Reviews in small websites!

Discussion in 'Public Game Developers Forum' started by suksmo, Nov 2, 2010.

  1. suksmo

    suksmo Well-Known Member

    Oct 9, 2010
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  2. slimothy

    slimothy Well-Known Member

    Dec 5, 2009
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  3. headcaseGames

    headcaseGames Well-Known Member

    Jun 26, 2009
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    It's really tough now. Unless you are connected to people, even at smaller sites, it's hard to get coverage for an app that doesn't have that "wow" screenshot, name, icon. Doesn't necessarily matter if it's a "first" or not, because maybe people aren't gonna take the time to read your description/ponder what it means..

    This goes back to what is said very often. simply developing something is no longer enough to merit coverage. You need to spend at least as much time and energy putting the word out, building up a community, doing all the usual promotional/marketing angles (heavy twitter and facebook, forum posting, etc). You need to do a lot more of that if your app is "less marketable" (again, the "wow screenshot" etc)

    Definitely assemble a nicely-presented PR kit, and cold-spam it out with some promocodes to as many secondary/tertiary websites as you can (though that might not be to useful these days anyway) I've sent I dunno how many codes to people who've never redeemed them...

    Good luck :)
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  4. Sinecure Industries

    Sinecure Industries Well-Known Member

    It's most definitely not easy. With so many apps coming out it's going to get harder and harder. If you luck out and make that right connection though, then you have the permanent in (well, provided you don't screw it up). I sometimes add reviewers on Twitter and slowly work my way in with them. It sometimes kind of sort of works. Maybe.
     
  5. mac01

    mac01 Active Member

    What's the best way to get to know reviewers? Anyone have any methods other than a cold call?
     
  6. bluelobster

    bluelobster Active Member

    Sep 22, 2010
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    #6 bluelobster, Nov 3, 2010
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2010
    I'm in the same boat, it seems very difficult to get reviews. Will keep at it though, spent a year on this project hahah not ready to throw in the towel yet!
     
  7. suksmo

    suksmo Well-Known Member

    Oct 9, 2010
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    A year? its gotta be good!
     
  8. mr.Ugly

    mr.Ugly Well-Known Member

    Dec 1, 2009
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    #8 mr.Ugly, Nov 3, 2010
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2010
    well having fake reviews in your rating doesnt shine a good light on any product..

    there is quite a difference is a normal customer writes a review or when friends and family do that.

    as for reviews.. its always the same.. you need to stand out of the crows to get attention.. most app don't manage todo that.. so even if oneself think his game is great.. chance is you are pretty much alone with that opinion


    @suksmo:

    i like you game.. its actualy a interesting twist on an old puzzle game.

    one this that doesnt come off alone by looking at your games picture is that you use an actual live video feed for your puzzle.. i know its all over the description etc.. but people are not reading that, especialy since your
    game title is endless.. and only comfortably readyable directly in itunes.. on the appstore itself its gets cut off
    and is only completly readable in the detail view..

    but then you already lost because no one reads the text there.. not even the title.. they already saw "some" of your title and are only scrolling down to check out the screenshot.. after a short "aww, just another of thoose stupid sliding puzzles" and just leave your app page..

    the one thing you should actualy invest time into is your screenshot.. next to your (boring, generic, unexpressive) icon

    thoose two are the main selling factor on the app store.

    all informations a customer needs to be avaiable by thoose 2 things.. the icon attracks the user and the screenshot sell the game.. at the occasional bookwork will make a glance at your descriptive text.
     
  9. bluelobster

    bluelobster Active Member

    Sep 22, 2010
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    Hahah I would hope so, I mean it was just me working on it in my spare time...but yeah I put a lot into it.

    I think it's good, the question is does anyone else?

    I was mainly referring to blog/game site reviews but as far as actual user reviews I've gotten a few that are positive and a few about the controls which I have addressed in updates but beyond that mostly just star ratings (not that useful for future development).

    When the next update is approved (hoping any day now) I might throw out a few promo codes here for people that are willing to give me feedback via PM or e-mail.
     
