Rodolfo is a computer programming, media producing, birthday coordinating, career advising customer service professional and SOOMLA Intern. He grew up with Nintendo 64 games and has caved into the addiction of mobile gaming. He is fascinated by the entertainment industry. When he is not meeting new people or traveling, he is most likely watching tv-shows, playing games, taking ridiculous selfies in public or at a theme park.

Marketing, Tips and Advice

(1200x600) Marketing 101 for Indie

Pixels, code, and game engines. Three words game developers love. They are the passion driving the mobile gaming industry. Making characters, coding levels, and seeing it all come together in a mobile app – the best feeling ever but, now what? Games are not fun if nobody plays them. A game must be marketed and given a proper introduction to the people. There are so many amazing games, but no one knows about them. Game developers can always use the extra help when it comes to marketing. Here’s the step-by-step guide to market your mobile game.

Attributing Ad Revenue

To do marketing smartly you need to constantly measure the success of your efforts. If your game uses ads for monetization you should check out SOOMLA TRACEBACK – Ad LTV as a Service.

Learn More

EDIT: As we continually find more tools to help indie game developers market their games, we will update this post. Our most recent addition is the Out of the Box Ideas section which showcases the Android App Badge tool.

Table of Contents:

Game Reviews

Word of Mouth

Press Coverage

Press Kit

Social Media

Forums

Blogging

Cross Promotion

Pre Launch Hype

Ad Campaigns

Out of the Box Ideas

Game Reviews

Game Reviews

I remember drooling over the iPhone when someone decided to unbox it on YouTube. Seeing the trendy box, the sweet headphones, and the iPhone light up on video was the deal breaker for me to buy one. The same applies to video games. Gamers love gaming websites and communities. They watch strategy guides on YouTube, view shows about which games to buy, and read the latest gaming news. Your game on these game review platforms is essential. Here are a few places to consider getting your game reviewed:

 

YouTube

There are a few channels that do game reviews. Check them out:

Blogs

Communities of mobile game enthusiasts and tech junkies such as Toucharcade, TechCrunch and Gizmodo review mobile games.

A previous SOOMLA post highlighted the importance of game reviews and provides a long list of places to consider. There’s no need to constrain your studio to this list, but it’s a good start. It may sound easy on paper, but you will need a good selling point when reaching out to different communities and organizations that you want to review your game. For SOOMLA, the selling point is using our SDK in your game. For other organizations, it may be reaching a certain amount of downloads or having an innovative game worth writing about. Some well respected communities with millions of DAU may not consider your game for a review right away. A strong press release and website to hype your game will improve your chances of getting exposure in these communities.

Disclaimer:  If a game is not competitively interesting, fun, or engaging, this strategy can flop and hurt you. Bad reviews discourage downloads. That being said, make great games, pay attention to detail, and the success will follow.

Word of Mouth

Word of Mouth

Perhaps the most underestimated means of marketing. When creating a game, it is easy to assume that the whole development process will take place in front of a computer. Developers and digital marketers, must remind themselves that their is an arena for marketing outside electronic devices. Restaurants pay the guy in the hot dog costume for a reason.

Let’s take a look at Flappy Bird, I remember my friends talking to me about how difficult it was. It got me, and many others, crazy about achieving a high score. The craze was amazing and it spread by word of mouth. Nothing can ensure a game download like a friend telling another friend to download an app. I know a fair amount of apps on my phone were downloaded because someone told me about it. Here’s a chart from App Annie showing Flappy Bird’s rise to fame:

FlappyBirdSo, how can developers encourage this? The viral case of Flappy Bird is still a mystery to many people. Dong Nguyen didn’t do much more than tweet about the game.

What more can an individual do? Attend game conventions or events related to your game. Go on the street and tell people about your game. Tell your friends to post about it. When good games obtain a loyal user, the loyal user also brings in more organic downloads for your game.

News

Press Coverage

If you think word of mouth will help your game, then you definitely want to make the news. Contact different news stations or gaming news websites and tell them about your game. This will get people talking about it.

