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Android / FB group to help get eyes on your game and reviews on your listing

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Loktofeit
AGK Developer
Gold Codemaster
11
Years of Service
User Offline
Joined: 21st Jan 2009
Location: Lakewood Ranch, FL
Posted: 8th Apr 2020 13:00

There is a sea of Android games out there, and one way to legitimately improve your game's rank is to get downloads and reviews. Android Review Exchange was created to help you do just that.

From their group description:

Quote: "This is a new group for independent Android developers, facing the almost impossibility of climbing up the Play Store search ladder. Share you app here, review other developers work, and get reviewed. Workers unite!

Rules:
- no spammers
- no scammers
- no review sellers
- no fake profiles
- join only if your app is already published"



Link: https://www.facebook.com/groups/831611644008587/
Raven
15
Years of Service
User Offline
Joined: 23rd Mar 2005
Location: Hertfordshire, England
Posted: 9th Apr 2020 06:28
Oversaturation is an issue with every Distribution Market.
Getting noticed generally comes down to Marketing, which can be quite expensive... esp. when your Target Audience is Casual in Nature and uninterested in seeking out Information.
It's actually part of why Games Consoles are typically the BEST Platform to Distribute on.

Being Heavily Curated, means that the Games / Week are actually relatively Low., this means you can get Exposure during Release Week simply by being Present on the "New Releases" Area.
Still it isn't just the lack of Curation that works against you on Steam, Google Play or iTunes Store... it's also Platform Popularity.
Again for Consoles... the License Fees actually act as a Natural Barrier against Shovelware (well, most of the time), Microsoft has more or less done away with them now; but they do still heavily Curate Developer Registration; so while it's now Low Cost (£12 / Year) for a Developer License; you have to prove to ID@XBOX that you're worth granting a License to.
A weird irony is that for the Microsoft Store, no such limitation exists., but as most Developers simply ignore it... it's actually a healthier Ecosystem for Small / Independent Developers at present (especially for VR / AR Apps).

This typically means that while it's not uncommon to have upward of 1,500 Releases on the "Popular" Platforms., for Consoles / Microsoft Store / Origin (and yes, they do still provide 3rd Party Publishing) / etc. you're looking at 25 Release / Month.

As such it means you remain on the "New Releases" for much longer, and can reach those who are just Browsing.
Where-as on the "Popular" Options; you'll typically disappear from those lists within a Day (or shorter) and when you also consider that habitually speaking., people also tend to check far less often on the Popular Stores for "New Games" ... well the chances of simply being spotted are exceptionally Low.

Traditional Marketing (which works best on Casual Audiences) is quite expensive... both in terms of Adverts, but also Review Purchasing (which most PR Firms now offer as a Service., so as a Mobile Gamer / Developer always keep that in mind; it's NOT a fair playing field)
Steam is a bit better as it does require those who own a game and have played for 2+ Hours before they can actually leave a Review., still there are oft Reddit Campaigns that are used to manipulate this... and some Developers do hand out a number of "Review" Code to PR Firms for specifically this task; so it can still be played if the Developer has enough money to throw at the problem.

Now there is another side to this equation as well... which is Cost.
Mobile Gamers today simply refuse to pay a Retail Price for Games., I think right now the Nintendo Free-to-Start Model is one of the better approaches; and it's more or less the same as the Microsoft Xbox Live Trial approach or the old Shareware approach.

The idea being to get people hooked with enough free content before saying "Oh you want to continue the Story Mode... well that'll be Retail Please"
And actually the Nintendo Free-to-Start is a little smarter, as it doesn't strictly block progression but instead limits you to only 5 minutes Sessions (more or less) every 6 hours ... which has a Psychological effect that drives the purchase of the "Unlimited" access.

...

Now what you can do as a Developer (and better than Larger Entities) is "Word of Mouth" approach... that is, use your Family and Friends to try the game and get them hooked to where they're recommending it to their Friends. This is a much more "Viral" approach, but you'd be surprised how well it works.
Especially if your Friends are say YouTube Influencers... or similar such, who will suggest it to their Audiences.

Personally speaking mind... I'd take a completely DIFFERENT approach to breaking into the Mobile Market.
As what's better is to build your Core Audience on another Platform first; say Desktop PC (where it's easier, given the more Core Nature of the Platform) and pair Mobile Applications to said Desktop Releases as "Added" Bonus'

Companion Apps are a good way to get people using said Platform... Bethesda' Pip-Boy (which they seem to have taken off of the Google Play Store now, for some reason) was an excellent example. As it's not really necessary but is useful when you have it setup.
This gets said audience acclimatized to Mobile Apps, and so... if you then release a Mobile-Only; then you already have an Audience who will be willing to check it out.
I mean the beauty of being Solo / Small / Independent is... you can experiment like that.

