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(First Gaming App) Marketing Expectations and knowing when to quit?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Rotavele, Feb 16, 2016.

  1. Rotavele

    Rotavele

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2016
    Posts:
    29
    (If you're short on time or are not interested in my backstory, my direct-to-the-point questions are at the bottom of this post. Thank you for your time.)

    Hello all,

    I am Stacy and I have been developing a few mobile gaming apps over the past year using a variety of platforms, but have fallen in love with unity. While none of my projects have completely made it to the finish line, the experience and learning was well worth the investment of time. However, now I've finally made it to where a gaming app of mine is in its last week(s) of development.

    From reading marketing tips, tricks, and info along this past year: I've noticed that a lot of people are so into their games and ideas that they do not know when to give up on one that isn't doing so well in the marketplace. The game concepts I've written out and planned are inherently unique and build on a lot of the current top games out there to create new avenues and gaming ideas that I would have loved to be in those games. I'm aware that this makes my gaming apps a bit more risky to not appeal to gamers other than myself.

    I was wondering if someone who has experienced first launching a unique game with a unique concept could give me feedback on when to realize my game isn't doing so well. I'm working with no budget and from the videos and guides of other game creators: they mostly instruct to avoid publishers, but at the same time they tell me to start out with about $5,000 and see if I make my investment back. Unfortunately, I don't even have $100. I am a bit of a loner so I don't really have many gaming friends to help with a Kickstarter campaign either. I do feel my game ideas have potential, however I am also self-disciplined enough to know that the market will be the judge of that.

    Any advice or sharing of past experiences would be very much appreciated. I realize that this post sounds like many others here, but I hope that the no budget and no friends bit is unique enough to garner some helpful advice. My game is monetizing off of non-intrusive ads with rewards, but also payers can pay to get ahead.

    Specifically here are my questions:

    1) I've noticed most resources say that 99/100 will not pay to play the game, so if I am starting out with around 5-10% of users paying to play: would you say the game is very successful?
    2) What retention rate would you consider poor, average, or above average?
    3) I'm fine with my first game failing as long as I do learn quite a bit from the experience: Should I offer incentives for feedback during alpha/beta testing runs?
    4) What topics would you consider off topic or a turn off to users? As someone who is very political (but doesn't discuss/debate it publicly), do you believe it would be a turn off to add two political parties with both giving different benefits to certain areas of the game?
    5) I'm offering limited time only cosmetic features for players who join, play, and pay during the alpha testing period: Do you believe it would make my app look as if it's begging for money if I do so, or is this a good idea?
     
  2. Schneider21

    Schneider21

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2014
    Posts:
    3,512
    For items 1 and 2, you'll have to find your own measure of success. If you're relying on the game's financial viability for your primary source of income, obviously the numbers you'd need are very different than if this is solely a hobby for you. More so than the Success/Failure label, I'd use analytics to study the progressive stats of your game and see how different areas like retention can be improved over time.

    3 and 5: I have to believe this is a matter of execution. I'm sure there's a way to make it come off as begging, or worse, extorting or pay-gating. But I'd bet it's possible to do it well enough that players don't mind it, too.

    4. Be smart about it. If it fits within the context of your game, by all means do it! But definitely avoid slapdashing anything in there for the sake of pushing an agenda (unless, of course, that is the point of the game!). For example, if your game allows the players to align with a party, the parties should be balanced in such a way that there's either a matching con for every pro, or the other party gets a separate but equally valuable perk.

    Also, welcome!
     
    Rotavele likes this.
  3. Rotavele

    Rotavele

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2016
    Posts:
    29
    I am mostly looking towards the game being a hobby. The game is community intensive so the lack of community members would be a slight issue.

    You've given some very good advice, Thank you :).
     
  4. Schneider21

    Schneider21

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2014
    Posts:
    3,512
    Good to know! If the community is an important aspect of the game, your financial goals should reflect that. Write down what's important to the game on one side of a piece of paper. On the other side, write down what's important to you. Find the area in the middle that serves both goals. When you figure out what that is, everything you do for marketing or monetizing should fit with that.

    Also, please post something in the WIP board showing off your game!
     
  5. Meltdown

    Meltdown

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2010
    Posts:
    5,840
    Hi,

    What do you mean by 'start out with about $5000'. $5000 for what?

    I disagree with avoiding publishers, I think if you can find the right publisher for your game, they can offer a lot in return. Although getting a deal with a decent publisher is very difficult and they will only sign on the cream of the crop.

    Whereas some publishers, will just slap their name on it, submit it to the app store, and not do much else with it, which is the type of publisher you would want to avoid.
     
    theANMATOR2b and Kiwasi like this.