Local news stations may showcase you as the local video game developer. If your game features a specific city, contact that city’s local station. Headlines could include “El Paso, TX featured in latest mobile game” or “Torreón local creates the next big zombie shooter for iOS.” Reach out to relevant communities for your games. If the game can help people learn Spanish reach out to language learning newsletters. If your game is about race cars, you can reach out to the large communities that support race car enthusiasts.

When it comes to the methodology, you’ll want to convince the news station to report about your game.  Journalists receive a lot of emails every day and will only spend a short time looking at yours. When emailing, be sure to:

  • Keep the message short and to the point.
  • Use a distinguishable subject line that will draw their attention.
  • In the body of the email include a brief reason why your game is newsworthy and mention aspects of your game that make it interesting and fun.
  • Make your email easy to read; use bullets, short sentences, and small paragraphs.
  • Attach a press release and relevant media for the journalists to refer to. You need to be able to quickly convince the journalist that your game is worth covering.

Press

Press Kit

Think of a press kit as a portfolio for a game. It will include all the relevant information that will summarize and sell the game to the press. The press release for every game should be different and should highlight the strengths of the game. Include some of the following to the tell the story:

Dedicated Landing Page

With 3.5 billion searches a day on Google, it is important for your game and website to get noticed. How? SEO – search engine optimization. You’ll want to have solid html, keywords, and relevant content to get noticed. The more backlinks to your website the better. Make sure you provide the url and links to different parts of your page.

PickCrafter landing page

It is also important that a website seems credible to the eye. An un-customiozed WordPress website with brackets saying [Insert Content Here] or large paragraphs of keywords are not the most appealing to audiences to say the least.

A website is an opportunity to showcase a game’s levels, characters and design at its best. It will reflect the branding of a studio. There should be interesting content that encourages people to download the mobile game. Pageviews to a website will not translate to app downloads so easily. One way to convert pageviews into app downloads is incorporating a text-to-download form in a landing page. The website can be provided to a journalist in an offline format or with a URL depending on whether or not developers want the page live at that time.

Press Release

Prepare all the content for a press release. A press release requires a few pieces of key information in order to be successful.

PressRelease

Headline

“Rodolfo’s latest game, Wreck Racers, gives a whole new meaning to road rage by blending racing and fighting. Free demo inside.”

Imagine scrolling through social media or reading through a newspaper. What headlines draw attention? What can be said about a game in 18 words? Why is your game special? Get the point across in your headline.

Introduction

Use the dateline format here and grab the attention of the reader with some captivating sentences. Engage the reader and build interest. Include the most important highlights about a game here.

An example PR emphasizing dateline format and a catchy first sentence.

Description

Elaborate on the gameplay, the features that make a game unique, and continue to develop enthusiasm for the game. Mention specific challenges in game design and how they were overcome. Suggest the importance of the game and how gamers will benefit from it. Encourage the readers to witness some features on their own and play.

Quotes

Include relevant quotes from fans, other news sources, or your team. This will emphasize the potential for positive reception. You can even quote a character in the game if it will contribute to the release.

Call To Action

The end goal of marketing campaigns is to obtain more downloads for a game. This section should encourage the reader to download the game. This should also inspire interest for journalists to visit the website and get access the exclusive content.

Contact Information

This should include information about the studio such as size, amount of projects, mission, goals, and years of experience. Moreover, it should include all means for someone to reach the studio: full studio name, email, mailing address, website, phone, Twitter, LinkedIn, and/or Facebook.

Design

Place the most important information on top. This can be a game description, the history of your studio, a background on game development, or anything that you think will help you sell the game the best. Choose appealing images and logos to catch the attention of the reader.

Media

The press kit should include high quality videos of behind the scenes work, interviews, and gameplay. Incorporate screenshots of interesting moments and key elements in the game. Include biographies of the team members and pictures of your team working together.

Many developers use presskit() to help facilitate the process of creating a press kit.

 

Social Media

Social Media

Facebook

Facebook has a ton of groups and millions of users. This is not a platform you can overlook. Here are a list of Facebook groups to join (of course only post in groups that are relevant to your game):

It is important that a studio makes their presence known on social media and maintains an updated page. Nothing says “I lack credibility” like a social media page that has been abandoned for months. Moreover, social media has a way of knowing which users are more likely to play your game. Take advantage of this when you’re launching your app and trying to get more users.

