Community Moderated Store Fronts on the App Store - Good Idea?

Discussion in 'General Game Discussion and Questions' started by Thinkerton Games, Jul 14, 2015.

  1. Thinkerton Games

    Thinkerton Games Well-Known Member
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    Jun 11, 2015
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    Just thought I'd ask this question on the forums as it's something I mentioned on the comments on the article about distribution of profits on the app store.

    I suggested that maybe community curated store fronts might be a good way to expose little known gems on the app store. The examples I gave were a Touch Arcade store front that mirrored the recommended and well reviewed games on TA, or a community like Just Adventure hosting a store front dedicated to quality adventure games. They would essentially put different communities apps front and center for all to see. I could be argued that then you'd have hundreds and thousands of pointless store fronts that wouldn't serve any purpose. For that you could either have Apple review the 'Community Store Front' application, maybe you need to prove you actually have a community following already? If not, why not give everyone their own store front? I mean, you bookmark Touch Arcade, right? You could bookmark store fronts of like minded gamers/app users?

    Basically, I'm saying if the deluge of daily app submissions is too many to curate for the App Store engineers, why not put it in the hands of the users? It would just be another way of connecting users with the Apps they love, and you're not going to do that with a list of the top twenty of a certain category.
     
  2. Adams Immersive

    Adams Immersive Well-Known Member
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    I do think it's worth a shot! Whether by commercial entities like TA or (more likely) volunteers/trusted reviewers. (Who might also have a gig at a gaming site, of course.)

    (But I also think Apple could curate a TON of sub genres themselves, a la the new Music--after all, every app starts like in front of an Apple reviewer. Apple already does some curated featuring of course—but I wouldn't mind a lot more of that and less automated "snowball" algorithms that take successful games and make them more successful while leaving little attention for the long tail. I LOVE weird little games in that long tail!)
     
  3. SherlockEB

    SherlockEB Well-Known Member
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    I don't think iOS has enough good games to have more than a couple curated lists.
     
  4. Thinkerton Games

    Thinkerton Games Well-Known Member
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    Jun 11, 2015
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    I guess that's my point, it's subjective. The person who thinks endless runners are be best thing since sliced bread probably won't have the same likes as the person who loves hex based wargames. If you found a group of gamers that enjoyed, sought out and recommended games similar to your own likes then maybe you'd be exposed to games you'd love that you would have never heard of otherwise. One mans trash is another mans treasure!
     
  5. wondroushippo

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    So, Thinkerton, I like your idea in general.

    I do wonder just how useful it would be. How much does someone, say, following the TotalBiscuit curation list, is actually motivated to buy games based on that? And for lesser curators and on down, how much does it help them? Plus, does Apple really want to introduce someone else as an authority on the best games besides them? There's a reason why they ban other discovery apps. They want to be the head honcho for app discovery. The problem is that beyond their well-curated editor's choices and weekly features, discovery of anything Apple hasn't noticed kinda blows.

    Now, admittedly, Apple has done something like this before with featured lists presented by certain developers, and any feature does help because of the way the App Store works. Steam discovery actually is probably the best of any store if only because they have a system in place to find games, and the curators, and whatnot.

    Ideally, I'd like to see Apple do something like this, for sure. Heck, just rip off the Steam Curators functionality and call it a day. But I just don't know if we'll see it soon.
     
  6. Thinkerton Games

    Thinkerton Games Well-Known Member
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    Jun 11, 2015
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    I have to check out Steam and see how they do it, I haven't used it in a while. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, I just think there HAS to be a way to make the store less of a slog for new developers.
     
  7. etoiles

    etoiles Well-Known Member

    Recommended collections based on previous likes (just like Music) would be awesome! Even better if they opened it up to 'guest' curators from reputable places like TA :)
     
  8. #8 AppUnwrapper, Jul 16, 2015
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2015
    I think Xperimental Games suggested something like this a while back. I like the idea, but it always takes Apple years to catch up with what people want. :/

    Currently, Apple has a widget you can add to a site that lists recommended apps. I put it on my site, then took it down, then added it again, and finally took it down for good. The problem is that if you want to add anything to it, you have to start the whole list from scratch, searching each game and then adding it to the list -- and finally copying the code. It's beyond me why Apple can't manage to make something similar that saves the list and let's you easily add/remove apps from it when you want. Something like that that works properly can be a great way for sites to recommend games their audience might like.
     
  9. hincy89

    hincy89 Well-Known Member

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    After the release of the new itouch Apple are clearly not really focused on game support let alone curators, that said I think it would work there are still hidden gems on the App Store people missed and a wider range of curators ideally gamers could really open up the closed store.

    I'm in the UK and a lot of people I speak to have no idea how I find all A* GAMES there not TA users and not all that fussed about getting some gaming app yet it still baffles them how they cant find say EMERGENCY HD form a few years ago without a specific search.
     
  10. jgeirge

    jgeirge Well-Known Member

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    In recent weeks iOS has shown a rise of quality titles and if this trend continues I would enjoy some sort of organizing to take place! Finding titles is just too damn difficult at this point.

    The AppStore is filled with garbage of both the f2p & premium variety that needs to be pushed to the wayside to make room for the quality titles that've been released.

    I feel like curated lists would help this immensely as Apple's organization of apps is a joke. How exactly angry birds & cut the rope fall into Adventure is beyond me as these titles are clearly Physics/ puzzler. This is why curating / tagging would be a fantastic addition to the AppStore ecosystem. Both for the developers and the consumers as ease of access is key to a functioning market.
     
  11. Thinkerton Games

    Thinkerton Games Well-Known Member
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    Jun 11, 2015
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    Hey, thanks for featuring the thread!

