Better Game Promotion
This isn’t to say I know everything there is to know about when it comes to promoting your game but as a developer myself, I do have a few tips to game developers (and developers of apps as well) that will certainly help promote your game and probably make a difference in whether or not someone buys/downloads your game.
First and foremost, screen shots. Believe it or not some developers still don’t post screen shots of their game (or app) in the Android market. You should always have your listings with screen shots so people can actually see the product. Not only should you have screen shots but good screen shots such as action shots during game play. Don’t post the splash screen as a screen shot though, it doesn’t show anything at all about the game and is a waste of a screen shot slot in your listing. Exciting and good quality screen shots will help people decide whether to grab your game or not and if it’s exciting to look at a screen shot then chances are you’ll convert more people into buying/downloading your game.
Descriptions are important as well but don’t talk about how to play the game in the description, that’s a waste of space that could be used for a better description to entice people to grab your game. Most (if not all) games have a Help menu option inside which is where game controls are usually explained and that’s where it should stay. Stick to the features of the game, background story (if any) and things of that nature to get the user interested in the game more. “On-screen D-Pad” doesn’t really accomplish that nor does “change weapons by pushing -insert button here-“. We have a very limited amount of space right now for descriptions and until that is made bigger by Google you should use your space wisely.
Make sure to include a promotional picture and tag words. Tag words should help your app get found a little easier and the promotional picture will be useful in case your app gets featured. If it does get featured your sales/downloads will be increasing a lot but that won’t happen if you don’t have that picture.
Trial versions (Lite versions) are always good to get people to play your game and to buy the full version but make sure your trial version isn’t full of bugs. A lot of the trial versions I see on the market constantly have comments about bugs and I’ve downloaded a lot myself that have bugs in them and it’ll throw any potential customer you might get from your trial version right out the window. Some devs think it’s okay to have bugs in the trial and none in the full version as to entice people to get the full version but that’s extremely backwards thinking and isn’t how it works. I won’t buy a game where the trial version has been super buggy because the trial version is a direct representation of the full version so buggy trial = buggy full version.
Get copies of your game to review blogs (such as this website, AndroidTapp, etc etc) so you’ll get your game reviewed. A favorable game review can go a long way on whether or not someone buys/downloads your game. It’s even more annoying when we have to get in contact with you to try to get a game we want to review. Make is a time period trial that’s unlocked if you want but send us something! Don’t forget either that a review posted on a site that does reviews isn’t just posted on that site but is also re-posted on other sites, twittered about and facebooked so it’s a lot of free exposure.
These are just a few examples of what you can do to help get your game out there and hopefully a smash hit! I’m sure I’ve missed a few things but really the sky is the limit when it comes to good game promotion. Sponsor contests on websites, get your game on markets outside of the Android market (a lot of countries don’t have paid apps yet) etc etc are all some more ideas you can use to your advantage.
If I missed anything or your have a good suggestions/comment feel free to leave one! Happy Developing!