Pirate Kings Facebook page.

Twitter

They say marketing has become getting a famous person to retweet you. Twitter is a great platform to engage with users, answer questions and promote your studio. When tweeting it’s important to use relevant hashtags. To help find hashtags that are pertinent to your game use tools such as Hashtagify.me, SproutSocial, and Tagboard. Some hashtags we tend to use are:

  • #gamedev
  • #f2p
  • #freetoplay
  • #indiedev
  • #indiegame

If you use a game engine such as Unity or Cocos2d-x don’t forget to tag them. This might help you get premiered by them and opens up their network of followers.

Here are a few other places to check out on Google+ and LinkedIn.

Google+

LinkedIn

If you’re able to post on all these social media sites, you will reach a variety of people and really market your game to a diverse group.

Forums

Forums

Forums are where huge communities of gamers live. Thousand of forums exist online and focus on everything from game design to user retention and more. This is a very specialized platform where you can find users that love to play and maybe even test games. Some forums to check out include:

Blogs

Blogging

Many young gamers out there are hoping to make their very own video games when they grow up. Similar to the special features section of the War of the Worlds DVD, blogs can provide audiences with cool facts about your game. This will build your credibility with your existing users and help you with SEO. Yaniv Nizan, SOOMLA CEO, wrote an article about the importance of blogging for startups in general. Be a guest writer or build your own blog for your game. Many game studios have their own blog. Check these out:

Cross Promotion

Cross Promotion

Cross promotion can also help market your game and reach your target audience. There are plenty of ad platforms where you can share, barter, or have direct deals and cross promote your game in other apps and mobile games. As an indie developer you can drive installs and user acquisition at a relatively low cost with the right tools and platforms. For example, Chartboost was the first to offer a direct-deals marketplace and several other ad networks followed soon after.  Tapdaq offers install trading with other games in its network.  

It should be noted that mainstream in-game advertising forms will usually show ads from big publishers with huge user acquisition budgets.  The developer risks losing users to other games created by these well established gaming companies.  These types of companies wield superior analytics and marketing strategies that will likely keep the user in the company’s portfolio and therefore you’re more likely to lose that user entirely. 

Pre Launch

Pre Launch Hype

Mobile game marketing campaigns work the same way motion pictures have trailers, websites, and social media pages before their release. Chances are a lot of this was done when the press kit was generated.  Prelaunch.me helps developers pre launch their games by allowing users to register, providing potential beta testers, and receive scores for their game.

PreLaunch

The pre launch campaign will hopefully inspire many users for day one of the game.  The first few days of a games life are the most important and most crucial in determining the success of the game. We covered this observation in our e-book of mobile data reports. A pre launch campaign will improve the chances of a game thriving in the long run and create enthusiasm for its gamers. This can lead to a community of people anticipating the release of your game.

Nintendo did this well with Super Smash Brothers Brawl. Even though it’s a platform game, the pre launch campaign brought in a huge amount of enthusiasm for players. Nintendo announced a new character for the game every week until the game was released. Players waited in anticipation to learn about new aspects of the game. Nintendo sold 874,000 copies the first day in North America alone.

Ad Campaigns

Ad Campaigns

Disclaimer: Not for studios with small wallets.

The game is launched, everything is set to go, but the studio spent all the money on the license for the Adobe Creative Suite and new MacBooks. Now there’s the expense of ads. Ads can be pricey, but they are rewarding if utilized efficiently and measured with the right tools for ad revenue attribution.

Obviously, but not so obviously, you will want to target gamers, or people that will give your game a shot. Consider the first demographic – gamers. Half of the U.S. plays mobile games. This means half of the U.S. doesn’t – so you’ll want to weed out that demographic. More about this can be found in the top ten mobile game data reports e-book. This report is a must read for indie developers that are attempting to use ads.Top 10 Data Reports Book

Gamers are found playing games on their couch, in class, waiting for the doctor, or in the back seat of a taxi. These places are not specific enough to target the gamers. You can’t place a billboard or poster strategically to target these users. There is one thing all mobile gamers have in common. Can you guess what it is? They play games. Lucky for developers, mobile games are a modern arena for billboards and commercials. Games have everything from banner ads to video ads. The game you made probably has them too. SOOMLA provides a useful list of ad networks and their ad formats.  We’ve noticed a huge trend that most video ads are preforming the best.

