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State of mobile game development

zakkwylde666zakkwylde666 Member
edited May 2012 in General questions
Hi,

I would like to hear from everyone on their opinion if they think the market over saturated or is it still possible to make a living making small games for mobile? Are any of you earning enough to do this full-time?

Cheers
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  • My 2 cents:

    The ios market is way over-saturated. The times where you just needed to publsih a game and you would get some nice pocket money from impulse buyers is gone. Definately.

    The android market suffers from its LINUX mentality and also because of ad blockers it cuts out some money making models too now. And also it is oversaturated.

    Personally I thinking seriously about leaving mobile dev. Or try app development and not games anymore.

    I would never be able to make a living with it so far.
  • My belief, unsubstantiated, is that you either put a heck of a lot of time and marketing and luck into one or two apps, or that you have a gazillion small apps and luck.

    I have a 99c puzzle app, that is downloaded once in a blue moon, and my scrapbooking app, which was at least 6 months of development, gets me about $7/day. Admittedly that one has never been marketed and is woefully in need of an update that I am not able to give it currently. But even the free version is only downloaded about 15-20 times a day, and if paid, that number would not give a living.

    I read somewhere that any decent app will take at least 6 months of development, because if it doesn't, it's already been written.
  • techdojotechdojo Guru
    edited May 2012
    Every market is potentially over saturated, film, tv, music, the internet - but that doesn't (and shouldn't) stop anyone from trying.

    It just means you have to be more creative and do something different (find a new angle) to make YOU stand out from the crowd. It's not a case of "if you code it they will download", but "if you make it BETTER, engage with your customers, give them something they want - even if they don't know they want it, are patient, hardworking, professional, care about the little things, polish till it gleams and are prepared to listen, learn and NEVER give up" then yes you CAN be a success.

    Yes - adblockers on Android are a pain and they can negate a large potential revenue stream, so don't rely on Ad's (look for other unique ways to monetise)

    Look to new markets, other niches - last year a good friend of mine released a live wallpaper on the android market, something he'd been fiddling with for ages (polishing and refining his code), I told him it was nice but I doubted he'd make a bomb with it - despite him telling me the live wallpaper market was worth millions of dollars each year.

    Considering he's now got well over 1 Million downloads for the free version and 100,000+ for his paid version he proved me wrong (even after tax he and his partner cleared over £25k between them, for about 3 months of part time work - yeah I bet your listening now!), and after I finally picked my jaw up off the floor I was able to make HIM realise that the REAL money was not in the sales of this app, but in the value of now having a direct line to over A MILLION proven customers who trust him and would be in a much better position to purchase / download from him again and after much nagging on my part I convinced him to put in a feature where by he could send a message / ad for HIS next app direct to an existing user - talk about targeted marketing!

    This is just an example - there are loads of people everyday finding new ways to work in new markets. One of my favourite stories is of a company that decided to try and get in on the California gold rush, the company (Minesota Mining & Manufacturing) decided that there was more money to be paid selling shovels and mining equipment to people who wanted to mine rather than mining themselves, this was just one area the company now known as 3M got into.

    A couple of years ago I wrote an article that was aimed at people trying to break into the games business, some of the principals might still be relevant - you can find it on my website at http://bit.ly/Mbjldl

    @MikeHart - I'd say hang on it there, often times people give up just before they get their big break (it's always darkest before the dawn, etc etc), if it's truly your passion then giving up will haunt you for the rest of your days!

    @Caroline - one strategy is to leverage the long tail principal, once the app is up, it's up for good, use each app to help market the others and ok one app making $7 a day is not a great deal, but by the time you've got 10 or more it starts to mount up.

    The kicker is to find your "why", why are you doing it for a hobby, a part time business or a full time income - any business during it's startup phase needs to attract customers, in the app store business you either need to get lot's of products out fairly quickly (affectionately known as "Zhenging" :) ) or partner with someone else and provide services they don't have. Rovio, Halfbrick they all had several less than stellar successes before finally building up to the big one (I think Angry Birds was something like Rovio's 57th app?)

