Roadball Rally - 9 Month update

It has been a little over 9 months since I released my first game, Roadball Rally, on iOS and Android. Here are the total numbers since release:

  • iOS - 115 installs, 8 reviews, 10,200 ad impressions, and $2.05 in earnings
  • Android - 600 installs, 19 ratings with a 4.58 average,  32,700 ad impressions, and $7.73 in earnings. 
  • Almost 12,000 YouTube trailer impressions and 700 Twitter followers since launch.

I released a significant update in January with a new, brighter look but this didn't make any difference. The game is basically invisible, especially on iOS, so no one is aware of the update. 

Roadball Rally is a free, fun and addictive action game. Swipe to control your ball and avoid oncoming traffic across a variety of incredibly challenging levels including Tilted Road, Aerial View, and Wobble Ball. Use coins to purchase shields or balls. Take the Roadball Rally challenge and try to be the first to complete all 10 levels!.

Roadball Rally - 2015 Summary

In early September of 2015 I released my first game, Roadball Rally, on Android and iOS. Here are some numbers from the first four months of release:

  • Total income of $7.66 on approximately 25,000 AdMob impressions with an impression RPM of $0.31.
  • 266 installs on Android with 15 reviews and an average rating of 4.47. The app was installed by almost 25% of users who viewed the Google Play store listing.
  • 72 iOS installs on 495 App Store views. Seven 5-star reviews and one 4-star review.

Roadball Rally was a complete commercial failure. I wasn't expecting much but I was hoping to earn enough to recoup the cost of the Mac Mini I purchased in order to release the game on iOS. 

Since the release I've attempted to promote the game on Twitter, YouTube, and various forums. I've gained over 450 Twitter followers and the YouTube trailer has over 4,000 views but the time consuming attempts at promotion have not resulted in any significant bumps in installs.  Roadball Rally is practically invisible on the App Store and Google Play with only direct searches for 'roadball' or 'roadball rally' leading to store listing views and app installs.

My plan for early 2016 is to release an update to Roadball Rally with a new road, new walls, and other graphical improvements. Here's a screenshot of the new look:

After the Roadball Rally update I will make another attempt at promoting the game. I also plan to start brainstorming ideas for a new game. Hopefully I can take what I've learned from Roadball Rally to create a unique, fun, and successful new game.

Roadball Rally - Month 2 update

Roadball Rally has now been available for two months on the Google Play store and one month on the App Store. The numbers are still very small.  Approximately $3.00 in ad revenue on a bit less then 12,000 ad impressions, around 100 installs, and a few mostly positive reviews.  The numbers are split almost evenly between Android and iOS but the game has been available on Android for twice the amount of time.

My attempts at promoting the game have not had much success. I've published a gameplay trailer to YouTube, created a Facebook page, and shared screenshots and videos on Twitter using the popular #indiedev and #gamedev hashtags. None of this has led to an appreciable increase in installs outside of family and friends.

The release of Roadball Rally has been a personal success but a commercial failure. It has been a great learning experience, an excellent conversation topic, and a fun game to play with my family but it hasn't generated any significant interest or income.  I still haven't given up, with an updated iOS version soon to be released, I'm planning another marketing push on Twitter and YouTube. And if that doesn't work, I think I'll take what I've learned and make another game.

Roadball Rally - One week in the Google Play store

I published my first game, Roadball Rally, to the Google Play store a little over a week ago. Since that time it has been installed 26 times, earned a few 5 star reviews, and made $0.75 from advertising. Overall, it is about what I expected but still a bit discouraging. 

The feedback I've received has been positive but I haven't found a way to promote the game outside of my circle of friends, family, and coworkers. I have tried to promote the game on Twitter and a few forums and gaming communities without much of a response. 

I'm not giving up yet! My plan for the next few weeks is to tweak the gameplay a bit based on the feedback I've received and to add a few levels for the people who have already finished the game. I'm also hoping to publish a much needed iOS version in the next few weeks. After the iOS version is released I will make another push to promote game.

I'll post an update after the iOS version is released. In the meantime, if anyone has any game promotion tips, please let me know.





Game Development - Part 3 - Unity Asset Store

One important advantage Unity has over other game engines is the Unity Asset Store. The Asset Store is an excellent resource for developers with a huge variety of free and paid 3D models, sounds, and scripts available to include in your project.

After experimenting with Blender and researching some of the expensive commercial alternatives, it quickly became apparent that I would need help building the graphical assets for RoadBall Rally. Finding suitable assets for your project is a time consuming effort that will involve lots of experimentation. To keep my project clean, I created a separate test project that I would use to import and test assets. In the end I used a number of textures and materials from Yughues who offers a large number of popular and free material packs and I purchased the Simple Town environment from Synty Studios mostly for the car models.

Other packages I used were the Gamestrap UI GUI skin for the initial versions of the buttons and the Univeral Sound FX package from Imphenzia for some of the sound effects.

In my experience the texture and materials assets are a great resource for first time and indie game developers who may not have the technical or artistic ability to create their own graphical assets. I'm more reluctant to use the scripting assets in my project. In most cases it is easier to write the code myself then depend on 3rd party scripts. I also want to make sure I understand all the code in the project and that I'm not depending on 3rd party code that may be abandoned in the future.