February 3, 2017

The Search for the Second Monkey Man

The initial search for the second Monkey Man has started. The role is rather vague on what I'm looking for so let's see where this post takes us, if anywhere.

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THE ROLE

To start out you need to be a great artist with a passion in game design and content creation. You don't necessarily need to have much experience on making games as long as you have the enthusiasm and eagerness to learn for it. I will teach and help you to become a solid pro in Unity and design/content creation in general. You will need to have 3D experience as Unity works in 3D environments, and that will be your main tool. When we make games together, I'll provide the tools for content creation and we'll further design and iterate them together.

You don't have to do any UI or programming if you don't want to, as I get the kicks out of those. However it's not a negative aspect if you have the desire for them too.

There will be miscellaneous tasks to share with me, too. Such as communicating with players, making videos, cleaning up player data, updating websites, QA, "marketing", etc. They don't take much time though, and are very adhoc usually.

To "market" this to you, this is not a normal job where you do shit and then get paid. Instead it's an opportunity to learn how games are really made inside out from an expert (yeah, I count myself as one!), and eventually become a partner in Part Time Monkey.

THE DEAL

The deal would start out as a freelance gig with something like 20€/h with a revenue share deal on all the games we collaborate on. We'll raise those figures as we go and the more certain we are that we're a match made in heaven. Eventually, ultimately, the goal is to make you a full-on partner in Part Time Monkey with shares, benefits and whatnot.

The hours will likely vary quite a lot, as there might be times that not much is going on and times that all hell is broken loose. Eventually I will include you in all my projects (other collabs and subcontracting gigs etc.) if you want.

At first we'll work at our homes, hopefully having face-to-face meetings every now and then. Most of the communication will happen through Skype or similar. Possibility to work together at my home studio also exists.

THE GAMES 

We will focus on creating small casual games with short development times (max 2mo per game). When something flies, we'll keep doing updates for it with dev times ~1-2 weeks. The games don't have a specific genre, so anything goes, really. The design should always start a portrait game with one-button mechanics, and elaborated later if seen fit.


Send all queries to contact@parttimemonkey.com or ask in the comment section.

February 2, 2017

Breakout Ninja, the Tail (+ v1.1 Update)

As promised, here's "the tail" of Breakout Ninja, i.e. "What happened to the revenue and downloads after the launch week." It's not very surprising though.

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Between 5th and 7th the launch with the feature spots happened, so the revenue started streaming in, with the highest paying day being the launch week's Sunday.

Between 13th and 15th the feature spots updated again, and Ninja wasn't very well featured anymore, which led into the noticeable drop in revenue.

The latter part of the tail seems to be shrinking slowly day-by-day. I'm a little surprised it's still doing about $100-$200 a day, as I assumed it'd soon go down to a few bucks per day.

The download counts follows pretty much exactly the same curve, being now at a pretty constant 1K - 1.5K a day.

Total revenue now: $36K
Total downloads now: 865K


MONKEYRAMA RISES FROM THE DEAD

What I definitely was not expecting during this period was a feature spot for Monkeyrama in China. My guess it has nothing to do with Breakout Ninja, and everything to do with the fact that the "Year of the Monkey" in China is ending, as the feature spot was in a category called "Quit Monkeyin' Around." 

That spot ended up more than doubling the download amount of Monkeyrama, which is now 156K.

Monkeyrama has no IAPs and only one incentived ad-placement, which can only be used when failing a level. I find it quite interesting, because the spot also ended up more than quadrupling the revenue of Monkeyrama, being now at $11K + IAPs.


BREAKOUT NINJA UPDATE (v1.1)

After the holidays I had about 3 days to make the first update - if I wanted to stay in schedule. The last 3 days have been quiiiite a busy time, as I've clocked in about ~14-16h per day. But now it's done.

The update has pretty much a completely new design. It has 4 "Infinite" levels, 4 "Three-Star" levels and 12 "Hard" levels. It's also got iMessage Stickers, a new menu system and a bunch of improvements here and there. The IAP also now unlocks all the levels on top of removing the ads.

The update will be out next week's Thursday (9th of Feb).

Here's a sneak peek video, which only shows some parts of the "Three-Star" levels.


January 13, 2017

Breakout Ninja, first week

Phew, what a week!

Breakout Ninja's success was obviously a big surprise to me. I figured it'd likely do a bit better than Monkeyrama, but this was very unexpected. The original plan was to release it, get the few thousand downloads and be done with it. Obviously now I'm very enthusiastic about releasing the next update!

If you haven't downloaded it yet, do so now
https://itunes.apple.com/app/breakout-ninja/id1181855058

As with my previous games, I wanted to share the numbers and details behind the first week, as I believe this is something that interests at least many indie devs and can be learnt from, to some extent.











LAUNCH METRICS (First Week)
  • 650K+ downloads
  • $1.1K+ revenue (uncut) from IAPs (No Ads IAP, conversion ~0.08%)
  • $23K+ ad revenue (~$18 avg. eCPM)
  • 4.5/5 average rating
  • Featured in multiple countries, most meaningful US #7 New Games We Love
  • Download chart achievements
    • Top5 Games in 12 countries, including US
    • Top10 Games in 30 countries, including Canada, Australia, Germany
    • Top100 Games in 110 countries, including UK and what have you
The game has been covered on multiple media outlets such as Touch Arcade, Pocket Gamer, 148Apps and Cult of Mac (see links at the bottom).

Yesterday Apple again updated their featuring spots (happens every Thursday) and it seems Breakout Ninja has vanished from all lists. It will be very interesting to see how the current chart positions behave in a scenario like this; whether the game comes crashing down instantly, and if not, how long of a tail does it get. Will make another post about this within a few weeks.

Another positive surprise arose from all of Ninja's success; the implementation of my cross-promotion to my other games seemed to have work well. Before Breakout Ninja, Space Bang and Monkeyrama downloads had dropped to 10-50 per day. Within the last week they've been downloaded about 10K times together, and have made about a fifth of the revenue that they had made in their entire lifetimes. So, cross promotion definitely pays off to some extent!


DEVELOPMENT PROCESS
The game took about 2 weeks and 3 days to finish, give or take a day. I used ~3 days on prototyping the game about 3-4 months ago and dropped the project, as I didn't think it was good enough to continue. About a month after that my girlfriend Eeva suggested (insisted) that'd I'd continue it since she really liked the game. I figured welp I have nothing better to do really, so why not. From that point two weeks later it was done and good to go.

The inspiration came from Ketchapp's Summer Sports. It has a similar mechanic but instead of circles they show where to tap on the ground. Figured it was quite fresh, and wanted to put it in use in a more fast-paced environment - hence the Ninja.


VERSION 1.1 (Planned Release 9th of Feb)
Breakout Ninja's first update, v1.1, will get 5 all-new levels with 3-star rating and a hard mode in each. Most of the "meta" work is already done, and one level almost finished. With limited user-testing it has proven to be even more fun and addicting than the endless game-play. A sneak peek will follow.

Unfortunately, as I didn't plan for the success, I had booked an un-cancelable holiday for two weeks starting from tomorrow - which is the reason for the late release date for the update. But after the holiday, with fresh eyes, the update will be better!