    Oh and apparently it took Edison over 10,000 attempts to perfect the light bulb.

    "When Thomas Edison was interviewed by a young reporter who boldly asked Mr. Edison if he felt like a failure and if he thought he should just give up by now. Perplexed, Edison replied, "Young man, why would I feel like a failure? And why would I ever give up? I now know definitively over 9,000 ways that an electric light bulb will not work. Success is almost in my grasp." And shortly after that, and over 10,000 attempts, Edison invented the light bulb."

    My own case - I've been a registered Apple developer now for a good 18 months, I've got three apps of my own on the store (all now free), I think in total I've probably earned about $10 from them if I'm lucky (so little that Apple has still yet to cut me my first cheque), however as a result of that experience (and my coding expertise) I've racked up a decent amount of "pin money" that's contributed a bit as a second income, paid for my Mac, added to the holiday budget etc etc as a consultant and "ghost" developer for other people / projects, OK it's not going to set the world alight but for me this is my hobby - hopefully it'll become something more but at the moment I'm having fun and it's paying for itself.

    One last thought to leave you with...

    "There has been more gold, mined from the hearts and minds of men than has ever been found in the ground"

    Jon...


    WhiteTree Games - Home, home on the web, where the bits and bytes they do play!
    #MakeABetterGame! "Never give up, Never NEVER give up!" - Winston Churchill
  • @techdojo

    Hi Jon, you are absolutely right about what you say. I pray that all the times too. It is just that atm. I think I am in some kind of hole. I know I should work harder on this, but right now I can't kick myself to do it. The real deal is to get the people to know your app. And that is the difficult part. You can have the best app out there. If it isn't known, no one cares.
    Look at Angry Birds. It's not that they have published this kind of game as the first developer out there. Others had done it before. But somehow it became viral and then took off. The production is good but it is not like the others were crap. So to me, visibility is 99% that counts.

    Mike
  • Btw. from May 17th, my game sold 9 times.

    4 on android, 5 on ios. And I knew 2 people on Android myself and 3 on IOS.
  • ar2rsawseenar2rsawseen Maintainer
    Call me naive (really, you can do that), but I hope I can pull it through, to make it a full time job and even make my friends quit their job to starting helping me more.

    Well I haven't released any of my apps (there were some apps for clients, etc, but that does not count), so you may not listen to what I have to say, but in my opinion quality is what matters the most.

    If you put a lot of work in your apps and create quality games with eye catching graphics (this actually is a most important point), sooner or later, you'll get spotted. And if these games are also innovative, then it will be sooner rather than later.
  • @MikeHart: You need to hype it up a little. Post a few screen shots and purchase links on your Facebook / Google+ / Twitter pages. Write a post about it in your blogs, again with links and screens hots. Post links to your blog posts on FB / G+ / Twitter. Post links to the blog posts in forums you visit. Propagate the links and it should generate a few more sales.

    I have 4 ebooks on Google Play, all are free and between them they have 3934 downloads, of which 17% (676) are still active. One of them still retains 22% active installs and is still generating pennies in advertising almost every day.

    To date they have generated $17+ in advertising with one of them making $0.14 today from one click. None of them have been updated or promoted for over 1 year, maybe that might be a job for the weekend.
  • @everyone!

    "Never give up, Never NEVER give up!"
    - Winston Churchill
    WhiteTree Games - Home, home on the web, where the bits and bytes they do play!
    #MakeABetterGame! "Never give up, Never NEVER give up!" - Winston Churchill
  • MellsMells Guru
    edited May 2012
    I haven't released any apps yet.
    But A few years ago I have released my books for children as free ebooks + artworks for free.
    I have built a mailing list and I'm helping artists to get their books published. Now the list is big enough to make me feel that I'm not alone on this adventure.
    My plan is that this mailing list is an asset to get my next free apps downloaded a few times right from day one because I care for my readers and they care for me.

