Tower Blocks March Report

So, I'm 3 months in and Tower Blocks has not yet become an Internet sensation. Also, I've been really busy with client projects and found it really hard to find the time to focus on Tower Blocks. This must be the dip I've heard so much about and experienced on most projects I've ever worked on. I've still got lots of ideas for this project, but I've also got new project ideas and it's very tempting to abandon this one and move on to new green pastures.

In March the iOS version of Tower Blocks went live, but I didn't have enough time to get the problems I've got with the Windows Phone 8 version sorted. I'm stuck and not sure how to get unstuck. I am however particularly pleased with the iOS version. Tower Blocks was made for mobile. As it's been a slow month project wise there is not much to report:

Experiment 7: The mobile app stores (in particular iOS) will be more active

All evidence I've read suggests there are more customers, more apps and more opportunity in the iOS store.

Results so far (iOS): I've now got enough data to show what happens when you release a game cold into the Windows 8 and iOS store. The results are not what I expected. As you struggle in one app store you automatically think that the other app stores will be better. However, here are my download figures for March:

iOS StoreWindows 8 Store
Downloads per day 3 9

Now, I do have more reviews on Windows 8 which helped sales, but at best iOS sales are the same as Windows 8 ones were when I first released that version. What was very different was on launch day when I tweeted all my followers there was a more obvious spike than when I tweeted about the Windows 8 version, leading me to the conclusion that more of my followers have iPhones than Windows 8. This does lead me to my next hypothesis experiment.

Experiment 9: External marketing will be more effective for iOS

If you're purely relying on the store my results so far suggest it is easier to get noticed in the Windows 8 store than it is in the iOS store. However, even on Windows 8 this is not enough to be a commercially viable free game. As rumours and industry reports suggest there are more people downloading apps from the iOS store I predict that a marketing attempt will successfully drive more iOS downloads than Windows 8 ones.

What's next

I'm midway into April and still finding it hard to focus and concentrate on the next steps for the game. I'm torn between:

Make game more engaging

The stats from AdDuplex show that my number of Active Users is not growing suggesting that most people only play the game once. Why put effort into getting more people to download the game, if the people already downloading it are stayig around. Perhaps I'd be better off taking time to make players play more and then when I was ready to get more users I'd make the most of them.

Improve touch controls

A lot of people comment that the touch controls don't work as well as they could and some say they are frustrating. The only thing stopping me fixing this is I don't know how much experimenting it will take till I discover a better way of doing this. A side effect of improving the controls may be that people get more engaged as they get less frustrated.

Improve graphics

Graphics are fun and first impressions really count with games. I think better graphics will improve download numbers, but perhaps concentrating on engagement first is more important.

Marketing

It's obvisous that you can't rely on the store. I need to put on my thinking cap and think of some clever ways to get the word out. Or, should I wait till the game is more polished.

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