Sunday, January 31, 2010

January Recap

January turned out to be a better month than expected. The first week started out below the average for the previous month. Sales, especially in Dominoes, started to decline. I thought maybe I'd reached some kind of saturation point for the game. But this last week has been the strongest ever in sales, and I'm going to be very close to last month's total. For the first time in a while, sales revenue is going to beat ad revenue, which has been pretty flat this month.

The free version of Golf Solitaire has the lowest click-through rate of any app, and that'a probably because I don't serve ads on the same screen where the user is playing. They only see ads on the title screen, the high score screen, and between holes. There is now support for large ads that take up the bulk of the screen, to be used as transitions between content. I was toying with the idea of using them in GS, but I think a lot of people might not be happy with such a change, so I'm going to leave things as they are for now.

This month I released both free (ad-supported) and paid versions of Puzzle Lords. It's been well-received, with over 4,000 downloads of the free version and a 4-star rating. I didn't want to release a paid version right away, because I knew there would be some major kinks to work out. There was a memory-related bug associated with the looping music track that was causing a lot of crashes early on, so I just removed combat music. For Android games in the future, I think I'm just going to stick with short intro themes and sound looping tracks. I had a request for a colorblind version, which was pretty quick and easy to institute and seemed to make the colorblind customers happy. But the biggest request was to be able to save dungeon progress. That was the last pretty fundamental functionality. At this point, there seems to be sufficient demand to add more content, and hopefully a bit more polish. The game is still rough around the edges, but then again, it is both a puzzle game and an RPG (albeit a very scaled-down one). Still, the local version was essentially implemented by one person (me), and even implementing a small number of elements (equipable items, enemies, quests, classes, spells, etc.) is extremely time-consuming.

Hopefully in the next month I'll have the time to implement several more dungeons with at least a couple of unique enemies, another boss, and more items. So stay tuned.

January finished strong, so I'm hoping that will carry on through to February. Work on the multiplayer framework is coming along. I'm now thinking of possibly first implementing a turn-based word game as the first game in this framework, since I know there is high demand.

Also, I'm going to dabble a bit with the XBOX 360 game development framework, since I have worked up a game design for a cooperative platformer...working title: Awesome Alpine Adventure. By the way, does anybody reading this blog know how to yodel? Or know anybody who can? I'm not joking...I really need a couple of yodelers, one male and one female.

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