游戏邦在:
杂志专栏:
gamerboom.com订阅到鲜果订阅到抓虾google reader订阅到有道订阅到QQ邮箱订阅到帮看

《Quick Shooter》开发者分享游戏发布经验

发布时间:2013-08-30 14:47:47 Tags:,,,,

作者:Jeff Tunnell

上一周,我发表了一篇文章《We Can’t Make It Here Anymore》,反响热烈。在文中,我指出应用商店的曝光问题使独立开发者的日子很不好过。16个月以前,Spotkin只做免费手机游戏,但今年初,我们却全心全意地开发起固定售价的PC游戏了。我们认为应该让大家讨论一下我们的转型,以便从我们的错误中吸引教训。

在我们成功地退出PushButton工作室后,我们一直在制作开源Flash游戏引擎、PushButton引擎,我们还给Playdom(它被迪士尼收购了)制作了一款免费游戏《Social City》,这款游戏进入Facebook游戏排行榜前十名。我们觉得是时候创办一家新的游戏制作公司了。在那时(2011年末),我们还不是非常确定走“免费手机游戏第一”的道路,但我们已经看到一些我们认为可以复制的成功模型。虽然深知应用商店竞争激烈,但我们已经制定出应对方案。所以,我们就开始寻找技术和设计。我们的目标是,争取被应用商店推荐。

Social_City(from makeitbigingames)

Social_City(from makeitbigingames)

(做完这款游戏后,我们以为我们已经准备好了)

制作一款跨平台的游戏:苹果太难对付了,所以我们并不希望iOS成为唯一的收益来源。我们使用Cocos-2dx(游戏邦注:这是一种跨平台开源2D游戏引擎),这样就可以同时开发iOS版和Android版游戏了(有很多原因让我们选择Unity)。顺便一提,我们可以在整个开发过程中可以同地制作和测试这两个平台的游戏,所以我们的选择是正确的。

反思:这是并且仍然是一个很棒的计划。我们为自己的决定感到非常满意。

形成推广网络:我们不想只带着一款游戏就闯进市场,所以我们做了三款游戏。我们还联合其他开发者组成一个“联盟”,互相帮助推广游戏。我们认为所谓的大发现机制是指,在应用商店中看中我们其中一款游戏的人也愿意看看我们的其他游戏。

反思:我们发行的第一款游戏《Quick Shooter》还不够好,所以我们放弃做其他游戏,即使当时它们已经接近完工。我们仍然认为形成游戏推广网络是必要的,只是没有机会证实这个想法。

建立社交后端:如果我们迷上一款游戏,我们就会希望与其他玩家保持联系。所以,我们建立了一个小型的Spotkin社交网络社区,玩家可以在社区中比较高分、交朋友,等等。

反思:我们在游戏中没有好好“广告和推销”这个社区功能,所以注册的玩家并不多。如果赢利方面做得再好一些的话,我们也许会对它更加用心。我们对自己开发的后端技术非常满意,准备把它运用到其他产品中。

迅速失败:我们尽量把开发周期控制在一年内。因为我们不想用那么长的时间找市场,所以我们做了一款我们认为应该尽快完成的免费游戏来测试我们的技术、学习发布流程和了解手机游戏市场。

反思:我们的第一款游戏《Quick Shooter》就是这种意念下的产物,但我们的速度还是太慢了,所以我们失败了。

quick shooter(from makeitbigingames)

quick shooter(from makeitbigingames)

(有趣漂亮,但迟钝不挣钱。这是我们的错。)

《Quick Shooter》算得上是一款好游戏,画面精美、可跨平台玩,玩家评价也高,但开发用时太久并且完全不挣钱。我们也许可以再改进它,但没有人愿意再经历那样的痛苦了。我们知道它的失败完全是我们的错误,所以也不想把责任推给应用商店的发现问题。然而,我们之后仍然把应用商店的发现问题纳入考虑范围。

我知道你们还在争夺应用商店的曝光资源,但我们决定改变方向了。首先,我们停掉所有正在开发中的手机游戏,把全部资源投入到我们认为比较有希望的PC游戏中。那款游戏不久就会发布,但还是不要在本文中剧透吧。

