Thursday, April 23, 2015

Motivation, App Exchange and Revenue Return !

This certainly hasn't been a boring month, even with break from work. I managed to get a few things fixed, do a bit of travelling and play fair few games. Now we are in April, spring season is here, which has changed for the better bringing warmer weather. A welcome change, even if it is a little cool in the mornings, I wonder how the month of May will fair ?

A Vax Vacuum Cleaner Mrs. A and I owned for less six months decided to under perform by the motor practically burning out, tale tell signs of burning smells came from the device itself. You would think that over use caused this to happen, but using it for once a week, along side a Gtech Motorised Floor Sweeper was enough. We purchased the Vax from Amazon and it couldn't be returned for a refund, only for repair, but via a third-party company. I went back and read a few reviews and the most common fault appeared to be from the motor burning out. I ended up recycling the Vax, vowing never to buy one again and bought a Henry Vacuum. These are renowned for their reliability !

Assault ( Surreal Office Duties Challenge ) ::
You'll be pleased to know that I fixed the room bug from last month, where upon the player didn't appear in the same stairwell, either on the ground or first floor. I basically redesigned the rooms and quite surprisingly the bug went away ! Perhaps there was an object hidden underneath another ? I do remember setting up a map object which reproduces the room into another view to aid the player knowing where they were on the current level. Maybe this caused the problem ? I know the play areas are quite large, still at least it is working now and the player will have the opportunity into looking around each level for longer.
The screenshot above shows the same level layout as before, but now the score bar has been added and to show some scale, the player. Although, still not implimented, I am aiming at adding depth to the level play area. Not quite isometric, but more 3D looking walls and stairs etc.
Here we have what I call version one of the player, which is more than likely to go through a few adjustments or versions. I may have to add more frames of animation to make the movement smoother. There will be of course be sprites with weapons as well, whilst this frame shows none in the hand. I am hoping for the end of next month to have the player moving around the play area with objects to collect and shoot.

Games Played in April ::

All Systems GO ! ! !

Retro Computer Museum :: ( Swannington, Leicestershire )
There was an opportuntity to attend two retro gaming events this month, which unfortunately clashed. However, I had my mind set at going to the Retro Computer Museum event which incidently was being held at the same place as several years ago. It was nice to catch up with friends again and spend a day out playing with retro computers ! Including an experience on a virtual reality machine !

 












ROM :: ( Oxford )
Here is a video of all the fun of the retro gaming fair of ROM held at the White House Public House in Oxford over the Easter weekend. This video footage was taken by Kieren Hawken, who has lots of great videos on his YouTube channel.

Subscription Boxes ::

Arcade Block :: ( March 2015 )
This is the last in the three month subscription of Arcade Block for me. I have enjoyed the contents very much, but at present, I feel more sided with Nerd Block. However, I may feel the urge to pick up another subscription in the future.

Nerd Block :: ( April 2015 )
I was pretty excited for this month's Nerd Block with it being 1980's themed and with a Ghostbuster item inside, it made me feel even more stoked. Oh ! Did I mention there was a Back to the Future item as well ?

App Exchange ::
A few weeks ago I received an e-mail from Android App Promotion about an exchange program where you submit your app through their database and then download another app from someone else in the database.
The system works pretty well with a credit basis and the whole process is *FREE*. I did get more downloads for apps via Google Play Store, but found the process of keeping up with the credit balance and downloading more apps from others in the database, a challenge when I played a game or used an app, it was only a for few minutes . I think I downloaded around 59 apps which includes games and interactive. They AAP also have a review based system app as well, but if the credit system is similar, you may find it a bit overwhelming reviewing many games. This is in terms of time available to yourself. I otherwise think that this is a great idea in getting your app or game known and to increase the amount of downloads.

Revenue Return ::
So, how am I fairing with advert revenue via Admob ? Well, for the moment, I feel I could shake more money out from the Couch or Sofa than get any regular income from this current method. This does sound a little negative doesn't it ? I do believe that my games need to be advertised more and the paid app method kind of failed, even if certain ones were only 50 pence GBP. I think that the mobile games market is totally flooded to saturation point with thousands, if not millions of apps out there, making it more competitive than ever.
You can see above that March 2015 was slim pickings, the accumalitive figure is £11.48 GBP which includes YouTube and Abmob earnings. It looks like Google might not pay out until the threshold reaches £60 GBP, although this has been left at the default setting.

There is a further breakdown above with estimated earnings per app, impressions and request RPM which is much higher per app. I am guessing the advertiser gets most of this, even though the app which is advertised for probably gets more if downloaded. It's a pity that showing an advert doesn't earn you more, rather than a fraction of a few pence. So will I continue ? Yes ! Why not ? It's better to earn something, than nothing at all. One day, I would have earnt enough to buy a weeks worth of groceries. When I am retired that is, some years yet though !

Kickstarter Projects :: ( Including Patreon )
For those that weren't aware, there is a site called Kickstarter, where you can fund a project and in most cases can actually own the product when the allocated time is reached. One of the previous projects I funded was the Commodore Amiga: a visual Commpendium. This was delivered in April and I was very impressed with the content, quality and freebies that were included because the project reached certain goal stages.



There are more Kickstarter projects to look forward to for me, particulary Reformation C64 Track Remakes by Matt Gray ( Last Ninja 2 ) which is scheduled for release in September 2015. There are a few more to look out for : Project Sidologie and Uncle Art: Elite II Orchestral & Retrogaming Music Remakes. Both are very worthy of funding and have a rewarding return !

I am also funding two Patreon projects at the moment, Shaun Spalding - Game Development Tutorials and the Bird Cage ( Music Album produced as a Video Game ). Patreon is kind of similar to Kickstarter, although it is more aimed at continued support for a project or theme of interest. A well recommended site to visit !

Motivation ::
It's all been about peaks and troughs this month, in terms of motivation. I can remember several years ago I was quite energetic, pulsing on projects, everything mapped out for the coming months. But now I have to set myself task lists and tick each task as I go. I wonder if my under active Thyroid condition has got anything to do with it ? Sometimes I can achieve quite a lot in short period of time, but lately it's taking longer than expected. I do believe in doing things now in bitesize chunks in relation to gamedev projects, otherwise I tend to find it all too over whelming. I guess this is also apparent with life outside of gamedev, in some respects. Totally abandonment of projects is bad,  I guess and a dose of procastination is better for us all sometimes !