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First experience putting a game on GooglePlay

Posted by Rowan Powell on October 10, 2016 at 2:40 PM

Sun & Sky was my first experience making a mobile game, outside of small prototypes and tech demos and as such I made quite a lot of mistakes, which is exactly what I wanted/expected!

 

The first thing I had to deal with what making marketing material for the Play Store. As much as I have confidence in my art and design, marketing material is something far outside my usual remit, so not sure I did a great job with the work I did for that, though it seems passable enough to get people from the app page to the download button.

 

Big mistake #1

 

I tested the app out quite a lot on my personal phone before releasing it, but I didn't think to expect any major differences on other phones! The resolution differences meant that the UI scaling was unplayable and turned off many users after politely trying to squint at the UI for the first few levels...

 

The other issue this created was that the intro to the game was horribly low resolution, which made the game look really low quality!

 

The solution turned out to be really simple - just a changed setting in the publishing window!

 

Big mistake #2

 

I did absolutely no marketing or promotion about the game, a common problem for developers - we get focused on the game and not on the business! Unfortunately this obviously meant I had very low downloads (18 as of this post, most of which were me encouraging people to download it face to face!), but this was very easily preventable. I could have;

  • Posted these blog posts on facebook, reddit/r/devblogs reddit/r/gamedev and for AxeOfKings reddit/r/roguelikedev
  • Posted gifs to twitter and tagged bots
  • Told my journalist friends about my game!
  • Run an advertising campaign
  • and so on...

 

Successes

 

I got a lot of feedback from people early on about difficulties understanding the controls, the story and watching where they stopped playing. This was really valuable and I took advantage of it as much as I could. I also had really good workflows and made a huge amount of progress on the game in a short amount of time and it will be extremely easy for me to add more content down the line. I feel like a built a pretty solid and enjoyable game, it lacks in polish though and a few cases of lack of effort on my part really hurt it's success.

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