12 games in 12 months challenge

Hello world, we are starting a mobile gaming company called Swiftmill :) Will we fail? Well the odds are not in our favour to say the least — the competition is big but we do not care! We will try our luck with a 12 games in 12 months challenge.

Is it possible to create a mobile hit game nowadays as an indie developer in a short period of time?

Very unlikely but not impossible

Will you get noticed between millions of apps and thousands of daily new releases?

Very unlikely but not impossible

There is still a tiny chance to be successful with mobile games. Recent examples like slither.io or Color Switch show you that you can create successful games even with a small team.

Inspired by awesome guys like Pieter Levels, who created 12 startups in 12 months or Jennifer Dewalt who created 180 websites in 180 days , our plan is to launch 12 games in 12 months. Our goal is to create at least 1 successful mobile game in that time.

In the upcoming months we will share our little adventure here with you. We will talk about upcoming releases and how our games are performing. I hope these insights will give you some information about the app market or maybe will inspire you to create games as well.

Background

My name is Johannes Seidel and I am the Co-Founder of Swiftmill. Working for 7 years in the mobile game industry I released 11 apps through my old game company where 8 products failed, 2 have been ok and 1 was a moderate success. It seems I know how to “not succeed” so it is time to produce more failures until we eventually leave this path. Remember Rovio needed 51 failures before Angry Birds ;)

Swiftmill Idea to Product

Swiftmill

With our new company Swiftmill we want to create fun things and ship them frequently because it is the creative process we love. Constantly evolving, growing, learning and always creating something new rather than working on one game forever and eventually never ship it. Our ideas will be converted into products through rapid development and unique art in a constant and fast way. That is why we are called Swiftmill. Our mill is also rotating at night and on the weekend. Notably only at these times because we have to work part-time on Swiftmill (somehow we need to pay our rents).

Challenges

Making games is hard, building a startup is hard and succeeding in the App store is even harder. There are tons of blog posts about these topics , so I do not want to go into detail here and just link to great articles already talking about these topics:

12 games

In the upcoming months we will release several mini-games in hope that one (or more) will hit some momentum which we can build on. These games will be mini-games which you play in your coffee pause or while waiting for the bus. When one game will be successful then we will follow up with more content updates for that one.

We decided to do mini-games because we want to release our products as early as possible to get some customer feedback a bit like described in the lean-startup method. We do not want to develop one game for one year realizing nobody wants it. Especially in games you can easily get lost in details and polish your game forever.

Danger Wave yeahhh

Game 1: Danger Wave

Our first game is called Danger Wave. Download it for free at the App Store. It is an endless game where you guide up to 16 characters through a dangerous maze of obstacles and traps. Most importantly you need to escape the wave which is always right behind you. You can unlock 16 characters and compete with your friends through leaderboards.

Follow our progress

I hope you will follow our little adventure. We will regularly post updates and reviews how our games are performing. If you have ideas or questions please feel free to contact us via twitter or email. Thanks a lot.