Sunday, July 11, 2010

iPhone App Game Development Blog #32

iPhone App Game Development Blog #32

Now proud to be a part of the iDevBlogADay group started by @mysterycoconut! Read the other blogs and support independent game development!

180 for iPhone - Things are okay with 180! The game is out two months now (and change), still chugging along. We've been planning to put out an update for some time now, Ben and I are just both extremely busy with other things to pick up the pace. At the very least, I want to have a new icon and screenshots for the iTunes page, and ideally that would all be submitted within a weeks' time. I said that a week ago, I know. I roughed up a new icon, I am considering making a few variations and showing them off for voting. I'd like to do that by Wednesday, depending on how things go.

In other news, looking at our numbers we are getting decent downloads for our Free version but that's not really translating to wonderful sales. Having a free version when your app costs $2 and above makes sense, but as we've lowered our price to 99cents for weeks now, I wonder if it is eating our sales a bit. We decided to mothball the Free for a little while and see how that impacts things; maybe give it a week and decide what to do from there.

I've been extraordinarily active on the forums lately, it's always been a priority to maintain a strong presence there but recently I've made a point to make things a bit more interactive (sponsoring little giveaways, that sort of thing). It costs money, but one really needs to consider that some kind of decent marketing budget is absolutely essential if you want to get people interested. It certainly promotes goodwill and endears you to your fanbase. This is all still a work-in-progress, so I will report back later with how successful it's ultimately been - though at the very least, it's getting thousands of extra pairs of eyeball on our game's TouchArcade thread, which is no bad thing!

What Else is Going On - as usual, I feel like I am busier than I have ever been in my life, which is ultimately good news! I have been invited to speak at an Independent Games Panel at PAX Prime in September, which will be extremely interesting for me. Until this year I'd been heavy on blogging but lite on any other kind of exposure, since then I have appeared on a couple of podcasts, interviewed at some websites, and now a public appearance to boot will surely help things as well. As for my next game, I have a programmer waiting on me still to help wrap up his project, code-named "3" (for a variety of reasons). It's been sitting on the shelf for a long time, and we really need to wrap that up before the month's end, and get moving forward with whatever's next. Of all the things in my life right now, the one thing I want to do is sit down and start prototyping the next game from scratch.

That's all for now, I need to write a Retro Game post and then get back to some freelance work. I want to recommend that people look at this NeoGaf post which gives a very unique look inside the development of Nintendo's early Game & Watch LCD titles from the early 1980s, pre-NES days. The thread links to a very involved interview (in Japanese), but the thread itself contains a very detailed translation, it's a wonderful must-read!

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