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The latest on game marketing and monetization.

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[font=inherit]With [/font]over 5 million apps available in the leading app stores[font=inherit], the chances of your game being discovered by a stroke of luck are sadly not very high. Knowing that, some indie game developers have turned to contests (like our [/font]Appodeal Indie Game Blast Off Contest[font=inherit]) to get their games in front of a wider audience, as well as the movers and shakers of the mobile gaming industry. [/font]

[font=inherit]Submitting your game for a contest is an excellent strategy as the benefits far outweigh the cost. After all, it only takes a few seconds to enter a contest.[/font]


[font=inherit]If[/font][font=inherit] your game does get chosen as the winner, a finalist or even for the short-list, your game will likely catch the eye of someone who can take it to the next level.[/font]

[font=inherit]But thataEUR(TM)s a big aEURoeif.aEUR? The hardest part is making sure your game even makes it to the short-list round. After reviewing hundreds of game submissions for the Appodeal Indie Game Blast Off Contest, weaEUR(TM)ve noticed some common issues that prevent games from being short-listed.[/font]

[font=inherit]Here are some common pitfalls to avoid as you think about submitting your game.[/font]

[font=inherit]1. DonaEUR(TM)t overwhelm new players with a bunch of complicated rules[/font]


[font=inherit]Contest judges, like your typical players, have a short attention span, and an even shorter amount of time to try your game. If your game requires a manual that takes longer than a minute to even begin playing, then youaEUR(TM)ve already lost the player.[/font]



[indent=1]WhataEUR(TM)s better is to ease your players into your game by introducing new gameplay rules progressively.


IMG_3973.png


Bring Them Home (iOS, Android), a finalist of the Appodeal Indie Game Blast Off Contest, introduces just one new gameplay rule per level as players progress to ease them into the game.

[font=inherit]2. DonaEUR(TM)t make your new players feel like losers[/font]


[font=inherit]Imagine your players downloaded your game and just learned the rules. Now they are ready to play. Two seconds in, aEURoeGame over!aEUR? Another two second seconds, aEURoeGame over!aEUR? One more tryaEUR|now three seconds in, aEURoeGame over!aEUR? Another tryaEUR| nope. There are no more tries. Your players have simply given up out of frustration.[/font]


[font=inherit]If you make your game too easy to lose, especially in the beginning, you risk making your players think that the game is too hard for them. TheyaEUR(TM)d think they suck at your game and stop playing it.[/font]



[indent=1]

[font=inherit][font=inherit]Make your players feel like they are winners in your game. Balance your gameaEUR(TM)s difficulty by making it challenging but not impossible to progress, especially in the beginning. If losing frequently is integral to the game, donaEUR(TM)t make the players wait long before the new round can begin.[/font][/font]


screen520x924-4.jpeg


Dot Me Out! (iOS, Android), the 1st runner up of the Appodeal Indie Blast Off Contest, strikes a great balance of being challenging but not impossible to progress. Starting a new round frequently is a big part of the game design. Since new rounds start instantly though, it does not create a frustrating gaming experience but effectively adds to the engagement to the game.

[font=inherit]3. DonaEUR(TM)t make your new players wait[/font]


[font=inherit]Many game openings are great. They engage players in the gameaEUR(TM)s world, introduce the main characters and set the tone of the game. Funny ones are even greater! If they are over 30 seconds, though, then they are not so great. Your players are excited to play. They did not expect to watch a movie.[/font]



[indent=1]

[font=inherit][font=inherit]Try to avoid long game openings, especially with text slowly fading in and out. If you must have a long opening, at least make it skippable. Otherwise, the next game is up![/font][/font]


Screen-Shot-2017-03-08-at-6.55.15-PM-1024x539.png


Runaway Duffy (Android), a finalist of the Appodeal Indie Game Blast Off Contest, features an engaging opening to draw players into the storyline of Duffy tragically running away from home. It also happens to be skippable.

