I’m quite excited to announce a new free mobile games and apps discovery service called Free Games Bandit. Free Games Bandit was invented to serve two purposes:
App discovery from the users point of view
First and foremost, as an avid mobile app user and gamer I have a MASSIVE gripe with app stores such as Google Play and Apple’s App Store. When I visit Google Play and the iOS App Store I am ALWAYS presented with apps and games that I have seen before. Not only that these apps and games rarely change. I can log in every day for a week and see the same old stuff there. I am forced to drill down categories for hours and hours just to find an app or game that’s new or different. I feel very strongly that app discovery at the moment on the major app stores is stagnant and a mind numbing experience.
Free Games Bandit solves this discovery problem by presenting a collection of random games and apps to you the user. It also presents them in an exciting interactive format that feels very game like making app discovery FUN.
App discovery from the game and app developers point of view
So as a mobile game and app developer you created your latest marvel app or game and put it on the app store, did a little PR, posted to various gaming forums, told your friends, announced on Facebook / Twitter etc, maybe a little paid advertising, but where are the sales and downloads?
80% of most new apps and games for Android and iPhone / iPad get buried at the bottom of the app store under the immense weight of the app stores themselves. what are your chances of being discovered? That’s right, virtually 0, which is evident with how many apps are on Google Play / Apple App Store with fewer than 10 downloads. What would your downloads look like if you as a developer had the same chance of getting your app discovered as all other developers? Free Games bandit does not discriminate, all app developers that add an app have the same chance of being discovered
So if you are an app user / gamer looking for a new, unique and interesting way of finding new apps and games or a mobile developer looking for a fair and free way of promoting your apps then pop over to Free Games Bandit. Note that there is no sign up required to use or add apps.
Free Games Bandit on Facebook
Free Games Bandit is now available on Facebook as an app at https://apps.facebook.com/freegamesbandit. I’ve also added a Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/freegamesbandit where you can keep up to date with development news.
Looking at my recent app sales / downloads and feeling quite disappointed I sat wondering why none of my apps have yet been featured on Google Play. I searched around and around and finally found something that could explain why. A recent-ish (2012 to be exact) talk by Dan Galpin and Ian Lewis at the Google I/O conference offered up some dos and donts when it comes to “possibly” being featured on Google Play. The video of the Google I/O event can be watched here.
A basic summary is shown below:
- Make sure app works on latest OS release (hide soft buttons too)
- Do not enable copy protection in Google Play developer console (this has already been removed)
- Use back button to pop up pause menu or return to previous screen
- Respect Android life cycle. One tip, when game returns from paused state, pop up a game paused menu and never lose game progress
- Don’t use certain permissions if your app doesn’t really use them such as read / write SMS, change wifi state etc..
- Conserve system resources (memory, battery etc..)
- Follow Google’s rules such as a) dont use other 3rd party IAP API’s b) Do not upload apps that download others apps c) Do not bribe users for 5 star reviews
- IAP must be done correctly, including taking into account situation where purchase was not delivered because the app was paused or shut down
- Make sure game works and runs well across wide variety of different devices
- Get app store listing correct and make sure that the featured images are ok at a low resolution, such as text can be read. Don’t include keyword spamming or phrases such as “if you like xxxx then” or use over salesy type language
There are more tips, so its well worth watching the video.
Good luck with getting your app or game featured on Google Play.
And my latest creation is now live, ShinAnimals a fun Yorkshire themed arcade puzzle game made using AppEasy> (Powered under the hood by the Marmalade SDK) and the Goji Editor. You can download from Google Play at:
FREE - http://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.drmop.shinanimals
Premium - http://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.drmop.shinanimalssmooth
You can also download for iPHone, iPad and iPod from the Apple App Store at:
FREE - http://itunes.apple.com/app/shinanimals/id889729274
Premium - http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/shinanimals-smooth/id891885372?mt=8
Word of warning, this game is highly addictive and will put you on the edge of your seat!
Animals ShinAnimals, no longer content with grazing and lounging around all day the animals at the Yorkshire farm are bored to tears and have demanded that the farmer provide them some fun. The farmer has decided to arrange some mild entertainment by constructing 40 puzzles for the animals to crack. Can you help the animals crack all 40 puzzles?
The aim of the game is to crack each puzzle by stacking piles of animals ever higher, the higher the stack the more points the animals score. To beat a puzzle the farm animals must beat the target score set by the farmer. Puzzles start out simple, but soon become difficult including swinging crates, springy bridges, unstable constructions, traps, footballs and more.
