What a fantastic past few days on the game front! As some of you know I released a lite version of From A to B for free with 18 brand new levels 6 days ago. In only five days the game received more than 2500 downloads in 45 different countries! The app made a splash in a few countries and did well initially but downloads started to slow down after a few days in most countries and faded out of their App Stores.
It’s not all bad news though, the game has done particularly well in the UK currently sitting in 16th place in the Free Board game category and 30th in the Free Puzzle game category!! It’s also doing very well in France with Belgium short behind ranking in the top 30 in both countries in the Free Board game category! I always knew the free version would do better but I had no idea so many would be downloaded so soon.
As I’ve mentioned in previous posts marketing is everything! I’m fortunate enough to know a lot of people in the UK and was able to utilise this to get them on board to help me promote the lite version right from the start. Due to all of them downloading and promoting the game early on it went up in rankings, this helped me to reach strangers as they were more likely to find the game! I don’t have this luxury in other countries which is why it’s not been so popular.
Once you reach the top 25 I believe you’ll stay there for while! The higher you are in ranking the more likely it is that someone will download it. Each download increases/maintains your ranking meaning you’ll stay there longer – leading to yet more downloads! If only I had prepared better when I released the full version I may have done a lot better. Lesson learnt for the next game!
I’m hoping a lot of people who download the lite version will like it enough to buy the full version. It’s already had a positive impact leading to average of 5 downloads a day for the past 5 days (about £1.20 in monetary terms). It’s weird, when I first made the app it was all about making money, but now with the lite version I’m more concerned about ranking! I am thrilled that I’ve managed to get into the top 25 Free Board games in the UK! I have finally allowed myself to acknowledge my achievement and I must say I’m quite proud (at last!). It would be amazing to reach the number one spot, even in one category!
In an attempt to gain more exposure for the game I have been very busy indeed! I started a thread in the Toucharcade.com forum which has had over 1000 views! I’ve received some great feedback and suggestions from there too! What I really like about the forum is that if someone makes a comment on the post it goes right to the first page in the forum! Every so often I naughtily post a game stat update on there just to go back to the first page to hopefully get new people to read it and download the game. If you want to be naughty too, please leave a comment in there to help me out! lol.
I’ve also written an email to Steve Jobs asking for a feature. He probably won’t even read it and it certainly won’t work but I’m hoping his team/assistant will have a look at the game at least. I read that his assistant screens all of his emails first so I cleverly set the subject as “Your assistant deserves a raise!” – surely she’d forward that on even just for a laugh? We’ll see.
I’ve also noticed a discrepancy in the App Store with my app. In some lists it appears as though it has a 4.5 star rating but when you go into the app it shows correctly as 5 stars. I posted this issue to them using their online feedback tool and said that I believe star ratings have an impact on downloads and I’m being disadvantaged by their error. I went on to explain that I believe the only fair way to rectify the issue is to feature my app! lol! I told them I’d start preparing the artwork. Again, it won’t work but hopefully it’ll make them laugh enough to send the email about. The more Apple employees even discussing my app the better!
I also had a great review recently (as some of you may have already read). Eric Pankoke of Rustysabre.com kindly posted a review to touchmyapps.com. It’s a great review and Eric clearly took a lot of time reviewing the game. He’s made some very fair comments that will be addressed but had a lot of positive things to say about the game too. If you haven’t already, have a read!
I’ve also emailed 34 different review websites asking if they would review my game! To date only 2 of the promo codes have been used…. I’m not too optimistic at the moment as practically all of them want to be paid for it! If I’m paying, I need to be sure I’m going on the most popular ones…
I’ve been busy updating the game, one thing to look forward to is unlimited petrol in free play mode. This is a difficult addition as I need to ensure that the trains don’t overlap each other. I have decided that when they are about to crash they will just stop. I’ve also added the ability to change the game speed, I didn’t do this initially as it was tricky but I’ve come up with a simpler alternative that will work fine. I’ve also totally changed the upload solution code! It’s much cleaner and much faster.
It’s amazing how many people are uploading their solutions but are not sharing them on Facebook or Twitter, unless they share them they will never be seen? I don’t have the web tekkers to make a user solution section so they won’t be seen on the website?! What I’ve decided to do now is instead of the game uploading a screenshot it simply creates a link to a php webpage that includes your solution. I’ve been a very busy boy putting my newly learnt php skills to good use and have come up with the following idea http://bit.ly/ifuiPW – What this does is simply take all of the images in the solution part of the url and load them into the correct square. I think it’s pure genius! lol. Takes about 2 seconds in the app now too instead of 10 or more seconds and takes up zero space on my website! It also looks a lot sharper too!
The new update should be uploaded any time soon. It’s still very busy in work and I’ve had to take work home. I’m not having the best of times there at the moment to be honest but hopefully all that will change soon. Anyway, enough from me as I’m totally exhausted and have a 2 hour drive ahead of me in the morning. Thanks to all of you for your great support and as always, thanks for reading!