Sunday, May 11, 2014

Pixel Plane Update 0.3.0!

Almost there. But not really?

Major changes in Pixel Plane 0.3.1:
  1. Another GUI redesign! 
  2. Night mode!  
  3. Tutorial has been enhanced to actually tell you to 'lift'/release your finger from the screen after 1/4 second. Prior to this update, anybody unfortunate enough to take the tutorial literally would be stuck holding their finger down forever!! Muhahaha!
  4. Much improved UI for Facebook Friends screen. The frame animates into position, is scroll-able, etc. You can even click on the profile pictures of your friends to go to their Facebook Profile (using your web browser)
  5. When the player's plane initially dies, it will crumple into a paper ball, which can bounce/free-fall around the level for more points until it blows up ( 3 impacts) !
  6. Added a golden colored obstacle bar which represents the player setting a new high-score!
  7. Lot's of little necessary 'features' of  a mobile game like:
    1. A pop-up to ask you to Rate the game in the App/Play store
    2. Banner and Interstitial Ads ( using the AdMob Unity plugin )
    3. In-app purchase to pay $0.99 to remove those ads forever ( using the Soomla Unity SDK )
Re-designed main menu!
Improved Friends S
Improved Tutorial!

New high-score!
Night Mode + Rag-doll death!

What's next?

After fixing the tutorial this weekend, the game is done. Not like, "we just need to polish it, put in some menus, fix a few bugs, add Ads, and it's done". It's done. The explosion may be swapped out with a more-fitting version, but that's undecided. If we had to, we could release the game, as-is, onto the stores tonight. That's a very exciting and scary realization to make for us. The only thing left, then, is *gulp* marketing.

We've started working on a press-kit using the very useful package, do presskit(). A press-kit is basically a one-stop-shop for media/information about your game/company which members of the press can use to write press items about you! It's a symbiotic relationship: developers get easier press-mentions, while the press people get easier content. 

Of course, a press-kit alone is not advertising. Our plan is to send an email containing links to Pixel Plane on the app stores, and to our press-kit, to as many mobile-game-minded press people we can find, in the hopes of converting them into a few press-mentions. Many developers on reddit's gamedev subreddit report that their 'success rate' for these types of emails is in the < 1% ballbark.

That covers getting the game to people who ( may ) write about it, but what about the people who actually play games? How are we going to advertise to them? The answer is, unfortunately, we don't really know. Since our advertising budget is $0, we don't have the option of actually spending money for advertisement. We will certainly make release-day announcements on Twitter and Reddit and maybe some other game-focused forums, but other than that, we don't have much of a strategy for reaching the casual consumer. 

One idea we've talked about, but not actually designed, is to have good old-fashioned paper flyers, and plastering them everywhere (locally) that will let us. We are located near a University, and I have several teacher-friends/family who have commendably vouched their bulletin-boards for Pixel Plane flyers! This is obviously only going to work for the local market, but maybe, just maybe, it will get a word-of-mouth ball rolling. Wish us luck!

If you've made it this far through the wall-of-text, well done! We'd really appreciate your comments about the game ( get it here ), our marketing strategy, or any advise you may have for us!