not the real reason I want to push on, I want a challenge and I want to prove to myself that I am capable of this.

Let’s do this!


Pulled the Trigger

As of now Homage is free.

It took me most of the afternoon to decide whether to do it. I figure that no matter how this turns out it will have been a good learning experience. The app now has ads and more specifically ad settings, users can turn ads off entirely, use ads as rewards or see ads at the end of every game.

Most importantly though, the game is now free, this is opens it up to a much larger audience of players that would otherwise not pay for the game. Instead I can make money off them in advertising (hopefully).

Admittedly this has all been very rushed, hopefully it all goes well.

Go download it! Homage on Google Play

Later days.


Monetization

So this is a pretty big thing for me. Not very long ago I used to think that I would never put ads on a game I made and yet I am sitting here adding lines like Advertisement.Show(); to my code.

How did it come to this?

I released my first game on the Play Store nearly a month ago today at $0.99. It was great having my friends buy the app, they could have a jam on my game and I even made $4.14 off of them in purchases. But the store has been inactive for 2 weeks now, had over 1,000 views with 0% conversions and the only person outside of New Zealand to buy it also refunded it.

As much as I wanted to make money from the game, I also wanted people to be playing it. I also toyed with the idea of not monetising the game,  but I have put a great deal of time into this game now and this is the most “finished” any of my games have ever been, I feel like I need something back.

This is why I have turned to ads. I don’t like them, but they mean my game can reach a larger audience, I can earn some money and I still have control over when they get shown, etc. I also have to take into account my 6 prior purchasers who paid $0.99 for a premium app, I can’t throw ads in their faces all of a sudden, even if I do know each of them personally. So I am using their saved preferences to see if they already had a high score before the new update and turn the ads off for them. All players will also be able to opt out of ads in the Stats menu, but they will be enabled by default. Players will also have the opportunity to increase the frequency of ads, will they? … probably not.

I am also looking into using in game rewards as an incentive to watch ads, such as experience boosters to unlock ships faster or a shield at the start of the next round to reduce damage on your ship.

This post is basically just verbal diarrhea. Sorry about that.

Later days.