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The Call of the Dark Side

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So I've been working on a little Android game for a while now. Mainly as a first effort, small scope, learn the technology sorta deal. So it's pretty simple in concept.

Anyway it's getting to the end of development now, mainly just polishing and tweaking, so I decided to take a crack at making an ad supported version. Generally Ad Mob is meant to integrate with standard Android UI elements, and not just an all encompassing OpenGL ES canvas, so it look a little shoe horning to get it in there, but it's in now.

I had been loading it up and trying it out, clicking the ads and testing how well my app resumed and such. And then I looked at my Ad Mob account... I had made $0.02!!! That's real money! I mean not a lot obviously, but man! I was expecting like $0.00000001 or something! I mean after all it had only been me messing around for a few hours testing my app!

Now up until this point I had been taking care to only show ads in non-intrusive places, like on the menus, or only after you died in the game. But man! For a moment I had a flash of "holy cr@p! I could make real money off of this! Lets put ads EVERYWHERE!!!!"

I started rationalizing to myself how I could display ads during the actual game play, and I could use Ad Mob's feature for interstitial ads ( for those of you that don't know, an interstitial ad is one that takes up the whole screen and is usually placed in the middle of a flow between screens and must be manually skipped to continue on to the next screen, they are terribly terribly annoying ) to get even more ads in there!

I began tweaking some things and then stopped myself. I know how I feel about ad supported software to begin with. And especially software that's just crammed with intrusive ads all over the place. Usually doesn't stay installed on my phone too long.

I want this to be software that I would want to use. I want it to be a quality (if small) game that can still make at least some money. I plan on releasing the ad supported version along with a $1 ad free version. I feel like that's the best compromise. And one that I would be happy with as a consumer & gamer.

But man... wouldn't it be awesome to see that # in Ad Mob go way up ;)
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Very cool. Personally I don't mind add funded apps however, the biggest issue I have with add funded apps is they usually place an add in the worst possible place that usually covers up something important. For instance the ESPN Score Center app is notorious for this to the point where I filed numerous bug reports and never got solved. They place the add obstructing the view of the scores. This is irritating especially when you look at the UI for the app and you can outright see a place to place the add that is not intrusive or does not hurt the usability of the app in general.

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What do you mean, dark side? Money is so shiny! :)

Make sure to display ads on the Game Over screen, when the player is most likely to be frantically/randomly tapping the screen in frustration. Haha!

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@kiwibonga Haha ya a friend of mine actually suggested putting an ad dangerously close to the OK button so ppl would hit it on accident :P In the end I just put it @ the top of the screen though...

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Being realistic it doesn't make any sense to annoy your customers with ad's in annoying places. That would only serve to make people hate your game, give it a low rating and write nasty things in the review. The first thing I ever do when I'm about to download an android app is to read the reviews.

However, we are in this business to make money and there's nothing wrong with ad revenue. A better situation is to make a game that people want to play and like but also make people pay attention to the ads.

kiwibonga already commented that you should put ad's in the game over screen. I happen to agree, but not for the same reason. People are most likely to click on an ad when they have finished playing because their focus and attention is no longer on the game.
[b] [/b]

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Ads on software I download are conflated with malware for me and seeing a popup ad devalues the app for me no matter how good the app and how unintrusive the ad.

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