Orangepixel has published an interesting postmortem analysis of Meganoid 2017 [$2.99]. It covers the gamut of the game's development, the project's genesis, and how it did on various platforms. The whole thing is worth a read, but what's interesting is the talk about how, as a solo developer, Orangepixel needs a steady stream of income. And his games' long-tail performance is rather importance. So, Meganoid in many ways was built around being a quick-to-completion game, but also something that could serve as the base of other games. For example, there's a project Orangepixel has that he describes a "funny viking-style game" that runs on the same engine, with some new assets and content, it could serve as another interesting quick project to help make some money. This is how Orangepixel generally makes money: make games that can do okay on release, and then help sell them long-term through a large library and through promotions such as sales.

Meganoid is near the expected goal for $6500 in sale for the game as of the postmortem, with $6200 made, helping to provide a buffer for the development of Ashworld, which has some new video footage released recently:

A couple other aspects worth noting: iOS did the best for the game, with the Android falling in second, though early access may have played a role in the game's performance there. Meanwhile, the PC version barely moved the needle as far as sales performance went. Also, the mixed reaction to the game in the press, such as here: it was game of the week but given three and a half stars by the perfidious Carter Dotson. Worth noting as always that it's not always the best game that gets game of the week, just the most interesting/noteworthy/cat-filled game. Jared does write the articles normally, for sure. Also, that Carter Dotson is evil and you can't trust him.

Read the Meganoid 2017 postmortem here.

  • Gurney Halleck

    I'll grab Meganoid here soon once I catch up my backlog, but I am beyond excited for Ashworld!

  • James Anderson

    Thanks for the write up! This stuff always interests me! I saw you have heroes of loot on vita. Do you have any plans to bring this, or any of your other games to vita? I wonder how heroes of loot did on that platform?

    • http://www.orangepixel.net/ orangepixel

      problem with vita/3ds is that I needed help from an external company to do the porting. For a small one-man studio like me, the sales are very good, but for a big porting company, who usually have offers to port much bigger titles, it's peanuts πŸ™‚

      also the vita is slowly nearing it's death for most publishers/developers, so it's getting harder to find dev partners for that.

      BUT, when I can get more games on console hardware (3ds/vita/switch/ps4/etc) then I will, but it's never planned or certain if/when πŸ™‚

      • James Anderson

        Thanks for the reply and the article!

  • korossyl

    haha "perfidious Carter Dotson"

  • dancj

    $6500 strikes me as a very low goal for a game. With sales like that, even with only one person developing, you'd have to churn out games incredibly quickly to make a decent income.

    • http://www.orangepixel.net/ orangepixel

      think you didn't read the whole article then :p

      • dancj

        I'd read the TouchArcade article, but not the post mortem. It still seems quite low to me though as I understand that most games make the bulk of their profit in the first few weeks.

  • dancj

    Fair enough. You know more about the business than I do. I was under the impression that games made something like 90% of their profits in the first few weeks - but I hope that's not the case.

    • http://www.orangepixel.net/ orangepixel

      most games will be lucky to make 100% of the investment back in the first weeks πŸ™‚

  • coolit

    Meganoid is a very good game, especially for two months dev time! Super impressed. I do agree that the price point is too high, ($8 iOS in aus) not because it isn't worth it, but because of the competition/saturation on the platform.. a lower price would have been better for this type of game.

    My only fault with the title would be that it's two hard for a casual gamer like me! No way I'll ever finish it, even with the nimbus it inspired me to purchase. Some rpg progression would have been a help to people like myself.

    Ashworld looks good! Hopefully it's the one to break the dev into the pc market - it's potentially the kind of thing I watch youtubers like splattercat for.

    Not knowing their back catalogue, I'm curious as to the dev's opinion on the f2p and especially advert-based revenue models of sale... are they less profitable? I would have thought that it would have been suitable for this kind of roguelike.

    • http://www.orangepixel.net/ orangepixel

      I've never done f2p, and only know the horror stories from other devs that are around my size. Doing f2p requires you to add it to the game-design from the beginning, and it's simply not something I design my games around.

      as for ad-based revenue, on Android most of my games at some point get an ad-version, but it's mostly for brand recognition and not so much for revenue. For me the ad-based versions are less profitable and I think that's because you don't have the launch-period peak, and there is no way to discounts or sales later on.

      Altho I think with smaller games (as in a small and simple gameplay-loop) an ad-based version might work best. But then it often means not being able to release on non-smartphone platforms.

      game business is hard, but there's a lot of options and routes to take πŸ˜‰

      • coolit

        Thanks so much for the insight! Best of luck with your future creations, I'll be buying them