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Need external point of view to improve my game !

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Arkasis, Aug 23, 2015.

  1. Arkasis

    Arkasis

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    Hi guys,

    I released my first game as an indie game developer some month ago...

    Here it is : https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.SloubiGames.GluttonLeon

    Actually, this game really doesn't have downloads.
    I spent some money on ads to "start the pump" but it was a waste of money.

    I'm looking for some "external point of view" in order to help me to see what is clearly wrong on this game and what I can fix.

    I think I got some clues :
    • Bad game title ?
    • Game too difficult ?
    I will really appreciate if you could give me some advises or a simple and objective review on my game.

    Thanks a lot for your time.
     
    jpthek9 likes this.
  2. QFSW

    QFSW

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    You say it doesn't have any downloads, then it has 1000-5000 installs
    How many downloads were you expecting or looking for?
     
  3. Arkasis

    Arkasis

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    To be honest, I obtained 80% of my players with ads and now, I do not spent anymore money...
    I got 1 - 3 installs per day (without ads) which is really low.
    So I'm trying to check what I'm doing wrong with user acquisition to correct it and I need some advises on game "marketing".
    Remember that it is a free to play game so 1000 downloads is a really low number :'(
     
  4. QFSW

    QFSW

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    Is this your first game or do you already have a name?
    If this was my first I would be very happy with 1000 downloads
    1 download per day would be good for me :)
    But I realise you may have different expectations
    Did you do this for fun? the learning experience? or money?
     
  5. Arkasis

    Arkasis

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    I was a professional game developer during 4 years and I'm now trying to make my own games.
    I was bored to work on game concepts I dislike so I'm trying to make games I appreciate.
    But for sure, if this games could give me enough money to survive as an indie game dev, it will be awesome ;)
    I'm good on technical development but I'm really bad on communication and game marketing that's why I'm trying to learn about it.
    So to answer your question, I do this because it is my passion and I really want to make it last more than for one project so I need to make money with games I create :-/
    It's a mix with fun and money xD
     
  6. Schneider21

    Schneider21

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    I don't know if there's an answer to this, really. The game looks polished and has a neat style. I'm not really positive what kind of game it is, or if I'd be interested in playing it, but... it definitely looks "good."

    There's a big discussion in another thread here about marketing issues. In this case, I think just being part of a flooded market is why you're having slower performance than you'd like. You just might have to invest more in ads, maybe?*

    * - I am not an expert and have had 0 downloads on my 0 released games.
     
  7. QFSW

    QFSW

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    Don't get me wrong and don't be offended, and I could also be completely wrong, but maybe its your trailer? Whilst it looks good, it kinda needs to quickly and snappily show you what you do in the game and the bare bones of its mechanics.
     
  8. Arkasis

    Arkasis

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    Hum, you think that the trailer doesn't show enough of the game mechanics... It is true, there is too few minutes of gameplay to really understand the game.
    I will add that to my to do list =)
    Thanks for this comment.
     
  9. QFSW

    QFSW

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    No problem :)
    All the best of luck with your game, I haven't played it but it certainly looks polished and appealing
     
  10. delinx32

    delinx32

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    Looks good. I understood the mechanics from the trailer, but that might be because it reminds of one of the mini games from an old xbox game called shrek super party.
     
  11. JamesLeeNZ

    JamesLeeNZ

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    Whats good:

    Icon/graphics. All look very nice/polished
    Video: Shows gameplay across multiple levels, has sound fx, etc - looks generally well produced

    Whats bad:

    Gameplay looks boring. All I got out of it was you tap bugs on the screen. Maybe there's more?
    Video looks like it has low fps. If I saw a video that was laggy, I sure wouldnt download it.
    IAP. $1 - $105... $105? really? What on earth do you think is worth that much?
    Description could use some more meat to it.
    Arcade: Arcade is a flooded category. I would try a different category if you can find one that suits

    Its generally a better effort than a lot of crud you see released on the store, so that's a good thing. Dont expect to live off the profits of it though. I've made about $150 with hardkour, which has 23k downloads currently, and has been out for most of a year.


    Best idea is to move on to your next game.
     
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  12. QFSW

    QFSW

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    I would say try to sort out the landing page but also move onto another game
    The more games the better, but don't let what you have go to waste
     
  13. Arkasis

    Arkasis

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    Hi James,
    Glutton Leon gameplay is based on colors combinations and accuracy.
    You have to move across a colored branch to change your body color and your hairs takes the main color of the last insect you eat.
    Some insects don't have any color and can be easily caught, others have one or two colors so you have to use your brain quickly.
    Some insects got shields or drop seeds which stun you and you will encounter magic flowers and spiders to change the gameplay.
    All of this in 6 different game modes (which are just gameplay alternatives).
    It is clearly not a AAA game but just a basic mobile arcade game you can play in toilets :X

    For InApp, it depends of the quantity of virtual money you want. You don't have to buy the 105$ to play the game but if someone wants it, here it is....

