How to get Indie Android Game Known

9 posts (showing 1-9)
Popcorn Popper

Market Level 0Community Level 0
0 posts

I have created the game The Happy Popcorn Popper and have worked hard on making sure my app is being updated and marketed. After going through page after page of websites and providing review websites my app to review and also going through ASO and press releases and making a website and YouTube video and connecting to social media and doing everything possible that I have read to do online to get my app out there (besides paid installs because I have no budget with my app), my app is still extremely low on installs and reviews. I have also used FGL's Enhance™ for my mobile advertising as my game is free. But I am not currently getting any revenue as I have so few installs. I'd rather not do cross promotion as well as that involves integrating another SDK into my app which raises app size and from what I've experienced not all that great. I also currently use smoothreviews.com to help get reviews.

What other options are out there for getting my app known? What other tactics are used? Any advice? 

posted 2016-08-02T16:53:56-07:00
sandeep410

Market Level 1Community Level 3
180 posts

You need to make better game. Your game has shit graphics with shit icon. You need to make far better than this to get any downloads.

posted 2016-08-02T17:42:58-07:00
Popcorn Popper

Market Level 0Community Level 0
0 posts

Thanks for the feedback. I am currently working on making my graphics and icon better. As I stated, I don't have the money to pay for an artist and I am currently working and a college student so my time is quite limited to work on my app when I can. If you know any good resources that I could use I would appreciate being introduced to them. 

posted 2016-08-02T18:55:34-07:00
Ultima2876

Market Level 4Community Level 10
2410 posts

Don't be put off that all of your marketing efforts have seemingly been in vain. The problem is likely the quality of the app - unfortunately these days the quality bar of apps that make money on the app stores are a lot higher than what you've got here. However, don't be dismayed! The fact that you've created an app from scratch, put it out there, done all the marketing dance and figured everything out is a huge step on your way to making an awesome app that DOES sell - those are all challenging things to even learn, and you're on your way now.

So the next step I'd say is to make your next game. Try to keep it simple again, but maybe not _so_ simple - your target is likely gonna be stuff like flappy bird, sheepop, crossy road etc - small, quite simle but polished and fun time-killer type games. Play a LOT of them to get an idea what to aim for. Then start from the drawing board - design your game with a unique mechanic if you can (everybody has played "tap the thing to make it go away" games, so popcorn popper is probably not that interesting for them). Try to think from the perspective of the player - why should they play your game, and not any of the other games that are similar out there?

If your time is limited, work with it. Don't rush an app out thinking you'll make loads from it - you won't. Even Flappy Bird probably had 30+ hours put into it, to polish it up and make it presentable. People bash on that game because of the simple mechanics, but it's actually a very polished title, and polish is KEY. Consider the time you can spend, budget for it and set a reasonable target. If you're working and at college then you're probably doing this as a hobby; that's good - do it primarily for the fun. Make the games well, the rest will follow.

For specific resources, check out the pixel prospector: http://www.pixelprospector.com/ and kenney's cheap/donationware art packs: http://kenney.nl/assets

Kenney's stuff in particular is a cheap (possibly free) way to add royalty free (you can use them in commercial projects) art or placeholder art into your game. But really, nothing compares to hiring an artist to really add that special impact to your game.

posted 2016-08-02T22:43:12-07:00 | edited 2016-08-02T22:45:22-07:00
FGL_Chris

FGL AdminCommunity Level 9
1808 posts

So, I want to say that sandeep has a point, but could have said it in a nicer way.  BUT that's not what I want to point out: @Popcorn Popper.. your response was very classy.  We all had to start somewhere and I'll even point out one of my first games which has been made fun of many a time:

http://www.kongregate.com/games/ch00se/push-pull-and-burn

Again, it's true that The Happy Popcorn Popper is probably not going to hit the top ten charts any time soon, in its current state, but it's a start.  There are artists on FGL who you could try to collaborate with.  I'd suggest trying another game, learning from this one, and go from there. If you keep the games small and focused I think you will learn a lot and not waste a lot of time building something big that most likely will fail.  Then, when you have a few under your belt you can tackle something a little bigger (and many devs do just fine sticking to smaller games and pumping them out, so that's an option too).

But, the big thing is keep up the great attitude!  The internet would be a better place with replies like your last one!

posted 2016-08-02T22:45:55-07:00 | edited 2016-08-03T06:12:11-07:00
Argentin

Market Level 5Community Level 8
1682 posts

EVERYTHING must mash up perfectly, if you want to succeed on mobile.

If you want to gain downloads, you need to cover all of the following aspects:

Have a GREAT game - somehow, most developers still don't get this

Thumbnail & Screenshots - You need to stand out from the million of app already out there

ASO - Once you have the above points covered, it's time to get your app known. Players should be able to find you in the store

Marketing & Reviews - If you somehow managed to cover the above points, you can start spreading your game on the internet, and hope reviewers will like it enough to cover it, giving you more exposure

You can't have a successful game, if you don't cover all the above points. There's a lot of variables that affect the number of installs, and unless you understand how each one works, you're going to get lost in the sea of the other thousands developers who only focus on a couple of those points.

They either make great games, but then don't understand how to bring exposure so players never find those games.

And there's the other type of "developers" who understand how marketing works and falsely believe that with that knowledge they can cut in front of the line by pushing out many below average apps, trading quality over quantity.

So don't even think about marketing until you have a great game. How do you know you have a great game? Give it to a couple of friends and see how long they play (don't even listen to what they say). If they stop playing under 1-2 minutes or don't start round 2 on their own, give up on that prototype and start working on the next one.

posted 2016-08-03T08:45:01-07:00 | edited 2016-08-03T08:47:26-07:00
Popcorn Popper

Market Level 0Community Level 0
0 posts

Thanks for the responses everyone! I won't really have much time to create another app in the upcoming future so that's why I am focusing on the one I do have. I actually was able to get in touch with one of my friends who is going to be a graphic designer / artist and he said he would make my graphics better, which is great news for me. I agree with Ultima2876 in that I need to not rush this app out and take time to work with it - so that's what I am going to do. In terms of having a great game, I have gotten nothing below 4 stars in terms of reviews in the app stores (this is out of 25 reviews I have gotten so far) and have yet to get negative feedback about my game outside of that the graphics need improvements (which I agree with when looking at other apps). In terms of having my friends play it and watching their response as stated above, quite a few of my friends have gotten my game and I have seen them play it for quite a few minutes as the game gets more challenging the longer you play it. I actually am driving a bit of traffic to my google play store page, I just think I need that boost from improved graphics to make it stand out. 

posted 2016-08-03T18:21:01-07:00 | edited 2016-08-03T18:25:05-07:00
b10b

Market Level 4Community Level 7
970 posts

Building traffic for an existing app is back-to-front thinking (for an app developer).  Instead, try building an app for existing traffic.  Polish, refinement etc are all secondary to the fundamental requirement of purpose / novelty / fit.

posted 2016-08-08T18:39:25-07:00
Argentin

Market Level 5Community Level 8
1682 posts

He started translating his app to multiple languages, so I can safely assume it's ok to stop giving him advice 

posted 2016-08-08T19:57:52-07:00