Friday, June 18, 2010

iPhone App Game Development Blog #29

iPhone App Game Development Blog #29

"Gosh, it's been awhile!"

180 for iPhone - Our game has been out for about a month and a half (paid), and just about a month for the Free version. How do things stand? Pretty good! We've got tons of wonderful reviews on several sites (linked down below at and we had decent sales on iTunes as well. A week ago, we partnered with and put the full version out for free for a couple of days. We expected maybe a couple thousand downloads, but what happened was incredible (it shot way beyond our expectations!) Sadly, with a huge amount of downloads comes also a huge amount of 1-star iTunes rankings, and we are down from 4.5 to 3 like almost everyone else on the App Store. I should note that this isn't to remark on the quality of the game, but the fact that when you go free you open up a to huge amount of people who will look at your game, close it out just at the title screen and then grief you with a 1-star, unless your game looks like 35 people developed it for a PS2.

We are very happy with the games' success, and trying to push it to "that next level" and see if we can break through. It's been a very exciting time.

Also, please note that 180 is now priced at 99 cents!

E3 - this week Headcase Games attended the biggest game industry convention in he world, which just happens to take place about 6 miles from my apartment. Of course this was huge for us - I've been to E3 several times, but usually as a monkey in a larger studio, so E3 had always been about partying and playing games and chilling out with friends. As an independent developer in a new market - with a recently-released project to push - my goal was not to take a breather, but to get out there and work the scene as much as possible. We printed classy flyers, we printed fancy stickers, we commissioned 180-branded iPhone "snuggie" cases to hand out (I think we were the only indie iPhone devs handing out E3 swag!), and just went to work. Barely setting foot on the actual show floor, I spent the majority of the event in the lobby, the Gordon Biersch bar, or external areas having lots of meetings, scheduled or impromptu whenever the opportunity presented itself (which was quite often).

(click on images to enlarge)
Ron from Headcase Games and Gavin from Retrodreamer prepare to enter the West Hall for some SSO (Serious Sensory Overload!)

MVG from video-game cover band extraordinaire Tanuki Suit Riot and Ben from Headcase Games enjoying a couple of beverages on Kotaku's dime at their pre-E3 party at the Broadway Bar.

8Bit Weapon played the VGChartz party (also Broadway Bar) the following night. The Megas followed up with a tight set! No free drinks that night though :(

E3 - come for the booth babes, stick around for some free hamburgers.

Ron from Headcase Games meets Eugene Jarvis of Raw Thrills. We got the creator of Robotron and Defender to test out 180!

Guerilla marketing. Sorry mom.

180 swag. There's a bunch left and it will be distributed at upcoming LA-area events. Thanks to 16-Bit Fashion for supplying the extremely popular iPhone snuggies!

Huge thanks to The VGO B-Team for having me as a guest on their E3 Day 1 Wrap-Up podcast.

Here's what E3 was really all about for me. These are cards I collected from many of my meetings during those 3 hectic days. It was a busy time!

Lastly, I want to apologize for lapsing so horribly with Retro Game of the Day. I was unprepared for how much the lead-up to E3 would be, never mind actually dealing with it once it started. We are a small operation and something had to give. Retro reviews will resume tomorrow as usual. Thanks for sticking by us!

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