Is This Thing On? Part 2

Inferno 2

Picking up where we last left off in Part 1, I want to talk about the kinds of games Radiangames will be making in the future.  Looking at the previous games I’ve released on iOS, I can easily see data for 11 games.  The games I can’t see data for are Powerpuff Girls and Bombcats, but both of those games were on a scale beyond the others in terms of creation time, and neither one surpassed Inferno 2 in total sales, though Powerpuff Girls would definitely be ahead if it weren’t removed from the store, and would way be ahead if you add all 3 major platforms the games were released on (iOS, Android, and Steam).  Bombcats probably would have sold reasonably well (though still a fraction of Inferno 2) if it had launched as a paid game first, but that was over 4 years ago.

Today I wouldn’t launch Bombcats as a paid game, but a free one, even though that didn’t work out the first time.  What would be different would be the ad-driven nature of how most free games make money.  Rewarded video ads are now commonplace and much more accepted as a way for a free game to generate the majority of its revenue.  Popup ads are still used as well, but more sparingly, so as not to drive players away.  In-app purchases are also used, but for most games they’re a bonus to the core experience, not a blocking factor like the crazy 9-lives system in the original iOS Bombcats.  In other words, the focus is on retaining players and making them happy, not putting up obstacles or limits and hoping someone will pay to overcome them.  That’s the type of free game that I’m much happier to make.

So now we return to the stats of the games I can see, and the most interesting stat is this one: Inferno 2, my best-selling and best-reviewed iOS game, is in 2nd place in terms of number of sessions played per day.  The game it’s just ahead of is Sideswype, my worst-selling game on iOS (behind Fireball SE).  Sideswype is a pretty good puzzle game and one that isn’t too intense, and it was free for a little while back in 2016 to promote Overload’s Kickstarter (as were all my other iOS games released before Sideswype).  The #1 game in terms of game sessions per day should then be no surprise: Slydris.  It is played FIVE times more per day than Inferno 2.  Hundreds of people play it every day even though it was released 5 years ago and it was only a moderate success.  And for free games with ads generating most of your revenue, you want to make games that people will keep playing.

I enjoy making puzzle games like Slydris, CRUSH, and Sideswype.  The designs are fun to work on because you can get to the prototype phase so quickly, the art style is generally right up my alley, and they don’t require tons of content.  It’s all about refinement, and I enjoy that part of game development the most. So it makes sense that I should try (more than once) to make a new puzzle game that’s free from the start.  It’s something I’ve considered many times in the past, but never made the time to do.(There will be IAP to disable ads of course.)

The first game will be an all-new minimal puzzler, while the second will probably be Slydris 2.  After those two, I don’t have definite plans, though Bombcats is on the potential list to get a re-release (and some degree of refinement) if it goes well.

And if the free-game-thing doesn’t work out so well, that’s ok.  Either way, I also want to make more adventure-shooters.  Legend of Gigatron still needs to get finished, though I want to give it a complete makeover and probably aim for consoles (and maybe PC) first.  Inferno 3 would be in the same boat, as I want to combine the best aspects of Inferno 1 and 2 along with amazing graphics to make the definitive version of the game.  Those aren’t the only non-puzzle games I want to make, but they seem like Radiangames’ best bets (along with one other prototype) to find some sort of significant success in the paid-games end of things.

To reiterate though, aside from the new puzzle game and Slydris 2, I can’t promise Radiangames will be releasing any new games next year.  Those two will launch not too long after I finish my work on Overload.  Beyond that, plans are less clear.  The only thing I’m sure about is if Revival doesn’t continue, Radiangames will become my full-time job again.

Update on 64-bit Updates

All the builds have been uploaded to Apple.  It wasn’t particularly difficult getting them running again, but the build and deploy process is not a quick one, and I had to do that at least a couple times for each game.  The last step before submitting them for review is to take screenshots at iPad Pro resolutions for all the games that are getting updated.  That should get done this week, and if all goes well the 64-bit updates will be live sometime next week.  I’ll do one more post when they are out, then will likely go silent again until near the end of Overload.

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