Super Glyph Quest - The Aftermath
In which the game comes out and the rollercoaster starts.
In the interests of me not losing my mind, let's start off on a positive note shall we?
The game has been reviews in a few places and absolutely all of them have been positive. Here are some snippets from the big players:
"Bigger and better than before." - Touch Arcade, 4.5/5 stars.
"Super Glyph Quest really does offer that ‘just one more go’ factor" - 148Apps, 4/5 stars.
"Super Glyph Quest has a foot in both the puzzle and role playing game worlds and delivers on both fronts." - Arcade Sushi, 8/10 sushis.
Annoyingly, this still leaves us one review shy of a Metacritic score. I know Metacritic is irrelevant in the self-publishing / mobile space, but it's still a good metric of how well your game is received. It's another thing you can use when you do eventually start hitting up publishers or investors for funding for other projects. A "this is what we did and how well we did it" thing.
We also had to spend a few days post-launch fielding a whole bunch of "Can Haz Codez?" emails. Some were from people with websites or YouTube channels. Some were just chancers trying for a freebie. We'd do a spot of research on each one and that would decide whether or not we'd send them a code. FYI - the ones who only said "Please send me a promo code" in their emails were the ones who didn't get a code.
Again, the ones that reviewed us seemed to like us a lot*.
Do you speak Polish? If so, check out the AntyApps review where I think we got a 5, which I'm assuming is a good score.
How's your French? iPhonesoft have got you covered and have given us 4.5/5.
But this also means that there are a few that haven't actually reviewed us yet. Perhaps it's worth us pinging them a mail inquiring as to what the point of asking us for codes actually was.
There were plenty more emails too, from marketing people offering their services. By services I mean stuff like we'd give them money (which we don't have) in exchange for favourable reviews and 5 star ratings on the App Store. You know - exactly the kind of stuff that GamerGate is really**, really*** about.
I know it's a small sample size, but so far we've never managed what could be termed a Smooth Launch.
This time we fell foul of a rule change from Apple. While rushing to make our submission date, we had filled the screenshot portion of our storefront profile with only 2 images per format**** as opposed to the allowed 5. The idea being that we'd fill the rest in while we were in submission and prior to the game's launch.
It turns out that you can't do this anymore.
Now, you're not allowed to swap screenshots unless you submit a whole new binary. Everything else it appears you can change - but not screenshots. One assumes the reason for this is to include the screenshots in the review process so that it's harder for unscrupulous developers to pull something, but this would hurt us.
|Top of the league!|
Not as much as the fact that we weren't featured though.
All of our confidence around being featured was for nothing as after the Thursday refresh, we were no-where to be found - in the UK store at least. In fact it was the 29th before we turned up on the storefront. Front page, admittedly, but 5 days post launch and only 2 before the next store refresh...
...which promptly removed us again.
Thankfully, that feature was enough to get us in to and on top of the charts. Some very specific charts, but we're definitely counting that.
On the way, we even managed to get in some lighthearted banter with the chaps over at Bossa Studios as we briefly managed to overtake their excellent Surgeon Simulator, which was somehow in the Role Playing Charts.
Of course, before you get all excited and assume that's that and we can now swan off to the nearest Lamborghini dealership, it's really quite depressing just how few copies you actually need to shift to get in to the Paid charts.
Wait For The Drop
With our feature gone, 'hefty' price tag of £1.99 / $2.99 and a number of people baulking at our lack of screenshots, it was no surprise to see us start to slide out of the charts.
The way the App Store works is pretty simple - if you're one of the hundreds of thousands of apps that aren't Featured or in the charts or if you haven't got a huge marketing budget, you are nowhere. You will not sell.
The original Glyph Quest was downloaded over 200,000***** times - all within the first couple of weeks. Once its feature had run out, the tail started and it continues to be downloaded by a handful of people every day. Only a handful, mind - about 20 or 30.
Whilst featured, Super was being downloaded by about 400 people per day. This is hardly stratospheric. With no feature, there was no reason to suspect that this figure would drop to nothing.
So we decided to give it one last hurrah and drop the price.
This is when the wheels kinda fell off.
Some of the people who had already bought our game at the full price were most upset that we'd gone on sale so soon. We were accused of shitting on our fanbase and otherwise pulling a bit of a pre-meditated dick move.
All over $2 that they feel we cheated them out of.
How about this for an example review on the US App Store:
"It was a decent 4 star game at first, but after a week I'm discounting it to a 1 star game."
(It's worth noting that our rating on the UK App Store is still holding fast at 5 stars)
Then there were people on the forums who got the hump and started demanding an apology.
You can find my response here.
After this, the rest of the forum seemed to rally behind us. Some said that they were going to wait until the price went back up so that they could give us more money. Some offered to buy extra copies for anyone else who wanted them. Some even offered to pay us money directly.
More publicity was to follow as people like
Is that going to be enough to enable us to carry on or are we going to have to admit defeat and start brushing up on our CVs?
* This is an assumption based purely on what Google Translate tells us.
** Not really.
*** Really, not really.
**** 5 different formats - iPad, iPhones 3 & 4, iPhone 5, iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.
***** Of those 200,000 people, only around 5% decided to actually pay us for the privilege.