Recent progress with LibGDX version of Word Slinger

I decided to rewrite my game with LibGDX to help me focus more on the actual game and features rather than splitting my time enhancing the engine AND the game.

Word Slinger consist of several screens: Menu Screen, Play Screen, Options Screen, Help Screen, High Score Screen and few extras for handling high score user input etc. Since I am new to LibGDX I thought it would be wise to start to rewrite the game from the simplest possible screen. In my mind this could have been the Help Screen. In Help Screen there’s actually just a little bit text explaining what to do in the game plus some credits and one button.

I knew there was going to be a lot of implications if I just copy & paste the classes I used with my original engine. And there was, a lot. Luckily I used a bit similar abstraction in my own game called Screen which LibGDX has but there was a plenty of things that I have thought very differently. One thing that didn’t make the Help Screen the most easiest one was the fact that I created my own Font class with font metrics and stuff. This is all neat but unfortunately there’s no easy way to use this in LibGDX. To get forward I created a temporary font with Hiero so I can have fancy font of my own.

One nice thing about the LibGDX is the Scene2d. This is a object graph for handling different “things” on the Scene (screen). These object are Actors, objects / entities that compose the Scene (with few other things). Scene2d can use Tables and other widgets for creating UI elements and help positioning the stuff on the screen. I wont go now into detail of all that, it can be read here. Nevertheless, there’s a lot of things to read and learn.

After few (plenty!) bumps and moments of frustration I have managed to create the Help Screen and part of the initial Play Screen. Here are few screenshots which look the same like I was having already last autumn. 🙂 🙂 Hopefully when I get some of the infrastructure ready things will speed up !!

 

ws_help001ws_play001

LibGDX projects

I started a new game project some time ago and now I am happy to say it has moved a bit forward. I have been very busy lately due to my other obligations (read: work) so I haven’t had the time.

My new game is going to be something a little bit different from Word Slinger. Game doesn’t have an official name yet but I have named the project Bouncy. The name might change if I come up with something better but for now it will do.

Bouncy_title_land

Bouncy will be more like a action game with a hero / heroine and some balls that are making the life difficult. How balls make life difficult? Well, if they are many, they are bouncy and will knock you unconscious, they can be!

I am not sure on what platform (desktop or mobile) the game will be released but I have selected LibGDX to be the library I will be using. There are several reasons for this. The main reason would be that I am planning to rewrite Word Slinger on LibGDX.

Yes, you read it correctly! I am ditching my own engine I created with all pain and sweat to be replaced with something more common and more easy to extend. Also I want to concentrate on the actual game not the engine 😉  LibGDX is also more flexible on platforms, it will allow me to create a desktop game along with a Android version if choose to. That way I don’t need to decide yet the platform.

I will be doing the both project at the same time, hoping they will gradually get finished eventually. No release date yet! Heheheh 😉 Stay tuned for updates!

Retrospective and statistics on Word Slinger

My game (Word Slinger) has been now for a little over three months in the Play store. It has now reached over 1000 (yes, you read correctly!) downloads. I think it’s pretty remarkable in the context what I had originally expected and hoped for.

My original goal was to learn to create an Android Game and upload it to Play store to have it available for anyone who would find it entertaining and interesting.

When I was creating the game I decided to push the goal a little bit further. I added some features like high scores, ads and eventually in app purchases. The idea was not to make money with it rather learn how to do it and _maybe_ cover some of the development expenses.

I am gonna analyze how it has succeeded so far. Here are some graphs about the progress.

Progress of downloads:

WS_installs_1Q2014

There’s nothing remarkable here really. The spikes in daily installs are due to the marketing campaigns I have run on FB.

Admob requests / clicks:

WS_admob_1Q2014

This chart boils down into few things. Clicks are very few, 62 total so far. Yes, people probably doesn’t like ads and are not clicking unless something very interesting comes up. I hope irritation (or should I say attitude?) doesn’t prevent from clicking something interesting. One thing that is not showing here is that almost all clicks are from the USA, almost 95%. Maybe the ads culture is developed further there than in EU?

It’s interesting how little revenue this creates. My game should have 1000 times more active users and if the clicks (and revenue) scale linearly then this could cover some of the costs, now it really doesn’t.

Income from the in app purchases:

WS_earnings_1Q2014

 

I have smudged the actual amounts but make no mistake about it, the total revenue is very very low. I barely got to the target of getting purchases so I could buy myself a cold beer. This is the scale of things 🙂 Nevertheless, at the start there was some action in IAP side but lately it’s next to none, like you can see it’s gone down by 75%.

This is the statistics (or some of it) for the first quarter for my game. One of the blog visitors said wisely that do games for fun, not for money. It has certain wisdom in it. Of course, by looking the numbers provided doesn’t proof anything else but having the money factor in place it causes more anxiety and maybe empty hopes.

Unfortunately I haven’t got any feedback how people like my game (or if they don’t). No feature requests or not even a single bug report. Maybe 1000 is a little too few to get to there? Anyways, inspired by the statistics I am planning to update the game and hopefully this yields more downloads and happy gamers.