Google Play Sale

Community Forums/Technical Discourse/Google Play Sale

Matty(Posted February) [#1]
Hi folks,

Google Play has offered the ability to have a promotional price for your paid apps for a brief period of time where they supposedly will promote your app at that price.

I have taken up their offer and have set my app to a promotional price of under $1 starting from tomorrow.

The dreamer in me believes I will have hundreds of thousands of sales at $0.99 AUD and hit the jackpot.

The realist in me suggests that I will have not a single extra download.

If I were a gambling man I'd wager that the realist option is 'a sure thing'.

Xerra(Posted March) [#2]
How did your sale price go?

Matty(Posted March) [#3]
I had 1 sale. That's 1 sale more than Ive had in the last 9 months. Not really disappointed bevause I wasnt expecting much.

Xaron(Posted March) [#4]
Haha fantastic. Could you tell how exactly that promotional thing works? I'd love to try it with one of my games.

CGV(Posted March) [#5]
I can only see a sale price helping if you normally have 100's or 1000's of daily visitors to your game page who leave without purchasing.

It's still a discovery issue and always will be, even with Google's alleged promotion.
If 10,000 devs took Google up on this offer where in the promotion list would your game appear?

Besides, I've read of other devs who've experimented with different sale prices and found the price actually made no difference in sales.

Matty(Posted March) [#6]
@Xaron - on the developer console there is a section in pricing for sale price which can extend for a number of days...

@CGV - you are right....discoverability is still the issue...Google didn't seem to promote the app in any way shape or form....and you are right - sale price makes no difference whatsoever...I'm tempted to put the price up to like $10 AUD for two reasons - 1. the development cost was quite high ($7000 AUD) and I think quality software is worth a decent price and 2. I don't think it will drive away any customers when I have zero customers already!

andy_mc(Posted March) [#7]
you need to put links to the play store page for it everywhere, you don't even have a link on the youtube video.

Matty(Posted March) [#8]
When it was first released and for the first 3 months I had links all over the web.

I posted links and articles and screenshots and videos on about 10 different 'space/sci fi/space battle' forums.

I paid for advertising on a number of strategy and wargaming websites (about 5 I think?) which included links

I posted links and articles on a number of game development forums.

I posted tweets every day for 3 months with new screenshots and videos and especially on weekends.

I paid for advertising on google, leadbolt and facebook and set up a regularly updated facebook page.

I spent probably between $1500 and $2000 on advertising in total.


And had 10 downloads in that time.....7 of which were friends and family.

I contacted 300 reviewers by email and their youtube channels....I had 1 (very positive) review and about a half a dozen replies.

I contacted my local radio station and the national broadcasters gaming television program with a cd containing promotional videos as well as articles written by me.

I made TShirts

I had my game advertised on a digital signage platform in two McDonalds stores in my local area.

I dropped leaflets in letter boxes.

I put up posters and business cards on notice boards in shopping centres.


10 downloads, 7 of whom were people I knew.

andy_mc(Posted March) [#9]
<honest feedback incoming alert! >

My advice from trying to play it. I couldn't figure out how to start a game, it felt like a desktop PC game ported onto a mobile phone. Mobile games are meant to quick to get into and play, if I want to look at ten screens before starting to play then I'll play a PC game.
Honestly, I think it looks boring from trying to play it, you'd be better off porting it to PC and releasing it on Steam.

Then re-write as a simpler game for mobile.

Keep it free and add in app purchases for those wanting extra maps, ships, etc....

Sorry if that was a little too honest, but that's what these forums are for.
I have a simple space invaders clone currently with 180,000 downloads on the Play store which has crappy graphics, some bugs and rubbish sound effects. I honestly don't know why people are downloading it but they are, that's just the lottery of the Play store.

Pakz(Posted March) [#10]
I think you should just make your own version of games that have proven to be succesfull. Tbh I have no idea what stardancer is or does. No hook for me!

I just read a facebook post on a indie group on a game called dungeons of chaos where the maker says he sold 20.000 copies on ios and android. It is a rpg modelled after ultima ect. He is doing a greenlight now.

I personally like the kind of games that I liked playing before. I also always look for gameplay video's and reviews ect.

