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Member Since 22 Nov 2012
Offline Last Active Sep 13 2015 09:56 AM

#5157414 What is a fun level? I want my levels to be fun.

Posted by on 01 June 2014 - 03:36 PM

Know your audience. That's the first step in identifying what is fun or not. Even then it isn't 100% guaranteed though. Anyhow, how are the physics like? What's the age group? Art style? Mobile or different platform? iOS or android users? Are we talking about the animaniacs crowd for instance? Or are we making a game for Cthulhu fans?


So then, how could we make the game fun, with the physics. Borderlands art style with cartoonish explosions dropping from the sky blowing everything up, but with the right ragdoll physics it explodes and makes the bits and pieces from one creature kill the ones next to it. And then with a sound score that's some punk rock chick talking about chaos. There is probably a crowd that would find that fun.


So back to how to make a level fun? Know your audience.

#5157354 AD Revenue in Google Play

Posted by on 01 June 2014 - 10:43 AM

Thanks for the lengthy response but please bear with stupid me as I'm now more confused than before (especially after you mentioned CPI is IPA) 

First, I still don't understand where this figures come from : ""Since we have 14286 app downloads, and lets say we are using flurry, we are getting $.20 per IPA, so $2,857.20.". 
CMIIW, 14286 app downloads -> does it mean people who downloaded your game or people who downloaded app through your game? Cause I thought that number comes from your FB n Youtube campaign to get your user ?


The 14,286 app downloads are people who downloaded the game. Remember, that the CPI i'm calculating is pretty optimistic, with the max possible at a given number. The number for the facebook and Youtube campaign to get the visitors is 47,619. Then the 14,286 comes from 30% of them downloading your app.

Now, on your estimations :

The end of year total for a flurry campaign, with a $.20 CPI is 15k  - $.4 CPI, we get $30k.

For the CPM, Low range CPM of $2 gives us $20,383.56 / High Range CPM of $8 gives us $81,534.24

CMIIW, so you have 15k installs from your game/app +  for the CPM @2$ you earn 20K.
To make it easier I'll use CPM campaign first to try to figure out how much users I need to reach that income. So basically you need 10MM (20K/2 x 1000) impressions to reach that number.
With your estimation of 30 impressions/user that means you need 333K users. This means conversion rate is at : 15K/333K = 4%

Hmm.. ok, I get it now, those numbers are very believable although 30 impressions/user is quite optimistic imho for interstitial/video ads. Also, it depends on the region of where users are based. I know that I have many users in Asia and they don't really have high eCPM over there.

Thanks again for the lengthy response. I'm currently trying to figure out what is the best way to maximize my ads revenue but I'm to weary of trying all these different agency. Been using Admob for awhile for interstitial ads since banner ads has very low eCPM. I'm currently thinking about Flurry vs Chartboost, any experience in using either one of them?


If you want to maximize your ad revenue... well, it depends on the game, but stick to banner ads for puzzle games for instance, or other solutions. Ads in games isn't a one size fits all solution. Try working with a company that specializes in stuff like this. For instance, swrve, and they have a free plan that you can try things out with too.

As for your second question. Sorry about being fanboyish, but I like the controls given with flurry personally. The thing with them though, is that you can't monetize web games, but you can still find out when things happen. Like for our word game, I could tell you the average play sessions to the words used each game, and the words people are having the most problems on. The other thing about it, is that there isn't a limit and then a fee, like what you can see with other ad networks.

#5157296 AD Revenue in Google Play

Posted by on 01 June 2014 - 04:36 AM


Can you explain what is : IPA (Install Per App Revenue) compared to CPI? It's the first time I hear it but then again people use and change terms/jargon constantly so I may lost track here.
If they're roughly the same (CPI == IPA) then you mentioned : "
Since we have 14286 app downloads, and lets say we are using flurry, we are getting $.20 per IPA, so $2,857.20.". -> does this mean all your users who see the ads, click and install an app?

That's a pretty optimistic estimation, or if it's a fact then please teach me how or explain to me why we don't just use revmob with their high IPA cause 14286 x 2-4$ is way more than all your incomes combined?


Sure. It is pretty much the same, but when I was pitching to investors, I used the term IPA for them. As for the last question, I'll explain it as in why we use flurry vs revmob.


Flurry gives us a CPI of $.20 - .40 and a CPM of $2 - $8.

Revmob gives a CPI of $2 - $ 4 and a CPM of $.5 - $1.5


When we are making games, we want to make them last as long as possible, so lets keep a game that lasts 1 year in mind. So lets say that we are making a yearly budget of 18k for this game, with 6k to youtube and 12k to facebook. And finally, I'm putting this with an Estimated Impressions per User at 30.


The end of year total for a flurry campaign, with a $.20 CPI is 15k  - $.4 CPI, we get $30k.

For the CPM, Low range CPM of $2 gives us $20,383.56 / High Range CPM of $8 gives us $81,534.24


Now in comparison to lets say Revmob.

CPI $2 gives us $150k / CPI $4 gives us $300k

CPM $.5 gives us $5,095.89 / CPM $1.5 gives us $15,287.67


So lets compare low side total CPI/CPM versus high side total CPI/CPM with revmob and then flurry at 30 Impressions per User.

Revmob: $155,096.89 (low side) versus $315,287.67 (high side)

Flurry:   $35,383.56 (low side) versus $118,534.24 (high side)


Now before anyone gets their hopes up, the high side tends to go to apps, while games stick to the lower side. So if your entire ball game is to go for the CPI, then sure, stick with Revmob, or other companies that offer high CPI. If your goal is to make money in the long run though, you would want something that can give you better CPM.


So lets show what happens when you increase the impression. The average playtime spent on mobile is 94 minutes daily. The average play session for mobile games is between 1.5 - 2 minutes. Lets say that you're game is solely played by your target audience 94 minutes a day, and each session shows 1 ad impression. So then lets say that the total amount of impressions a player gets a day is 47, and lets take it further and say they play that game every day for a 30 day month cycle (If this ever happens for you, congratulations, you made a virtual crack). So the hypothetical amount of impressions per use will be set at 1,410 per month.



So while we were making at 30 impressions per user with revmob $155,096.89 and $35,383.56 with flurry, at 1,410 impressions per month you would be making:

Revmob: (low side) $389,506.83 (CPI + CPM @ 1410 impressions)

Flurry: (low side) $973,027.32 (CPI + CPM @ 1410 impressions)


So again, what it comes down to is do you think your game will make it? That people would keep on playing it so that you can rack up the CPM? Or is the game something people will download and ignore?


There is a couple of other things that we look for when we put the advertisements in our games. Who gives us the best controls on what ads we want displayed, and the most freedom for mobility. Also, for instance we make games for schools, so for the previous game we made, we have a guarantee that players will be playing it consistently over the period of 2 semesters. And if the teachers are happy with it, that it would continue as a supplementary exercise.


So for that reason, the best way for us to monetize is to go with the CPM, and with that Flurry. Now again, some things that are missing in the calculations are player decay of MAU. What was taken in account is decay in Whales. Also for the time being, we can't accurately guess the right amount of impressions, and there is no calculation for other terms of growth. So take everything with a grain of salt.


So if you want to do your own research on the market and stuff, I recommend downloading the monetization report from Swrve.com, and also checking out the reports from Flurry on app behavior and stuff.


And even though it's a comparison here to a competitive product, revmob does well to explain it here:


#5156972 AD Revenue in Google Play

Posted by on 30 May 2014 - 10:05 AM

This should help as well. When you make a game, usually you would be attaching something to make the ad revenue alongside it.


IPA or Install Per App Revenue and the CPM, which is as @frob mentioned. CPM is an amount given for every 1000 impressions.


Now here's the choice. You have different ways to monetize it, and it's entirely up to you. For the purpose of demonstrating, lets use revmob and flurry.


Revmob pays a higher amount for the IPA, which is around $2 - $4, but the CPM is lower at I think between $.50 - $1.5

Flurry though has a lower IPA, but a higher CPM. IPA is between $.20 - $.40. CPM is between $2 to $8.


So for the purpose of everything, you'll need to decide on the kind of game you're going forwards with. If it's a shitty one level game that is your first release, and you want to make some money, you would want to look for something that can give you the higher IPA, which would help with future products.


