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Recently we performed an experiment on how many downloads can you get without marketing your game. And which market performs better to provide visibility to your games.

You can check more information about the experiment on our official blog:

WaterBreadInternet.com

First results are in:

waterbreadinternet Aug 12 '14 · Rate: 5 · Comments: 6 · Tags: android, games, market, downloads, marketing

  In 1999, my best friend worked for Activision and lived in a tiny studio apartment in Hollywood.  I was trying to come up with a cool gift to give him for his birthday while I played on my custom made MAME arcade cabinet.  Since his living area was pretty small, and upstairs, I didn’t think a MAME cabinet would fit his current situation, so I came up with this idea of trying to cram all of the PC components into a controller that would simply plug into his TV.  The Arcade-in-a-Box was born, though Trey’s version included a lot of duct tape, had constant over heating issues and a door bell as the power button.


  For the next several years I spent my efforts trying to find better and faster ways of making the Arcade-in-a-Box units and eventually they looked good enough to be sold in SkyMall magazine and featured on HGTV’s I Want That: Tech Toys.  When all was said in done I sold 20-30 of the 1500 dollar units.
With the “success” of the Arcade-in-a-Box, I got a 650sqft work shop in a small industrial park and came up with the Jamma-in-a-Box.  This unit was similar to the flagship system, except it played actual arcade PCBs.  Kind of a like a NES, except instead of inserting game carts, you inserted large arcade PCBs.  This quickly out sold the Arcade-in-a-Box as it had a much cheaper price tag coming in at around $500.


  Now these two units were selling well enough to keep the doors open, but they took a long time to build, and were difficult to ship.  I wanted to make something smaller that would fix both of those issues.  The Xbox 360 was out and some Classic arcade games were being released on Xbox Live Arcade.  I decided it might be fun to see if I can hack apart a 360 controller and make a true arcade style joystick for the xbox 360.  The original idea was to create a joystick that could bring that arcade feeling to those classic games.  I sold a few of these units and got some good reviews from Official Xbox Magazine, IGN and a few other online video review sites.  At some point I was tracking visitors to arcadeinabox.com and noticed a site called shoryuken.com.  Someone had posted a thread with a link to one of the online reviews.  I started to interact with the group and people started making requests and the Arcade-in-a-Box fights sticks were born.


  Over the next several months I went through a lot of design changes and working with ways to give people the customization they wanted in terms of looks and parts.  I taught myself how to use CAD software and purchased a 4’x4’ CNC Router and learned how to use that as well.  Things were going well and Super Street Fighter II Turbo Remix came out and sales started to pick up a bit.  I was in need of help and that is when I met James.  James replied a post on one of my Jamma-in-a-Box units that I had made specifically for a NEO-GEO carts.  I contacted him online and found out he was also in Tucson and asked if he wanted a job.  Enter my first employee, and friend.  Things stayed busy enough and James had to go back to school so I needed to find more help.  I had reached out to a local Community College gaming club and found Aaron and asked if he wanted a Job.  He did, enter my second employee and friend, Aaron.


  I think it’s important to do a job you love, and I figured what better people to have building fight sticks than guys that truly love fighting games.  Of course I could have gone out and hired some solder wizards or electrical engineers to help me, but they wouldn’t have been as invested.  Plus I had Toodles for that stuff.
Around now we were having regular get-togethers at the workshop to play games.  I would clear off the dust and let people come in and play.  Even if I wasn’t there, Aaron had a key and was always welcome to invite people over.  It was just kind of a central place for the fighting game community to get together and play.   We had a regular crew of Aaron, Greg, WAaron, Jeremy, Abe and Roch.  More people would show up each week.


  At this point we were only making Xbox 360 sticks because I couldn’t find a good ps3 wired controller to hack apart.  I must have purchased 15 different brands of ps3 wired controllers trying to find something to easily work with.  Then I found Marcus, AKA Toodles, on the shoryuken forums.  He was working on a PCB that would work on multiple consoles.   He sent me the first ps3 prototype pcb he was working for testing and everything worked great.  He even walked me through his ideas of combining it with my 360 pcbs in making a dual console stick.  Marcus needed some cash to get things rolling so I placed an order 100 PS3 pcbs from him.  At this time he wasn’t getting the PCBs assembled, so Aaron and I spent many hours assembling PS3 PCBs.  We got so good at it, that future orders were also unassembled to save me some money. 