    Thanks for your comments about the categories.

    I'm working on a new game and I'm looking for a 3D graphist ^^

    But I feel sad to see so few downloads on this game :-/
     
  14. QFSW

    QFSW

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    Okay, those mechanics actually sound rather fun, but sadly I couldn't see any of that from the trailer
    Try redoing your trailer, maybe the name (not sure here, what does anybody else think?) and tweak the landing page
    I don't think the game is the problem, rather your communication to the consumers of what the game is
     
  15. JamesLeeNZ

    JamesLeeNZ

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    Ok, so I just re-watched your video.

    Never noticed the dude changing color (admittedly I didnt even realise he was a chameleon). If possible, I would make it so more than his belly changes color.

    And put some of those other details into your store page so users know that its more than just a bugs on screen clicker.
     
  16. RakeshPrakesh

    RakeshPrakesh

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    My first impressions:

    + Game looks fairly well polished
    + Graphics & style look consistent
    + Icon is good

    - Name isn't memorable
    - Color palette needs tweaking
    - The first 20! seconds of the video are filler
    - The game play doesn't look fun

    However, the biggest issue I see is that I don't see who this game is marketed to. It has a 3+ age rating, so is it kids? The artwork looks a bit scary, and the character doesn't look close to cute for this, so I doubt any kids/parents would play it. I don't know about most adults, but this certainly doesn't look fun to me based on the little bits of game play I can see in the video, so right away it looks like you have no target market.

    You clearly have development skill here, but I don't really see what can be done to save this project, as it looks flawed from the start. Maybe I'm completely wrong, but it looks like you began with the concept of a cute character (e.g. like Cut The Rope has), designed some scenery based on this character, shoehorned some game play in, and then wondered where your users were at. In my opinion you should begin with a list of concepts you find fun/passionate, cut out the ones that would take too long, and then run these remaining ideas by some people to find out which has the most potential, and then develop that. I say this because I don't really see how someone with professional game development experience can exit the industry to make a bug catching game like this, usually they make something really out of the box/innovative, or produce a new take on some popular game/genre they've already had experience with.
     
  17. Arkasis

    Arkasis

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    Woo,
    I feel like if I take some kick on my head.

    Well... So first of all, sorry if I don't make something "really out of the box/innovative" or if I don't "produce a new take on some popular game/genre" I have already had experience with.

    I start creating this game with a so "basic and non innovative concept" because it looks easy and fast enough to develop it alone in 2 months.
    The main constraint was to develop something fast and alone. It was clearly not the "game of my life" or a game I was waiting for years but a game to make a try.
    So it starts with the basic gameplay concept and not the visual.
    Then I ask for some help to a 2D graphist friend because I'm not a graphist... And he creates this funny chameleon.

    The game is marketed for all audiences. Bugs are cute and I don't think the chameleon looks scary.
    It's really interesting that you feel the chameleon a bit scary, it is something nobody never say to me and it's maybe true for a part of the audience.

    The video is clearly not the best marketing video it is true : not enough fun gameplay shown and half of the video is totaly useless.
    The name is too long and not memorable, it is true.
    People playing the game like the gameplay but ask me to reduce the difficulty.
    The retention percent is not so bad.

    I got some elements to change now and I thank you for that.

    PS : Working on the game industry doesn't mean you are good at Marketing / 2D graphhics / 3D graphics / Animations / Development / Project management / Communication / and all the jobs relative to the game industry.
    But maybe your are a game industry chameleon ;)
     
  18. RakeshPrakesh

    RakeshPrakesh

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    There's nothing wrong with making a game that isn't innovative, or doesn't have a new take on some genre, but your whole post was basically asking for reasons why you didn't get as many downloads as you'd have liked, and to me that seems like the obvious reason.
     
  19. JamesLeeNZ

    JamesLeeNZ

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    The 3+ rating is a complete non-issue. That just means theres no content that could offend children. Doesnt mean thats the target audience (although in this case, might be).

    Hardkour is 3+, doesnt mean a kid could play it
     
  20. Arkasis

    Arkasis

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    RakeshPrakesh : I thank you for your help but the end of your last paragraph was more about a personal judgement =)
    JamesLeeNZ : Yes, the rating is only about legality and clearly not about target audience ! It only look at the violence and sexual content. It's not about gameplay ;)
     
  21. Dreamaster

    Dreamaster

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    Quick first impression: A game about a frog like creature stuffing himself full of flies. Ewe.

    Forcing myself to read the description because you've asked for an opinion:
    "Immerse yourself in a dense jungle inhabited by countless insects, cross a lake covered with giant water lilies and explore a temple filled with voracious spiders. "

    HATE SPIDERS... /shiver

    Your game could be the best game since sliced bread but a lot of us will never have the stomach to find out.
     