Now let’s look at the other demographic – people that will give your game a shot. These are the fans of giraffes, Coca-Cola, fashion, and teddy bears. This demographic is a little more difficult to identify and reach. However, if your game has giraffes and teddy bears you have a good chance of getting some new gamers on board. Ads on giraffe fan pages or teddy bear stores are useful.

Offer walls can be considered a type of advertisement. They are opportunities that reward users for downloading your game. Additionally, they may compensate gamers for completing certain tasks in your game – including spending money. This is a great opportunity for cross promotion.

Out of the Box Ideas

Android Apps Badge

If your game is in the Google Play Store, use the Android Apps Badge to create yours! Plug in your package ID and you’ll get your badge. This can be placed anywhere you like such as your webpage or in an email newsletter campaign.

Temple Run

You can even include your badge as part of your email signature. This is a great tool to promote your game in a neat and concise image.

What Next?

Marketing a mobile game is not the easy part. Many indie developers know the importance of creating great games, but often underestimate the work necessary to market them. Take these tips into consideration from day one and you will save time and money while effectively marketing your mobile game. It’s important to also track your marketing efforts through analytics. There is much to consider and, if done right, the marketing and public relations part of game development can be fun for both the developers and the end-users.

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Industry Forecasts, Research

User retention, user behavior, ad networks, the list goes on and on. Developers want solid user retention and acquisition. For that, you will need to search endlessly for useful data reports about what keeps users engaged, what buttons they are clicking, what time of day they are playing, and so on. Lucky for you, we compiled a list of the top ten mobile game data reports and a what they can do for you.

Check out our 2015 Q4 Mobile Gaming Data Report. It shows a unique synopsis of F2P games.

Download Now

The Apps Flyer Game Performance Index – May 2015

In May 2015, AppsFlyer found a few key insights on user retention.  Video networks produce a 130% higher user retention rate in mobile games compared to other ad platforms.

The full report answers questions such as:

  • Which platform has the highest user retention?
  • What is the best media partner for user retention?
  • Which advertising platform is best?

“Know your players and you will create successful and fun games”

Full Data Report

10 Killer Insights: deltaDNA GDC Session Slides – March 2015

Lack of Appointment Setting is the main reason players are leaving games. Appointment Setting is defined by DeltaDNA as creating “appointments” for users to come back. Good examples are special events, theme changes, tournaments, double points days, and Trivia Tuesday. Push notifications and emails are a great way to remind users of these events.

  • What percent of users are leaving my game due to lack of appointment setting?
  • What are other important reasons users are leaving games?
  • How should developers drive engagement?

“The Cost Per Loyal User has a 39 percent rise year over year”

Fiksu Indexes for May 2015

Fiksu defines loyal users as users that open an app three or more times. In May 2015, Fiksu published indexes about the cost of maintaining loyal users, cost of acquiring game installs through advertising, and the cost of app launches.  The cost of acquiring a loyal user is increasing overall year to year in iOS apps.

  • What is the cost of acquiring a loyal user?
  • How do developers ensure that their games are making profit?
  • How does the cost per install compare between iOS and Android?
  • How does the cost per launch compare?
  • Is it worth it to spend more on one platform over the other?

 

Full Data Report

“In 2015 for the first time ever, over half of the US population will be mobile phone gamers.”

For Advertisers it’s Mobile Game Time – July 2015

In July 2015, eMarketer highlighted the importance of mobile games for advertisers. The mobile gaming audience consists of over 150 million different people in the US –  this broad, diverse audience is comparable to the audience of television viewers.

  • What does the large ever-growing mobile gaming audience mean for developers and advertisers?
  • How many mobile app users will pay for apps?
  • How many tablet users will pay for apps?
  • Is it worth it to develop games for tablets?

