First Game - Candy Words
Sep 12 2018 05:35 AM
Yes I have started the marketing. I used to do a bit of marketing for an old company I had so I know the frustrations and amount of work needed. Currently I have written out a 10 page marketing plan and have reached out to / paid some experts for templates and am incorporating there methods. Any ideas, tips, tricks that you know about is greatly appreciated but this is already some great advice!
As others have already said, congrats on your game!
As for tips regarding marketing:
1) start doing it! Writing a marketing plan is all good, but until plans turn into actions, they aren't worth anything. You can do lots of things, the simplest of which are going to other forums, reddit, imgur, game reviewers, etc. and promoting your game. You don't have anything to lose.
2) I tried to download your game on my iPhone, but I couldn't find it on the App Store by searching for "Candy Words". It's a problem if your potential players can't find your game even if they directly search for it. You'll need to perform some app store optimisation. For instance, the only two mentions of "Candy Words" on the Google Play page are the game's title and one review.
3) On your website, you state that "All levels and game play are completely free." and on Google Play page you state that the game is "Completely free!" However, these aren't true since the game contains IAPs, which means that the entire gameplay cannot be free even if the IAPs are 100% voluntary. Even the term "Free to Play" has come under scrutiny as it isn't completely accurate.
4) Finally, this is something of a game development and marketing tip at the same time. Pace out your content. I'm not sure if you created those 900 levels by hand or via some procedural system, either way, that's some nice work! However, all that nice work might go down the drain unless your game attracts enough players and those players actually reach all the way to level 900. Here's another advice, implement in game analytics to track how far your players get, how long they spend in certain levels, etc. This way you can tweak your levels if one turns out to be too difficult. Additionally, you'll know when players are reaching the level cap and when you should create more levels.
I'm sure that many others agree with me that you should aim closer to a minimum viable product and add extra content with future updates. This will save you a lot of work and it works great for marketing. Think about it. Why (and when) do you need to release the next 10 or 20 levels if there are already 900? If the updates are far apart, the game's profile will decrease on the app stores, whereas frequent updates increase its profile.
For instance, had you released the game with ~200 levels and then released a new content update of ~15 new levels every two weeks, you'd already have updates lined up for the next two years (but again, making the levels beforehand is not a wise investment as you don't know if people will be playing your game past the level 100, etc). The same applies with multiplayer mode and other features. If you don't have enough players and the game isn't originally intended to be a multiplayer title, then is the investment worth it?
ps. I managed to find and test the game on my Android, and for the love of all that is good, let the users control the volume with the Android volume buttons When I have headphones on, I don't want to wait until the menus to turn down the deafening volume.
- andrew2212 likes this
Wow that is an amazing post!!! Yes I am doing a complete rewrite of the game and first thing I changed was a volume on / off. The slider was a programming challenge I wanted to overcome when I first started but it really does suck hahaha.
The pace content. Yes so I was told this by many many people. And yes its really really sad but i did do all by hand on paper then input it all and I had to input all the letters, words and hints for both (yes thats 900*4 written on paper and input to computer by hand). Then QA all of it twice. So why I did like this was I was building from easy to hard and was scared I would want to change a level at some point. So if I wanted to change 5 to 10 how could I in an update if user already beat 5. I came up with a solution to this which would be a step in between maybe like easy then you have 10 worlds of 40 levels each, but solution came too late haha. It is such great advice though and I really learned the hard way.
I will probably have around 4 or 5 more updates until I'm done with the game excluding multiplayer and language localization. Implementation of both of these will come solely down to the number of downloads. I definitely see how I could have had much more updates to help with the marketing.
I am paying a keyword / ASO optimizer professional to redo my ASO completely and I'm sure he will clean up the free stuff and if he does not I certainly will. I have just updated my website as of now as well, I reworded completely free to free to download. I so much appreciate this as I now really see your point
Let me use this quotation:"The fact that App is serving orders to game companies around the world, disallowing them from using the individual words "candy" or "saga" (and I assume "crush", too) in their game titles, even when the games are COMPLETELY unrelated, has inspired me to never play their games again." Their greed for gold beats even that of the dragons.
I agree here with what you are saying. I can see there point too in that they dont want people ruining there brand name with sub par games looking just like there game and using logos similar to theres, or using a keyword to piggy back off them.
I really like to try and be fair and look at both sides but to me this excuse at one point could be valid but no more. With there current brand awareness to there company name it comes down to trying to monopolize a name and eliminate competition (in my opinion). They are not struggling and have many many other titles. At this point they are extremely established with there company name more than there game title which, was different in the past. If they are still pursuing these types of law suits to date then, in my opinion, that is a huge shame on them as it shows that they are solely trying to monopolize.
I have not heard anything regarding this and Im not stealing a market from them. Also from what I read it only applies if the game is similar to there game and or using similar images / logos. My game is quite different so I think im ok (keyword being think) and I highly highly doubt my game will ever make around $50 a month for me to even be in the radar.
I can guarantee though if I hear anything regarding this it will be posted for the public to hear about (and probably a new title for my game because they have big lawyer money) haha .
This is actually a complex legal issue and not something that can easily be covered here. The "short" and over simplified version is that King had at some point filed to protect the word "candy" and "saga" in the US and the EU. Since then, King has given up its trademark claim for "candy" in the US and the general practice of trademark protecting individual words has also come under legal scrutiny if they are too generic, like candy and saga are.
Technically, if King still holds a trademark to the word "candy", then it is their legal responsibility to confront any and all entities who encroach on that trademark, such as another mobile game using the word "candy" in its title. If they learn of such a thing and choose not to pursue anything, then they would lose their trademark protection. The real issue with lawsuits concerning trademarks such as this usually comes down to outlasting the other party. Trying to protect "candy" trademark when there are countless companies and products before you that already use that name, not to mention the word is a part of every day language, is extremely hard. So, if it really comes down to a lawsuit, then they only need to outlast your economic resources at which point you can no longer continue the legal battle and they win that way, even if their chances of actually winning would be slim.