  Then it happened.  Street Fighter IV launched and no one was prepared.  Madcatz had been working on a fight stick that was our competition, but they only did an initial run of around 3,000 units and they sold so fast, it took them nearly 6 months to get more made.  This is when our sales went nuts.  I decided it was time for a larger facility and more helping hands.  James came back to work, Aaron stayed on and I hired Greg and Roch.  My parents even helped for a few months.  My lifelong friend Peter chipped in dealing with customers and their custom artwork, preparing it all for me to get sent off to the printer.  We had a 3 month long waiting list and were building and shipping 30-40 units a week.


  Sanwa, popular manufacturer of Japanese style buttons and joysticks, started selling out of product.  There was a Sanwa JLF joystick shortage for a good month or 2.  Luckily I had a great vendor in Japan and I had about 200 Sanwa sticks stashed away at the workshop .  We rarely got into trouble with not having product, which was pretty lucky considering all the different places items were ordered from.  In a pinch I would have to pay a little more to get items from a US based vendor, but not very often. 
We still had weekly get-togethers and this continued to grow.  With the new place being much larger, about 1500sqft, it was much easier to get more people in.  Plus SFIV was bringing out a lot more new people.  Not to mention on Fridays, whoever was working would engage in something we invented called MAME Challenge.  This was a game using an original Arcade-in-a-Box unit and randomly selecting games in MAME.  Each player would takes turns going first as we would go through games.  It was a great way to end the week and would turn into something more.


  We started getting caught up on stick orders and business started to die down.  James, Aaron and Greg all went back to school and I still hired Roch part time to do some work.  The space next door was available and I asked the landlord if he would let me rent it month to month.  He agreed and the Arcade-in-a-Box gaming center was born.  I hired Abe to manage it, and I began to buy Xboxes, monitors and games in bulk.  We held tournaments for Halo, Smash Brothers and Fighting games every few months.  The game center was doing pretty well, but stick sales were not.  In fact, I had really gotten burnt out making sticks so I really stopped trying to market.  Everyone and their brother was starting to make sticks now, at prices I could no longer compete with.  One major factor was the dollar doing so badly, many of the Japanese parts were costing nearly twice as much as they did when we started, due the poor conversion rate.


  I cut out as many stick parts as I could and closed down the workshop and moved it all back to my house.  I decided I would make and sell what was left of the supplies I had and that was it.  The game center was still doing well, so we decided to try moving it to a more centralized location.   For about 2-3 months I worked tirelessly remodeling an old daycare to fit out needs.  Aaron, Marvin and several other helped me demo walls, tear up floors and remove junk from the daycare.  I worked countless nights until after midnight putting up drywall, framing walls, insulating, and redoing electrical.  In February of 2010, the new Arcade-in-a-Box Game center opened.
For whatever reason this place never really took off like it did in the industrial park.  However tournaments, fighting game community and birthday parties kept it going for a few years.  We tried to do several things to keep the arcade alive, including reliving my love of classic arcade games.  I began to collect and restore classic arcade cabinets and would keep them at the arcade, but in the end, the fighting game community and its volunteers it was kept the place going for as long as it did.


  I moved my stick making into a corner of the new game center until I eventually just stopped making sticks all together.  I decided to walk away from it all and do one last tournament, but this time at a bigger venue.  This is It (2012) was an absolute blast, but it also reassured me it was time to stop.  We didn’t nearly have the turnout we thought we would, so although the weekend was fun, I was deflated. There is a lot of effort that comes with catering to the Fighting Game Community. 
Remember MAME Challenge?  Well, James, Aaron and I had a few meetings and decided we would try to create a game show out of this idea, and Retro Rumble was born.  It was a blast!  It was like having a little TV studio right inside the game center.  We completed 3 seasons, although only 2 are available online to watch.  We had shot season 3, and then I began to realize that not enough people really cared about this idea to make all the time and effort worth it.  I never edited season 3 and it all sits on a hard drive hoping one day I might.