If it works, awesome... if not... well what did you actually loose? Nothing.
Where-as Bigger Studios typically have to get Project Approval, Planning, etc. and thus need to see a clear Return; which most of the time they won't, so don't engage in such.
As such, be Creative.
Loktofeit
AGK Developer
Gold Codemaster
11
Years of Service
User Offline
Joined: 21st Jan 2009
Location: Lakewood Ranch, FL
Posted: 9th Apr 2020 08:30
Ok?
Conjured Entertainment
AGK Developer
15
Years of Service
User Offline
Joined: 12th Sep 2005
Location: Nirvana
Posted: 12th Apr 2020 01:28 Edited at: 12th Apr 2020 02:02
Quote: "Now what you can do as a Developer (and better than Larger Entities) is "Word of Mouth" approach... that is, use your Family and Friends to try the game and get them hooked to where they're recommending it to their Friends. This is a much more "Viral" approach, but you'd be surprised how well it works.
Especially if your Friends are say YouTube Influencers... or similar such, who will suggest it to their Audiences. "

I had thought of in game rare content as a bonus gift to players for successful referrals, but the YouTube idea is not a bad one.

I had not even considered the impact of using the popular channels to give a game a mention, but that could be very successful indeed as some of those guys have an insane amount of subscribers.

I never had the content to attract a lot of followers, but I do know some people who do have thousands of followers, but their channel is not about gaming.

Trick would be to get them to mention it anyway for some reason, as a simple mention might spark enough curiosity to start the stampede of potential users.


Quote: "The idea being to get people hooked with enough free content before saying "Oh you want to continue the Story Mode... well that'll be Retail Please"
And actually the Nintendo Free-to-Start is a little smarter, as it doesn't strictly block progression but instead limits you to only 5 minutes Sessions (more or less) every 6 hours ... which has a Psychological effect that drives the purchase of the "Unlimited" access. "

Hadn't given this much thought either as to which method is better, even though I have experienced both situations. (the big companies know what works as they have invested many $$$ finding it out)

I personally did not like the time restriction setup, but I have exploited it , errrr, explored it before.

I am going to be using a similar approach as the story mode model for Gladiator Quest.

As a slave you can create, and develop your Gladiator, and battle him, but he is always a slave as Free play, with another gamer controlling his armor and advanced battle tactics as the master of the Ludus that purchases your character from the game when the character is first created (the empire).

Once you buy your freedom, then you can enjoy the monetary aspects of the game with wagers, buying and selling slaves (other PCs), and outfitting and training your slaves at your Ludus to fight as a team or alone in the Coliseum.

Not going to sell individual game items, but rather just sell coins so players can then purchase anything they want in game.

Hoping the idea of controlling other player characters will attract enough control freaks to make the game successful.

Word of mouth is the most important method of all though, as that is the most cost effective for the developer. (IMO)

With that said, I am still contemplating a referral bonus system to get people to turn their friends on to the game.

Special armor maybe, but needs to be something that decays or gets destroyed (non-permanent consumable) so they have to do it again with another fiend later at some point.

In game gold would probably be best, and if that is the only item to purchase, then psychologically they are getting paid for the referral.

The ones who want to have large amounts of gold without buying it would be lured in recruiting as many players as they can. (who in turn would do the same thing)

As long as they all have to pay to get their freedom to own a Ludus, then the revenue should still be viable, even though gold sales would suffer from the referrals.

Quote: "This is a new group for independent Android developers, facing the almost impossibility of climbing up the Play Store search ladder. Share you app here, review other developers work, and get reviewed. Workers unite!"


As far as the thread topic of a group of developers reviewing each others work... of course that could be legitimate, but it is also apt to be corrupted, and even if not corrupted, it might be viewed as an exploit of the review system by the distributors once they catch on to all the same names rushing in to review each others new releases.

Unless they are honest about the reviews, which means not being all praise, then I doubt the distributors will let that go on for very long.

And if they do give less than great reviews for new participants, then are they going to want to continue to participate?

Best of luck to you all

Coding things my way since 1981 -- Currently using AppGameKit V2 Tier 1

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