“The very first players of your game are your best. Invest resources in retaining and keeping them happy, the rest will follow as a result.”

The GameAnalytics After Analyzing 400+ Games – March 2015

Players that enter a game in the beginning have a greater chance of converting than if a player enters later. Players that downloaded a game in the first week and converted were likely to spend more in a game.

  • What methodology was used to acquire this information?
  • What is the Golden Cohort?
  • What do these numbers say about where developer resources should go? 

Included in the Full Report:

  • Key findings from TapStream, AppAnnie, Tune, Swrve, and InMobi.
  • Information that will help you improve your games.
  • Facts to consider to make profit.
  • Much More!

Full Data Report

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Game Design, Open Source, Tips and Advice

MegaJump

 

Mega Jump – Doodle Jump with Coins

Mega Jump is a game about Redford, a red monster that jumps really high. So high that he passes ancient cities in the sky, goes to outer space, and somehow ends up back on solid ground after 10 levels. Mega Jump is produced by Get Set Games, a game development studio based in Toronto, Canada. The studio has totaled over 50 million downloads on the Apple App Store and Google Play. Mega Jump would be just as good or better if it had SOOMLA integrated inside – and the developers could’ve saved some cash by going with open source.

Get Set Games Could Get a Mega Bargain with SOOMLA Store

Mega Jump’s store has all the components identified in SOOMLA’s Economy Model. Mega Jump has a  primary currency, lifetime goods, upgradable goods, single use goods, single use packs, and currency packs.

Currency – Mega Points

At first glance, it may seem that the currency for Mega Jump would be the coins collected throughout the game. However, Mega Jump converts every 10 coins collected into 1 Mega Point (MP). Mega Points buy most items in the game’s store with one exception:

Currency Packs

Currency Packs are the only purchasable goods in the game that are purchased with real money. Mega Jump offers multiple currency packs. The most popular in-app purchase on iOS is 1,500 MP for $0.99. A bonus deal when purchasing a currency pack from the Mega Jump Store is that it includes the lifetime good of “remove ads.”

Mega Jump Store

Some currency may be earned with a Facebook Like, Twitter Follow, or a rewarded video ad.

SOOMLA’s Economy Model does not include “purchase with social media” or “purchase with the viewing of an ad” as a form of purchasing goods. However, there are a few options to make this happen.

  1. The developer can use StoreInventory.giveItem(“MegaPoints_100”, 1) after a user does something on social media or after the user views an ad.
  2. The developer can use a social gate using SOOMLA Profile and LevelUp and reward the user for completing a social mission.
  3. For rewarding a user for viewing an ad, a developer can use a mission with a schedule gate using SOOMLA LevelUp. The start time will be the beginning of the ad and the end time will be when the ad has completely played. This is most useful if the developer knows the duration of the ad. Developers do not want to reward a user too early or too late for viewing an ad.
  4. Many developers unfortunately do not know the duration of an ad, therefore, they can also use the giveItem method to reward an ad.  SOOMLA integrations facilitates this process. Click here for an example of how this can be done if a game integrates HeyZap.

Feel free to comment your preferred solutions to this situation.

Aside from currency packs, Mega Jump has purchasable goods that fall into other categories.

Lifetime Goods Upgradeable Goods
Characters Magnet
Remove Ads Action Umbrella
World Unlocks Balloon

singleuse

Single Use Single Use Packs
Save Me Save Me x5
Save Me x10
Save Me x25

Remove ads is included when a user makes a market purchase from the store. This can be implemented easily with SOOMLA Store. A developer would most likely have a flag in the game that indicates whether the game will display ads or not. The flag can be turned on or off depending on whether or not the user has the “remove ads” virtual item. The remove ads virtual item does not have to be visible in the user’s item inventory. The user, however, will know they have this feature because there will be no ads in their game. Furthermore, when a user makes a purchase from the store, the game can check if the user already has this item in order to not provide repeat items.

Mega Jump Characters

World Unlocks are purchased with MP and as the name states – unlocks a world. This is another virtual item that is not usually seen in a store’s inventory, but through access to a feature – in this case, a world. The game could check if the user has the specific item that grants access to a world in order to allow a user to play in that world. This can be done using SOOMLA LevelUp.