    Now I have made around 90 hres illustrations, representing 8 apps. I don't know how to code well, but I trust my ability to work hard and create some visuals that will make people interested first so they want to download the app (for free).
    I will release a few of it for free because app sales will only be one stream of income, I focus more on licensing, selling related products ("how to release an app when you are an artist and don't know how to code" type of things), etc...

    I believe there are a lot of ways to make money with apps without selling apps but this is like an experiment, chances are that I'll totally fail. But that's ok, that's only one part of my revenue strategy.

    In my case the best thing that happened is that I didn't fall in love with the process of making apps but more with the ability to reach potentially millions of users and make ideas and stories spread. I think that's where the need and the money are (me too, call me naive :)
    twitter@TheWindApps Artful applications : The Wind Forest. #art #japan #apps
  • It's ironic (and counter intuitive) but the reality is that often focusing on the finance side of the equation first leads to bad decisions, poor product design and a substandard result. On the other hand by keeping focus on the product, making it the best it can be, improving the ways in which it can be of service to the world and not worrying about the potential rewards can lead to greater financial gain in the long term.

    Google Derek Sivers and his uncommon sense book / talk.

    Another fact - a lot (if not all) of the mobile income / opportunities that I've had recently have come either directly or indirectly from me being "of service" on internet forums and boards just like this, people have got in touch privately having seen my posts and asked for help, tuition, consultation and or development services (often freely given), then one thing leads to another and bingo money in the bank (and some new friends / future contacts as well :) ) but when I "tout for business" in the traditional channels often times I don't get any response.
    WhiteTree Games - Home, home on the web, where the bits and bytes they do play!
    #MakeABetterGame! "Never give up, Never NEVER give up!" - Winston Churchill
  • So you wanna be my pimp now is that it - me being your coffee biatch not good enough for you anymore :)

    Likes: chipster123

    WhiteTree Games - Home, home on the web, where the bits and bytes they do play!
    #MakeABetterGame! "Never give up, Never NEVER give up!" - Winston Churchill
    +1 -1 (+1 / -0 ) Share on Facebook
  • @Mike you hang in there you are doing some *amazing* things!

    I was using your InDEed app with the Beer SDK before coming across here and I'm about to start looking at your UIKit plug-in. I had kinda given up doing apps, I became an app developer over 2 years ago and have developed 5 utility style apps and 2 games.

    I have earned a reasonable amount of cash over that time but I havent really done much lately and sales are sliding. I recently read a book called appilionaires and its quite interesting how even the successful games burned on initial release. I already knew the story of Rovio and Angry Birds, 48 games were made and they were about to give when AB was done as a 'side' project. A 4 man team spending about 9 months on it in their spare time, total dev cost around $70K.

    Things I have learned; work the niches - my best selling app is a fertility app. Thing is it has a worldwide audience and will always be something of interest. Get a website and sit a blog behind it, I have mostfertile.net built using a template I kinda copy and paste and sit a blog behind it with a WP autoposter to keep content fresh.

    Games - even if they arent that great make the screenshots and splash screens look *great*; I'm no designer so outsource it if you arent using odesk or fiverr

    Experiment with price, put it up, down whatever

    Try the freemium model, give your app away and use IAP to get stuff like add-ons, alot of games seem to be using this to gain traction

    And keep at it! Ive not done much of late but I'm determined to start again


    Gary
  • I've been on the App Store for 2 years at least. I've made a few hunderd dollars in that time, enough to pay the fees and still have a few hunderd dollars profit. It certainly has not paid for the laptop I bought to do the development. And it is nothing like the 40K my other 3 partners and Ithought we would make.

    I've read a lot about this since I started and it pretty much comes down to how much time and how much effort you put into it. There are lucky devs who strike it rich (Temple Run folks). But for the rest of us, if you are a full time developer you will probably barely squeek by. If you are a hobby/weekend programmer, you will earn some pocket change.

