How did I learn from my mistakes or how to make the second game better

Hello, Habr!

I want to share with you the experience of developing two games for Android, their promotion and tell about the mistakes that I made, and how I decided to avoid them in the future. A year ago, I started making my first Android game. It all started with an idea. The usual, unremarkable - remember the figures on the screen. For the sake of experience and my first project on Google Play, I began to work hard with my brother.

Mistake No. 1 - Unwillingness to listen to someone else's opinion

A week of work - and we already had a little working prototype. Well, of course, I showed it to friends, talked about plans, asked for an opinion. Many said that the idea was not new, not interesting, but I did not want to hear it and we continued to develop. In the end, we ourselves realized that you should not expect much from the game, but the desire to finish what was started surpassed everything.

Screenshots of the first prototype:

Mistake # 2 - Spent time on constant postponements of the release, just because I wanted to fix something else, add

Constant discussions of ideas, the development process, changed the idea of ​​the game before our eyes, which even led to a complete redesign of the project, as well as to a change of names games from Memory with balls (I only later realized the comic nature of the possible translation: “Memory with balls”) to Pur Monsters (I still don’t know why “Pur”), which eventually grew up in Space Monsters.

We constantly postponed the release of the game because there was a desire to add, fix or improve something, to draw differently. Now I’m moving on the principle of making the first stable version with minimal capabilities, showing people and if I get good reviews or the project has potential, then you can continue to support the product with constant improvements.

Homepage evolution:

Mistake # 3 - I completely changed the design of the application, its name, at a time when it could be laid out as a separate project.

As a result, 2 months of development showed the world PurMonsters (in this version I did not use the game engine, I just statically displayed the shapes). Then we started thinking about how to teach monsters to move (fly), add music, fix old mistakes and quickly roll out the update. It took me another whole month. The AndEngine engine was built in, music was added, but I made a mistake. I completely changed the subject and name of the project towards space design. (Now I sometimes doubt the correctness of this decision, because it seems that the old design in light colors was more attractive.)

PS Application design, monsters and all buttons were drawn independently (except for a couple of little things), which took a lot of time.

Mistake number 4 - I did not prepare properly for the first release

Now I understand how important this is. First of all, it is important to embed analytics in your project, without it it is very difficult to get high-quality and timely statistics. The Google Console is generally updated once a day, if not less. And it’s also important to know about each player, regardless of where the project was downloaded from.

The second important thing is the description of the project, its name. When there are different keywords in the description (not a comma-separated list, for such a Google can ban see placement rules), then your project will often appear in the search for such words. With this, of course, it is worth playing around, experimenting. Icon (the very first thing that can attract the user), screenshots (the user decides what to do next) - description, video, rating, comments, number of downloads. All this should convince the person to install your application. There is already someone here that much.

It is also important to know in advance a list of the main forums where you will advertise the project. It is important to remember that when the application appears on Google play, you have a month while you can be in the top of new free ones. Therefore, the faster you can attract an audience, the faster you will get the effect.

A simple idea, a simple implementation, or how I learned from my mistakes.

Error No. 5 - I did not learn from my mistakes.

Only six months later I made a second attempt. One evening and a simple version of a mathematical game was ready (only addition and random numbers no more than 10). After that evening, I kept showing her friends to me. I was surprised. Such a simple game could hold a person longer, liked more (even more than Space Monsters).

But I made a “Mistake # 1.” I did not return to the game for 4 months.

One week and you're done: "gameplay, graphics, Play services for highscores." Without hesitation, I “draw a simple icon, write a description on the go, come up with a name” and let it go freely ... That's right - I made “Error No. 4”. But still I take the old list of resources and forums and start to run through each, leaving a description and where you need apk (, trashbox, xda, etc.).

There were attempts to distribute through AdMob, but the effect was very low (maybe one of you can tell about the experience of using AdMob as a PR application?) The number of users in the new game far exceeded the performance of the old one, as well as my expectations. I even saw my game in the top of new free ones in the educational section. Every day I constantly looked at the statistics, tried to convince every friend and even the first person I met with Android to install and make an assessment.

Quick Brain screenshots:

Results: “Quick Brain with its simplicity showed many times better results. What can I say, if the average session length was 3 minutes compared to 30 seconds. All together made itself felt. In recent days, the number of active users exceeds 500 people per day, which is good news. But the trouble is that the main stream of horse racing comes to unknown resources. And Google play is bypassing most. ”

Some statistics of Quick Brain from September 22 to November 12:


I concluded for myself from several key points (errors):
  • Before starting development, you should make sure that people like the game (application) and they are ready to play (use);
  • Concentrate on the release of a working prototype to test the idea;
  • Pre-prepare the material and the ground for the advertising campaign;
  • To be able to finish the development of an unpromising project in time and start something new;
  • And Google posted instructions on creating successful applications. I think it's worth reading ;
  • Most importantly, learn from your mistakes and those of others.


Error No. 6 - do not postpone the first article on Habr

I have long dreamed (a whole year) of my first article on Habr. Each time I put it off for later because of ignorance that I would write there how they would react to it. Today, a year later, I overcome my fear and took this first step. I had a desire to share experiences, talk about mistakes made, about how they can be fixed.

Your opinion, comments, and advice are very important to me.

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