Almost seven days of release on Windows Phone

It’s been almost a week since I’ve released my first ever game: Ion Galactic: The Conflict.

What have I learned so far? Free is the way. I launched with an initial price of $1.49. The Windows Phone market place offers the neat feature of built in trials. This lets you allow a trial and the engine can detect if the game is running in trial mode or if the player purchased it.

I added a number of limitations to the code though still allowing the game to be played. After a few days the game wasn’t getting ANY attention. This worried me a bit as I expected at least a few downloads. After some research I have come to the conclusion that asking for folks to pay for a game, even when there is a trial available, is not a wise move. There are a number of factors. I’ll list some, feel free to add more.

1) Games that cost money but offer a trial are not listed as FREE in the Windows Phone store.
2) Users can easily miss the fact there is a trial offered when browsing a list of games
3) It’s easy to give too much away in the trial, or not enough I suppose and in either case players may not buy the game

To correct this issue of course I made the game free. What did I notice almost immediately? People downloading the game! I went free on the 18th of March, and since then I’ve gone from no downloads to 127. That number is huge, it’s true, but still that’s 127 people that have seen the work I’ve done. That means a lot.

What about giving the game away? Turns out that if I offer a trial or I offer an in game purchase to remove ads or unlock levels the end results is the exact same. The player can play some portion of the game and then they can’t play more until they pony up the cash. However, the big difference, point number 1, games that have a free trial are not listed in the market as free.

The next nut I hope to crack is getting more reviews and ratings. Those things, along with download count, can help raise a game in the charts. I didn’t originally build in a “Hey wana rate this game” nag box. I’m thinking this was a mistake.

Till next time!

Hey, you can play the full version of Ion Galactic: The Conflict right here on this website. Give it a try, and let me know what you think.