  22. Der_Kevin

    Der_Kevin

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    just what comes in my mind when i see only the screenshots, cause thats how i decide if i download a game or not:

    game looks good, but too much is going on. the background is too "loud" of you game. try something blured or more flat for the background, i think its hard to see the characters infront of the background. the "worst" screenshot is the temple screen. i have no clue where is should focus my eye first. you did it already pretty good with the appicon, there its fine!

    next thing: i have no clue what the game is about, what do i have to do there? i dont want to watch a video or read the description. you have 6 game mods, 90 levels and tons of fun. thats all i know about your game after looking at 6 screens and be glad that i had a look at all 6, most of the users will only look at the first screenshot.

    look at this: https://itunes.apple.com/ca/app/smash-land/id960194559?mt=8 on the screenshots is some action going on, you see this arrow and the dotted lines? thats describing the core mechanic in one screenshot :)

    thats it ;)
     
  23. frosted

    frosted

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    For me, the theme is an immediate turn off. Flies suck. I hate flies. I don't really want to play a game where I'm eating flies.
     
  24. Arkasis

    Arkasis

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    Thanks a lot Kevin for your constructive comment !
    I'm going to modify my game presentation.

    It's a little harder to thanks frosted for his comment ;)
     
  25. JamesLeeNZ

    JamesLeeNZ

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    The sad part about this, is there are people out there that would download your game then 1-star it for a similar reasoning (complete non-sense).
     
  26. frosted

    frosted

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    But it's real man!

    Of the maybe 8 people who responded to this thread 2 of them mentioned being turned off by the theme. If that's in any way representative of the general population that means that 25% of the people who check the game out might not be interested because bugs are gross - even 'cute' ones!
     
  27. Master-Frog

    Master-Frog

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  28. tedthebug

    tedthebug

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    As a test, could you switch out the graphics & make it aliens or something, clear up the backgrounds a bit etc as suggested above & then find testers to do parallel testing just so you can see the responses? It would be interesting to see if people see them as different games just based on capturing aliens as opposed to eating bugs.
     
  29. JamesLeeNZ

    JamesLeeNZ

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    If I was going to go to the effort of re-skinning, I would probably do it as a new game
     
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  30. tedthebug

    tedthebug

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    That's where I was leading if the new skinned version worked. If players liked both then the re skinned version could be released as a 'clone' with a new market targeted.
     
  31. Master-Frog

    Master-Frog

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    Or make the bugs gummy candy.... it doesn't have to make sense.
     
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  32. Arkasis

    Arkasis

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    Thanks a lot for your comment guys.
    It's a little sad fact but you are probably true.
    But if in order to make a part of the audience, all games have to talk about aliens and candy, I really prefer to stop game development...

    About the re skinning, I'm actually unable to have new 2D graphics. It's surely the best way to see if the theme is bad even if I don't really understand why people are repulsed by chameleon and cute bugs...

    I don't really understand the meaning of this. Do you mean you have tested the game and it is too easy or do you mean that just with the presentation page, you didn't see the challenge off the game ?
    Actually, most of players are blocked at level 16 because the game is too challenging : that's why I'm going to make the game less difficult. (I already drop down difficulty on levels 5 to 16.)
     
  33. tedthebug

    tedthebug

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    Just looking at the landing page & video I thought it was just another click game where you just tapped on the bugs for it to eat. I didn't realise anything about the colour changing (did it impact the game or was it aesthetic?) or the differences in the bugs so I wasn't able to identify why it was a puzzle game.
     
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  34. Master-Frog

    Master-Frog

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    I didn't see how to lose the game. It was just tapping on the flies with no penalty for doing anything that I could tell.

    I am also with the previous poster, I did not realize there was any puzzle element with the branches right away. There's a lack of communication there.
     
  35. Kiwasi

    Kiwasi

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    Meh. Looks polished enough. But so is everything theses days. I typically wouldn't download it with a word of mouth recommendation. I'm not normally an early adopted or things. There are so many mobile games out there that slam you with IAP and ads.

    Is there an iPhone vestion? I'll give it a play for you and let you know if there are any gameplay issues.

    But these days getting big success in the mobile seems to be more related to advertising, promotion and business. It has very little to do with the actual game.
     
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  36. QFSW

    QFSW

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    Have any social media? Could help to post about it on there
    Told your friends to play it? That would help
    If you're friends are willing to help, they could post about it on social media or recommend it themselves
     
  37. Arkasis

    Arkasis

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    anselmo.fresquez : There is a big lack of communication about the gameplay, I agree... But the game is clearly more difficult as it seems.

    BoredMormon : Yes there is a IOS (lower) version because I was waiting to an Android test before updating the IOS version.
    I'm agree with you :-/
    But there is always some little presentation modification to do in order to get more downloads with less money even if you will always stay behind professionals games with lot of communication !

    QFSW : Yes, you could connect to my game with a Facebook account and share and compare your skill with your friends.
    I told my friends to play it and to talk about it on social networks and I did it myself but it only has a low impact only at start game lunch.

    Thanks a lot for your comments guys !