iOS: So what should I be selling exactly?

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Post: #1
We're getting closer to releasing our game on all iOS formats and I'm wondering what the panel think I should actually do with it?

Is it best to build a one-size-fits-all app for all devices or separate builds for each target?

Is there any business mileage in having a separate HD version? I'm loathe to if not as the textures in the retina/ipad build are already as big as they'll go for speed reasons, and when used on iPhone they'll already be "HD".

We feel the game fits into the $2.99 zone for quality, so does this behave much different from the bottom rung?

Is it worth also having an ad-supported freebie but full version, or a free trial with fewer levels or both or none?

All opinions welcomed, especially for anything I've obviously missed.

Thanks...

(PS. The link in my sig takes you eventually to an old vid of the game if you need to see it to judge).

Paul Johnson
Great Little War Game
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Post: #2
First of all, the game looks great! I'd say you could probably do 4.99 range as well. But 2.99 seems good. If possible, have a launch sale (I've heard these are quit effective). Maybe 1.99 going up to 2.99 or something? Secondly, I feel that one-app-fits-all is the best approach. I'm not sure which generates more income however, I don't have any numbers, but I feel it will satisfy the most people. I believe Chopper 2 has had success with the universal application, and people don't feel gipped into having to buy both. I know personally I'd like to buy it once and have it available on both of my devices.
As for a free version, etc, I have no idea Annoyed. Some other options are free versions with in-app purchase to remove ads (lowers the barrier), but I don't know what is the most effective route.
Alex
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TBQH, I think your game is worth more than that, but I also realize my opinion is not that of the masses.

From a consumer standpoint, if there is little difference between iphone and iPad game, they should be a one size fits all.

As a developer, if you've revamped/improved the interface/interaction for ipad, definitely separate. If you've done significant work to target each platform as a separate entity, definitely separate. Otherwise, keep em the same.
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- Is your final zipped upload to iTC under 20 MB? If it is not, then can it be made to be under 20MB for iPhone if you split it up ( 20MB is the limit Apple allows users to download apps over the cell network, so getting it under this is ideal if you can pull it off. It is worth having two apps if it means you can get the iPhone version under the limit ).

- Having the application free opens up more marketing opportunities for your app ( like http://www.freeappcalendar.com ). Augmenting your free app with ads/IAP will allow you to capitalize on these efforts more than just switching a paid app free for a day.

- There seems to be more fluidity in the free app rankings than there is in the paid app rankings ( free apps being easier to rank high, and easier to lose your high ranking ).
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Sorry if this is a bit OT, but does this mean you managed to sort out your speed issue with the game?
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⌘-R in Chief
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Post: #6
The game looks great. $2.99 would be fine to me.
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Post: #7
Thanks for the replies guys. Some misc stuff first.

Firstly, that video and any screenies on the website are from the PC version. The iOS version has been done in ES 1.0 so realtime shadows have dropped by the wayside. We considered stencil shadows briefly but the fillrate would kill it, so we're going for dark circles. Similarly there is no specular anymore as a cubemap would take too long and vertex specular looks knob imo.

@monteyboyd. Sort of. When we dropped back to 1.0, things went a bit faster which makes no sense at all. I now seriously believe there is a bug or two in the GLSL compiler or something as FFP should never be able to overtake bespoke code. I'd love for someone to prove me wrong and show me the error of my ways, but that long and otherwise useful thread didn't reveal any magic bullets.

We're getting ~30 fps on iPad now which will have to do. It feels ok in practice but it's been a long time since I wrote something I was happy with that ran at this speed tbh. I'm very disappointed.
In-app purchase sounds like a winner. So we have a full version and a free limited version that can be upgraded to the full one in-game.

The only question now is, is there an advantage to a fully free game with adverts? I hear from others that on Android this can be a license to print money but tbh I'm totally green in this area. I don't even know any advert providers off the top of my head.

As you can tell, this is our first iOS release and because we've invested a lot in it, we can't afford to get anythign drastically wrong on how we release the game. With hindsight we should've done something cheaper and quicker beforehand but it's too late now.

btw, we feel we could probably get a universal app under 20Mb. It's gonna be a squeeze and we've not finished special casing the iPhone/Pod version yet but we're certainly going to try. I was more worred that only having one app to buy would reduce our visibilty somewhat.

Paul Johnson
Great Little War Game
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Post: #8
@Applewood

Awesome game! I love turn-based strategy games. $2.99 sounds fine, though I think you could price it more.

If you're going to do ads in your game, perhaps it would be easiest to have a lite version? I'm not sure would that make less maintainable to turn off ads if you purchase the game with an in-app purchase. Just a thought.

If you're going to doing this app multiplatform (including Android), then you might checkout AdMob. Though from what I hear about free versions with ads, you don't make a whole lot of money from them.

BTW, just curious what game engine are you guys using or is it something developed in house?
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Post: #9
Thanks for the positive words. Smile

By lite version, I assume you mean a demo? We do plan on that, but does this mean just having ads in the demo?

There's quite a matrix of combos here and I must admit I'm not 100% on the various terminology yet.

Paul Johnson
Great Little War Game
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Apprentice
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Post: #10
Yes, lite version is the free demo in the AppStore. I'm not familiar with the Android stores if they use the same terminology.
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Nibbie
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Post: #11
(Feb 5, 2011 10:36 AM)zenkimoto Wrote:  Yes, lite version is the free demo in the AppStore. I'm not familiar with the Android stores if they use the same terminology.

In android we use to call it "lite" to. I think you should go with in-app-purschase. It sure was easier back in the days when there only were a few different iPhones to develop to..
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Post: #12
The terminology is a result of developer's creativity to avoid the "no demos" clause in the App Store guidelines
Wink
https://developer.apple.com/appstore/res...lines.html
(section 2.9)
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Post: #13
Thanks guys. Just to be absolutely sure about this then:

We release two versions, both of which are universal if able.

One version is just the full game for the given pricetag, nice and simple.
The other version is "lite" and has X levels to play free, but an in-app button to unlock the rest of it.

Is that it?

Thanks
(Feb 5, 2011 07:45 AM)zenkimoto Wrote:  BTW, just curious what game engine are you guys using or is it something developed in house?
It's in-house. "Raz0r" (heh, it's bleeding edge Smile ) runs on a variety of platforms already, but we've only recently refocussed on iOS so are playing catch-up a bit.

Paul Johnson
Great Little War Game
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Apprentice
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Post: #14
The game looks great! :-)

Yep, that should be good enough. Of course, I hope you have a marketing plan in place. It's very difficult to get exposure in the AppStore.

Good luck! And I'll be keeping an eye on it when it releases in the AppStore! :-)
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Post: #15
(Feb 5, 2011 09:56 PM)zenkimoto Wrote:  Of course, I hope you have a marketing plan in place. It's very difficult to get exposure in the AppStore.
And boom, you hit our weak spot. Currrently we have no plan at all.

The original plan was to sell the game to a publisher and let them do it. Religious wars about this stuff notwithstanding, our marketing abilities are somewhere around 0% as we've not previously been very indie.

We had a publisher gushing over the game several months ago and they even talked about a decent advance to finish development etc. That was three months ago though and it's gone pretty quiet since, so now we're kinda stuck! Sad

Paul Johnson
Great Little War Game
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