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1  Java Game APIs & Engines / Android / Re: What are good game genres for Android? on: 2010-05-07 13:46:11
Ok, I'm a bit new to phone development and 'testing the water' so to speak, so I'm wondering what you think are genres especially suited to android phones (or phones in general). My own android phone is a Legend (i.e. an iPhone clone running on Android, so mostly depending on touch screen input) and thus far I found it severely lacking in the gaming department.

I've been busy porting my 'Hyper Blazer' game to Android, but I fear it might turn out not as playable as the 'real' desktop version. It seems more and more obvious to me that phones are not very suitable for arcade action games that require precise controls and timing, or even a stable frame-rate. And after downloading and playing almost a hundred of android games, my favorite game on Android has been a game called 'Build-a-lot'; a casual point-and-click property buying/selling game, which is really not that fantastic but the best I found so far. Basically all 'high profile games' that require traditional controls fail miserably on the phone (tried pacman, spore, prince of persia etc).

The thing is, I'm so used to traditional game controls (like cursor keys, dpads, mouse etc) and the ability to create stable 60fps games that I feel a bit lost for ideas that might really work on phones with just touch screen and/or tilt sensors.
Right now, I think what phones need (and what might actually work) is a really great RPG, for example a Final Fantasy type game or Dungeon Master or something. Or a point-and-click adventure (which is kind of out of my league to pull off alone).

So what are your views about this?

I think your analysis is basically sound. If you think about the constraints of the platform: smaller screen size, fewer computing resources, and smaller controls. It becomes clear that high-end games that require precise controls/timing are going to be more difficult to both implement and play. That doesn't mean it can't be done...but I think you're right that certain types of games are a better fit for the mobile smartphone platform.

So far I've stuck with simple, casual games: solitaire, dominoes, etc., and I'm having good success.

You might also want to think about how and when people are going to play your game on such a platform. I tend to think that gamers on a mobile platform are going to want to play in time chunks of 5-10 minutes, waiting in line, or at the doctor's office, etc. Unlike console or PC gaming where you might want to plop down and play for a couple of hours straight.

Right now my design philosophy for Android is simple, casual gaming with an entirely touch-screen interface, with no time constraint or need for precise controls. But depending on your goals/technical skills, you may want to implement that 3D real-time MMO.  Wink

2  Java Game APIs & Engines / Android / Re: G-Ball (Released) on: 2010-04-24 13:01:36
Looks and runs great on my Droid. I'm not a big fan of tilt controls, but this is a very nice implementation.

The free version has a 4-star rating as of this writing, so people must like it. Good luck with it and keep us updated on its performance.
3  Java Game APIs & Engines / Android / Re: Android Market vs. other markets? on: 2010-04-14 13:16:06
When I first started publishing Android apps last year, I tried to publish in as many 3rd-party markets as I could find. I was also approached by resellers in Japan and India. So far I haven't seen a dime from any of these sources (sales are either non-existent or so low that I can't meet the payout threshold). Besides, it's time-consuming to submit to other portals because they all have different requirements and standards. You can spend a significant amount of time creating or resizing icons and screenshots, rewriting descriptions, and going through 7 pages of choices just to upload a single app (and I've got tons of apps).

In the end it just isn't worth my while, so I stick with the Android Market, though which I'm doing pretty well.

If you have a single, high-demand app, it might be worth your while to distribute it through 3rd-party markets, or if you have a niche game, like an adult game, you'd probably want to distribute through MiKandi (although I'm not impressed with their implementation to date).

I'd love to see 3rd-party markets take off, but for paid apps they've been a bust for me. I'd like to hear accounts of more experiences, though.
4  Java Game APIs & Engines / Android / Re: Flurry on: 2010-04-08 13:33:39
Yep, I use Flurry. It's great. Add the jar and a few lines of code, and you get a ton of information about usage. You can also easily define custom events, so you know how many times users pressed button X, or how many times they died on level 3.

I tried using Google Analytics, but went back to Flurry after a few was just better.

The one area they both suck at is error reporting. Flurry let's you do error reporting, but sends back so little information it's essentially useless. I ended up implementing my own remote error reporting.

Other than that, it's great. I highly recommend.
5  Java Game APIs & Engines / Android / Re: Ads on Android on: 2010-03-11 14:40:01
Kingaschi, I think the deal is that he has thousands of impressions per day
But I am actually surprised with the numbers from google adsense . I thought it would be better than admob's. Here are my numbers for the same month (for Hellevators with Admob) :

impressions : 3062
clicks : 203
revenue : 2.81

Maybe I should just stick with admob instead of going to google adsense ? Can you guys who have experience with both adsense and admob compare them?
btw, Kingaschi , you didn't answer me about how to get adsense beta .

Yeah, he's right. I'm currently averaging about 150,000 impressions per day for all my apps combined. Revenue depends on a lot of factors, such as exactly how you are serving the ad, the keywords you're using (if the service you're using has keywords), and of course the arcane way in which advertisers actually bid for ad space.

I would also be curious to know if Kingaschi was actually accepted to the AdSense beta, and if so, how. The requirements are that you need to be able to serve up in the range of 100,000 impressions per day minimum.

If what you're actually doing is using AdSense for mobile websites in your app (e.g. by serving them up in a webview), this is a big no-no and may result in you getting your AdSense account suspended. There was a case last year where this happened to another dev.

Those looking into serving ads in their apps may want to check out MobClix. I'm been experimenting with them in a couple of my less popular apps. Integration was fairly easy, and serving your own house ads was also very easy. However, as far as I can tell, you have far less control over targeting (e.g. you don't set keywords as in AdSense).