Balloons, Magnets, Anti-Gravity Boots, and Action Umbrellas are examples of upgradeable goods. These have a simple effect during the beginning of game play. Once upgraded with MP, they make your character unstoppable. The magnet begins by simply attracting coins, but after a few upgrades it turns all obstacles into double coins. Not only is this a great motivation for users to buy these items, but they provide for a more interesting user experience.

UpgradeableGoods

Levels and Worlds – From Earth to Space

Mega Jump has multiple worlds with 20 levels in each world. The first ten are “easy” levels and the last ten are the “hard” levels. Worlds are unlocked with 2500 MP and levels are unlocked when a user reaches specific heights. Every time a user reaches a specific height the game notifies them that they have unlocked a new level.

Stage Clear

This is can be implemented using SOOMLA LevelUp. Worlds will be unlocked using a purchasable gate. This requires the user to purchase a virtual item in order for a world to be unlocked.

worlds

Levels on the other hand, are unlocked when certain scores are achieved. When Redford jumps a certain distance, the next level unlocks. The level unlocking system in Mega Jump can be replicated using SOOMLA LevelUp with the use of record gates. A record gate can be unlocked when a character reaches a certain distance or score. The opened gate will, in turn, allow access to the level.

Levels

Mega Likes and Tweets

As discussed earlier, Mega Jump integrates a Facebook like button and a Follow option for Twitter. These actions are rewarded with MP. This mechanism can be replicated using SOOMLA Profile and a connectivity with SOOMLA Store or LevelUp. Social Missions in SOOMLA LevelUP are perhaps one of the easier ways to get this done. Moreover, Mega Jump has the potential to include more social connectivity such as score sharing and game replays.

Jumping With SOOMLA

Mega Jump is a memorable game that has reached millions of users. Its success is due to the great user experience it provides. This experience could be replicated with the possibility of even more features if Get Set Games integrated SOOMLA. Moreover,  if you’re thinking of making a new game with great features, SOOMLA will help you get an easy start.

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Plugins, Tips and Advice, Unity, Video

(1200x600) Top 10 Unity Video PluginsUsers like videos. It’s no coincidence that video game has the word video in it. From video ads to video sharing – videos are essential to user retention. They keep users entertained, engaged, and interested. Videos will improve your game’s fun-factor and bring in more loyal users. Let’s take a look at 10 Unity Video Plugins that can make this happen.

Kamcord

 

Price Supported Platforms Category
Free
Unity iOS Android
Video Recording

Kamcord allows users to record game play and share it on social media. Their website displays featured videos that come from games using Kamcord. In July 2013, Trial Xtreme, a game using Kamcord had 139 million recordings and 122,000 videos shared on social media. Notable games with Kamcord include My Talking Tom and Clash of Clans.

Everyplay

Price Supported Platforms Category
Free
Unity Cocos2dx iOS Android 
Video Recording

Unity acquired Everyplay from Applifier in 2014. Much like Kamcord, Everyplay allows users to record game play and share on social media. Users enjoy sharing these videos with friends in order to encourage them to begin playing the game. The possibility for extra exposure on social media means developers can receive more free organic installs. More installs means more revenue for developers. Notable games using Everyplay include Bad Piggies, Pixel Gun 3D, and Geometry Dash. Everyplay also intends to launch an online community with discussions, videos, and video discovery this fall.
prime31

Price Supported Platforms Category
$75
Unity iOS 
Texture

Prime 31 offers a video plugin called LiveTexture. This integration allows developers to use videos as textures for different objects in games. The video can be pre-defined or come directly from the user’s camera. The possibility for camera usage means developers can create augmented reality style game plays using LiveTexture.

Easy Movie Texture

Price Supported Platforms Category
$45
Unity iOS Android 
Texture

Easy Movie Texture is a more affordable solution to do what LiveTexture can do. It does not explicitly include a live camera texture, but it does support .mp4 playback on Android. Developers can select the time a video will start playing, customize the dimension of the video and set it as a texture for objects in a game. This tool is useful for developers that want to create cross platform games that utilize dynamic textures. The use for this plugin can range from placing a TV in a game to having a video texture simulate a changing sky. Developers can find creative ways to use this plugin to create engaging games.

