Friday, 31 October 2014

Ready For The Play Store

Today might be the day. I've now played my game through from the beginning to the end so I know all the achievements are winnable. The major bugs are (hopefully) fixed, though I don't delude myself into believing that it's now completely bug free. Bug-free computer code is theoretically impossible. In fact, I'm pretty sure serious research goes into that very subject and nobody has yet established a way of ensuring that the almost infinite number of inputs going into a system will produce a finite set of predictable results. So, although the game plays okay, there's probably going to be some person who comes along and jams a thumb in a place where I never expected somebody to jam a thumb, producing some crazy results. If a company like Bungee can produce a million dollar game like Destiny, release it to the public, and then face the problems they've faced recently with people exploiting cheats to boost their statistics or, as one particularly clever soul did, discover a way of jumping up a cliff face in order to explore an area of the game that Bungee had yet to unlock, then I'm pretty sure I'm going to face a few headaches over the coming weeks as people tell me that my game throws a fit whenever they do X,Y, or Z.

The moment I stick it on the Play store, I'll be on here talking about it and no doubt boring you with videos about how I made it and things I've learned about Unity in the approximately two months (and two days) it's taken me to build it since I started coding on the 28th August.

My final jobs today are to do with the marketing. I've recorded some gameplay footage which I now have to edit into a short video to include with my Play Store listing and on the website I've built to advertise the game and provide contact details for all the complaints I expect to receive. Then I need to double check all my text for typos.

One final coding job might remain but that's based on a last minute decision I've yet to make. How much I want to annoy players to encourage them to buy the ad-free version? At the moment, I have ads at the top of the screen but I'm wondering if I should add some interstitials ads, which are the full screen ads that occasionally pop up during gameplay. I don't like them, I don't want to add them, but the game as it currently stands is perfectly playable with banner ads. In fact, it might be too playable with banner ads and banner ads are going to earn me so little that they might as well not be there. Interstitials would earn me more but, more importantly, would give people a reason for upgrading.

The alternative is to carry on coding once the free version is built. Once that's launched, I could branch off a paid-for version of the game and start adding features to it. Other game modes might make it more attractive. I don't know. Any thoughts or advice are, as always, very welcome.


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