I also saw a while back that GreyStripe had opened up a beta for Android, though I have no experience with them.
6  Java Game APIs & Engines / Android / Re: Android Game/App Review Blog on: 2010-01-11 23:48:33
Do you guys know of any good Android blogs with 1+ updates daily? I am looking for a game & app review blog if possible, but other blogs might do too.

I am actually checking (one of you fool's blog  Grin) and it's great from a developer's point of view! However, I am looking a blog more directed at consumers? A blog that shows the latest games & apps out there.

What are you guys reading?

Yeah, that's me.   Grin

I subscribe to Planet Android, which is a nice feed of Android-related news:

I second the vote for Android & Me.

I also spend time at the Phandroid forums:

They have a pretty active section devoted to game discussions among users.

I miss the hell out of Cyrket and AndroidStats.  Cry  I visit the Android developer office hours and people have asked about public feeds for market information. I keep waiting any day for a decent Google desktop portal for Android Market and a public feed for market information and stats. I may be waiting a long time.

I don't know of a good site devoted specifically to Android games, at least one in English.
7  Java Game APIs & Engines / Android / Re: Virus Effect on Android - (Alpha Released) on: 2010-01-11 23:38:53
Hey...just downloaded it to my Droid. The graphics look good, but unfortunately the controls make it unplayable. Jumping forward is extremely hard. I had to push up on the virtual dpad, then push forward. Very difficult. Could I suggest a simpler interface...possibly just touching on the screen the direction you want to move? If you want to jump straight up, touch above the character's head. If you want to jump forward touch forward and up, etc. And it would probably simplify things greatly to just be able to shoot in the direction you're facing and have a simple fire button.

Also, there were no instructions that I could see. I played Level 0 and didn't see how to proceed to the next there even a next level?

Anyway, good luck with the continued development on this.
8  Java Game APIs & Engines / Android / Re: Sales Figures FRG - 09/2009 to 11/2009 on: 2009-11-23 19:31:08
Thanks for sharing the figures, ernestw. So far I'm enjoying a fair amount of success on Android with versions of traditional games, so far exceeding my expectations.

I've got a bunch of apps on the market, but so far only a few are making any decent money. They are Golf Solitaire (free and paid), Spades (free and paid), and Dominoes (paid only). I was accepted to the AdSense beta a couple of months ago, and the revenue is much higher than on AdMob, which I had been using before. Here are my numbers for October and November:

Golf Solitaire Free

14,667 active

Oct AdSense: $18.50/day
Nov AdSense: $28.00/day

Golf Solitaire ($1.99)

Currently #7 in paid apps in Cards & Casino

570 active installs
1.49% conversion rate

Spades Free

30181 active

Oct AdSense: $19.50/day
Nov AdSense: $28.00/day

Spades ($1.99)

190 active
>1% conversion rate

Dominoes ($1.99)

Currently #1 in paid apps in Cards & Casino

769 active

I saw a nice bump when the Droid was released, and I've noticed a general increase in sales and ad revenue from the time the Droid was released. I'm currently making ~$125/day, about half from ad revenue, half from sales. I'd be very happy with that as income if it were sustainable. So far I'm working on additional apps, including online multiplayer versions of Dominoes, a revision of my ADC2 puzzle RPG (which didn't make the finals), and a couple of original games.

I'm not sure anyone should be overwhelmed by these numbers, but I think they constitute a nice counterpoint to the doom and gloom you generally hear. I generally post about my apps and market performance on my blog if you're interested:
9  Java Game APIs & Engines / Android / Re: Ads on Android on: 2009-10-20 18:23:33
You just need to register with AdMob, create a profile for the app, and then they let you download the SDK. It's fairly straightforward...they have a developer wiki:

As for AdMob, I'm not really using them any longer. I signed up for the Google AdSense for Mobile Applications beta and got accepted, so I'm using them, and I'm very happy with the results so far. Not sure when they're going to make it out of beta, though.

10  Java Game APIs & Engines / Android / Re: Sound Synthesis ? on: 2009-10-06 00:50:44
What do you mean by sound synthesis?

If you just mean playing sound/music files, the answer is yes.
11  Java Game APIs & Engines / Android / Re: Handsets on: 2009-10-05 18:07:18
Currently got a G1 dev phone. I'm too much of a fan of hardware keyboards to go with only a soft keyboard. I really want to get my hands on a Motorola Tao/Sholes. Thinner than the myTouch, but with a hardware keyboard? I may end up not liking it, but I really want to play with one.
12  Java Game APIs & Engines / Android / Re: Ads on Android on: 2009-09-19 20:03:20
I've been developing apps and games for Android for about six months now, with a mixture of strategies, e.g. paid-only versions, free versions with ads, in-game nags for paid versions, etc.

I've used AdMob for all my ads, primarily because it seems to be the only game in town for Android. I've signed up for AdSense's mobile beta program, but have gotten no reply.

I'm not getting rich from Android development (and from what I hear nobody is right now). But I've posted some figures on my blog, which you can find from my business website. Basically I'm making about $300-400/month on all my apps combined, and just about half of that revenue comes from ads.

Integrating the ads into apps with AdMob is relatively easy. If you can't get questions answered from FAQs or online resources, shoot me an email. Unfortunately, the way I implement them in most games is likely not optimal. I serve up ads in dialog boxes between parts of games (e.g. hands in card games). People are often curious, but then get habituated to just dismissing the ad dialogue. Just as with sales, I get an initial spike in clicks, and a steep fall-off after about a week. At its peak, my ad revenue driven by my Spades game was over $20/day. I haven't released a game lately because I spent the summer working on an entry for the ADC II, so these days my ad revenue is in the $2-3/day range.

But my next project is focusing on multiplayer, and I plan on implementing ads in a hopefully more natural way that will lead to steady click-throughs.

If you have any more questions about my experiences, let me know.
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