2021-12-31 - Tinytouchtales
Hello and welcome to my annual End of Year post 2021 edition.
2021 has been again a busy year for me. The pandemic is still not over which meant that I needed to focus on getting stuff done and couldn’t do as much design exploration as I would have liked to. Non the less I could work on a few new ideas and the Card Crawl Adventure team could greatly improve our main game on all fronts. Instead of a live Stream like last year, this year I recorded a short Podcast like recap which you can listen to below:
In the beginning of the year we finally started the Card Crawl Adventure closed play test. We’ve been working on this game on and off since Aug 2019 and it was very crucial for me to get new players that would help us with the development. For Card Crawl Adventure I want to follow the “Early Access” model and use our community of dedicated players to improve the game over a longer period of time. I strongly believe that the old model of hiding your game until release and hoping for a first week hit is obsolete and that going forward I will definitely involve players often and early.
From February to December we released about 50 updates to the game. We fixed hundreds of bugs and issue, replaced all placeholder art and with wip and final art. We added a lot of new features and content. We added wip sound effects and music. The game is now in a very good beta state and in mostly missing the final menus and a lot of polish on the art, animation and audio side of things.
I want to give big shout out to my Card Crawl Adventure Discord community that has been super active in last year and was a tremendous help in making the game as good as it is today. Thanks to all players who even after one year of rough development builds and massive issue come back every week to show me how bad I’m at my own game!
You can follow the progress of the game via this Twitter thread to get a feeling of what we worked on throughout the year.
Join the #CardCrawlAdventure Play Test. Help us test and improve the game!
iOS & Android
Visit Card Crawls Taverns
Based on Card Thiefs pathing Puzzle Mechanics
⚔️ Roguelike Deckbulding
⏱ Short and engaging Gameplayhttps://t.co/z1ZQ9rQW0w@wisegoldfish @pigsell pic.twitter.com/b3FITcBveg
— Arnold Rauers (@tinytouchtales) February 24, 2021
I’ve also held 2 live streams of me playing and talking about the game. One in February and one In October.
My #CardCrawlAdventure Developer Let's play from yesterdays Stream is now on #YouTube. I play through a full game and discuss a few of the more detailed systems and mechanics of the game. #gamedev https://t.co/KkbRCMTDOr
— Arnold Rauers (@tinytouchtales) March 3, 2021
— Arnold Rauers (@tinytouchtales) October 22, 2021
In March I participated once again in the annual 7 Day Rogue like Jam. Together with Mexer we made a new game called Idol Knight. The game is another Michael Brough inspired tactical game where the players weapons are bound to the tiles of the game board. By smartly using your action points and clever positioning, you can out play the enemies and test your skill in 5 levels of increasing difficulty. The game can be played in the Browser on my Itch.io page.
#7DRL 2021 starts today! @pigsell and I are going to join the jam and the idea for this year is a weird mix of different past jam ideas mashed together! Let's see how this will go. I will post updates in this thread throughout the jam if you want to follow the development. pic.twitter.com/ayepRiLQ25
— Arnold Rauers (@tinytouchtales) March 5, 2021
During the summer we continued to work on Card Crawl adventure.
In July after I had some downtime with the Card Crawl Adventure development I finally decided to move the rest of my games on iOS from payed to free with iAp unlock.
From today on @cardcrawl, @cardthiefgame and @mazemachina are available on the @AppStore for FREE!
— Arnold Rauers (@tinytouchtales) July 30, 2021
In Aug 2020 I already changed Miracle Merchant to free with iAp unlock. In preparation for my revenue numbers documentation I was pleasantly surprised that the best selling game of 2021 was actually Miracle Merchant, due to a big feature on Google Play and greatly increase revenue on iOS.
My best selling game this year surprisingly was ✨#MiracleMerchant✨.
About 300.000 downloads and $35000 in revenue across iOS and Android.
— Arnold Rauers (@tinytouchtales) December 20, 2021
In August Mexer had some other important projects to work on and Card Crawl Adventure development was still slowed down a lot. I used this downtime to work on something new. My prototype started out as mixture between my obsession (at the time) of Hearthstone Battlegrounds „Auto-Chess“ mode and the weird fascination of a particular hex grid layout.
Thinking about this hex layout again. The symmetry in this is pretty mesmerizing, pretty sure there has to be a game in there some where. pic.twitter.com/pVO6Epkq3x
— Arnold Rauers (@tinytouchtales) August 16, 2021
I wanted to work on an idea that uses the drafting mechanic from HS Battlegrounds, but was more tied to a single player „building“ experience. The final prototype called „Creatures“ is now a mixture of both and is actually fun to play even in its early state. I documented my progress on Twitter and managed to upload a working proof of concept around the end of August. The prototype itself has a lot of potential and is definitly on my list of prototypes that I would love to work on to make a full game out of it.
Try my new game prototype "Creatures".
Draft cards and strategically place and combine creatures tiles to increase their score.
— Arnold Rauers (@tinytouchtales) August 23, 2021
The rest of the year was spent working on Card Crawl Adventure. As said we managed to get done quite a lot and the game is in a very good shape. In the beginning of December I released a first „soft-launch“ or „Early Access“ version of the game on both the App Store and Google Play. For now the game is only available in Canada and Australia but with improved localization I want to open up the game for more players so we can gradually increase our player base. So far the game hasn’t made a big splash in either of those stores but to be fair I also did not make any announcement or promotion for the game itself. Right now we mostly monitor issues and look at analytical data to see where new players struggle with the game and hopefully improve the onboarding and the first play sessions. If you come from either on of these countries here are the direct links the game:
In 2021 we did not release any new games. Gnomitaire the last game of mine was release in December 2020. The biggest thing revenue wise this year as said earlier was the transition of my iOS games from payed to free with iAp unlocks. This change had a great impact on my download and revenue numbers on the iOS side. But also on Google Play with the major featuring in May and about 4 weeks of crazy download and revenue numbers of Miracle Merchant things turned out quite good. Google Plays „Play Pass“ still continues to drive a lot of revenue in addition to my regular store version. There are month we’re the Play Pass versions even out perform my regular store sales. Unfortunately I can not disclose the Play pass numbers, but they are a still a significant part of my total games sales. I highly recommend anyone who has some older games that would be a good fit for the service to apply to it.
Looking at the total numbers from 2021, my overall downloads increase by 43% to about 1.1 Million across both stores. Revenue also increase by 7% to a total of about $96000. As said earlier my number 1 selling game was Miracle Merchant ($36000) followed by Card Crawl ($34000) and Card Thief ($21000). Additional I made around $7000 with Ads which mainly come from Card Thiefs video reward ads which speed up the opening of chests for free users.
Looking at the chart you can see that the baseline revenue from the payed to free move on iOS did increase and continued to be a good choice. More players then ever have played my games and mostly good reviews have increased my confidence that I’m able to offer my games for free and monetize in App content in the future.
(Click the image for a larger version)
Overall 2021 was a good year in which we finally could get a grip on Card Crawl Adventures development and improve the overall state of my games portfolio. I manage to work on 2 new ideas and had a lot of fun with my community of players. I’m hoping that we can continue the focused work on Card Crawl Adventure next year and hopefully have a final release date somewhen later.
As always thanks so much to everyone who has supported me through out the year. I wouldn’t be able to continue working like I do it without you. I hope you will have a great 2022 and I will see you around next year!