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After being an indie game developer I begin to doubt myself

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Hi,everybody, I am an indie game developer from china. I build an indie game studio with my friend.I work as the only programmer and my friend works as game artist. We design the game ourself, there is no game design documents,when we need some feature we just discuss it and then work it out.We do this work as fulltime job,the game studio has been run about 6 months, but we only release a game : "Tap dragon".

 

    We first release it to google play store, but we only get 10-30 installs per day. A week later we release the iOS version on appstore , the same situation appears. We earn no more than $500 per month. We don't known how to do the marketing, so the game keeps have very small installs. I have no idea what wrong with this game.

Is it a garbage game or we lose at the marketing? We need to earn money for life, raise kids, we began to doubt myself.I need your help, here is the link of my game, would you please try it and tell me whether the game is too awful or just the marketing problem. thank you very much.

 

    Sorry , my english is not good, hope your guys can understand what I mean.

 

    Google Play : https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.lexinyou.game.dragon

AppStore: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/dragon-gogo-tap-dragon-game/id1118834435?ls=1&mt=8

 

 

 

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The game itself has a good rating. So i think it's not the game :)

I think marketing is your main weakness.

Did you do those presentations in other game forums? This would help increase spreading your notification "around the world".

500 bucks per month, with your first game is not bad at all in my opinion.

Work on your marketing and it should work. :)

 

Good luck!

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The game itself has a good rating. So i think it's not the game :)

I think marketing is your main weakness.

Did you do those presentations in other game forums? This would help increase spreading your notification "around the world".

500 bucks per month, with your first game is not bad at all in my opinion.

Work on your marketing and it should work. :)

 

Good luck!

 

 Thanks for your reply. We work hard  to complete the game , $500 can only pay the office rent , we do not have any other income for the past 5 months. So it is a little hard. 

I come here to find some comfort, and see if someone can share some marketing tricks.

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Good news is that with 10-30 installs a day (600 per month) and $500 income per month, you have a pretty healthy ARPU value of over $1... You just need more users!

You might have to hire an advertising/marketing company to help you get more users. As long as the cost to acquire 1 user is under $1, then it will be worthwhile.

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Also, don't forget about google adwords, showing your game in other peoples games.

They're pretty cheap, and can work well if you have a game with a good rating

 

Just having it on the store is not enough, you definitely need some marketing to push yourself up on the top lists.

 

The sad reality is that if you are not on the top lists, and/or featured somehow somewhere, it is very hard for your users to find your game.

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I do think the video needs work. It doesn't really do a great job explaining the game (what the player can do, the scope of the game, etc). Once you have the video, it makes it easier to share the game with publications.

 

Can the player share anything from the game onto the social channels? Where are the installs coming from? Are they localised in one country? A region? Is that something you can captialise on? (e.g. China, could you advertise or share social media on WeChat?)

Edited by yaustar

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 Thank you all.

 

  Hodgman :  the ARPU can not reach $1 , the revenue is coming from appstore + playstore  so the total installs is more than 1500 per month.

 

  Olof Hedman : You are right. the users are hard to find the game. We don't have extra budget to buy google adwords , i think it's expensive.

 

  yaustar : None of us knows how to use the video process software , we just take a screen record and upload to youtube , maybe later we need to hire professionals to do. Currently the game does not contain any social share feature, later we will integrate facebook sdk in it. 

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Forgot to mention that you have to remember that you have released a product to the world which honestly not a lot independent developers have done so you have already succeeded in that respect.

 

You don't have to go full on in learning video editing software, more of think about what you want to show the user. If you only had 30 secs to convince a user to try the game, what would you show them? 

 

Without any social integration, it makes it hard for players to share and therefore makes it hard for the player base to grow organically.

Edited by yaustar

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For a new game, 500$ is not great, it is amazing.

You need to work on your user acquisition and retention.

 

In terms of acquisition, now that you are making 500$, you should put some of that into marketing. There are several channels and facebook native app install is still one of the most successful (but expensive) ones.

You can send it for blogs and reviewers for more exposure.

 

For retention, measure everything, check where and when the users are exiting the game and if there is a way to fix that.

 

 

Now to be realistic, assuming you will live and pay your rent from your first game, is not really that feasible. Maybe when you reach your 10-15th game, but it seems the game is on the way of becoming a hit.

 

Good luck.

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