Now on the other side, if you are making something, and you expect that more people would be playing it and stuff (aka the game lifetime is going to be pretty long), then the best bet for you is to find something that can give you a higher CPM.


Now here is something else. Just because hypothetically you have 1 million downloads it doesn't mean that you have 1 million active users. We've found for us that the conversion rate for our games and contracts is at around 55%. Meaning that 55% of new players stick around to become MAU or monthly active users.


1 month later, that number will decline by 55%. 2 months, by 7.8%, 3 months? 3.8%. 4 months? 2.2%.


Something else you want to factor in, is how many of those people will become whales. Whales, cash cows, your choice. On average, you'll find that 2.2% of the MAU purchase on average. That itself is broken up even further. Out of that 2.2%, 48.8% purchase once. 21.2% purchase twice. 10.7% purchase three times. 6.1% purchase four times, and 13.2% purchase five times or more. Now these are averages, meaning that depending on your game, these numbers can vary.


So lets say with an XYZ game, we are doing a campaign of around 20k a year, starting in June. Facebook is at $.12 a click, Youtube is lets say $.04 a click. So for that month, we are doing a 50/50 spread on the campaign, giving each thing about $1,428.57. Estimated amount of unique visitors is at 47,619 people.


Now since we didn't do our market research correctly, and did just a blanket campaign, we are getting a turnover rate of 30%. The turnover rate is from Advertisement to App download.


So then we have an estimate of 14,286 app downloads. 55% of them become MAU, so we have an estimate of 7,857 MAU out of that batch. 2.2% of those MAU who become whales leaves us with 173 potential whales.


Now for the 173 whales we have, 84 of them purchase 1 time. Each purchase is about $3 by the way. 37 people purchase twice, 19 three times, 11 four times, 23 five plus. The numbers are a bit rounded anyways. So the Total Monthly Estimate for in-app purchases is at around 1,122 USD.


Since we have 14286 app downloads, and lets say we are using flurry, we are getting $.20 per IPA, so $2,857.20.

Our total amount of impressions is at around 30. That's going as low as possible, in saying each person is shown an advertisement one time each day in a 30 day month. So at $2.00 for every 1000 impressions, we are getting $857.16 total.


that gives us an estimate of the IPA + IAP + CPM of $4,836.36 for the first month. Next month, when calculating the TAU (total amount of users) against the EIU (estimated impression per user) and the CPM, we are adding on the total amount of MAU that has degraded each month as well.


That should give you a better estimate on how much money you would be making, so enjoy.


Key Terms I used:

IPA (Install Per App Revenue)

IAP (In App Purchases)

CPM (Cost Per Thousand)

MAU (Monthly Active Users)

TAU (Total Amount of Users)

EIU (Estimated Impressions per User)

#5156217 MyGame GDD

Posted by on 27 May 2014 - 01:43 AM

Here is an example of the GDD that we use. You can find the pdf here: http://payhip.com/b/TIcB
It's free anyhow, and if you find it useful please do share it with others.

It contains the Story Bible like what you partly created, but also contains the technical bible and art bible as well. Cheers!




1 liner description


© 2013 Sanctuary Game Studios, LLC. All rights reserved.

Version 1. Sagger Khraishi. Date.


Table of Contents Index


  1. Design History

    1. Summary

  2. Game Overview

    1. Game Concept

    2. Feature Set

    3. Genre

    4. Target Audience

    5. Game Flow Summary

    6. Look and Feel

    7. Project Scope

      1. Number of locations

      2. Number of levels

      3. Number of NPC's

      4. Number of Weapons

      5. Etc.

  3. Gameplay and Mechanics

    1. Gameplay

      1. Game Progression

      2. Mission | Challenge Structure

      3. Puzzle Structure

      4. Objectives

      5. Play Flow

    2. Mechanics

      1. Physics

      2. Movement

        1. General Movement

        2. Other Movement

      3. Objects

        1. Picking Up Objects

        2. Moving Objects

      4. Actions

        1. Switches and Buttons

        2. Picking up, Carrying and Dropping

        3. Talking

        4. Reading

      5. Combat

      6. Economy

    3. Screen Flow

      1. Screen Flow Chart

      2. Screen Descriptions

        1. Main Menu Screen

        2. Options Screen

        3. Etc.

      3. Game Options

      4. Replaying and Saving

      5. Cheats and Easter Eggs

  4. Story, Setting, and Character

    1. Story and Narrative

      1. Back Storyboard

      2. Plot Elements

      3. Game Progression

      4. License Considerations

      5. Cut Scenes

        1. Cut Scene #1

          1. Actors

          2. Description

          3. Storyboard

          4. Script

        2. Cut Scene #2

          1. Actors

          2. Description

          3. Storyboard

          4. Script

        3. Cut Scene #3

          1. Actors

          2. Description

          3. Storyboard

          4. Script

    2. Game World

      1. General Look and feel of world

      2. Area #1

        1. General Descriptions

        2. Physical Characteristics

        3. Levels that use area

        4. Connections to other areas

      3. Area #2

        1. General Descriptions

        2. Physical Characteristics

        3. Levels that use area

        4. Connections to other areas

    3. Characters

      1. Character #1

        1. Back Story

        2. Personality

        3. Look

          1. Physical Characteristics

          2. Animations

          3. Special Abilities

          4. Relevance to game story

          5. Relationship to other characters

          6. Statistics

      2. Character #2

          1. Back Story

          2. Personality

          3. Look

            1. Physical Characteristics

            2. Animations

            3. Special Abilities

            4. Relevance to game story

            5. Relationship to other characters

            6. Statistics

        1. Etc.

  5. Levels

    1. Level #1

      1. Synopsis

      2. Introductory Material

      3. Objectives

      4. Physical Description

      5. Map

      6. Critical Path

      7. Encounters

      8. Level Walkthrough

      9. Closing Material

    2. Level #2

    3. etc.

    4. Training Level

  6. Interface

    1. Visual System

      1. HUD

      2. Menus

      3. Rendering System

      4. Camera

      5. Lighting Models

    2. Control system

    3. Audio

    4. Music

    5. Sound Effects

    6. Help System

  7. Artificial Intelligence

    1. Opponent AI

    2. Enemy AI

    3. Non-combat Characters

    4. Friendly Characters

    5. Support AI

      1. Player and Collision Detection

      2. Pathfinding

  8. Technical

    1. Target Hardware

    2. Development hardware and software

    3. Development procedures and standards

    4. Game Engine

    5. Network

    6. Scripting Language

    7. etc.

  9. Game Art

    1. Concept Art

    2. Style Guides

    3. Characters

    4. Environments

    5. Equipment

    6. Cut Scenes

    7. Miscellaneous

  10. Secondary Software

    1. Editor

    2. Installer

    3. Update Software

  11. Management

    1. Detailed Schedule

    2. Budget

    3. Risk Analysis

    4. Localization Plan

    5. Test Plan

  12. Appendices

    1. Asset List

      1. Art

        1. Model and Texture List

        2. Animation List

        3. Effects List

        4. Interface Art List

        5. Cut Scene List

      2. Sound

        1. Environmental Sounds

        2. Weapon Sounds

        3. Interface Sounds

      3. Music

        1. Ambient

        2. “Action”

        3. Victory

        4. Defeat

      4. Voice

        1. Actor #1 Lines

        2. Actor #2 Lines

        3. Etc.

[edit: the rest of this is just a bit too much for a simple thread. Just get the free pdf for the rest]

#5155473 Good game design software?

Posted by on 23 May 2014 - 10:01 AM

I do everything on paper, then scan and move the stuff (if it's art), to illustrator or photoshop to work on. If it's writing, then paper first and then on a computer. Basically, if the paper model works, then I would go ahead with the game.


If you don't have photoshop, go with gimp or maybe deviant art's muro or something. Illustrator, I think the free version is called inkscape? If you are using Unity, then the ability to put in the psd's is pretty great.


Or are you working on something for 3d? Maya, poser, bryce, depends on what you are most familiar with and stuff.

#5084255 Barcode Scanning in Mobile Games: How do you take it beyond random battles?

Posted by on 08 August 2013 - 03:57 PM

Do you remember those barcoding games from the 90's that let you scan soup barcodes to reveal monsters to fight?  The idea was so awesome but the technology didn't let you do much.


