Today I crossed the two million total downloads mark. This is a pretty cool milestone for a small indie developer.
At the moment every 7 days more than 100’000 users are downloading my apps, every month I get around 400k to 500k downloads. Here is a chart how my downloads developed during the last months:
So the big question is: How did I manage it to improve my downloads so much without any marketing and advertising.
Well, the popular app stores like iTunes, google Play or amazon are complex, very dynamic ecosystems.
It’s very hard to make good predictions. Often you’ll hear things like “Make a quality product and you will make money!”.
I’m very sorry to disappoint you but in my experience this is NOT true.
I’ve seen so many developers that worked hard on their game for many, many months. They created a fantastic end result. They released their amazing game and…… NOTHING happend. No Downloads. And “no downloads” equals to “no revenue”. So sure, quality is important, but it doesn’t guarantee you anything.
With this in mind I choose another strategy. My assumption was: Make more apps and you will get more downloads.More downloads = more revenue.
So with this in mind I focused to improve my workflow and tried to cut down the development time of my apps. I don’t want to get too technical but what I’ve mainly did to achieve this was:
- I’ve created a “framework/codebase” for fast prototyping and developing games (reusable components, cross platform, data driven, a scripting language for easy customize existing games/components, tools/editors that integrate well into the workflow)
- An easy workflow with lots of automation to create, maintain and publish an app as well as maintain assets and marketing material (description, keywords, screenshots, icons, resolutions for different stores etc.)
- Re-Skin existing apps for another target audience (with no or less coding involved)
For me this worked very well and I’m really sure this is reproducible.
This is how I did a platform game in three weeks that reached more than 150 000 game sessions within the first two weeks.
Today Facebook and Twitter is everywhere. And I really like those social networks. A few years ago I used RSS Feeds as my main source of daily news and information. Today I check my Twitteraccount and lists. And Facebook is a great way to keep contact with people you don’t interact with everyday like former colleagues and friends.
Last week I submitted the iOS Version of Captain Backwater to the App Store. I really hope it will be live by the weekend (Go, Apple, go!). During this time I prepared everything for the Android port.
I’m also working on a flash-based version for Kongregate and Mochi right now. I really hope that a browser-based port will help to spread the word. We’ll see…
Last year I released my puzzle game Captain Backwater on Windows, Linux and OS X. A lot of people told me the gameplay would work well on touch devices. So one or two months ago I started to port the game to iOS and Android.
Yay! Captain Backwater is finally running on Ubuntu. And it wasn’t that hard! I just had to fix some smaller cross-plattform issues. Here is the proof: » more
Captain Backwater is more near to completion than ever before. So, what happend during the last two months?
First of all I was in holidays in Mallorca with some good friends for 10 days. It was planned to stay there for 7 days but we missed our plane back home (note to myself: never book a return flight again that starts off early in the morning). » more
Captain Backwater, the new indie hit puzzle game, is near completion. This sunday evening I will start a closed beta test. For this I need you to have a look at the game and provide some useful feedback (if you’d like to).
Captain Backwater is a puzzle / brain-teaser game that @Emme73 and I develop in our spare time. » more
I have finished Aiolos – a new prototype of a game idea I had. A game with interessting controls. As I promised this game is completly free for you and I have it ready for Mac OS X and Windows. » more