  Though during the years of my absence the volunteers kept the place going for the fighting game community.  Abe, Marvin, Ernest, RAaron, and Kris kept hope alive.  Until one night the arcade was broken into and systems were stolen.  At this point I decided that’s enough.  Moved everything out and shut the place down for good.  Of course in true Arcade-in-a-Box style, we did one FINAL event that brought out a huge crowd to say goodbye.  I admit, had a tear in my eye as Abe and I stood there in the quiet arcade getting ready to lock it up for the last time.


  During my hiatus from the game center I began to try and create my own video games.  I had done this before as I thought it would be cool to bundle the Arcade-in-a-Box (from 1999) with some personally made games.  I just never had the time or desire to finish any products.  This time I was determined to start a game and finish it so I created Ground Control.  This was a browser based game that played similar to Moon Patrol.  It wasn’t great, but it gave me the confidence to know I could complete a project.  Since then I have completed 6 Mobile games and I am currently working on 2 others.   My journey to game development is unique, but along the way I learned many skills that have helped me.  I had to teach myself Photoshop, Illustrator, CAD, 3d modeling, Marketing, programming and more just to get by.  Having a small business, you can’t afford a lot, so you have learn to do for yourself what you are able to.  I can’t draw or create, but I can hire someone to do that and then alter those creations to my needs. 


  I have met so many people during all of this, and I have formed some lifelong friendships because I chose to take a chance do something I love doing.  Whether it’s building arcade sticks or games, I just enjoy building.


  That’s my journey from Arcades to Game Dev.  Along the way I got married, have 2 kids and still have the same “real life” job I had when I started Arcade-in-a-Box.


  Through all of this, my wife Kathy, has been with me every step of the way.  I know I didn’t always make it easy, but she gave the courage and means to pursue my dreams.  She is my rock.  None of this would have been possible without her in my life.  I love her so much, words can’t express it. 

Ed Farias - Owner, Arcade-in-a-Box / ELF Games
www.elf-games.com


Follow me on https://twitter.com/IndieELF

and

www.facebook.com/elfgames

https://www.facebook.com/arcadeinabox

 

 

ArcadEd Aug 8 '14 · Rate: 5

Hi peeps,

We've been working on this game for a few months and would appreciate your feedback as it's our first game. 

GetMeBro! is an online infinite runner set in a dark and spooky theme, It's available on iOS, Android and Windows platforms. Players can engage in virtual battles with other online players, which will affect their ranks on a global leader board, depending on their victory or defeat. During gameplay, players can choose from a variety of special abilities, which allows them to gain speed and agility, protect themselves against their opponents’ attacks, or deploy attacks to defeat their opponents – requiring players to strategise and improvise in every single game.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Visit getmebro.co.uk to register today and join with your friends to dominate them!

GetMeBro!
Vlad

GetMeBro Oct 15 '15 · Rate: 4 · Comments: 4 · Tags: multiplayer-solo-, runner-danger-

My love affair with Twitter began about a year ago. My first social networking experience, probably like most of you, was with Facebook. Despite being a developer, I was never active in doing the sort of things that the average PC user was involved in for fun and so I didn’t even actually start using Facebook until I purchased an iphone 3 some years back.

Ever since my first iPhone purchase, I’ve been heavily reliant on smartphone technology, now owning one device of each major platform (Android, IOS, and Windows Phone) and two Android tablets but, my romance with Twitter didn’t begin until last year. Like most of you I created an account, followed a few sources of interest, and made my first post. I was surprised by the instantaneous positive responses, immediately recognizing the marketing potential this amazing social networking platform.

I began devoting all of my spare time to Twitter, with a lot of my developer friends and associates saying I was wasting my time, claiming Twitter just wasn’t worth the effort due to it’s mathematical limitations and even criticized me for it. I worked at it tirelessly developing several channels in different segments at first, working primarily with just a stylus and my Galaxy Note 3, taking notes, and recording results. Working out the math, I began to develop a mathematical approach combined with good posting practices allowing me to grow significant targeted followings of developers, and later expanding my efforts to develop a gaming audience. Forming the basis for my entire following on NakedGamePlay.com, a news, forums, and social networking platform for game developers, through which I’ve been helping small game developers and Indies promote their games, Kickstarters, and tutorials.