    I'm totally a hobby programmer and I make what is typical of a hobby programmer. I do it because I like games. Maybe one day I'll have built up enough to put out a game that I would be excited to tell everyone about. That is one thing I've learned with my games, they aren't quite the games that I think I would want to tell everyone about. They were "finished" on deadline ("I'm getting tired of this and if I don't put something up then I'll never finish it").

    I could improve them so that they are the games I originally wanted but I've read a lot of things about this. When you have a finished working game, you are half-way done. And 90% of the work takes 10% of the time. If you want a good game, you have to polish and polish and polish and never stop polishing. I think this is what I read about Jetpack Joyride (a game I love more than Temple Run). I just don't have whatever it takes to stick with it and polish my games like I should.

    And yes, I've heard that you have to have something like 10 games before you will start to earn much money. I'm not sure if that is because it pays to have a lot of titles or because after 10 games you finally know what you are doing.

    Honestly, I'm kinda tired of Cocoa. I love Apple but I've known Objective-C over 7 years (and before that I was attempting to learn it in my spare time for 5 years) and I'm still not fluent in anything except NSDictionary and NSArray. I've somewhat learned how to use UITables and UIViewControllers because I wrote a table heavy app that displayed lots of data (not a game). But I spend all of my time in the API docs and some API's are just impossible to figure out from the docs and there is no example code anywhere. That's part of the reason I'm learning Gideros. It didn't take long to become decently fluent in Lua and the Gideros API is similarly easy (I'm still not sure about Box2d because I haven't tackled it fully). And by fluent I mean be able to write code for long stretches of time without having to look at examples or documentation.

    But I like the idea about 3M selling shovels. I've heard that there were only like a dozen or two people who really found much gold in Alaska's Yukon and yet thosands flocked to the find theirs and endured unbelievable conditions to try to find it (and most of the ones who found gold actually spent it in Alaska and went home empty handed--if they went home at all). And the biggest irony is that there was more gold found in Idaho (the potato state) then in the Alaska and California gold rushes combined. The only problem was that the Idaho gold was under the feet of Native American's and they fought to keep the gold miners away. So it wasn't easy either.

    Apple's WWDC has an unusually high number of to-be-announced sessions that appear to be significant. That could mean disruption in the industry and there are always opportunities when there is disruption (and I've heard that causing disruption is part of Apple's core business model, so I'm hopeful). And maybe my perspective is distorted from having a computer administrator day job, but in my opinion any excuse to code is worth it.
  • Oh, and I have to agree with the experiment suggestion. I get a ton of sales when I make my games free for a week or 2 and then switch it to paid. But the sales always drop. I haven't even checked my sales for a few months... But if I were really into it I could totally manipulate stuff to get more. But in my opinion my time is better spent building a better game that I'd *want* to tell everyone about and "market" people into buying.

    There are also other things like using the "free-for-a-day" services. I use to check some websites like applenapps.com daily (and I've found games that I like doing it--I'm just tired of checking now). Those actually work.

    What doesn't work is Twitter ad campaigns and paying for someone else to do your marketing. Seriously, marketers probably make more money from indy game developers than the indy game developers make. A lot of indy games that struck it rich didn't market at all.

    And ya know sometimes I remind myself that as a 20 year old all I wanted was an app that people used, even if I didn't make money on it (yeah, I was kinda dumb). And when I think what a waste of time all of my effort was on my current games I just tell myself that at least I've fulfilled one of my childhood "dreams". lol
  • Ok, lol, one more addition. I also agree that you can get paid far more making apps for other people. The people who got me into making iOS games made a lot of money because they were on the store when it first came out. That has paid for them to stay involved in making apps but they mostly do contract work, not their own apps. And they make a lot of money on it. They have hired several developers (and almost hired me but I like my day job too much). They make a lot of their money making apps for other businesses. And being able to make an iOS and Android version is a huge plus.

