Monday, January 23, 2012

From deathmetal to fairydust

Creating games for the app store and getting them noticed can sometimes feel as trying to make your voice heard in a gym hall filled with screaming children. With more than 100k games to compete with, you need a high quality game, a keen eye on PR and a §#!^load of luck.

The load of luck seemed to be a bit hard to affect in any way, and getting a high quality game was just a matter of putting in the effort needed, but the PR was something we could affect.

The logical consequence for us was to enter a store filled with big brightly colored, non-challenging games featuring cuddly, big-eyed protagonists with a game about a featureless black & white viking on a murderous drug-induced rampage accompanied by the most aggressive death metal music south of the north pole and buckets and buckets of blood.

If we were going to go niche, we would be SO niche that we would basically need every last member of our target demographics to buy the game in order for it to be profitable, although we, in hindsight, might not have realized that fact from the start.

Angry Viking is the mutual lovechild of Bo and Jeppe and was released in June 2010. Although the quality of the game might have been somewhat lacking at the time, the niche approach seemed to yield an acceptable number of downloads. That number rather quickly plummeted though, it would seem that metalheads with an affinity for mindnumbing violence has quality demands as well...

At the time we released the game on Android we had drastically increased the quality of the game and got a lot better reception, even though Pay-Per-Download games seem to have a hard time on the Android Market. Our current version rating is 4+ on both iOS and Android, but the next time we're going for a niche market, we're going for 5% of a demographic instead of 0.1%.

In our current project we've shifted from blood, metal and vikings to a timid fairy named Harry. From 3D to 2D. From deathmetal to chimes and eerie classical music. From black, white and bloodred to earthcolors. Basically no similarities exist between the two games.

When cleaning up our project folders after Angry Viking was released we found a folder named “PR & Marketing” which was completely empty, that pretty much sums up our approach at the time - We would make the game and then just leave it to be discovered by its own devices, which is a faulty attitude at best...

We decided that we were no good at making ourselves noticed so we turned to Chillingo/EA to ask if they would be interested in working together on “Harry the Fairy” which they were. This leaves us with doing what we do best and love doing – making games.

No comments:

Post a Comment