- Normal and hard (Yorkshire) game modes
- 40 unique levels
- Hi-score tables
- Pickups, traps and other dangers
- Cheat system to help pass difficult levels
- FREE to play
- Can be enjoyed by kids and adults alike
- Yorkshire sound effects!
Made in Yorkshire by Yorkshire people, absolutely no Yorkshire animals were harmed during its making.
The clever bunnies over at Marmalade Technologies have today released an awesome new piece of open source technology called Marmalade Juice that I have no doubt many iOS developers will be thrilled to hear about. Catchy name aside, what is this Marmalade Juice technology all about and what can it do for iOS developers? Lets take a quick look at what is says on the tin.
“Marmalade Juice is a new and innovative technology which gives developers the ability to recompile their iOS projects natively for Android. And, because there is no need for laborious re-writing, you can focus on making your game the best it can be.”
So what does that mean? In essence it means that you can take your existing Objective-C XCode code base, compile and run it on the Android platform. As Marmalade Juice is an evolving technology there are a few areas that Juice does not currently fully support, but using the already existing Marmalade extensions you can still utilise them with a little code rework. Not much to ask considering that its infinitely easier than learning the Java / Android development ecosystem, oh and don’t get me started on Eclipse!
So in essence Marmalade Juice equates to easy porting from iOS to Android (that’s over 1 billion extra devices to target your games at!) for iOS developers around the world and an extra revenue stream, which is always nice for budding indie developers and the big boys alike.
All you need to get going is Marmalade Juice, XCode and the Android SDK.
Oh, even more great news. Juice will now be included in all Marmalade licenses and for a limited amount of time the yearly community license is free, so you get to play with Juice for free!
Interested? then mosey on over to the Marmalade Juice web site and grab a license whilst its free.
Pocketeers has announced the release of two of its new memory game titles aimed at adults and children, Shuffle Match and Shuffle Match for Kids. Both titles were created using the Goji Editor game IDE and the AppEasy cross platform game engine.
Shuffle Match is a fun endless challenge memory game that starts out with an easy two grid and progresses up to a ten grid over time, ramping up the difficulty the longer you play, guaranteeing a great memory workout. Features include:
* Endless challenge, go as far as your memory will take you
* Easy and hard play modes
* Track your progress
* Play up to 10 x 10 memory grid in hard mode
* Very colourful graphics
* Great sound track
* NO IAP so no chance of kids running up huge bills
Shuffle Match for Kids is a version of Shuffle match that is optimised for children and has been tested on children of different age groups to optimise grid sizes and round times to ensure that the game does not become too difficult too quickly. 3 game modes are available based on age range, including younger than 6, 7 to 10 year old’s and 11+. Features include:
* Designed for 3 age ranges (6 and younger, 7 to 10 year old’s and 11 and over)
* Very colourful graphics
* Perky sound track
* Your child can track their progress to see how they improve
* NO IAP so no chance of children running up huge bills
Both titles are also available on Android, Blackberry PlayBook and BlackBerry 10 phones and tablets.
Shuffle Match and Shuffle Match for Kids were created using the Goji Editor which is a powerful game and app creation IDE that is compatible with AppEasy, Marmalade Quick, Corona and Gideros engines.
If you are thinking about paid advertising to sell your new mobile game or app then you may want to think again. I came across this very informative article outlining the experiences of a real mobile game developer and would recommend it as a must read:
Misadventures in Mobile Advertising on Gamasutra
The article paints a VERY bleak picture of extortionate CPI advertising where the likes of Apple (yes Apple you read that correctly), are effectively charging over $60 per user acquisition. To add insult to injury the developer that got the acquisition is paid just a cent! This is not limited to just Apple, many advertises are up to the same extortionate tricks.
And the second game that I wanted to cover today from Marmalade Play is a new sports title called “The Activision Decathlon”. You can download for Android on Google Play and iOS on iTunes.
I don’t know how many of you are old enough to remember the good old “Daley Thompson’s Decathlon” back on the Spectrum / Commodore (if you are then you probably have trouble reading the text on this page ), but I was addicted to that 8 bit classic, so I have a bit of a soft spot for decathlon style games. Here’s more info on Marmalade Play’s latest and greatest:
And here’s a little video to whet your appetite:
Relive the glory days again with this revamped version of the ultimate sports game. The Activision Decathlon features all of its legendary events including the long jump, hurdles, javelin, and the all time classic…100 meters! Put your athlete through their paces in single player or go head to head against friends to unlock skills and abilities and reach the top of the podium.
CAN YOU BE AN ATHLETICS CHAMELEON?