在过去几个月,开发PC游戏的过程进展得很顺利,所以我们决定再次启动暂停掉的手机游戏开发,再次挑战应用商店。有了经验教训,我们对发行策略做了一些调整。不知道是否管用,但(对我们来说)看起来还不错。

1、先在Android上发布:根据经验,我们认为Android平台对独立开发者更友好。最主要的原因是,发布游戏只需几分钟,而不是等上好几天。我们把《Quick Shooter》提交给苹果应用商店后,整整等了9天,但还是被拒绝了,因为我们漏了一个复选框,这样我们又等了9天才通过。Android只需要10分钟,发布游戏基本上就像更新网站,所以你可以在短时间内尝试很多不同的想法。我们听说在Android首发的游戏再转战苹果的应用商店时,很难获得推荐。不过我们觉得以一种优势换另一种优势还是值得的。先在Android上发布游戏,然后不断修改游戏以最大化它的收益潜力,等到你把它放上iOS时,你会很肯定它能成功。我们认为先在Android上发布游戏,而不是寄希望于苹果那概率极低的推荐,能挣到更多钱。

2、发布时没有赢利策略:我们确实在游戏中加入广告,且玩家可以付费将它们屏蔽掉,但这算不上什么策略。制定真正的赢利策略太难了。只有那么些策略是行得通的,你必须根据那些设计和制作你的游戏。我们不知道如果我们对游戏的信心是否足够让我们冒险。我们的打算是,如果游戏人气够高,我们就考虑采用赢利策略。我们的游戏设计中确实有合适的赢利机制,但我们决定先不要开发。

3、使用异步多人比赛增加病毒传播力:类似于《Bike Race Free》,我们的第二款游戏是一款以多人模式为主但提供单人模式作为练习之用的游戏。我们希望这能为我们带来更多Spotkin网络社区的注册量,和更多通过口碑宣传增加的安装量。

4、花钱吸引第一批玩家:我们现在有基准了。我们为《Quick Shooter》花了1100美元的广告费,足够让它挤入某些排行榜了。那笔钱让我们获得不下5万次的安装量。如果下一款游戏在品质、评价和其他指标上都高于《Quick Shooter》,我们就会考虑投入更多钱做广告。否则,我们就不会继续开发它,也不会把它放到iOS上。

如果你正在考虑在Android或iOS上发布游戏需要做什么工作,但愿我们的经验能作为你的参考。(本文为游戏邦/gamerboom.com编译,拒绝任何不保留版权的转载,如需转载请联系:游戏邦

Things that Spotkin Learned May Help You in the App Store

by Jeff Tunnell

Last week I published what turned out to be a popular post, We Can’t Make It Here Anymore, about how discovery problems in the app stores are making life hard for small Indie developers. Like I said in that article, Spotkin was started 16 months ago to make mobile-first games using Free to Play (f2p) monetization models, but at the beginning of this year we pivoted to become a PC-first, fixed price developer. We thought it might be helpful to the community to discuss our decisions, so you can learn from our mistakes.

After Making This, We Thought We Were Ready

After our successful exit from PushButton Labs making an Open Source Flash game engine, PushButton Engine, and a top 10 Facebook f2p game, Social City, for Playdom (acquired by Disney), several of us were ready to make a new game production company. At that time (late 2011), going mobile-first and f2p was not as obvious as it is now, and there were indicators of success that we thought we could model. We were quite aware of the crowding of the app stores, but we thought we had a plan to help circumvent those problems, so we set about finding technology, and creating the designs that we would back. Our plan to compete in the “app store lottery“, as we called it, was as follows.

Create a Cross Platform Game: Our thought was that Apple was too controlling, so we wanted to make sure iOS was not our only option for monetizing our IP. We chose Cocos-2dx so we could simultaneously develop our games for both iOS and Android (We had a lot of reasons for not using Unity which I will cover in a different post). BTW, this turned out to be an excellent technology choice, allowing us to build and test on both platforms throughout development.

RESULT: This was, and still is, a great plan. We are still very happy with this decision.