    But beware the crazy "I've got the best app idea, it will make millions" people. They usually say they will pay you with the profits from the app. And they expect you to do the work and they supply the idea. Yes, I've been that person before and seriously, stay away from them. If you are going to do work for other people you need to have a contract and be paid by the hour or for the feature and never allow feature creep (or if they really want new features you need to renegociate the contract and the price).
  • About that "Making apps for other people". The last two jobs I did were of mixed satisfaction. The first one was about fixing bugs and adding new stuff. The guy told me in emails exactly what he wanted and I delivered. He was satisfied, I was satisfied.

    The last job was weird. This guys also told me what he wanted. I agreed. Then he said, lets do a bitbucket page and he will upload a design document. Mmmh, ok. Of course the document included other things that we didn't had intially agreed on. I didn't wanna let him down. So I worked on his additions too. Once finished he wanted to have extra stuff in this features, called the implementation bugged because these features were not there. And it went on....
    This job kinda burned me. And I learned that I will definately have to ask for a full featured design document next time where EVERYTHING is explained what the customer wants. And don't sell yourself to cheap. It bits you afterwards.
  • Yep agree Magnus I *never* take the 'ive got a great app idea' jobs on anyway and never have. In fact if someone does say that I normally ask what their marketing plan and marketing budget is. Typically they have neither a plan nor the money, sadly there is still this perception that 'build it and they will come...'

    I know what you mean about Cocoa, I found it (and still do) quirky, attempted to self learn it and even with 20 years dev experience in BASIC, DBase, Clipper, FoxPro and Delphi still struggled and ended up spending £1000 on a 3 day bootcamp which helped enormously.

    Gary
  • This is turning out to be a seriously good thread - and I think should be required reading for anyone interested in development, as should the Appilionaires book (especially the chapter on the $0.99 customer)!

    Interestingly, when my FieryDragon app was listed with a price, I would get maybe 1 or 2 sales a month, I made it free for one day and got 180 downloads in one afternoon, as soon as I put the price back up the sales dropped like a stone - there's lessons to be learnt here about marketing, app ideas, target markets etc etc, some you have to learn the hard way, just make sure you learn and apply them.

    The great thing about developing for the App Store is that you can change, details, descriptions, keywords, screenshots, price points etc very quickly and the more successful apps generally do, test - see what effect it has on sales, re-test and continue.

    This is easy to say although a lot of dev's don't bother (me included generally) - they focus 99% of their effort on finishing the app and forget that the job is still only 50% done, making the app is one thing, selling it is quite another. I think the reason is that developers want to develop, and marketers / salesmen want to market / sell, if you haven't got a passion for the other side of the equation then find someone who has - I'd be more than happy to split app sales on an equal basis with a good salesman / marketeer as 50% of a lot of sales is better than 100% of none.

    Also re the consulting, if anybodies thinking about doing some - here's my advice on that...

    As a general rule when consulting I have a set practice that I never deviate from in the form of a series of steps.

    1. Consult and get a guideline for what the customer wants
    2. Design a spec and get the customer to agree to it, detail a stepped payment plan with an initial payment to start development off.
    3. Work begins when the customer makes the first payment.
    4. Ship work and collect the next staged payment.
    5. Repeat until job done.

    This works for both parties as the exposure to risk is limited, at worst your never more than one staged payment out of pocket should it all turn to s***, the customer is also not being asked to pay fully in advance for work that will never be done (you'd be surprised how often that happens).

    Generally I allow the final payment to be made a set time AFTER final delivery so that the customer has an opportunity to find bugs, make last minute fixes etc - if you work the spec and the price carefully, not getting this payment shouldn't leave you out of pocket (think of it as a finishing bonus rather than the final payment) - again meaning you can walk away should you need to if things turn sour.

    Regarding changes, feature creep is a big problem - that's why I spend the extra time at the beginning of the project to make sure I document things as much as possible and get the customer to sign off on them. If (when) changes are requested I make it clear what the impact of any changes will be (both time and cost wise) and if the client / customer doesn't agree they don't get done. period.