UChromaKey

Price Supported Platforms Category
$25
Unity iOS Android 
Video Effects

UChromaKey Allows for the possibility of a green screen effect. It features fullscreen effects and the ability to add chromakey to materials that are lit or unlit. It also includes camera source handling. It is a good addition to a game that may want to incorporate a type of augmented reality or a fun Photo Booth option. The opportunities with chromakey in mobile games are not completely explored and could potentially allow for some interesting and engaging user experiences.

Video Glitches

Price Supported Platforms Category
$10
Unity iOS Android 
Video Effects

Sometimes a normal video is not enough. Developers might want to add creative effects to videos in games. Video Glitches is not the usual video plugin that simply allows for video playback or video ads. This plugin allows videos and scenes in games to look purposely messed up. It reminds me of this video when the pc bot tries to wake up again in the end. This plugin can be used to simulate messed up video transmissions or display a view from the perspective of a broken camera. The possible uses for this plugin are up to the developer – ideal for a Sci-Fi or Horror game.

Youtube Player

Price Supported Platforms Category
$25
Unity iOS Android windows
Video Streaming

This plugin allows users to view YouTube videos within a game. It will return an .mp4 video that can be displayed wherever the developer chooses in the app. It allows video searching functionality. Users can search for videos, channels, and set category filters. This is useful if you want to incorporate funny videos and extra interesting content into your game.

AdColony

Price Supported Platforms Category
Free
Unity iOS Android air
Video Ads

AdColony prides themself on their .13 second load time for ads. They serve video ads that can be integrated in games to reward users. Video ads served with AdColony have the highest retention rate on Android. Many developers have a strong incentive to advertise with video ads. Users that come to a game from a video ad are 13% more likely to be retained and twice as likely to make a purchase when compared to other users. Video ads have the potential to make developers millions of dollars. Crossy Road made 1 million dollars in only 45 days in video ads. They have since made a total of over 10 million dollars.

Vungle

Price Supported Platforms Category
Free
Unity Cocos2dx iOS Android aircorona
Video Ads

Vungle serves personalized video ads to different users. According to their website, no two users should be exposed to the same ads. Vungle focuses on creative ad serving with a specialty around rewarded ads. Rewarded ads are a good opportunity to keep users engaged in a game while rewarding them with resources to continue playing. Integrating Vungle in your game will give you an opportunity to monetize by giving other companies exposure. Moreover, they can also help you obtain users if you choose to advertise with them. Ads in mobile games for other mobile games are more likely to be clicked than ads for other products.

Applovin

Price Supported Platforms Category
Free
Unity iOS Android amazon
Video Ads

A data report by AppsFlyer in May 2015, found that AppLovin has the highest performance in 30 day user retention on iOS. Applovin’s high quality video advertisements encourage users to stay for longer periods of time. They pay developers only 15 days after each month. Moreover, AppLovin provides developers a dashboard that shows information on ad delivery in real time. This will in turn, allow developers to efficiently deliver ads.

The term “video” in relation to mobile games is vague. However, videos are an integral part of mobile and platform games. Developers should include videos in their game whether they are in the form of ads, live camera recordings, or funny YouTube cat videos. Videos improve user engagement and provide interesting and memorable user experiences. Not to mention they will contribute to a game’s “stickiness” factor as they retain and obtain users.

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Game Design, Game Reviews, Open Source, Tips and Advice

 SurfBot and Jake
Subway Surfers – A Familiar Game With No Killer Monkeys

Subway Surfers is an endless runner type game produced by the Danish development company, Kiloo. The game features Jake, a young mischievous kid that is running away from law enforcement. The game has impressive graphics, a wide selection of character options, and is quite addicting – perfect for those who want to pass the time.

Kiloo Should Ride the SOOMLA Subway

Subway Surfers includes all the features that are provided by SOOMLA’s LevelUp, Profile, and Store. These features are clearly seen through missions (LevelUp), Facebook connectivity (Profile), and the in-game store (Store).