Create a Network Effect: We did not want to go to market with only one game, so we started up three games. We were also working with some other developers to create a “keiretsu” where we could help each other promote our games. Our thinking was that a big discovery mechanism was the that people that liked one of our games would look in the store to see our others.

RESULT: As I explained, the results of our first release of Quick Shooter were not good enough, so we quit working on the other games even though they were nearly done. We still believe having a network of games is essential, but have not had a chance to prove it.

Create a Social Backend: If any of the games ended up getting traction, we wanted to be able to get back in contact with the players, so we created “The Spotkin Network”, a mini-social network that allows players to compare high scores, make friends, etc.

RESULT: We did not do a good enough job “advertising and selling” this feature in the game, so we did not get a big percentage of sign ups. Had the monetization been better, we would have worked on this harder. We are extremely happy with the back end technology we created and are moving forward with that initiative and will use it in other products in different ways.

Fail Quickly: Most of our original ideas were in the one year development range. We didn’t want to wait that long to find out about the market, so instead of starting one of those we thought we should quickly create a free game to test out our technology, learn the release process, and get our feet wet in the mobile space.
RESULT: Our first game, Quick Shooter, was supposed to be this quick game, but it didn’t end up being quick, so we failed on this goal. (check out Jon’s blog post about our failure.)

Fun, great art, obtuse, didn’t monetize. Our fault.

Quick Shooter is an OK game that looks good, proved cross platform technology, got good reviews, and good engagement, but took too long to develop and totally failed on monetization. We felt we could probably work on it and turn it around, but none of us believed in the product enough to go through that pain. We know it is totally our fault that the product failed and we are not blaming app store discovery for our problems with this game. However, we are taking app store discovery problems into account going forward.

I know you are going to continue to try to win the “app store lottery”, as we are, but we decided to make a bunch of changes. First off, we put all of our games in development on hold, and decided to put all of our resources into one PC-first game that we could bleed on, i.e. a game that we believed in enough to go down in flames trying to make it. That game will be announced soon, but is not what this article is about.

In the past few months, development on our PC game has been going so well, that we decided to revive one of our on-hold games and roll the app store dice one more time. With that in mind, here are the changes to we are making in the release strategy. We have no idea if they will work, but they look good on paper (to us anyway).

Release on Android first: In our experience, we feel that Android is the far superior store for Indies. One of the biggest reasons is that you can release a game in minutes instead of days. Our Beta submission of Quick Shooter to the Canadian Apple app store took NINE DAYS for rejection because we missed a checkbox, then it took another NINE DAYS for final approval. Android takes 10 minutes, where releasing your game is essentially like updating a website, so you can try a lot of different ideas without waiting. We have heard that releasing on Android first will negate your chances of getting a featured slot on Apple’s app store, however we feel that trading one lottery for another is not worth it. Releasing on Android and making enough changes to the game to get reach and monetization optimized will allow you to release it on iOS KNOWING it will work. We believe that will make you a LOT more money releasing Android first than riding the Apple featured game glide slope to obscurity.

Release With No Monetization Strategy: We do have ads in our game, and players can pay to turn them off, but that is not really a strategy. Creating a true monetization strategy is really hard. There are only so many that work, and you need to design and build your game around them. We don’t know if we believe in the game enough to do this. If the game goes out, and gets great reach and engagement, then we will circle back and add monetization. The game design does have the correct “bones” to allow this, but we decided not to do the development yet.

Use Asynch Multiplayer Competition for Virality: Similar to Bike Race Free, our next game is a multi-player first game with single player practice mode. Our hope is this gets us a lot more sign ups for the Spotkin Network, as well as getting us organic installs via word of mouth.

Put Some Money In To Attract Initial Players: We have a benchmark now. For Quick Shooter we spent $1,100 in ads which was enough to get boost the game onto some of the leader boards, causing organic installs. For that amount of money, we got over 50,000 installs. If our next game does better than that, has great reviews, and the other metrics of reach and engagement look good, then we will consider putting more investment in. If it doesn’t work, then we will not continue development or release it on iOS.

I hope that getting these ideas out will help you with decisions you need to make for releasing your game on either Android or iOS. We will continue to let you know what is working (or not working) for Spotkin.(source:makeitbigingames)


上一篇:

下一篇: