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Android Prospects

Devender Thareja
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 14, 2005
Posts: 187
Hi Frank Ableson, Charlie Collins & Robi Sen,

I am curious to know if you guys have any applications in Android Market, developed jointly or individually. How was your experience overall and are the apps selling as per your initial expectation. Is the time, effort and money spent, recovered?
Further to that, do you have any sense if the applications developed for Mobile phone will work for other type of Android devices such as Netbooks. Is their any significant changes and testing required for each device?
And the third question: In future, say there are 10 Android based mobile phones in market, do we need to test with all of them? How can a one man shop afford to buy and test will all the devices. Is their any strategy suggested.

Thanks,

Devender.


Devender Thareja
SCEA, SCBCD, SCJP
Travis Berthelot
Greenhorn

Joined: Oct 30, 2004
Posts: 24
I wrote MiniSpaceWar, ZeptoRacer, and SantasWorldWar. I have more games and updates on the way.

The free versions are in the top ten percent of 2300+ applications. My pay for versions have slow but continued sales. My sales are close to the worst while that was not expected I did not expect great sales either. So I am below expectations when I started, but given my situation it is not a surprise.

This is a several fold problem:

1. I don't have large business/government controls - No special deals with Google or T-Mobile - Not politically correct in the eyes of many - No comment snipers - No control over false Google popularity data i.e. my downloads are actually a bunch higher
2. I have no advertising budget
3. I have no phone so my game play and controls are probably never great

Possible solutions:

1. Support National Socialism
2. Win the Lottery of Life - get 165 million like Bill Gates did from the government through IBM in 1978, commit fraud like Warren Buffet, or literally win a lotto.
3. Eat up the market with more games

Conclusion:

I will not support the new Nazi regime, and I will probably not win the lottery of life and get free money from some stimulus. So that leaves producing a bunch of games with more simplified game play for the masses.
Devender Thareja
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 14, 2005
Posts: 187
Hi Travis, Thanks for you expert comments. You are the Guru, I was searching for.

Travis Berthelot wrote:I wrote MiniSpaceWar, ZeptoRacer, and SantasWorldWar. I have more games and updates on the way.

The free versions are in the top ten percent of 2300+ applications. My pay for versions have slow but continued sales. My sales are close to the worst while that was not expected I did not expect great sales either. So I am below expectations when I started, but given my situation it is not a surprise.

This is a several fold problem:

1. I don't have large business/government controls - No special deals with Google or T-Mobile - Not politically correct in the eyes of many - No comment snipers - No control over false Google popularity data i.e. my downloads are actually a bunch higher
2. I have no advertising budget
3. I have no phone so my game play and controls are probably never great

Possible solutions:

1. Support National Socialism
2. Win the Lottery of Life - get 165 million like Bill Gates did from the government through IBM in 1978, commit fraud like Warren Buffet, or literally win a lotto.
3. Eat up the market with more games

Conclusion:

I will not support the new Nazi regime, and I will probably not win the lottery of life and get free money from some stimulus. So that leaves producing a bunch of games with more simplified game play for the masses.


You already have 3 applications on market. It's been only a month or so since the Android Market started accepting paid apps. Very Impressive I must say.
You are determined to do more, that tells me that there is a sustainable business model.
Do you develop games for other platforms too.. such as iPhone etc. The 3 games you mentioned, did you port them on Android or you wrote them from start.

Does the fact that there will be too many different type of devices fro Android, bothers or excite you? How and how much do you plan to test you apps for each platform?

Why don't you do what Ed did for his ReTranslate app. He mentions on his blog that he discontinue the demo model and put the full version for free for some time. When it reach about 500 downloads, he increased the price. He writes that after 500 downloads, the applications visibility improves significantly. Are you close to that magic number yet?
Travis Berthelot
Greenhorn

Joined: Oct 30, 2004
Posts: 24

You already have 3 applications on market. It's been only a month or so since the Android Market started accepting paid apps. Very Impressive I must say.
You are determined to do more, that tells me that there is a sustainable business model.
Do you develop games for other platforms too.. such as iPhone etc. The 3 games you mentioned, did you port them on Android or you wrote them from start.


I wrote my first game in 1992-1993 using Turbo Pascal a corner pong like game. From 1995-2000 I developed a space conquest PC game using directx and C/C++ called Mortification. Despite working on it off and on for 5 years I never published it, and realized that I would never have the funding to make it what I wanted. During that time I developed some test games with direct x and some basic game testing with opengl. I stopped making games for about 18 months when I was working at a telecom then I decided to make some mobile games. So, I made simple versions of MiniSpaceWar and ZeptoRacer for J2ME back in 2002 and did some testing on my J2ME LG phone. Although, the FCC decided to make it so Carriers controlled the market entry points. I didn't have the 1k to spend getting on a mass market phone so I went back to developing other software (mainly Freeblisket an E-Commerce program and an InputAutomation testing tool). I heard about Android in 2006 and downloaded the non working SDK they did not apparently intend to release. I looked it over and realized that I would port my games over if it ever came out. When I found out about the FCC allowing a more open market I decided to try again. So in October-November of 2008 I created a plug-in to run games on Android for my game libraries. Since then I have mainly added features and made bug fixes to my now 60+ small game libraries.

