- Metal Gear Solid Touch
- Pocket God
Also included in the newest iGame Squadron is my take on what the latest iPhone update means for gamers. Check it out!
Apple is launching the marketing operations for what will be included in the new iPhone OS today. TimeDoctor Dot Org will list out the highlights so you don’t have to read all the liveblogs.
Only the important items are listed. Full details and executive sarcasm after the break, executive summary before it:
- Developers can now charge for subscriptions, DLC, in-app purchasing of content, etc. Of course, Apple still takes their 30% cut on all this.
- Bonjour-powered adhoc bluetooth pairing for multiplayer games and other applications.
- Accessories can communicate with software over the dock connector or via bluetooth.
- Fancy push notifications are in (sound effects, etc). Background processes aren’t.
- Developer access to built-in music is in.
- Copy and paste is in.
- Landscape (including keyboard) mode in all of Apple’s apps.
- Spotlight searching across many apps’ content.
- Stereo bluetooth for headphones.
- All developers have access to the beta versions of both the SDK and firmware now. NDA in full effect on beta versions.
- Ships this summer. iPhone 3G and iPhone 2G get it for free. $10 for iPod Touch. iPhone 2G will be missing some features.
Metal Gear Solid Touch is going to be released on Thursday, I’m extremely happy about this and hope it lives up to the Metal Gear Solid legacy of awesomeness.
In the meantime I’m giving away a few copies of Black Shades for the iPhone over the official TimeDoctor Dot Org twitter feed today and tomorrow.
This is a game I really love because I originally worked on the Linux and Mac OS X ports with my good buddies over at icculus.org. Hopefully some day it will see a modern update.
Just keep following the feed for some free goodies to redeem in iTunes and also check out my latest set of reviews of iPhone games over at AtomicGamer.com! Here are the games I reviewed for this edition of the iGame Squadron:
- Chess with Friends
- Ancient Frog
If you do win a code, please let everyone know in the comments so they don’t have to try to redeem them after you have
Recently I’ve been hearing a number of complaints from iPhone software developers about pricing. These folks want to get out of the “99 Cent store.” The vast majority of these guys are either producing shovelware, first time coders, first time businessmen, are not making the effort to strategize their applications on the app store.
There are five basic things you need to do to get your app sold.
- Price appropriately, price not-free.
Have a lite version so users can get a taste, but, do charge money for a full application. Don’t half-ass it with a 99 cent program and think you’ll get into the top-tier of sales. That is essentially a lottery at this point with the 10,000+ applications out there. Don’t go free, because then you lose your standing. Only go free if you want to establish a brand like ngmoco before releasing your paid apps. Also note that reviews are stacked against free apps, since more people will download apps for free, but are less likely to be commited to (and appreciative of) the app. Whenever someone makes a purchase for anything, they become more committed to it. Just like sony/microsoft/nintendo console fanboys become more commited when they own “they greatest console ever.”
- Make quality software.
If your software isn’t very good, even the fart app fans will review it appropriately, and it isn’t going to go anywhere. If this is your first app, fine, make it a free application to demonstrate your willingness to learn, and then once you’re a better programmer you can move on to…
- Strategize your pricing.
Start out with .99 cents. If your software is good, you’ll get into the top 25. Once it is there you can iterate on the software and raise your price appropriately. Drop the price if you fall out of the top 25, have a sale, whatever.
- Iterate the holy hell out of your software.
The biggest purchasers on the app store play with a piece of software for at most a few minutes and then never touch it again. You do not want these people to delete your app and rate it poorly. If my theory is correct, those same people are punching the update app button on the apps part of iTunes every ten minutes. You want to be updated whenever anyone hits that button so that their interest in your application comes back. There are a lot of little parts to this as well. Change your icon so these people understand that your app has undergone a significant change. They’ll see it in iTunes and they’ll see it again on the iPhone. With any luck they may go back to the app store and review your application well, and even give it the benefit of the doubt for any problems it is having because you are updating it. Every time you update, you get back on the new page on the iTunes store, even if you just update to change the version number. Updates are free advertising.