[font=inherit]4. DonaEUR(TM)t welcome your new playersaEUR| with ad after ad[/font]


[font=inherit]As a mobile adtech company, it might seem strange for us to discourage you from showing too many ads. We do enjoy seeing Indie Developers monetize from ads, but only when itaEUR(TM)s [/font]done the right way[font=inherit].[/font]


[font=inherit]Serving ads right after your players open your game is simply one of the worst ways to monetize as it harms your user retention. If your game has a small user base, boosting your user retention is key for a sustainable user acquisition strategy.[/font]



[indent=1]

[font=inherit][font=inherit]Resist the urge to serve ads, especially video interstitials, to new players. Instead, serve ads after your players have had a chance to enjoy your game first.[/font][/font]


Another important tip is to space out the frequency of your ads. For example, if your gameaEUR(TM)s round typically ends in 30 seconds, donaEUR(TM)t place a non-skippable 30 second video ad after every single round. Try placing one after every five to ten rounds and see how that improves your user retention.


[font=inherit]5. DonaEUR(TM)t bombard your new players with in-app purchases[/font]


[font=inherit]When was the last time you stepped into a store and a salesperson pitched you a product you didnaEUR(TM)t understand or want and you actually purchased it right on the spot? Never, right?[/font]

[font=inherit]If you have In-App purchases in your game and they play a big part in your monetization strategy, then you should view your game as similar to a store. If you push your players too early and too strong with IAPs, they could simply quit your game.[/font]

[font=inherit]Secondly, your IAPs have no value to new players. Players wonaEUR(TM)t spend money on IAPs unless theyaEUR(TM)ve decided to invest in your game first.[/font]

[indent=1][background=rgb(247,247,247)]Instead of wasting valuable time pushing IAPs to new players, do your best to get them hooked to your game first. Once youaEUR(TM)ve succeeded, your players will be more likely to consider making IAPs.[/background]


Screen-Shot-2017-03-08-at-4.51.30-PM.png


Top mobile game, Episode, effectively introduces in-app purchases after a player has been hooked into the storyline. IAPs in Episode unlock side stories that are only available once in the game, which instill players with a fear of missing out for not completing the purchase.

[font=inherit]6. DonaEUR(TM)t submit a rip-off of another successful game[/font]

[font=inherit]While your game doesnaEUR(TM)t have to be an out-of-this-world original, it does need to not be a complete rip-off of another hit game to be considered for the short-list.[/font]


[font=inherit]Just think what would happen if a clone copy of a hit game wins the contest inadvertently, along with the publicity that comes with it. It would be very awkward, indeed (not to mention the legal implications). [/font]

[font=inherit]Similarly, if you are hoping to replicate the success of Candy Crush, for example, by submitting a game with similar mechanics, at least try to add a different twist to the gameplay.[/font]



[indent=1]

[font=inherit][font=inherit]Aim to make your game somewhat original. Add your own twist to popular genres![/font][/font]

[font=inherit]7. DonaEUR(TM)t use generic design elements[/font]

[font=inherit]After reviewing hundreds of games, it can be difficult to distinguish one game from the next. The ones that are memorable tend to use visual designs that are original. If two of the same types of games were submitted, the one with the more creative design will likely move forward.[/font]

[font=inherit]Free visual assets are great as you get started developing your game but unique paid art can add much more value for your game in the long-run.[/font]



[indent=1]

[font=inherit][font=inherit]Try to include visual elements that are creative and memorable. Spice up your game by limiting repetitive elements.[/font][/font]


[font=inherit](Need some design resources? [/font][font=inherit]Check these out here[/font][font=inherit])[/font]


2_loony_quack.jpg


Loony Quack (Android), a finalist of the Appodeal Indie Game Blast Off Contest, with its creative character designs, such as chainsaw serial killing and grim reaper ducks, marks it as an instantly memorable shooting game.

[font=inherit]8. DonaEUR(TM)t forget to polish your game[/font]

[font=inherit]Presentation matters a lot. Unless your game is meant to have a retro 16-bit look, make sure your game design looks crisp and professional. Weed out all typos and spelling errors.[/font]



[indent=1]

[font=inherit][font=inherit]If design isnaEUR(TM)t the strongest point of your game, opt for a more clean and minimalistic style to make your game look as polished as possible.[/font][/font]


[font=inherit]A poorly polished, intricate game design is worse than a polished, simple, yet clean looking game.[/font]


screen696x696-1.jpeg


City Lines (iOS, Android), a recent finalist of the Appodeal Indie Game Blast Off Contest, stood out for its simple yet beautiful visual design, which elevated its type of puzzle game to one worthy of recognition.

[font=inherit]9. DonaEUR(TM)t forget to add a tutorial[/font]

[font=inherit]While not essential, having a tutorial in your game can be helpful for judges if they want to review your game again. It can be easy to forget the gameplay elements or the rules introduced in your gameaEUR(TM)s onboarding, especially after reviewing hundreds of other games and learning all of their rules.[/font]


[font=inherit]Including a tutorial is also good for improving user retention. If players stopped playing your game for a while, they may get confused by your game after they reopen your game and stop playing it once again.[/font]



[indent=1]

[background=#f7f7f7]Add a tutorial to remind your players the rules and goals of your game quicker.[/background]


IMG_3976-576x1024.png


Colorfill.io (iOS, Android), the winner of the Appodeal Indie Game Blast Off Contest, includes an optional tutorial for players to learn the rules, tips and different features of the game.

10. DonaEUR(TM)t assume your players are in ideal playing conditions

[font=inherit]If your game requires an internet or server connection in order to begin playing, your game should let the players know in advance. Ideally, it should also give players the option of playing without any internet connection. Otherwise, new players can be stuck perpetually in the loading screen.[/font]

[font=inherit]Furthermore, requiring new players to download additional assets immediately after the game has been installed leaves a bad taste. Instead, let players play your game to get them intrigued first. Then if they want to continue playing, your game can prompt players to download additional assets, if needed.[/font]



[indent=1]

Make your game playable even if internet connection is unavailable or spotty.


[font=inherit]Lastly, it is always good practice to make sure your game works across multiple key device models.[/font]


[font=inherit]11. DonaEUR(TM)t forget to include promo codes[/font]

[font=inherit]If you have some locked content within your game you want the judges to explore or if your game is not free, be sure to include promo codes when submitting your game.[/font]



[indent=1]

[background=#f7f7f7]When including promo codes, be sure to explain what the codes are for and why the judges should check them out.[/background]

[font=inherit]12. DonaEUR(TM)t submit a vague game description[/font]

[font=inherit]Submitting a clear brief description of your game helps remind judges of your game when it is time to narrow down all the submissions to the short-list round.[/font]



[indent=1]

[background=#f7f7f7]Try to include some concise basic points about your game, as well as include some of the more memorable aspects of it in the game description.[/background]

[font=inherit]Here is a good example:[/font]


[font=inherit]aEURoeLoony Quack is a simple, cartoonish arcade game. A player must hit a variety of crazy ducks using eggs as a weapon, just tapping on the screen. [/font][font=inherit]The game was developed on the principle aEURoeeasy to learn hard to masteraEUR?: very simple rules and intuitive interface, but with rapidly increasing of complexity. [/font][font=inherit]Each duckling in the game has an own remarkable look, unique animation and soundtrack. Also, they have names and history: [/font]http://blog.loonyquack.com/quack-crew/[font=inherit] aEURoe[/font]


Ready for that Contest?


[font=inherit]While avoiding these 12 common pitfalls wonaEUR(TM)t guarantee your game will win a contest, making sure you checked off on all of these points will decrease the likelihood of your game being rejected right off the bat.[/font]

[font=inherit]Remember, having your game included in the short-list is already quite a feat, as it increases the likelihood of your game getting noticed by someone with clout in the mobile gaming industry.[/font]

[font=inherit]Think your game is ready to enter a contest? Appodeal is now accepting games for the next Indie Game Blast Off Contest. The grand prize winner wins 10,000 installs through a mobile ad campaign powered by Appodeal, 1-on-1 mentorship with experts in the mobile gaming industry, a spot at the Indie Prize and free access and accommodation to Casual Connect.[/font]

Sharing-Logo-Red-e1495139456539.png

To enter and for more details, check out: contest.appodeal.com.

Appodeal Launches New Indie Contest with 10,000 Installs as Grand Prize

[color=rgb(0,0,0)][font=Arial][background=transparent]Appodeal Launches New Indie Contest with 10,000 Installs as Grand Prize[/background][/font][/color]

[color=rgb(0,0,0)][font=Arial][background=transparent]Appodeal is now accepting mobile game submissions for its second [/background][/font][/color][color=rgb(17,85,204)][font=Arial][background=transparent]Indie Game Blast Off Contest[/background][/font][/color][color=rgb(0,0,0)][font=Arial][background=transparent]. Indie game developers have until June 15th, 2017 to submit their game at [/background][/font][/color][color=rgb(17,85,204)][font=Arial][background=transparent]contest.appodeal.com[/background][/font][/color][color=rgb(0,0,0)][font=Arial][background=transparent] for a chance to win 10,000 installs, 1-on-1 mentorship with industry veterans and more.[/background][/font][/color]

[color=rgb(0,0,0)][font=Arial][background=transparent]The grand prize includes:[/background][/font][/color]



  • [background=transparent]10,000 installs of winning game through a mobile ad install campaign powered by Appodeal[/background]



  • [background=transparent]1-on-1 mentorship with mobile gaming industry experts[/background]


  • [background=transparent]Free access and accommodation for two to [/background][color=rgb(17,85,204)][background=transparent]Casual Connect[/background][/color]


  • [background=transparent]Spot at the [/background][color=rgb(17,85,204)][background=transparent]Indie Prize Showcase[/background][/color]


  • [background=transparent]Publishing opportunities[/background]


    [color=rgb(0,0,0)][font=Arial][background=transparent]aEURoe[/background][/font][/color][color=rgb(17,85,204)][font=Arial][background=transparent]Appodeal[/background][/font][/color][color=rgb(0,0,0)][font=Arial][background=transparent] was originally created by game publishers for publishers and we want to give back to our indie game developer community. Too often we see lots of great mobile indie games perish due to lack of players or revenue. By running this contest, we want to give games with great potential the boost they need to take them to the next level,aEUR? said Pavel Golubev, CEO of Appodeal.[/background][/font][/color]

    [color=rgb(0,0,0)][font=Arial][background=transparent]The first contest received around 200 indie game submissions, including indie titles such as [/background][/font][/color][color=rgb(17,85,204)][font=Arial][background=transparent]Dot Me Out![/background][/font][/color][color=rgb(0,0,0)][font=Arial][background=transparent], [/background][/font][/color][color=rgb(17,85,204)][font=Arial][background=transparent]City Lines[/background][/font][/color][color=rgb(0,0,0)][font=Arial][background=transparent], and [/background][/font][/color][color=rgb(17,85,204)][font=Arial][background=transparent]Osteya[/background][/font][/color][color=rgb(0,0,0)][font=Arial][background=transparent] (App Store Best of 2016). Twelve finalists were chosen, among which the public voted to declare [/background][/font][/color][color=rgb(17,85,204)][font=Arial][background=transparent]Colorfill.io[/background][/font][/color][color=rgb(0,0,0)][font=Arial][background=transparent] as the grand prize winning game.[/background][/font][/color]

    [color=rgb(0,0,0)][font=Arial][background=transparent]The new contestaEUR(TM)s mentors include:[/background][/font][/color]



    • [background=transparent]Chris OaEUR(TM)Kelly - Director of Mobile Product at [/background][color=rgb(17,85,204)][background=transparent]Nexon[/background][/color][background=transparent].[/background]

      [indent=1]

      [color=rgb(0,0,0)][font=Arial][background=transparent]OaEUR(TM)Kelly first started in the mobile gaming space at Aeria Games in 2009 as Producer on MMOs and FPS and eventually became Director Live Operations for Kabam EU in 2013. He worked on popular titles such as Neverwinter, The Hobbit: Kingdoms of Middle-Earth and MarvelaEUR(TM)s Contest of Champions, among others. OaEUR(TM)Kelly now works at NEXON as Director Mobile Product, drawing on his expertise in sourcing high potential Indie developers for publishing/ investments.[/background][/font][/color]



      • [background=transparent]Marco Busse - Product Optimization Manager at [/background][color=rgb(17,85,204)][background=transparent]European Games Group[/background][/color][background=transparent].[/background]

        [indent=1]

        [color=rgb(0,0,0)][font=Arial][background=transparent]Busse has worked in the mobile gaming industry for 5 years, helping developers publish and scale their games worldwide with his insights on analytics, business intelligence, game design, monetization and in-game economics. Having worked with over 20 games and 10 studios over the years, BusseaEUR(TM)s work has entertained more than 60 million players worldwide. [/background][/font][/color]



        • [background=transparent]Diana Bogdanova - Senior Developers Relations Manager at [/background][color=rgb(17,85,204)][background=transparent]Appodeal[/background][/color][background=transparent].[/background]

          [indent=1]

          [color=rgb(0,0,0)][font=Arial][background=transparent]Bogdanova is AppodealaEUR(TM)s in-house star on helping game publishers succeed, especially from a monetization perspective. As a frequent attendee of mobile gaming conferences where she meets regularly with industry experts, game publishers and up-and-coming indie game developers, Bogdanova has keen insights to help developers succeed in this fast-evolving industry and market.[/background][/font][/color]

          [color=rgb(0,0,0)][font=Arial][background=transparent]After June 15th 2017, the top finalists will be selected based on the following criteria:[/background][/font][/color]



          • [background=transparent]The Hook (30 points) - Is the game fun right from the start?[/background]


          • [background=transparent]The Mechanics (20 points) - Is the gameplay polished enough for primetime?[/background]


          • [background=transparent]The Design (10 points) - Is the game visually stunning and creatively thought-out?[/background]


          • [background=transparent]The aEURoeMid-CoreaEUR? (Bonus 10 points) - If the game is made for the aEURoemid-coreaEUR? audience, thataEUR(TM)s an automatic 10 bonus points.[/background]


            [color=rgb(0,0,0)][font=Arial][background=transparent]Once the finalists have been selected, the contest will be open for a public voting period. The finalist with the most votes by the end of the voting period will be the declared the Grand Prize Winner of the contest.[/background][/font][/color]

            [color=rgb(0,0,0)][font=Arial][background=transparent]Our first contestaEUR(TM)s grand prize winner, [/background][/font][/color][color=rgb(17,85,204)][font=Arial][background=transparent]Colorfill.io[/background][/font][/color][color=rgb(0,0,0)][font=Arial][background=transparent], and the top finalists can be found [/background][/font][/color][color=rgb(17,85,204)][font=Arial][background=transparent]here[/background][/font][/color][color=rgb(0,0,0)][font=Arial][background=transparent].[/background][/font][/color]

            [color=rgb(0,0,0)][font=Arial][background=transparent]>> Enter Contest: [/background][/font][/color][color=rgb(17,85,204)][font=Arial][background=transparent]Indie Game Blast Off Contest[/background][/font][/color]

Colorfill.io Wins the Appodeal Indie Game Blast Off Contest

[font=arial]Hundreds of mobile indie game developers around the world submitted their game to the [color=rgb(17,85,204)]Appodeal[/color] Indie Game Blast Off Contest, which launched in November 2016. Twelve top finalists were chosen for their potential to become the next big mobile game. After an intensely competitive public voting period, one game successfully pulled ahead. Appodeal is excited to announce that the grand prize winner of the contest is Colorfill.io by [color=rgb(17,85,204)]Grandline Studios[/color].[/font]

[font=arial]"We are absolutely ecstatic and delighted! It was a great feeling to be chosen as one of the finalists, and now to find out that we've actually won the contest, we are totally blown away!" said Habib Niazi, Co-Founder and CEO of GrandLine Studios. "We're very grateful to all the people who supported us by voting in the contest and helped us to secure the win, and finally, we are really excited about the impact the prizes will have on our game and studio going forward."[/font]

[font=arial][color=rgb(54,54,54)]"[/color][color=rgb(17,85,204)]Appodeal[/color][color=rgb(54,54,54)] was originally created by game publishers for publishers and we want to give back to our indie game developer community. Too often we see lots of great mobile indie games perish due to lack of players or revenue. By running this contest, we want to give games with great potential the boost they need to take them to the next level," said Pavel Golubev, CEO of Appodeal.[/color][/font]