So I have developed games for the PC in and out of the browser and for mobile devices with MIDP 1.0/2.0 and Android.

Note my Android games also run as a PC standalone app, as an Applet, and J2ME.


Does the fact that there will be too many different type of devices fro Android, bothers or excite you? How and how much do you plan to test you apps for each platform?


It excites my brain, and it plays well with my multi platform game libs. Although, practically I don't really care. I just want to make some games that make me money, and that is all I really care about right now. So all the great things about Android don't have much meaning to me anymore. While gadgets will always excite me it is no a real factor unless it can make me more money.

Since I don't have the actual phone I only have the Emulator. If I made enough to get each and every phone I would. I still may end up getting the G1 as my own personal phone since I don't have a contract cell phone.


Why don't you do what Ed did for his ReTranslate app. He mentions on his blog that he discontinue the demo model and put the full version for free for some time. When it reach about 500 downloads, he increased the price. He writes that after 500 downloads, the applications visibility improves significantly. Are you close to that magic number yet?


LOL, my license servers show >500,000 plays of my games since October. The download stats according to Google are >23,000 for ZeptoRacer which is not correct. So the only magic number I know of is ching $ ching $. I don't know about ReTranslate, but pulling my free versions would be a big mistake. I can eat up big players revenue while they try to kill me off with advert money that I don't have.

My games have an Update and Subscribe notification for those looking for improvements or more levels. So, if they like them enough they will click on the subscribe notification that should take them to a listing with both the free and paid versions. Honestly, since I don't have a phone I wouldn't know if the market url even works.

My sales strategy is probably going to be pretty static for the first 3 game titles that are out. I will probably try one ad game and one 99 cent game to see what happens. The only change I made for sales is a price change for all 4 games in one apk from 9.9x to 6.9x.

While my sales strategy probably could improve I will leave things mainly as they are.

I do however plan some things like when I release my next update and game I will probably have some kind of deal for free registered versions of my games to a person that can come up with the best control profile for a given game. I have plans for other similar customer cooperation for better game play.

So I will try to keep treading water while I make improvements and additions, but game sales philosophy is already down pretty good.

The reality is that demos reduce sales, but without them I can't get people to buy since I don't have advertisement money. So I will crank out free versions with a few levels to entice people until some deep pockets feel I am worthy or until I die.
Michael Rivera
Ranch Hand

Joined: Dec 31, 2007
Posts: 119

As for Asian Countries , we still cannot upload our apps, hopefully they will let us soon enough!


So many things to do so little time !!!
@mikedroid myLinkedIn
Monu Tripathi
Rancher

Joined: Oct 12, 2008
Posts: 1369
    
    1

@Travis Berthelot : All the best with the sales.
Please stick around and field some questions(about game programming) as and when you get time.

Thanks.


[List of FAQs] | [Android FAQ] | [Samuh Varta]
Devender Thareja
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 14, 2005
Posts: 187
Travis, you surly are the most money making app developer here.
Did you consider IPhone as your games platforms? There is a larger customer base for Iphone. You must be deterred by Objective C language or the requirement of buying MAC. Right?
Michael Rivera
Ranch Hand

Joined: Dec 31, 2007
Posts: 119

Android Forum , so let us get into Android
Devender Thareja
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 14, 2005
Posts: 187
Michael Rivera wrote:Android Forum , so let us get into Android


Sure Michael.

I was trying to get Trevis's thought on Android Vs. Iphopne.
Michael Rivera
Ranch Hand

Joined: Dec 31, 2007
Posts: 119

eheh got that!
Travis Berthelot
Greenhorn

Joined: Oct 30, 2004
Posts: 24
Devender Thareja wrote:Travis, you surly are the most money making app developer here.
Did you consider IPhone as your games platforms? There is a larger customer base for Iphone. You must be deterred by Objective C language or the requirement of buying MAC. Right?


I answered this question before, but my post is missing. Hmm.

Well I will give a short answer this time.

I do like Apple and the products they produce. It was not a technical issue it was a closed market issue. Now that an more open competitor to AppStore has come out I will think about it again when I have a hit game. I don't have that game yet.

IPhone doesn't have enough future market to convince me to develop for it as a main platform. However I expect PC/Laptops and Android phones to be over 1 Billion devices. J2ME devices also fit well with a large market, but they have closed access controlled by the network providers. As such I will keep MIDP in mind since carriers may get sane and see the light. This could hurt Android domination, but I would still welcome it.

I would also think about putting them on a game console as the quality and sales improve.

So, I will hold off on IPhone until I have a hit game since the market is not large enough. Yes I know it is 20 million strong, but that is nothing in comparison to the 1 billion PCs and open handsets to come.
 
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subject: Android Prospects