Tinytouchtales

Hello, we are Wiebke and Arnold, a small team from Berlin.
We love to build Games & Interactive-Stories for Touchscreens.

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August 21, 2015

First Week of Card Crawl for Android

Hello! The first week of Card Crawl for Android is over and we disclose first numbers and insights!

Launch
For most games the launch week is the most important period in the lifetime of a game. Since Card Crawl had it’s first launch week back in March we kind of had a second one with the release on Android. We released on the 12th August almost exactly 5 Month after first launching the game on iOS. Due to a very productive Beta phase where we could iron out plenty of bugs we could launch a pretty stable version for Android. Luckily we could get the last featuring spot (#32) for the “New Games” category on the Google Play Store. Even though it seems like a bad spot the feature helped us a lot to get people into the game.

Numbers
Before looking at the numbers keep in mind Card Crawl for Android is a free download with a one time in App purchase to unlock all content. There are no Ads or other monetization mechanics. In the first week of Card Crawl for android we could get a total of 54.645 free downloads. Which is about 7500 free downloads per day. Even though we are not 100% sure we believe that most of the downloads came through the featuring spot.

installs


While about 54600 people downloaded the game we could generate €7.473 ($8415) through our $2.99 in App purchase. On average the game made about 1050€ ($1200) per day. This equals a pretty good conversion rate of %4.72. The general average of converting a free to a paying player is 2%-3%.

revenue


Another interesting stat is how the Android launch pushed the iOS sales through players posting their scores and spreading the word about the game once again. In the week from the 12th to the 19th we could generate $895 of revenue with the iOS version of Card Crawl. On the previous week from the 4th to the 11th the iOS version made $433. This is an increase of about 106% and was quite a nice side effect.

ios


The final graph (just for fun) is the comparison of the first week of Card Crawl in iOS vs. Android.

total


Ratings
A quick look at the ratings for Android show that the game is pretty well rated overall. There is a total of 3153 ratings with an average of 4.12. On Android we have quite a lot 1 stars review that are mainly people complaining about the game not beeing completetly free or the game having a massive battery drain/overheat on their device. This is something we are actively working right now. We have to see how we can optimize the game even further to maybe convert some of the bad reviews into good ones.



Conclusion
In conclusion the Android launch week was very successful. Since we could recoup our investment on iOS already, every dollar earned with Android is a pure bonus. Due to some press and twitter buzz with the Android launch, the numbers on iOS increased significantly too. It will be interesting to see how the second week will work out since Card Crawls featuring on Google Play has ended.

Thanks to everyone who has bought the game so far. We will use this extra money to further improve the game and add new content. We have some ideas for new ability cards and a new experimental mode that we will start on working very soon.

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August 16, 2015

3 Year Anniversary

Hello!
Today is Tinytouchtales official 3 year anniversary. On the 16th of August 2012 we released our first game Super Zombie Tennis. Let’s recap what happened so far.

Year 1
Tinytouchtales started as an idea to create games and interactive stories for touch screen devices. This statement still holds up today since we never created anything else than mobile games. Tinytouchtales always was a term or brand that we created to represent our work. We actually never have been a company or business in any sense, it was only 2 people Arnold (me) and Wiebke trying to get a foot on the ground and maybe make a small impact in the world of mobile games.

Our first game Super Zombie Tennis was a small one button game in which a Zombie apocalypse broke out and you had to fight off zombies by hitting them with tennis balls. Since the beginning of 2012 we started out making games with an awesome game making tool for non programmers called Stencyl. Stencyl is a visual programming tool that uses lego like structures to create game logic. It has an integrated level editor and various build in tools to create animations and effects. As Tinytouchtales we created several games with Stencyl. The next game after SZT was Muffin Munch a small matching game in which you drag Muffins together to let them grow and then explode them to collect their coins. Muffin Munch was released in December 2012. After that we created our until then most successful game Matchagon which combines Tetris with Match-3. Matchagon still has a very active core group of fans today (150 Dau) since it was released in March 2013.

In July 2013 we released our kids book Kartins colorful Moonstory and tried to enter the kids app market. Moonstory was the first game that was prominently featured by Apple and made about $4000 in revenue. Even though it was well received it was obvious that the kids market is even harder to earn any money with than the regular App Store games market and this is why we decided that we stick with making games.

Year 2
Our biggest game so far (in terms of downloads) was release in November 2013. Zuki’s Quest is a puzzle game in which you have to guide your character through several temples only by switching the gravity within the levels. For Zuki’s Quest we decided to offer the game for free and sell content with in app purchases. This approach brought us over 100.000 downloads but less than $200 in revenue. We posted openly why Zuki’s Quest failed on our blog and some of the lessons learned still apply to the App Store of today.

In 2014 i finally quit my day job and became a full time indie. Based on the savings from working about 2 1/2 year in bigger mobile game companies i set up a plan to work at least 1 year full time on Tinytouchtales games. In March 2014 we released an iteration of Matchagon, Matchagon+ which simplified some of the gameplay and updated some of the game mechanics. Matchagon+ was a preparation for our then well planned game Muffin Munch 2 which we thought would finally make us able to live from our apps.

Muffin Munch 2, released in April 2014 was based on Matchagon+ with the aesthetics of Muffin Munch where you could collect and play with various Muffins. For MM2 we could finally make the switch to Unity as our main game engine. We tried to make everything right that we learned from bigger F2P games to create a game that would not only be fun to play but also could generate money over a long period of time. But to no surprise this did not work out at all. We weren’t featured and monetization for the game did not work out too. In the end Muffin Munch 2 made even less money then Zuki’s Quest. At this point we finally had the realization that making games that would appeal to others is the wrong way of making games.