    At the end of the day - I approach consulting like I'm running a business, not playing with friends, I treat the customer with respect but remain firm and let them know where the boundaries are, I believe they respect that and me and forms the basis for a good working relationship - if the customer can't / won't agree to my terms then chances are they're probably not a good customer and you'll be better off without them and wait for the next customer to come along. Good communication is the key - if something's going wrong or there are delays, I let the customer know and do what's required to get back on track later.

    Lastly - I only ever quote fixed prices for fixed jobs, it focuses you (the developer) on making sure the spec is as complete as possible the first time round so you can more accurately estimate the time involved (not easy!) and it's you who (IMHO) should pay if you get your scheduling wrong (not the customer), it reduces the opportunity to waste time or overbill and I believe it gives the customer an extra sense of security knowing in advance what the total will be.

    WhiteTree Games - Home, home on the web, where the bits and bytes they do play!
    #MakeABetterGame! "Never give up, Never NEVER give up!" - Winston Churchill
  • @MikeHart - One last thing, don't be afraid to look for new opportunities and if you can't find one, make one!

    Your UIKit plugin is just BEGGING out to be extended, expose more of the functionality, document it, add more features, let me customise the heck out of the table views, make them as flexible as possible, add proper support for all the various button types on the toolbars, add tab bar support, allow me to get access to CoreGraphics so I can override the default look / feel - allow me to skin my UI's (see http://www.raywenderlich.com/2033/core-graphics-101-lines-rectangles-and-gradients).

    This is stuff I NEED and I'm going to have to do myself (the hard way - I'd rather be writing apps I hate the back-end stuff) if someone else doesn't do this for me. Create this as a proper native plugin (even if you provide it as a .a lib file to protect your source) and you'll have an amazing product on your hands that you could make a ton of money from just from promoting on this forum. I'll be your first customer!
    WhiteTree Games - Home, home on the web, where the bits and bytes they do play!
    #MakeABetterGame! "Never give up, Never NEVER give up!" - Winston Churchill
  • For anyone who's interested in mobile development (especially iOS) Ray's site should be in EVERYONE's feed reader!

    http://www.raywenderlich.com/11359/how-to-market-and-promote-your-games-and-apps-part-1
    WhiteTree Games - Home, home on the web, where the bits and bytes they do play!
    #MakeABetterGame! "Never give up, Never NEVER give up!" - Winston Churchill
  • Yep the pricing thing is strange as mentioned in the book so agree TD you get more people moaning about a poor .99c than you do a $2 one!

    My two games, one a crossfire game and the other a simple block stacking game hit hundreds of downloads.

    One thing has anyone ever looked into pay per install? (PPI) You pay each time a user installs your app, typically prompted from another successful game like wefarm or whatever. The idea being it drives sales and pushes you up the charts.
  • ar2rsawseenar2rsawseen Maintainer
    edited June 2012
    I've got the best app idea, which will make millions.
    But I don't have a marketing plan, nor money, so I'm just going to make it on my own :))

    Sorry, couldn't resist. But I guess this idea at least once, came to mind of anyone on this forum
  • But, but, but I truly do have an idea for a game that will sell millions so if you one of you will just write it for me, one of you can draw the graphics, one of you do the sfx & music and one of you market and sell it then I'll split the profits with you. :)

  • Yeah and I'll make the coffee!
    WhiteTree Games - Home, home on the web, where the bits and bytes they do play!
    #MakeABetterGame! "Never give up, Never NEVER give up!" - Winston Churchill
  • phongttphongtt Guru
    edited June 2012
    My humble opinion:

    Nothing is easy, even in the past, today, or in the future.
    At any moment these difficulties still exist: knowledge, experience, resource, skill, competitor, some kind of limitation, etc. You can't say today is difficult than in the past or vice versa. It's hard to compare. In the past there are failed and succeeded people, just like today, and in the past there are still many other difficulties.