Having the opportunity to coach several individuals with their businesses through Twitter, including Spark Game Engine, an exciting new game development environment that’s still in the pre-alpha development stages, and several game developers, gaining even more valuable information, I planned to write a book covering my approach to Twitter but, still I felt wasn’t ready yet to publish.

Returning to work on my passion project Final Contact, a pseudo 3D space simulator created in a 2D game development environment (Construct2), I began developing my audience for the game several months ago. Utilizing the best of what I’ve learned in an aggressive approach to reach targeted users and expose my game to a receptive audience, I began a campaign through Twitter, posting screenshots and video, much of which was from my original prototype, while I began to rebuild my game from the ground up at a higher resolution in the hopes of taking my game to steam as well as to all three of the mobile platforms.

Developing a reach of close to 50,000 in the past several months, I’ve exceeded my expectations with Twitter and have had a huge response for beta testers program and several unexpected opportunities.

With plans for a crowdfunder in the near future and so many gamers expressing an interest in the game’s release, I was surprised to be approached by several game streamers seeking an opportunity to record gameplay on their channels and review the game.

Beyond that, I had several companies approach me concerning potential partnerships, one of which is an exciting new startup that makes an adhesive gamepad for smartphones providing a better experience for gamers using screen sharing and iOS airplay, looking to provide a point of sale with my game, along with their product, in outlets like Gamestop.

I was also contacted recently by Jez Coden, an IT Professional and journalist for WindowsCentral.com, who expressed interest in my game telling me “it looked great” and wanted to write a feature, publicizing it when I release the game for the Windows Phone platform, letting me know their readership was 4 million monthly unique visitors. I couldn’t pay for advertising like that. We exchanged contact information, agreeing to stay in touch, and informed me that I should consider the possibility of some new technologies now available that may make my game available on windows 10 and potentially xbox and graciously provided me with some other useful contact information.

I would be lying if I didn’t say that I’m really feeling some immense pressure now to provide a quality product and great gaming experience but, as a close friend pointed out, it’s the kind of pressure every game developer dreams of.

I’m still a realist and I can’t say for certain that my game will be a hit but, things certainly look promising. One thing is certain, none of these opportunities would have unfolded if had it not been for a solid marketing strategy through the use of Twitter. I was first approached by each and every one of these opportunities directly through Twitter.

Recently I’ve had a lot of requests from individuals for some Twitter coaching and marketing advice but, unfortunately, with so little time, I’ve had to decline however; I feel the time is right to release my book, Marketing Mobile Games with Twitter. It’s now available on my developer site at Neoprofessor.com and will be available later this week on amazon.com. In this book I cover my comprehensive approach to marketing through Twitter. I hope you’ll enjoy reading it and find the strategies, tools and techniques that I outline useful in marketing your games.

As for me, I’ll be spending the majority of my time the next few months on Final Contact, developing, working with beta testers, creating a trailer and promotional materials in preparation for, and in anticipation of an upcoming crowdfunder.

As for NakedGamePlay.com, plans continue to expand engagement and to continue to help developers promote their games, Kickstarters, and tutorials. While we suffered a few setbacks during December and January with issues that arose during upgrades, the audience remained strong. I hope to move forward with the store and a greater level of integration of gamers with plans to provide streaming channels for gamers but, more about that later.

Today also marks the launch of my new website for Final Contact located at www.final-contact.com, where you can read more about the game, view screenshots, gameplay video, news, and announcements. I hope you’ll take interest and follow along as this project continues to thrive.

Dominic Gentile

 

NakedGameTalk Apr 13 '15 · Rate: 3

Hi all, after I've been in the game developing world for a year and a half, I had gotten various experiences especially from C2. Being an explorer gamer, I saw thousands & thousands of games, but I learned that games that only who attracts and wow us make us play it & download it. There are 8 elements for a professionally made game that will blow players mind & make them play it for the longest time possible. Read carefully. Note: the elements are ordered randomly, they are not ordered on their importance.

 

The 8 Elements New Concepts

The most important element is to have a game with new concepts, if you imitated a game or used the same idea of an already published game, the players will not care for it. It should involve new ideas and concepts. To know more about it, follow this link: How to make a successful game

Pro Graphics

Players are attracted to a beautiful well designed graphics, let us take “Cut the rope” for an instance. It cuteness & well design graphics attracted me to install it. Professionally made graphics with lighting effects and shadowing make it irresistible to play. To see what I’m saying download it from here: Cut the rope - Chrome store or if you’re in an android device download from here: Cut the rope - Android. You must know that one element can’t make the game the best. You need all the elements to make professional game.

Music & Sound

Music & sound are important element for games. All professional games made by large gaming companies use music & sound. If you are a sound designer or you know one that can help, that would be great. New creative songs & sounds will attract the players. Angry Birds, Subway surf, Zombie tsunami, etc… are games with music that stuck in the head ,easily memorized and funny, in one word: catchy. Taking sounds from online websites is not wrong, but the key to a new catchy song is make one by yourself. Who don’t know any of the angry bird songs?! They are catchy!

Scoring System

Do you know why you play subway surf and temple run? You play it because you want to get higher score that’s why. Scoring system shows the challenging spirit of the player and his patience to get his goal. Adding a scoring system for a game is the best thing you could ever do, take chicken invaders for an instance. The main idea of it that the chicken had invaded the earth in the future & you, the hero, need to save earth from this invasion. You have three lives and there are 10 different waves. When you finish those waves, you go to another system with the same 10 waves but a little bit harder. The reason why you replay those same waves is just because you want to beat your old high score. If you can make multiplayer games that mean the value of the scoring system get higher. The player would then see his high score and his friend’s high score which lead to compete with each other for higher score. That would also make your game playable for longer time.

Power-ups & Stores

The fifth element here is power-ups and stores. Players like to get power-ups so they can win the game more easily but what they mostly like is stores. Stores, or shops, are what the player seeks. He wants to buy items to make the game on his style or he like to get the unattainable. Let’s say in jet-pack joyride there are an amazing power-up that works as coin magnet. That is the unattainable that what I’m talking about, the player would possibly be extremely excited to get coins for the power-ups which lead to make him play the game for longer time. Player wants to get always new stuff so they don’t get bored.

Achievements

Achievements are a very important element for professional long term game. The players like to feel that they achieved something and the best thing if they got rewarded. Give the player some different achievements to do. I’ll tell you an incident happened to me. I’m working on a game that is similar to Pou, the virtual alien pet, but of course with new concepts. To see that a copy of Pou is not made (Read the first heading and follow the link for more info about getting new concepts), I searched on Google for games similar to it, and then I saw Mou. Mou is free version of Pou for Windows phone 8. I saw he copied everything from it; same game, different graphics. I read the reviews down there and I saw positive reviews as well as negative reviews, but lots of reviews said Pou is better and that Mou needs achievements. If the creator of Mou putted some achievements for the game, he would get more positive reviews about his game. To see the reviews follow this link: Mou Reviews.

Banners &Icons & Screenshots

As you search through an app store, you saw a very cool well designed banner, so your curiosity leads you to open the game to know its description. Here we are talking about marketing. A well designed banner should attract numerous players to see your game. Find a graphic designer to design your banner, but if you are feeling creative design it on your own, but remember every app store has default sizes of banners, so check the app store for the banners sizes. Icons also affect player opinion and screenshots too.

Descriptions

A well made description attract players to download your game. The description should include only the main ideas of your game, or sometimes making a story would attract them too. You should make plots or points that make a player excited to play it. You should also use “the game features:” sentence before you put plots.
Here’s an example of a description:
There was a hungry shark called Big Lenny. Fish amounts are decreasing everyday from the sea, Big Lenny need new places to find fish before they all disappear! The game features:
• Eat 12 kinds of fish and small sharks.
• Play 26 levels as the game get harder.
• Avoid bombs and trash from human community.
• Collect as many fish as you can in the Ultimate frenzy mode.
• Play 5 mini-games to get extra coins!
These plots or points are only one sentence each but it explains a lot. Hope you found it useful.

 

Naji Aug 25 '14 · Rate: 2 · Comments: 2 · Tags: tutorial, article, advice, professional, workflow

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