Thursday, October 29, 2009

PBRTs, the new rage?

Iconfactory just released Pickin' Time for the iPhone, another in a long line of PBRTs (plant-based reflex testers).

I'm sort of confused as to the apparently super positive reception this app has gotten, especially after all the trouble they've had with selling apps.
I don't want to be mean, but seriously, who writes a review like:

It's sort of like an inverse-bizarro YouTube where all the reviews are super coherent and all the words are spelled correctly. (or perhaps there is some shilling involved? eh?)

Convenient list of rejection reasons from the iStore: App Store Rejection Reasons
Thinking, Boxes, & What Kittens Can Do To Them - Wil Shipley's opinion on thinking outside the box -- "don't". PS I read tons of his blog today, it's great and I recommend it to any programmer.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Piracy is good for games

I've been reading some posts about iPhone app piracy. I think a lot of developers are missing an opportunity here. Pirates represent an awesome form of price discrimination. You can sell your app for $0.99 or fifty dollars or whatever, and then get an instant userbase from people who weren't going to pay for it anyways.

Say you write a multiplayer game. Within an hour of launch you will have:
  1. Instant playerbase, even if only one person has legitimately purchased your app, especially important for multiplayer "versus" apps
  2. Filled out highscore tables (so it doesn't look like a ghost town to those first purchasers)
  3. Hundreds (or more) of users to create content for you, by saving replays, creating levels, customizing characters, or whatever
  4. People for your legitimate buyers to chat with (even though every other word will be "fag")
  5. And cheap, viral PR to generate buzz about your game

I wish more people would write about how to take advantage of these benefits instead of just lamenting the losses.

Pro Strat

The iPhoneDevBlogOSphere is abuzz (probably) over the game StoneLoop's removal from the App Store.

blog post here

In summary: complain to Apple that all apps competing with you are infringing on a trademark and have Apple pull your competition for you.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Reading about failure

I spent a lot of today reading blogs about hard numbers on iPhone app sales. Initially, I was depressed, thinking I wouldn't be able to make even a reasonable amount of money with an app, but by the end I became convinced, that yes, there is room for one more good game priced even as high as $4.99.

The main difference I see between the games that did well and the games that flopped is marketing. You have to spend at least 50% of your time pushing your app hard through every form of media you can access.

How to Make Dapple in 6 Months - Owen Goss's explanation of where he spent his time when developing Dapple.
The Grand Review Site List - A review of iPhone app review sites by the makers of Up There. Good information if you want to promote your app.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

New iPhone Developer

I have decided to become an iPhone developer. I don't know Objective-C and I know very little about the app development process. I just bought a MacBook today, it will be my first Apple computer product ever.

Piracy and the App Store - App developer discovers his app is widely pirated, and pirates don't convert to pay users. I can't say I'm surprised, and I agree that piracy generally isn't worth fighting. I still had no idea that piracy was this rampant.