Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Making Progress

Well, it's been a pretty good couple of days. Pretty productive, actually. Here's what's been going on with development.
With Trivia, I've been getting the view flow working the way I want, which has been great. I've been adding in some functionality as I go just to make sure that it works properly and it has been. Like I said before, this is a big "Yay" moment as I have been making good progress. All I can say is that I'm pretty stoked as I get moving with this stuff. It's been a long time coming, but as all developers can tell you, when you finally get something working and things start clicking it's hard to stop. :)
As for Samantha, I've been making some good progress on the game systems. I'm working on combat right now and trying to figure out how much some of the actions cost - it's been interesting seeing how tweaking elements change the dynamics. For instance, I increased the damage caused by an action by one point of damage and it completely altered how combat worked. I've been able to make some good progress on it, but there's a lot more to do still. I think I'm going to be able to start finalizing the systems in the next week and then start coding it up.
I think given the progress that I'm making on trivia, though, that I'll try to finish the coding for that by the end of next week and then it's just TONS and TONS and TONS of data entry trying to get the trivia questions in the database. I also need to make two versions of the game. One thing that I've seen again and again in the blogs I'm reading is that having a trial/lite version of the game, especially if it's free, really does a lot for sales. Owen at Streaming Colour is seeing about 2-3% conversion rate on lite-to-full version, which is just amazing (many companies are happy with 0.1% or 1/30th of what he's seeing). He has put his game on sale (it originally went for $4.99 and now it's being priced at $2.99). I think the $4.99 price was a mistake and the $2.99 price is a good price point. He's got a good game, but $4.99 was a bit of a put-off.
For Trivia, I'm thinking of pricing it at around $1.99 for the full version (lite will obviously be free). The lite version will also be locked so that it only asks for Kids questions (as opposed to the full version which will offer 7 more categories and a Miscellaneous category). I'm hoping that $1.99 is going to be competitive with other games in the market (when last I looked it was). I'm also hoping that the model I'm using where the questions are served from a central database will make it more interesting for people as the number of questions can be expanded. That, plus the online leader board that I'm going to do will separate it from several of the other offerings out there. So long as I can make the quality of the questions better, that may help differentiate. It's definitely not what I'm looking at for a huge cash cow long-term - it's a good way of getting Otto Von's name out there and generating some buzz for the other games (I hope). :)
We're supposed to get a major snow storm tonight (8+ inches), so I'm probably just going to hunker down and work on stuff as much as possible. We'll see how good conditions are in the morning as to whether I go in to work, but I'm actually planning on not going in right now and if I do, I will definitely be leaving early. And Susie's still planning on coming back Friday afternoon from her business trip, so it's a busy week and weekend.
On the Apple developer program front, still nothing. I emailed them on Monday and faxed the documents again, but still no word other than "Requested documents must be received". :( I'll post up more when I hear more from them.
That's it for now. Centennial, Colorado signing off. :)