I sort of researched digged in the history of the maker of minecraft(notch on the java gaming forum) and noticed he made a lot of small games before he struck it rich with minecraft. I also read through all posts on twitter of John Carmack and John Romero ect to see what they answer to questions. Make lots of games is what I remember most as an answer.

My most downloaded attempt at a game only has a few 1000 downloads so I am not so good at it either though :)

The money you lost (7000$) is a investment in my opinion. Experience gained!

Make a nice lightweight rpg modelled after a succesfull game and I will install it on my android ! (One of the last light weight ones I really enjoyed playing was legends of fore btw)

AdamStrange(Posted March) [#11]
It does seem you won't (or don't want to) look at the consumer feedback.
Namely they don't like it.
Not only do they not like it, it(for whatever reason) does not fire their imaginations.

So if you look at it the first thing is the name. What does Star Dancer honestly say to you?
a prize if you thought this:

the name does not resemble in anyway the content. space ships and battles have nothing to do (in players minds) of dancing. dancing means... dancing!

And anything do do with dancing means a dance off competition of some form or other.

you want to see what space and dance looks like then check out Space Channel 5 and ulala:

See how the image conveys everything you need to know: space, dancing, funky, fun

ok. so what would be a goodish name. well it's about space ships, so why not spaceship or starship?
and it looks like you have some sort of command, so how about starship commander.

Great we have a title and a space scene. and moist is my word dujour.

But... What is the game really about. it seems that from the users point of view they HATE it. So what ever the game play is - it's wrong, doesn't work or doesn't fire imagination!

It looks like you get to have a cool ship to command and some cool battles, maybe you have to get upgrade and do some piracy. we're in Elite territory. but your game is about loads of screens to set something up and then sit back and watch. sort of a battle simulation. Maybe call it that?

See what happened, my fun just went soft. I wanted to be able to command a cool ship, but instead got loads of screens with poor text and NO fun.

Maybe the reason you din't do it that way is because you can't get the ship control mechanics right - I don't know, but if that is the case. either figure a way to do it, or dump it. if that means the game. that's what you need to do. You've learnt something, you tried something it didn't work, move on.

I wanted to have a quest (reason to do something) control the ship and battle a big ship. I got loads of screens and some text and... That's it i'm off and making sure everyone knows it's a lot of crap. <<< If people like something that tell one friend, if they don't like it they tell loads of people.

Another thought here would be to test run things maybe on itchio. Maybe even ditch andriod entirely for desktop or other.

People don't want to sit back and watch - they have dvd's and starwars for that. they want to be part of the action. and no screens getting in the way.

You have the ability to do nice space scenes, now give people the opportunity to play with it.

Just because you've spent 1 bazillion dollars on super advertising, doesn't mean you've got a good product.
if you have spent that amount and got no interest it means ITS NOT WORKING. However you look at it, learn from the mistakes. if people don't like it - do something else.

Making games for other people is hard. not just hard, but really hard. You might think it's great, but people don't care what you think. They only care if it is fun and interests them. They don't care if it has taken you several years to make, and a bazillion dollars to advertise. If They don't like it, it's a dud. Suck it up and move on.

Why not go back to basics and try entering a few game jams. they are fun and give you a challenge and also give you an opportunity to find out what people like and what works.

Matty(Posted March) [#12]
I was going to disagree in a knee jerk reaction a few days ago...but I thought better of it after some are right Adam. Personally - I love the game, I still play it after 2 years and think it has some amazing features compared to the stuff I've tried playing on the play store (personally I think the vast majority of space games on google play are rubbish) - but you are right, it doesn't have appeal to the general public. There are a handful of people (about 5% of players according to my stats) who love the game...but that means that the vast majority are not engaged by it. In the scheme of making games for the public it doesn't matter that I love it - the fact is the general public doesn't 'get it' the way I do...I think I lost sight of the fact that while I love the game...other's don't...and my tastes are fairly unique.

AdamStrange(Posted March) [#13]
Matty I really feel for you on this one. I've been there with a game I poured everything into and got nothing back from it.

But it's not all bad. let some of things that have been said recently sink in and then use them constructively. :)

(tu) ENAY(Posted March) [#14]
I've never liked that Space Channel 5 picture, all I can see (in my mind) is her skirt clipping entirely through her stomach. Just doesn't look right somehow.