2/28/2014

Baby Steps - Names and Screenshots

With well over a million apps in the app store, it goes without saying that your app needs to stand out in order for consumers to find your app. But though developers are quick to pick up the current trends in gameplay and graphics, most apps tend to totally disregard the need to sell the app in order to make any money. 

You created a product that you believe in. You have spend time figuring out what it takes to make a sellable game in the app store today, and finally you are standing with the final product and you are ready to launch. Feels good, doesn't it?

But from what I see people are not willing to go that extra mile in actually making there game look attractive and engaging compared to the rest of the items on the shelves. Here I am not only talking about the countless flappy bird clones out there, but in general, people tend to just finish the game, take some in-game screenshots and make sure all meta-tags remotely applying to your product is punched in, 'cause then your job is done right? 

WRONG!
"WHY DON'T YOU WANT TO MAKE MONEY??" - AppCrimes

The following is a list of what to avoid if you want people to even consider installing and spending time in your app. Examples used in this list are merely screenshots, and not in any way manipulated. I swear.

1. Names and Meta-Tags are not the same thing.

This is a common mistake people make when releasing their game/app. 'Mega Dive with Shark by Night' and 'Bitter Jetpack Cowboy Turtle' are not good names for games you want people to spend time and money on/in. Choose a name that somewhat describes the setting and the gameplay. You can always go with the safe choice of alliteration; Subway Surfers, Jetpack Joyride, Candy Crush, Clash of Clans. 






There are still descriptive combinations of words that can make your game seem more attractive... bitter jetpack cow... i don...   



2. The first screenshot is 37% of your sale

The App Store luckily gifts you with other tools than merely a name. A significant amount of apps only use one screenshot, surprisingly often a screenshot of the title screen/menu. What information does that provide the player with? assurance that they did indeed install the right app on boot up? Use all the tools provided to you. This would be like spending 20% a granted PR budget because that would probably get the job done. This is not the case. Secondly, advertising is telling you the lie you want to hear. Do not just use an actual screenshot to try and sell you game - whatever you do, don't let something like this screenshot be the first thing your potential customer sees. 




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