    I think it's one of those features that would take a while to see the true benefits. Allowing people to rate other curated lists would separate the wheat from the chaff, maybe allowing for 'recommended curators' based on your current 'follows'. One issue with such community driven features is there always seems to be a way to 'game' or abuse the feature, which is why I think there should be some form of approval process for curators.

    I have to admit, I don't see something like this coming any time soon, but it's good to wonder what if? It is odd that the app store is lacking any form of community aspect in this day and age, but traditionally Apple does tend to keep things locked down.
     
  12. Tuzzo

    Tuzzo Well-Known Member

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    I don't know.
    The idea might sound good. I don't know how Steam curated lists work, I don't game very much on the PC 'cause it's in a cramped-up place :/
    I just have a few points in mind that make me not totally convinced about this.

    First of all: iOS/mobile gamers are a wider audience of gamers than PC gamers, and by "wider" I mean with broader skills and likes.
    So if a PC gamer goes to Steam storefronts as second-nature, I find it more difficult for a casual mobile gamer to look into more details when looking for a game.
    What I mean is: an hardcore gamer would always search for informations about the games he/her might like, so he/her will go to TA, Metacritic, whatever, he/her'll search the forums, watch videos on YouTube...
    A casual gamer will hit the AppStore and get "whatever" comes up first. I'm afraid that AppStore anarchy thrives on people that don't have a clue about a game details and just download what they stumble upon first.
    Sure, those storefronts would be another way to make them stumble on some games they may never hear about, but it all comes down to the single individual wanting to do a more detailed search of what they might like to play. It's a step further from casual gaming and I feel the vast majority of casual gamers that only go to the AppStore and don't even know where to start if they'd ever wanted to be more guided in their search, will very unlikely take that step.

    As an example: my Twitter feed is flooded by iOS games advertising. Every time I see a new game, I read the description on the AppStore, then I go to TA and lastly I watch a couple of videos on YouTube. I'm sure that, in the meantime, dozens of other people that got the same advertisement are already downloading the game, without any further information. And I'm afraid that's the bulk of AppStore customers and I doubt they'll ever use a storefront.
     
  13. MrAlbum

    MrAlbum Well-Known Member

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    One of the issues of user-created lists is that you have the potential to flood the store with thousands of user lists that only contain a few games that have already been discovered and had their time in the sun, because the casual user would only know the top 100 or so games from which to pick their recommendations. Users that actually find new stuff would potentially be buried under this mass amount of lists, and if you implemented some kind of ranking/rating system so that users can rate which lists are useful, then you get the same top 100 or so lists that are the ones that get signal-boosted, making it very hard for useful new lists to get discovered.

    In short, it could bury the discovery headache within one more layer of a discovery headache if left as a free-for-all :(

    I would imagine that one way to circumvent this headache is for Apple to curate which users can create such lists, so that Apple can make the determination as to which lists will be legitimately useful to customers. If there was a process to submit a list in the App Store app for Apple's consideration, it would make it easy to submit a list... then again, that could be difficult to curate, and Apple struggles with curation at the moment, hence why we have this discussion. Maybe submitting a curation list should be an intentionally obscure, convoluted process to ensure that Apple doesn't have to rely on automated curation of these lists, while at the same time lessening the amount of manpower needed to support such a feature.

    Thoughts?
     
  14. Thinkerton Games

    Thinkerton Games Well-Known Member
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    Jun 11, 2015
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    That's kind of why I was thinking that to become a curator you might have to go through some process beforehand to prove that you can generate a following or have an existing community. Then people find those curators not necessarily just through the app store but also through their website/social media page etc.
     
  15. Thinkerton Games

    Thinkerton Games Well-Known Member
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    Jun 11, 2015
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    I could see a feature to get around that may be some form of suggested curated lists, like on the front page of the App Store it might say "Based on the apps you like, it seems you might like to join X community to find more like them!", then you can sign up to see that list on your home page. I mean they already know the apps we download AND the frequency we play, so it wouldn't be a stretch to connect us to communities that enjoy similar apps.
     
  16. JindoFox

    JindoFox Well-Known Member

    Dec 21, 2008
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    This sounds like a good idea for Touch Arcade to implement. It doesn't need to wait for Apple to put it in the App Store. Anyone can make a list post in these forums, or a Tumblr or Blogger blog with links, screenshots, and explanations.

    Having it on the App Store would add a nice social element (rankings and similar) but leaving curation to the people doesn't seem like Apple's style. At least not unless they make a big show of it while acting as if they were the first to do it (cough cough apple music).

    I like the GOGmix idea from GOG and I suppose there's plenty of precedent on Steam. Spotify's playlists come to mind as well.

    Of course the average Touch Arcade poster doesn't want to spend any money, so there's that. :eek:
     
  17. Anonomation

    Anonomation 👮 Spam Police 🚓

    Unless there's some sort of "suggestions based on apps you purchased" or something similar to a user adaptive experience, I wouldn't want the general public to be curating anything on the AppStore and I'd take Apple's janky organization over that any day.

    -Not to mention that these still might limit your horizons when searching for apps even if it does go as planned.
     
  18. JindoFox

    JindoFox Well-Known Member

    Dec 21, 2008
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    The App Store is pretty spammy as it is, it would suck to see people just plumping up their own stuff, as opposed to real users curating good lists of apps they like. I wonder how GOG keeps the quality up. Perhaps it's just the nature of what they're selling, which is a lot less casual and mainstream than App Store stuff.

    I disagree 1000000% with the idea that there isn't enough good stuff in the App Store to be worth curating.
     

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