Bottom line, Subway Surfers could have utilized SOOMLA’s open source SDK, saved some cash, time, participated in the ever-growing SOOMLA community, and still reached the 15 million downloads on Google Play. Developers don’t need large budgets to take care of the nitty gritty of creating a game – once again, open-source is the way to go. Still have doubts? Let’s take an in-depth view of Subway Surfers and how SOOMLA could have provided the resources to create features used in the game.

Subway Surfers Missions

MissionsMissions in Subway Surfers is a perfect place for SOOMLA’s LevelUp SDK. LevelUp provides developers the opportunity to make life easy when creating tasks, levels, missions, and the sequential movement from one level to the next in a game. Specifically for Subway Surfers, each goal such as “Collect 200 coins” or “Jump 20 times” is an example of a gate, a condition that must be met in order to move to a new level, or in the case of Subway Surfers, for a new “mission” to be unlocked. When a “mission” is completed the user will receive a reward. A reward can be any virtual item including a Single Use or Life Time Good – in the case of the mission displayed here the reward would be a x3 Score Multiplier – a Life Time Good.

Depending on the goals of the developer, there are multiple ways to implement LevelUp. Here is a chart illustrating one way a developer can choose to design a functionality like the one used for Subway Surfers missions.

LevelUp

Even though the name LevelUp may imply that a game must have multiple levels, LevelUp is still relevant to games such as Subway Surfers that seem to have only one level and world. The use of multiple missions makes Subway Surfers a perfect candidate for LevelUp. The missions on Subway Surfers become more difficult as the game is played because trains move faster and more obstacles obstruct Jake’s path. SOOMLA’s SDK could be effectively applied in Subway Surfers. More information on LevelUp can be found in SOOMLA’s Knowledge Base.

Surfing the Store

Many games monetize through in-app purchases and Subway Surfers is no exception. It therefore requires a virtual store in the game. Subway Surfer’s store works the same as any store using the SOOMLA SDK.

Many developers using SOOMLA will recognize this diagram for SOOMLA Store.
Economy ModelLet’s take a look as to how this relates to Subway Surfers.

First, we have Currency – the primary currency in Subway Surfers are Coins; however since both Coins and Keys can be purchased from the market with real life money, and because they can both be used to purchase goods, we will consider the currency both Coins and Keys.

Coins and Keys

Coins are collected throughout the game and can purchase Characters, Boards, Mystery Boxes, Score Boosts, Mega Headstarts, Skip Missions and Upgrades.

Each of these goods fall into different categories in the SOOMLA Economy Model.Single Use Goods

Characters can be classified as Lifetime Goods – once purchased they belong to the user forever. Boards, Mystery Boxes, Score Boosts, Mega Headstarts, and Skip Missions would fall under Single Use Goods – goods that can only be used once.

Upgrades, as implied by the name, are Upgradeable Goods or goods that can be improved for a cost. In Subway Surfers, users can upgrade Jetpacks, Super Sneakers, Magnets, and 2x Multipliers.

Upgradeable Goods

Keys are more difficult to find in the game and can purchase other goods such as “Save Me”s and Outfits for the characters. A Save Me is a Single Use Good. Once it is purchased and used, it is gone. Outfits are Equippable Goods because characters can be equipped and wear them.

Facebook Connectivity

Facebook Connectivity At 11 million likes on Facebook, Subway Surfers has a substantial amount of social media users connecting their profile to the game. Seeing where your score falls in comparison to those of your friends definitely adds a solid sense of competition – a quality that makes Subway Surfers that much more addicting.

With the use of SOOMLA Profile, users are able to share their progress in the game, showoff specific benchmarks, like the game on Facebook and even see which of their friends is playing the game. For select studios, we even offer leaderboard options. The Profile SDK can also connect your game to Twitter and Google.

Surfs Up

All of SOOMLA’s SDKs work well with each other, so connecting a user to a social media account can be used to reward a user, unlock a gate, access an exclusive feature and so on. Moreover, a purchase from a store can unlock a mission or open a gate. When you integrate SOOMLA, you’ll save time and create the game you’ve been dreaming of.

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