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Releasing new games is exciting and stressful at the same time. We “just” released Avalon Legends Solitaire – few weeks ago on our site and now as 30-days exclusive at BFG. This is our first exclusive and I keep the fingers crossed. Hopefully it will be our best selling game.
Having the game released as exclusive at BFG gives a bit of stabilization for me. There’s no rush to reach all the portals at the same time, no need to prepare 10 builds for each of them. I can slowly get ready for release on other sites.
This release is also our deeper jump into Facebook. For long time I try to avoid this medium, but at the end of the day I thought, that even if I don’t like it, there might be people over there that want me to communicate with them through Facebook. We will see how it goes. Anyway, I would appreciate if you like this idea and click “like it” button for our FB page :)
With 25 likes we can apply for shorter URL.
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Categories : Uncategorized, case studies
New Years resolutions (and all plans) are worthless if you don’t check later if you achieved what you planned. 2008 was a very exciting year for me, with a lot of life changing decisions. It was a bit strange in terms of what went wrong. A lot of things that initially did look really bad turned out to be good or replaced by better. Here’s a short list of what went good and what went wrong.
- Pony World Deluxe released – that was a huge game and I was really happy to get it out of the doors. We developed it almost for two years. It has proven that we are weak game designers, but by trying hard and reiterating you can actually make a good game. I just wish we could spot more design flows sooner.
- Runes of Avalon 2 released – honestly I didn’t expect to release this game, but after seeing such a positive feedback from Path of Magic we decided to make one more step in Runes of Avalon franchise. This time we had more creative freedom and some extra time to polish the ideas we had for the first game, but didn’t have the time to put in (like Amulet of Spells). This game showed how important is game balancing and testing… and that you have to be careful with what feedback you listen too. A lot of people complained about long storyline and too easy levels in Runes of Avalon 1, but once we shortened story and increased difficulty it didn’t help much if at all.
- Anawiki Puzzle Game released - an experiment to promote ANAWIKI and our games. Very simple freeware jigsaw game that we made in our spare time with art used from other games.
- Made over 200 sales a month two months in a row – released games mentioned above really helped, but thing that made the biggest trick was featuring Pony World Deluxe by Apple. In one day we had 4000 downloads (and that was for Kids and Learning category).
- Teamed up with a great game designer and started a great new game – as I mentioned before, I am not as great game designer as I thought I am. The are two ways to get better: learning through your own mistakes or watching masters at play. I prefer to play with the masters.
- Bought a new apartment (almost 1000 sq. feet / 91 m2) – it turned me into a bedroom coder again, but I don’t mind, because there’s not that many people in my hometown that know what a casual game is, not to mention how to make them (and I don’t need an office to work with guys from the other side of the world).
- My team members left ANAWIKI in June – I thought that it was a disaster for me. In my opinion one man studio is not capable of making quality games in short period of time. But then I changed my thinking – I don’t need employees to create a team. I was always good at finding great people to work with. This time I searched worldwide. It turned out to be one of the best things that happened to ANAWIKI. So why I put this into “wrong” category? I really did like to work with my ex-team members.
- My secret Jigsaw game project was put on hold – Anawiki Puzzle Game was very well received and we wanted create a full commercial title, but… it has to wait for better times.
- Alice Adventures puzzle game put on hold - I was really passionate about this one and we’ve been working on it like crazy until we stopped and then I couldn’t decide which direction to go. I still can’t.
- From September to December I was able to work only at 10% of my effectiveness – buying a house is exhausting exercise. Not only you have to negotiate a good deal, but also have to check all the details about the buying property. And then you need to decorate it, decide whether you want paint or wallpapers on the walls, what kind of TV set you want, how to set it all, etc. It really eats your energy especially if you want to move in ASAP.
- No-Internet experiment didn’t work out – I unplugged my computers with the hope to be more productive and for a short period of time I was. But you can’t do so much being off-line that my traffic and sales dropped horribly.
2008 was not a bad year, not bad at all.
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I made a look back at my resolutions for 2008 and a lot of things I planned to do didn’t happened. One of my friends said that I don’t achieve my goals. Well, that’s partially true, but the goal itself is not the whole purpose. My goals evolve and change during the year so the plan at the beggining of the year isn’t the same as in the middle of the year. The world changes instantly and so should probably your plans.
Though I haven’t achieved a lot of goals on my list I still achieved a lot in 2008 and so far it was the best year in my indie career. I hope the year will be as good as old one, but hopefully less crazy :D
Happy New Year 2009 to all of you!
It’s good to be back online and my 3 goals for Sell More Games blog are:
- write at least 2 articles a month
- bring more traffic (like 10 times)
- get PR 4 at google
And for ANAWIKI GAMES… I feel like making no resolutions, but then how would I know if I succeeded? My plan is to release 3 games in 2009 and all of them has been started in 2008 so there’s a high chance I can succeed :)