There are a few examples of mobile games that use this functionality and I'd like to discuss how this can be implemented into a mobile game that is fun and not just gimmicky.  Examples include Codemon (Android) and Barcode Beasties (android) where the monsters you fight (other than against other players in multiplayer) are found within the codes, but that's about as far as it goes.


I've been talking with some friends and we came up with a couple ideas.

1. Obviously let the barcodes contain monsters to fight.

2. Include chances to find items or powerup instead of monsters. 

3. Limit the number of barcode scans using an energy mechanic (ie takes 20 energy for one scan, player has 200 energy per day).


So far, the barcode mechanic seems to be only another way of wading into the tall grass (pokemon) to find random encounters. 

What other ways could barcoding be used to go further than this?


Consumer Gods. Create your own god based on what you eat, or rather, what you would spend on. Each barcode would add some meat or skeleton or flesh to the character, so that if you scan the barcode off of an instant noodle cup, you would get the super power of spearing enemies with ramen. Or if you eat a lot of meat, you would create someone with higher physical poweress.


That would be the first step. When you create the player base with that, then start off a game where you can battle your friends with your creations. And each battle would mean that the winner would take a barcode ingredient from the losing player or players. Have a ranking system where you can find the super consumers, who would set the rules for the matches below them. Have a website dedicated to the hall of fame, where you would see how long a person kept first place for. Sign off deals with different companies, so that if the player scans their items in particular, they would get special buffs.


Okay, so I went off on a different tangent there, but you can recreate a whole new game with just barcodes. And somehow, that would be pretty awesome. (Goes back to work, kicking that rusty bucket of a game).

#5003513 Creating small businesses to operate in and out of a game

Posted by on 23 November 2012 - 08:53 AM

Hello, I am creating a project for a game, but I am wondering about the use of creating smaller businesses that operate within the game itself and outside? There is the cyrogenics and human augmentation company, a publishing house and news agency, education group, and a Schematic design group.

I guess I should describe the game itself a bit: The game is a post apocalyptic game, with the idea that on the onset of nuclear war, Sanctuary started preparing cyrogenic pods that would be sent out to space, only to return when it would be relatively safe to re-colonize Earth. The board of trustees, raised on a generation of fantasy games, saw this as an opportunity to apply shock economics. As part of re-engineering humans so that they can survive on the new earth, they began to release mythical animals to the world populace and blame it on nuclear fallout. The players come back to the world only to find that the natural scenery has changed, and that they would need to rebuild their civilization(s).

Hence the game, Ground Zero.

So for the companies, they are as follows:
Sanctuary Cyrogenics & Human Augmentation
  • Main company in the game, they would be the way that players can sign up for the game later on, by joining as "potential pioneers". But until then, news feeds, events and goals would keep on coming up - up until the game's release and afterwards.
Utopia Publishing House and News Agency
  • The news agency aspect would keep track of news from around the world, and the point would be to compact it, and then eventually send it up into satellites that are programmed to fall back to earth after a set amount of years. This would be so that the player would be comforted with what happened after they were put into sleep.
  • The publishing house would do the same thing, except with stories, history, to make sure that the pioneers would not lose the amount of information that was learned over the centuries. This would tie in to Blactec Education.
Blactech education
  • For future pioneers, this group recorded lectures from various professionals in order to teach the pioneers different skills that they would need to survive in the new world. The idea for this group is to tie in real world education degrees, and tie it in with the game for those that are interested. I remember reading about Stanford university and others releasing free lectures online for people to learn - and this would be a step in order to compact and re-distribute learning.
  • I think the biggest problem would be this group, but it would be amazing if at one point, you can get a real world degree from attending the different lectures and classes from within the game. This would benefit those people that learn through experience or by hand - as well as not having enough money to pay for university.
Infinity Schematics Design
  • This group would specialize in schematic design, which is a part of the game. It would allow you to create your own schematics from here, and submit them for your character to use in game. Or you could purchase schematics from here directly - instead of making your own for your character's use.
I want to avoid the use of these companies as a method for just advertisement, but as another way to build a stronger relationship between the player and the game. Thoughts?