[font=arial][color=rgb(54,54,54)]The grand prize includes 10,000 installs of the winning game through a mobile ad campaign powered by Appodeal's Intelligent Ad Mediation. The winner also receives a guaranteed spot at the [/color][color=rgb(17,85,204)]Indie Prize [/color][color=rgb(54,54,54)]showcase, free access and accommodation to [/color][color=rgb(17,85,204)]Casual Connect Asia[/color][color=rgb(54,54,54)] 2017, and 1-on-1 mentorship with three mobile gaming publishers and industry experts to help guide the winner's game to reach new levels of success. [/color][/font]


[font=arial]Screenshot_1-576x1024.png[/font]


[font=arial][color=rgb(54,54,54)]"As a small indie studio, running an ad campaign of this scale would not have been an option, so it's given us an opportunity to make use of resources we wouldn't normally have access to," said Niazi.[/color][/font]

[font=arial][color=rgb(54,54,54)]"We're also hoping that with the help of the experts we can get on the fast track and springboard this achievement to even greater success and opportunities that will eventually help our game reach the top of the charts," he said. " As a result of the valuable exposure and promotion from the contest, we hope that it helps to establish us as an up and coming studio."[/color][/font]

[font=arial][color=rgb(54,54,54)]"We're a small self-funded indie studio from London, UK. We've been working on a few titles for VR and Mobile, but this is our first released game," said Niazi. [/color][/font]

[font=arial][color=rgb(54,54,54)]"Colorfill.io was actually inspired by a trip to the fun fair with my nephew. There was a ball in the bucket game stall that he kept playing on that gave me the idea," he said. "Once we had the basic idea, we continued to refine the game mechanics and features and came up with a theme that worked well with the core game, which ended up being the color wheel."[/color][/font]


[font=arial]Screenshot_3-1-576x1024.png[/font]


[font=arial][color=rgb(54,54,54)]"The basic premise of the game is to shoot colored balls into the matching colored sections of a color wheel. The goal is to fill up all the sections of the color wheel without losing all your lives, once it's full, the level is completed," said Niazi. "It's a game of skill, timing and patience!"[/color][/font]

[font=arial]Screenshot_5-1-576x1024.png[/font]


[font=arial][color=rgb(54,54,54)]The top 12 finalists were chosen by the Appodeal contest committee based on the games' hook, mechanics, design and monetization setup to gauge their potential and readiness to be at the top of the gaming charts.[/color][/font]

[font=arial][color=rgb(54,54,54)]"We learned of Appodeal after doing much research into the different Ad Mediation networks. We found lots of positive reviews about their service and we had a great experience dealing with their support team which convinced us to use them for our game," said Niazi.[/color][/font]

[color=rgb(54,54,54)]"Since integrating the SDK into our game, I'd been visiting the Appodeal site regularly and came across lots of great content on their blog, which is also where I saw the post about the contest," he said. "I immediately recognised that it would be a great opportunity for us and we'd only just launched the game, so the timing was perfect."[/color]


[font=arial]Appodeal is now accepting games for the next Indie Game Blast Off Contest. [/font]

[font=arial]The grand prize winner wins 10,000 installs through a mobile ad campaign powered by Appodeal, 1-on-1 mentorship with experts in the mobile gaming industry, a spot at the Indie Prize and free access and accommodation to Casual Connect. [/font]

[font=arial]For more details and to enter, check out: [color=rgb(17,85,204)]contest.appodeal.com[/color].[/font]


[font=arial][color=rgb(54,54,54)]Congratulations to the winner and all the finalists![/color][/font]


[font=arial][color=rgb(54,54,54)]Grand Prize Winner: Colorfill.io [/color](Download on [color=rgb(17,85,204)]Android[/color] or [color=rgb(17,85,204)]iOS[/color])[/font]

[font=arial][color=rgb(54,54,54)]1st Runner-Up: Dot Me Out! [/color](Download on [color=rgb(17,85,204)]Android[/color] or [color=rgb(17,85,204)]iOS[/color])[/font]

[font=arial][color=rgb(54,54,54)]2nd Runner-Up: City Lines [/color][color=rgb(54,54,54)](Download on [/color][color=rgb(17,85,204)]Android[/color][color=rgb(54,54,54)] or [/color][color=rgb(17,85,204)]iOS[/color][color=rgb(54,54,54)])[/color][/font]

[font=arial][color=rgb(54,54,54)]Finalists:[/color][/font]

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