Archive for August, 2011

Aftermath of Boom Dice Free Weekend

Saturday, August 27th, 2011

It’s been about a week since I started the whole free app experiment. Following that, I got 3 paid downloads the next day, 1 paid download the next after that, and none since then. So that’s a total of 4 paid downloads resulting from 2,534 free downloads, or a conversion rate of 0.158%.

I make about $1.39 per paid copy of Boom Dice (that’s 70% of $1.99). So assuming that the ratio of paid to free stays the same, how many free apps would have to be downloaded in order to make a $3500 ad campaign worth it? Let’s do a little math to find out… (Welcome to the educational portion of this blog, brought to you by the letter “B” for Boom Dice.)

$3,500 / (4 units * $1.99 * 70%) * 2,534 units = 1,591,709 units

Holy Hecuba, I’d have to give away nearly 1.6 million copies of my app in order to break even on an ad campaign like that?! That seems exceedingly unlikely.

Of course, this is based on a conversion rate of 0.158%, which I think is pretty low. As proud as I am of Boom Dice and I have friends who tell me it’s fun (and my baby absolutely loves it), I know that it’s not as cool as, say, geoDefense Swarm, which my entire coding group got sidetracked playing on Thursday. I’m sure they have a much better conversion rate.

So I think the lesson here is that if you’ve got what you know could be a huge crowd-pleaser of a game, doing a Free App A Day type ad campaign may be worth it. But if you’re making smaller, more niche type apps like me, then stick with word of mouth. Or maybe a blog.

Thank You Steve Jobs

Wednesday, August 24th, 2011

Five years ago, I met Steve Jobs. It was just after Premiere Magazine named him and John Lasseter the most powerful men in Hollywood. I spotted them after they addressed the company at an annual meeting, and on a lark, I asked them if I could get a picture with them. They both graciously agreed.

For someone that I only met once, Steve Jobs has had a pretty big impact on my life.

In 1986, he acquired then-unknown computer graphics company, Pixar, and personally bankrolled it for years. Why? Because he believed in the dreams of Pixar’s founders when no one else did, that it would someday be possible to use computers to bring a story to life. Without him, I’m not sure if the industry I work in, let alone the company I work for, would even exist today.

With his return to Apple, he brought forth the iMac — a line of computers so easy to use that my mom feels completely comfortable using one to email her friends and video chat with my baby.

And then in 2007, with the advent of the iPhone, I suddenly had a new hobby that brought me … well, if not fame and fortune, new friends and some extra spending money. It also gave me something to start blogging about. Sure, I blog more about baby stuff and short films now, but it all started with a little dice rolling app for the iPhone.

Heck, even in the past year, part of my day job was to help support a certain iPad project at work. What all of these things have in common is that they all happened because one man had the faith and vision to support the teams to bring them into the world.

So for all the good that you have bought to my life, thank you Steve Jobs.

Results of Boom Dice Free Weekend

Monday, August 22nd, 2011

I made Boom Dice free over the weekend and wow, people sure do like free apps. Here are the numbers:

  1. Friday: 81 free downloads
  2. Saturday: 1181 free downloads
  3. Sunday: 1224 free downloads

That’s a total of 2485 free downloads in three days! Before that, 345 people had purchased Boom Dice since it came out over two years ago.

In a few days, let’s see what effect the free weekend has on sales.

Boom Dice is Free this Weekend!

Friday, August 19th, 2011

I didn’t get 100 votes but it was pretty clear that Boom Dice was a favorite. So I’m making it free this weekend starting now! I posted this announcement in the Touch Arcade sub-forum related to price drops and what not:

As a little experiment, I’m making my game Boom Dice free this entire weekend. It’s an explosive little dice game of strategy and luck for up to 4 players.

Wait, did I just say FREE?! Oh my gosh, I think I just did. For a game that’s normally $1.99, that’s a savings of … 100%! At those prices, is there any reason not to download this game? No, no there is not. Get it now! (Or, wait until the weekend, when it’s free.)

If you enjoyed it, please help me out by putting in a nice review or by replying to this thread. And tell your friends. Thanks!

So if you’ve got an iPhone, download Boom Dice for free now. And help spread the word!

On Monday, I’ll report how many free copies went out over the weekend.

Can You Make Money From Free?

Sunday, August 14th, 2011

Recently, I was contacted by a couple Free App A Day type networks asking if I’d be interested in featuring one of my apps on their network. If you’re not familiar with them, they pick an app and an available day and I make that app free for that one day. Hopefully, the resulting publicity is enough to increase sales even after the app is no longer free.

So I said, “Heck yeah, I’m interested!” But then I found out that not only do you have to make your app free for the day, you also have to purchase one of their promotional packages which range from $699 to $3500 depending on the network. I don’t know about you, but that’s way more than I make on my apps in even a month so it seemed a bit much to gamble.

But then I was thinking, there’s nothing stopping me from just making one of my own apps free for a little while. So I posted a thread on Touch Arcade to generate some publicity. If it gets at least 100 replies, we’ll move on to phase 2 of this experiment!

Baby to English Dictionary

Wednesday, August 10th, 2011

At nearly a year an a half, my baby is starting to say words! Well, sort of, anyways… They’re not always the same as the words we use. So I’ve started making a list of translations:

  • watn = water / juice/ milk / other liquid
  • da! = dekita (Japanese for “I did it!”)
  • waiowaio = owari (Japanese for “done”)
  • dai-ee = kitty
  • bo = Bubba the dog = dog
  • upn = up
  • opn = open
  • bye bye = bye bye
  • beshoo = bless you
  • ear = ear
  • bawh = ball
  • bai = when handing something?
  • mama = mother / father (yeah, we’re still working on this one)
  • manomano = ???
  • aiiii-tee = ???
  • bado = ???
  • mai = ???

As you can see, the list is somewhat of a work in progress.

SIGGRAPH Vancouver!

Thursday, August 4th, 2011

I’m going to a conference in Vancouver this weekend. It’s a chance to check out what’s new in the world of computer graphics, catch up with old friends in the industry, see Vancouver again, something, something, something … and sleep!

Okay, this might be the daddy brain speaking, but I am nearly delirious with joy at the possibility of sleeping past 6 am.

Anyways, I’ll be there from Saturday to Tuesday so if you’re there, email me! Now I need to pack. Or sleep. Or something.