Year 3
After realigning our vision, we decided to create some ideas that we would find interesting and also would play. The first game that came out of this approach was One Tap RPG. One Tap RPG is a pachinko-like dungeon crawler which is played by steering your hero through pachinko like levels killing monsters, collecting gold and leveling up. One Tap RPG was made in about 3 weeks using licensed assets and could generate about $2200 while being a $0.99 cents paid game experience. One Tap RPG was released in August 2014.

Pretty short after One Tap RPG we started to work on Card Crawl. Card Crawl was my final game after my money would eventually run out. At this point Wiebke had to support me, since she was still working full time. After 6 month of development Card Crawl was released in March 2015. Together with Max Fiedler and Oliver Salkic, we could finally create a game that is loved by many people and has generated more than $50000 until today. You can read more about Card Crawls development and struggles here.

The Future
In hindsight the biggest lesson we learned is that making games that we would like to play in opposite to create something for a market is the only valuable option for us. The second lesson we had to learn is that you have to focus on making a good game and don’t waste your time creating/designing monetization models. If you can focus on the game and make it as good as possible chances are that other people will like it too and buy it without luring them into designed monetization habits.

The current state of Tinytouchtales is pretty stable. Card Crawl can sustain us at least one additional year before we run out of money again. This should give us some time to focus on our next game and maybe create something that can live up to Card Crawls success. This won’t be an easy task but with the lessons learned in these 3 years our position within the crowded mobile games world is way better than it has been ever.

Hopefully we can sustain our little endeavor and continue doing what we love: Creating games we love that are also liked by other people.

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August 1, 2015

Card Crawl Android and other updates

Hello!
It’s been some time since the last bigger post. Besides the official Card Crawl for Android announcement we also want to give some updates on other things.

Card Crawl for Android
Since the Card Crawl content update we’ve been actively working on the Android version and we’ve finally finished our beta. The Android version will be available on Google Play on the 12th of August.

CC


Since we are using Unity the port to Android was quite painless. We had to adjust some of the code that renders the game and make it more flexible to support a variety of screen sizes. What worked best for us was to use our phone/tablet hybrid resolution and scale it based on the ratio of the device. We designed our assets on a “hybrid” resolution of 1536px width and 2272px height. We then check if the device has a ration of 4:3 or 16:9 and scale the layout to fit by height. This allows for a pretty flexible scaling that can display on small resolutions like 800×480 (downscaled) or large tablet resolutions like 2560×1600 (upscaled) without having black borders or hidden UI.

Another interesting thing was integrating the Android’s device back button to work with the menus, since such a feature is just not present on iOS. Integrating the GooglePlay services was another quit difficult task because some devices had and still have issues with logging in. For the Android beta we had about 80 testers who gave extremely valuable feedback. A change log of all things fixed while in beta can be seen here. Again a big thanks to all our testers who actually bought the game while in beta, because we forget to add them to the test purchase list.
A benefit of having the same code based for both Android and iOS is that all things fixed on Android will directly be patched on iOS too.

Payment model on Android
For Android we are going to have a different payment model as for the iOS version. Because we (or precisely I) won’t be able to get the game 100% working on all 8000 android device models we decided to make the game free with in App purchase. This does not mean that the Android version will be F2P, but instead the base game will be free and all advanced features will be locked. Quests, Constructed, Daily and 20 of the ability cards won’t be accessible without paying the one time price of $2.99.

This will help to reduce the support amount to a minimum since most of the people will just delete the game incase it won’t work on their device instead of writing angry comments and reducing the rating of the game. A nice side effect of the free model will be the amount of new players Card Crawl will get just because the game will be free.
It’s going to be really interesting to see if this will work out on a financial level since it’s not especially designed to sell like a regular F2P title.

Card Crawl future
Another topic after the Android version comes out will be how we are going to advance with the game. The are several options right now that seem to be viable. Would it be smart to also try to bring the game to Desktop? Maybe. It’s common knowledge that mobile games coming to Desktop (especially Steam) have a hard time because the mobile stigma is still a very strong point to hate a game even if it’s good. On the other hand it’s never bad to be on more platforms because you never know who want’s to buy your game.

Another thing we are also thinking about is to add another mode to Card Crawl. Since a lot of people are complaining about the missing variety of decks we would love to bring a mode in which all rules can be changed. This means that we basically would need a Brawl mode like Hearthstone has where we can change rules, decks and create all sorts of wacky things. Bound to a unique Highscore like the dailys this could be a very interesting addition to the regular game. This kind of feature would need some serious planning and work, because it would change quite some things that are not possible with the game right now. We will decide if it’s worth the effort later so stay tuned!

Next Game
As much as we love Card Crawl it’s also time to think about the next game. As you might have seen we already posted a rather complete prototype of Alchemist. With Alchemist we tried to stay within the Card Crawl universe (thematically and gameplay wise). It’s quite a big question right now if we make a spiritual successor to Card Crawl and try to cater to an existing fanbase or bring something completely new. Since Alchemist is on hold right now, because we think it hasn’t the same potential that Card Crawl had when it was a prototype, we are looking at other ideas and designs. It’s funny how a certain pressure is building up since Card Crawl was a modest success and there are quite some people waiting to see what we come up with next. If we find something interesting to work on you will read about it here!

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July 17, 2015

June 25, 2015

June 21, 2015

June 11, 2015

May 17, 2015

April 15, 2015

March 21, 2015

March 12, 2015

February 25, 2015

December 13, 2014