Sunday, December 18, 2011

tldr; my first iOS game made me $35k

Hmmm. So all is quiet in hiive HQ right now while I take care of the (non-game) projects that actually pay the bills!

I've also discovered that I'm not very good at writing blog posts when I don't have much to write about. That should change soon, as there are two fairly exciting things in the pipeline...

One is that my friend and colleague, Joe Hall, has taken it upon himself to convert Creatures & Castles to Android. That's the best kind of conversion work! The kind that doesn't involve me lifting a finger!

Secondly is that I am in the process of planning for the next game, codenamed Creatures & Castles 2... (original, I know). Hopefully, I should be able to build upon the modest success of the first game to make sure that the second game is even better... During the process of writing the first game I learnt a lot about the importance of polish - especially in the iOS space.

As much as it pains me to say it, Creatures & Castles was rushed. I had a limited time-frame in which to get it complete and out of the door, and it wasn't until about version 1.5 that the level of polish started to approach what it should be. I'd still like to go back and revisit it to increase that, and I probably will. Joe has some great ideas for the Android version that - should it come to fruition - I fully intend to backport (or at least get Joe to do it for me, because I'm a lazy ass).

Anyway, here's a snippet of information for those that like iOS financials:

Not including the value of my time, I'd estimate that I spent about $7,500 of my own cash producing Creatures & Castles. Most of this was spent on art and tools, with a small amount spent on music and incidental advertisement.

As of today, the revenue received from the App Store is $2,622 - not a huge quantity, and in fact it represents a net loss of approximately $5,000. However, thanks to winning 2nd place in the 2010 Best App Ever puzzle game category for the iPad version, the game attracted outside interest that directly resulted in an additional $40,000 worth of revenue. I imagine that this is the exception rather than the rule, but overall my first iOS game made a raw profit of $35,000. Now, if you factor in the value of the time I spent on it, that rapidly trends to zero, but seeing as it was a spare time project, it did okay... If I could repeat that kind of performance a couple of times a year (with the associated exponential increases due to increased public awareness of hiive games), I think I could make a living on it. For the time being though, I will not be giving up the day job.

At this point, I will leave you with a sneak preview of the two versions of the main character art from the pending sequel.


Which version do you prefer?