How I learned from mistakes or how to improve the second game

Hello, Medium!

I want to share with you an experience of development and advancement of two games for Android, and to tell about mistakes which I made and how I solved to avoid them in the future. One year ago I began to make the first game for Android. Everything began with an idea. It was the common, unremarkable idea, which consisted in memorizing figures on the screen. For experience and the first project on Google Play I began to work hard with my brother.

The mistake №1— Unwillingness to consider others opinion

After a week of work we already had more or less working prototype. Sure enough, I showed it to my friends, spoke about plans, asked opinions. Many said that the idea is not new, not interesting, but I didn’t want to listen to it and we continued development. Eventually we understood that there is no point to set great store by the game, but wish to finish up beat all.

The screenshots of the first prototype:

Screenshot of first prototype — September 2013
Screenshot of first prototype — September 2013

The mistake №2 — I spent time for constant deferments of release because there was a wish to correct or add something

Continual discussions of ideas, developmental process, changed the concept of the game right before our eyes that led even to complete redesign of the project, and also to change of names of the game from Memory with balls to Pur Monsters (still I don’t know, why “Pur”) that as the result developed in Space Monsters.

We permanently postponed the game release because there was desire to add, to correct or improve something, design otherways. Nowadays I work under the principle — to make the first stable version with the minimum capabilities, to show the game to people and if I receive positive feedback or the project has the potential, then it is possible to continue supporting a product with constant enhancings.

The evolution of the homepage:

First home page
Second home page
Thirty home page

The mistake №3 — I changed completely the design of the application, its name at a time when it could be presented as the separate project

As the result 2 months of development showed PurMonsters to the world (in this version I didn’t use a game engine, and just statically imaged figures). After which we began to think of teaching monsters to move (to fly), to add music, to correct old mistakes and to present updating fast. It took me even the whole month. AndEngine engine was built in, music was added, but I made a mistake. I completely changed subject and the name of the project aside to space design. (Now I sometimes question this decision since it seems that the old design in light shades was more attractive.)

P.S. Design of the application, monsters and all buttons were drawn by ourselves (except a couple of small details) what took a lot of time.

The mistake №4 — I wasn’t ready properly for the first release

Now I understand how it is important. First of all it is essential to embed analytics to your project, without which it is very difficult to receive qualitative and timely statistics. Actually Google Console is updated times a day if not less frequently. One more thing it is important to know about each player, independent from where the project was downloaded.

The second important thing is a project description, its name. When at the description there are different keywords (not the list separated by commas, for it Google can ban, see location regulation), your project will be shown searching by such words more often. Certainly, it is worth to play and experiment with it. An icon (the very first that can attract the user), screenshots (with them the user decides what to do next) — the description, video, rating, comments, downloadableness. All this should convince the person to install your application. Here is already each in his own way.

Also, it is important in advance to know the list of the main message boards where you will promote the project. It is essential to remember that when the application appears in Google play, you have a month all the while you can be in Top New Free. For that reason the quicker you will be able to attract audience, the quicker you will gain outcome.

The simple idea, simple realization or how I learned from my mistakes

The mistake №5 — I didn’t learn from my mistakes

Only half-year later I made the second attempt. After one evening simple variant of a mathematical game was already ready (only summation and random numbers ten at most). After that evening I again and again showed it to friends. I was surprised. So simple game could longer possess the person, people liked it more (even more than Space Monsters).

But I made “The Mistake №1”. I didn’t return to the game during 4 months.

After one week everything was ready: “a gameplay, visuals, Play services for high scores “. Without hesitation, I “draw an ordinary icon, without thinking I write the description, I think of the name” and I let in the free floating … Right — I made “The Mistake №4”. But after all I take the old list of resources and message boards and I begin to look through everyone, leaving the description and apk where it is necessary (4pda, trashbox, xda, etc.).

There were attempts of advancement through AdMob, but the outcome was very poor (can someone of you tell about experience of use of AdMob as an application promotion?) The number of users in a new game exceeded by far showing of the old game, and also my expectations. I even saw my game in Top New Free in the category Educational. I permanently watched every day statistics, tried to convince each friend and even the first comer from Android to set up and grade my game.

Quick Brain, screenshots:

Final results:Quick Brain with the simplicity showed many times the best results. Definitely if the average duration of a session was 3 minutes in comparison with 30 seconds. All in one was evident. The last days the number of the active users exceeds 500 people per day that can’t but please. But the trouble is that the main flow of downloads accrues to unknown resources. And the majority passes by Google play”.

It is a little Quick Brain statistics from the 22nd September to the 12th November 2014 year:

Conclusion

I drew for myself a conclusion from several key moments (mistakes):

  • Before the beginning of development it is worth being convinced that people like a game (an application) and they are ready to play (to use) it;
  • To concentrate on release of a working prototype for check of operability of the idea;
  • To prepare previously material and the ground for advertising campaign;
  • To be able to finish in time development of the unpromising project and to begin something new;
  • The most important is that you should learn from personal and others’ mistakes.

Inference

I told you about my experience with my first apps, that I released in 2013 year. Now you can read my second article about my games. And you will see, how looks Quick Brain now.

The mistake №6 — don’t postpone the first article on Medium

I dreamed long ago (the whole year) of the first article on Medium. Every time put away for later because of on-acquaintance what I will write there and how people will react to it. Today one year on, I overcame the fear and took this first step. I had a desire to share experience, to tell about the made mistakes, and how you can correct them.

Best regards,
Alexander