    Regarding game sales, honestly and obviously the revenue comes from my games can't cover my team's living yet. The games are just "okay", not special nor stand out yet. I need more time to make better games and find a right path :)

    But one imporant thing, still in my humble opinion, that can help better sales (I'm not talking about a "great" game or a "niche" product - just in general - but of course not crap ones) is *visibility*. Your game may only attract 1% of users, but 1% of 100,000 users seeing it is totally different from 1% of 1M or 10M users seeing it.


    @techdojo: thanks for the inspirational quote in your sig :)
  • @phongtt - your welcome :) and it's going to stay there now, just to keep reminding everyone (me included!)
    When you have a finished working game, you are half-way done. And 90% of the work takes 10% of the time. If you want a good game, you have to polish and polish and polish and never stop polishing. I think this is what I read about Jetpack Joyride (a game I love more than Temple Run). I just don't have whatever it takes to stick with it and polish my games like I should.
    That's 100% true and it's the one thing that separates the professionals from the hobbyists.

    And yes, I've heard that you have to have something like 10 games before you will start to earn much money. I'm not sure if that is because it pays to have a lot of titles or because after 10 games you finally know what you are doing.
    I think it's a combination of both. For me the best thing about Software Development is that there is always more to learn and always ways in which you can improve, even if it's only a little bit each time, it's still a step in the right direction.

    The Japanese have a term for it they call it Kaizen (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kaizen)
    WhiteTree Games - Home, home on the web, where the bits and bytes they do play!
    #MakeABetterGame! "Never give up, Never NEVER give up!" - Winston Churchill
  • @techdojo, wow, Kaizen is very cool. I think the ideas of agile development fall into this category also, but imo agile is too defined to be universally useful. But I've liked the ideas. But Kaizen explains the ideas even better. Just slow progress.

    Another idea is to teach. That's actually how I'm going to make my first paycheck from Gideros. The time I'm spending vs paycheck is comparable to what I would get from an app, if not more profitable. And in the process of preparing for the class I'm building up a palette of skills and tools so that I can make a game. I've also been told by many parents that kids are dying to be taught how to make games and they would pay for private instruction. I'm played with the idea of doing private instruction but I don't really have the personality for it so I'm slow to do it.

    And one more idea. The Alaska and California gold rushes happened before the Idaho gold rush. If you want to be in on a gold rush, you have to be in the business where gold rushes happen, and you have to not burn yourself out. But you have to have an income until your gold rush comes. It's best that that income come from something that will get you closer, not farther, from your gold rush. This is why I say any excuse to code is a good excuse.

    Imangi Studios is the poster child. 3 people. I keep seeing things that says Imangi is more popular than Zynga, but I'm pretty sure FarmVille still has more active users (75 million FarmVille users vs 20 million Temple Run downloads?).

    http://www.imangistudios.com/about.html

    http://techcrunch.com/2012/01/15/temple-run/

    Great article. Here's what I think is most relevant:

    "by designing Temple Run to be fun without having to pay, it became the top grossing iOS game despite only 1% of users monetizing."

    And the best advice from the above article I think is this: "The first step was making a game that resonated with users emotionally."

    Contrast this with Zynga's business model which is to create an addictive experience that requires you to pay them to get your fix.

    "So I funded the company myself but I did every horrible thing in the book to, just to get revenues right away. I mean we gave our users poker chips if they downloaded this zwinky toolbar which was like, I dont know, I downloaded it once and couldn't get rid of it. *laughs*"

    "And studies have shown that people who think they chose to do something (even if they didn't) are more motivated than people who were forced to do that same thing."

    Read more: 6 Devious Ways Farmville Gets People Hooked | Cracked.com http://www.cracked.com/article_18709_6-devious-ways-farmville-gets-people-hooked.html

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/benzingainsights/2011/08/12/zynga-appeals-to-the-same-psychology-as-gambling-says-analytics-expert-jeff-tseng/

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