  10. headcaseGames

    headcaseGames Well-Known Member

    Jun 26, 2009
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    my advice (not that you asked for it either!)
    the icon isn't bad (people like dogs!) but maybe make it an attractive woman and see if it doesn't get you more hits!

    also agree with Ugly, the title is very long and unwieldy in iTunes. I dunno personally if I like "scrambleface" (maybe just call it "S-Faced" I am only kind-of joking..)

    that's cool you were in what's hot though :) App looks cool, wish my camera worked so I could try it!!
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  11. antony.thai

    antony.thai Well-Known Member


    I'm all support you for this, perfectly right! This was what I've learned also. :)
     
  12. suksmo

    suksmo Well-Known Member

    Oct 9, 2010
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    The name will be coming back down to Scrambleface (or a maximum of 2/3 words if I did a name change). I added the extra bits to see if it affected my keyword ranking - I believe it does but I feel having a shorter name will benefit the app more.

    I pretty much was aware that the icon needed changed - current icon does not convey what the app is about and why it is different. I've been toying about with ideas today - its really hard explaining the app in an icon. I'm quite tempted to show an iphone (or a silhouette as I know showing the device is technically banned) with the game running in it and lens flare coming from the camera. Such an idea does not look as good but may put my idea forward better. If anyone has any ideas they are very very welcome!
     
  13. Appacity

    Appacity Member

    Aug 20, 2010
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    I'd check out 99designs.com (no affiliation)... You tell them your app/etc, and a bunch of designers will work on it and try to out-do each other to win the contest... I heard Bump's icon was selected that way...
     
  14. headcaseGames

    headcaseGames Well-Known Member

    Jun 26, 2009
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  15. Eli

    Eli ᕕ┌◕ᗜ◕┐ᕗ
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    Something to consider is what would a review of the game even say? I downloaded it and gave it a shot and it's the kind of thing you could describe in its entirety in a single sentence. I think you're not seeing reviews because I'm not really sure what there is to review about it, it's a slide puzzle that uses the camera.
     
  16. headcaseGames

    headcaseGames Well-Known Member

    Jun 26, 2009
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    niiice, you just got that ever-elusive touch arcade review, now go stick it in your description!!

    "it's a slide puzzle that uses the camera" - toucharcade.com :)

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  17. madmud101

    madmud101 Well-Known Member

    Dec 30, 2009
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    Hahaha! Yeah. Hodapp's words are like gold dust!
     
  18. suksmo

    suksmo Well-Known Member

    Oct 9, 2010
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    #18 suksmo, Nov 6, 2010
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2010
    I just dived into this thread and thought I'd scored a Touch Arcade review. Major disappointment!

    How would I review Scrambleface? Well 'it's a slide puzzle that uses the VIDEO CAMERA', it's an app store first if not a total first, it's one of the best looking games on IOS, how it compares to a traditional sliding puzzle, if it's fun to play, how the game is presented, and those are just some starters for ten.

    I'm available for hire as a writer! I'm not flaming here but how would you describe Angry Birds? 'pull the elastic, fire the bird, kill the pigs' or cut the rope 'cut the rope, drop the sweet in the monsters mouth'. All apps can be described in a sentence.

    Undoubtedly Scrambleface is innovative, progressive and unique. It's the type of app review sites should be looking at. Hodapp go on suggest it to the reviewers or review it yourself!
     
  19. headcaseGames

    headcaseGames Well-Known Member

    Jun 26, 2009
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    well, that's exactly the point - angry birds has an actual weird little "story" to it, in fact the little promo animation they made was one of the things that originally got them so much attention. In a lot of ways, the gameplay in that game is kind of the followup after the bizarre premise/name. It works really well.

    As for Cut The Rope, a little bit less-so (plus they had the obvious lead-in from #1 app angry birds).

    The moral is, people are drawn in by a story, a shtick, weird little world/situation. Puzzlers are just that, just logic/interactivity/etc (unless an elbarorate world has been crafted to support it, see something like Puzzlings) Take a look at a lot of the games which do get coverage on big sites and you'll see a lot of the same thing, games which take place in these unique and interesting worlds.

    There's so many puzzlers on the app store nowadays, and even when something fresh/different comes out, it is just really hard to sell based on that mechanic or gimmick by itself.
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  20. suksmo

    suksmo Well-Known Member

    Oct 9, 2010
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    I'm definitely going to look at heading that way with future releases. Work on plot, graphics and sound so they have a very distinct theme. Previewing it on here so I can get feedback and hype. I will not on principle do clones. Everything must be different. It breaks my heart on here seeing someone discuss their next clone!

    P.s what's the name of that game with the icon? Icant seem to get it up as I'm not at home and viewing this thread on my iPad.
     

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