- Spend just a little on marketing
Most of the applications that are free have some kind of admob integration, buy through them and it won’t take much but the uptick in users could get you to be more sticky in the app store. Do not use admob advertising in your own application, you’d just be advertising for other applications.
- Consult with others, network the hell out of yourself and your product before and after release.
There are only so many things you can know. You might be a good marketroid but a poor developer. Then you’ll need to talk to find a community of developers on a forum or IRC channel and get chatting. Establish yourself there, help others, and others will help you. The same goes for being a developer and needing tips on marketing, or bizdev, or whatever. Talk to other people about this stuff so you don’t make mistakes in the long run. Lets say you’re writing your first OpenGL application, and it is for the iPhone, talk to OpenGL developers, don’t do it all on your own! The “others” you consult can even include your users, include a feedback form of some kind in your app. Do read and understand their feedback, if the majority of your users want something, you should probably deliver it. Ignore the crazy people who tell you they want more porn in your app.
Once you’ve got one app that has sold really well, and you’re ready to move on, think about continuing to support the older application and lowering the price. Eventually as you get back down to around the 99 cents, you’ll want to think about your strategy for going free with that app. Once it is out of the top 50 it isn’t going to do you any good, so it might as well get into the top 50 on the free chart and become an advertisement for your newer applications.
So there you go, I’m just a reviewer of software, but stop complaining about why it isn’t selling and try some strategies. The worst you can do is fail as poorly as you are now. Or tell me why I’m wrong, I’m sure my strategy isn’t perfect. Talk with other developers and publishers like ngmoco, find out why they’re successful, and use those ideas to make your apps sell.
Hey go check out my first set of iPhone game reviews over at atomicgamer! THEY’RE SO AWESOME! THESE ARE THE GAMES THAT GOT REVIEWED!!!!!11111:
Black and White
Developers & Publishers, email me promo codes for your games to firstname.lastname@example.org!! DO IT OR THE OWL WILL EAT YOU!
Generally when I look out on the surface of the Podcast listings on my iPhone I’m confronted with two things; NPR and Video Games. Neither of which are exactly expanding my listening horizons.
Every so often though, I find a few that fit within those publishing categories but also expand my interest and thinking. Here are three episodes listed in order of least-to-most video-gamey.
- Fresh Air from 1/28/09:
This episode continues the fine tradition of Terry Gross’ 30+ year tradition of excellence through interviews of cultural and intellectual icons. The recently deceased John Updike’s past Fresh Air appearances taking the place of the show’s usual format. I will admit to having never read one of Updike’s books, though after hearing this interview I am inspired to try them.
- What They Play from 02/03/09:
The meat of this episode has little to nothing to do with the usual content of this podcast, which is why I find it so surprising. The usually chipper host John Davison surprises us by being boring and uninterested in his own show to start, and then he throws out a substantial bit of discourse with ngmoco‘s CEO, Neil Young. Complete 180 from a usual What They Play episode, but not entirely unexpected from John Davison. Listen to this show if you have any interest in the iPhone gaming market. Then go download ngmoco’s great games if you haven’t already.
- A Life Well Wasted Episode 1:
Usually when you get to the most game-y side of discussion you’re prepared for unintelligible fart jokes and prattling on about the latest Gears of War in a round table format from a group of schmucks over Skype. I’m certainly no exception having contributed to that for a good while. Then along comes Robert Ashley to class the joint up without giving up any kind of personality. Though the subject matter of the first episode is kind of played out, it is a great example of what to expect from this new podcast in the future.
There you have it, three podcasts to which you most likely haven’t listened. Enjoy.
For the convienience of any LOST fans who read TimeDoctor.org, I’ve edited this flickr image to the appropriate size for an iPhone wallpaper:
Just save it to your iPhone by tapping and holding the image, then set it as wallpaper from the Photos application.