Prove your worth in 10 events! The 100m, 400m, 1500m, 110m Hurdles, Long Jump, High Jump, Pole Vault, Javelin, Shot Put and Discus.
TRAIN TO REACH THE STARS
As any athlete will tell you, it’s all in the training. Earn stars, coins and skill points from great performance in practise events to level up and progress through the game.
SHOP ‘TIL YOU DROP
Who said money can’t buy a bit of success? Use your winnings to customise your athlete with more than 30 performance enhancing pieces of gear, training packs and energy supplements.
- UPDATED CONTROLS, GRAPHICS AND GAMEPLAY
- 8 DECATHLON LEAGUES TO UNLOCK
- GO HEAD TO HEAD WITH YOUR FRIENDS IN REAL-TIME MULTIPLAYER COMPETITION
- 10 ICONIC TRACK AND FIELD EVENTS TO COMPETE IN
Just a quick blog to report two great new made with Marmalade games for both iOS and Android are now available from Marmalade Play. The first of these games is a new top end racer called Blur Overdrive. You can download for Android on Google Play and iOS on iTunes.
The first game is Blur Overdrive, which is a top notch driving game. Having worked on creating around 6 racing titles for Electronic Arts in a past life I know how difficult it is to get it right and how easy it can go wrong. I’m happy to say that Blur Overdrive does a fantastic job at getting it right. Here’s more info:
Here’s a little video to whet your appetite:
Immerse yourself in the intense racing experience of Blur Overdrive. With eight insane power-ups this isn’t just racing, this is POWERED UP racing! The race track is your battle ground and you must shunt the other drivers to snatch the chequered flag and progress through the game. Buckle up and ride the beautiful chaos that is Blur Overdrive.
Collect and deploy eight pyrotechnic power-ups to aid your performance and damage rival vehicles. Barge, shock and shield your way to the finish line or use your nitro power-up to leave your opponents behind.
RACE HOW YOU WANT, WHERE YOU WANT
Blur has 9 different types of races to be won from a Showcase Battle to an Eliminator. Battle through the various races to reach new stages of competition and unleash your torque.
BUILD YOUR RACING EMPIRE
With your race winnings, browse the Showroom to purchase the car to conquer the next racetrack.
- 4 RACING CLASSES AND 10+ SPECIAL EVENTS
- 8 AWESOME POWER UPS – MINES, SHIELD, SHUNT, NITRO, SHOCK, BARGE, REPAIR & BOLTS
- REALISTIC AND REWARDING HANDLING MODE ACROSS THE 4 CLASSES
- 25 CARS TO OWN, DRIVE AND RACE
- 250 CUSTOMISATIONS TO BEEF UP YOUR CAR
Murder Detective 2: Corruption Made with AppEasy
I’m pleased to announce that our team at Pockeeters has finished a brand new AppEasy powered game for Australian based developer Tournay Software. The game is called Murder Detective 2: Corruption and was developed with AppEasy. In fact, some of the features of the game helped shape many of the features of AppEasy that you see in the latest release.
AppEasy is a cross platform game and app development system that enables easy development using XOML mark-up and Lua.
The game is currently available on iTunes for iOS and Google Play for Android
The games features include:
* A thrilling murder mystery storyline.
* Mini games and puzzles.
* Hidden objects.
* Interact with characters.
* Cinematic cutscenes that enhance gameplay.
* Inventory interaction.
* Plenty of locations.
* A must for any murder mystery fan.
The Android version of the game will be available very soon.
Murder Detective 2 is the first fully fledged Pocketeers produced commercial game utilising many of the latest features of AppEasy and shows just how powerful and flexible AppEasy has become.
Very soon we will post a small post mortem that examines how and what we did to create the game using AppEasy
New made with Marmalade and IwGame Engine game now available for PlayBook and BlackBerry 10 OS devices. In the developers own words:
“Well, after only 3 weeks work my latest game – Chain Word – has been approved for sale on the BlackBerry app store.
It was written using IwGame 0.4 for Marmalade, and I’ve been very impressed with the API. Today I have added support for Scoreloop leaderboards, and will be adding Challenges soon (not uploaded yet though). I may also produce a free version with adverts / IAP.
A simple word game – how long a chain can you make?
- Start with a 3 or 4 letter word
- Add, Remove, Change or Swap letters to make a new word
Link to AppWorld Page
If anyone wants to know how I achieved anything, please let me know and I will post the relevant codes. I also have this crazy thought running round the back of my head about open-sourcing the thing, but I’ve modified the IwGame engine slightly so I’m not sure how that would work…”
Congratulations to SyGem Limited on an excellent product well done.