Earth Defence Fighter – worklog update – November 10th 2017

 

Good afternoon. It’s a chilly November day here in Cambridge and I thought I’d write a quick update on how things are going with my current game project “Earth Defence Fighter”

I’ve posted a quick gameplay video below showing the current state of the game.

After the success of my last games, I’ve decided to keep a worklog for the development of this game, I thought it might be interesting for other game developers to read, and maybe even build up some hype for my amazing space shooter game! 🙂

Current source code state: 1582 lines, 13 custom types, 83 media files

I’ve just implemented the basic of generating alien attack waves during levels. I’ve written a function that generates alien objects based on four parameters: alienType, number, position, direction.

So it’s what type of alien (each one is numbered), how many in the attack wave, what position (this differs per alien type, for type 1 it’s which column coming down the screen, for type 2 it’s how far up the side of the screen it comes in) and direction (right=1,left=2,down=3)

I’ve got two alien types as you can see in the video, the final game will have five or six. As you progress in levels the number of aliens will go up, they’ll fire at you more and they’ll move faster. I’m sure it will take some fine tuning to make this feel right at the higher levels, I want it frantic, but not so crazy you can’t play it.

I have a set list of tasks I’m working on to release the first version, right now I’m working on the graphic files, sizing them all correctly, putting together spritesheets for animated sprites (like the explosions), and then it’s onto working on the main menu.

Remember to check back next week for my next update.

 

 

$20,000 in 10 months from two small games, how? and what next?

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Between January 2017 and November 2017, I have made a little over $20,000 in advertising revenue alone from two small mobile games on the Android App Store – Google Play

Admob income Nov 2016 - Nov 2017
Proof of income to back up my claims

Up until now, I’ve been writing small simple Android games as a hobby, but now it’s getting serious…

If you’ve have told me a year ago, that I’d be writing this article today, I’d think you were joking around. At that point, my total earnings on the Google Play store, amounted to $43.75, if it hadn’t been for some extra income from my YouTube channel showing simple games programming tutorials, I’d have never of received any money from Google up until that point. But as of the time of writing, I’ve earned just over $23,000 in the last year, all from just two games:

Invaders

An pretty simple Space Invaders clone I put together in a few weeks to learn how to use the Libgdx library with the B4A Android programming language.

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Invaders

And Invaders Deluxe

An upgraded version with vastly improved graphics, running at a higher screen resolution and adding additional features like weapon upgrades.

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Overall, the games between them have had just over 400,000 downloads in total, with 90% of those being for the older Invaders game.

 

So what happened???

To be honest, up until November last year, Invaders was getting around 2 or 3 installs per day, and making pennies a week. But in mid November, I noticed an uptick in the daily install numbers.

Nov2016Invaders

By the end of November, I was seeing over 350 downloads a day. I couldn’t believe it! What was happening?

I reacted as you’d expect, I decided I had to fix any bugs I could and try to make the game play better and smoother.

Over December 2016 the figures carried on soaring:

Dec2016Invaders

By the end of 2016, I was seeing nearly 3000 downloads per day!

I searched the web for what was causing the massive increase in my fortunes and found the following article on the site DroidViews:

http://www.droidviews.com/4-retro-games-for-your-android-phone/

I’ve not found anything else, so I have to assume it was this article, since it was published just four weeks before my downloads started to rise.

After getting over the intial shock, I decided to do something to try to keep the ball rolling.

I decided to make another space invaders game, but this time with some extra features like different weapons and better graphics. Something I felt I now couldn’t do with Invaders, since that had already become popular, so making big changes now would be a big mistake. I may come back to Invaders some time in the future to improve the way it looks, but right now, it still looks like it did in 2014 when I first uploaded it.

I wrote “Invaders Deluxe” and released it in March 2017. I updated Invaders so that on the title screen, instead of having “Rate” and “More games” as links at the bottom of the screen, it had “Invaders Deluxe!” instead.

In the first month after release, “Invaders deluxe” got 3625 downloads, it took ten days to get to over 100 downloads a day. It’s best day was 270 downloads. The following month April saw 8296 downloads, an increase of 228%. Using the Google play console, I can see that 811 installers cam from direct links, which would be either my in game link in Invaders, or the multiple posts I put on game forums. So my advice, put links in your existing games to pick up new players!

In April, I saw over a thousand downloads from direct links.

This trend continued until now. Last month (October 2017), Invaders saw 9447 downloads, Invader Deluxe had 10348 downloads. Showing that Deluxe is slowing taking over, which isn’t surprising, it looks better and has more features.

How do I make money?

My games are free, all my games on Google Play are free. The way I make money is by serving adverts in those games, whether it’s a banner ad at the top of the screen during play, or full screen ads in between screens.

Basically, when a player clicks an ad, a small amount of money is paid to me by the advertiser, anything between £0.05 and £1.00, it depends on the country the player is in, and the type of advert clicked. It’s a huge area of to get into, but putting it simply, the higher the value of the product being sold in the advert, the higher the advertiser pays for the click, so a real estate advert might pay £1, where as another game developer might pay £0.05 for clicks. All these clicks add up, and as your player numbers grow, the amount you make grows. So the only thing to know about making money with ads in games, is to get as many players as possible. Oh, and don’t show too many ads, this will cause your players to uninstall the game and may end up getting your ads account banned for abusing the system.

How have I spent the money?

This bits easy to write. I put 40% aside in a bank account for tax at the end of the year. I’ve upgraded my aging home PC to support the new Oculus Rift I’ve bought in order to get into VR development in the future.

I’ve also bought new carpets for my house and paid for some nice treats for my wife 🙂

 

What next?

More games!!! The key to this industry is to keep making games. Not just sit still and hope your games do well. Keep working, keep getting games out, don’t spend years on a game hoping it will do well.

Since Invaders Deluxe in March, I’ve released “Invaders Mars Defender”, which is up to 2830 downloads in it’s first month and I’m hoping to release “Earth Defence Fighter” (a shooter, but not Space Invaders based) before Christmas.

Next year, I have plans to release at least six more games. Maybe more if my income goes up to the level of allowing me to quit my full-time job and go full-time making games.

 

 

Thank you for reading. I hope I’ve inspired a few of you to see that you can succeed as an indie dev working a few hours a week on simple games. For more inspiration, check out the back catalogs on the store of developers like Scott Cawthon (Five nights at Freddys fame), Robtop games (Boomlings has  100k downloads, Geometry Dash has 50m) and Galaticdroids (Galatic Attack 5m downloads, but tons of games with hardly any).

 

Good luck with your projects and keep going!

Invaders: Mars Defender – now released on Google Play Store

After the success of Invaders, which has now past 300,000 downloads, and the success of the follow up, Invaders: Deluxe. We have released Invaders Mars Defender

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A new take on the classic Space Invaders game, we now add more weapons, powerups and boss levels.

Select from three control methods (joypad, onscreen buttons, drag controls) and take on endless waves of alien invaders.

 

Download now from the Google play store:

Invaders Mars Defender – Google Play Store

 

New Game project: Invaders – Earth Defender

After releasing my last game “Space Invaders Deluxe 2017” as a small upgrade on the space invaders clone I released a few years ago. I’ve begun work on a series of five space shooters based around the gameplay mechanic of games like “Galaga Wars” and “Voxel Invaders”.

The player ship is controlled by the player dragging it around the screen and the ship fires weapons automatically. This makes it easy to play the game one handed, which makes it better for casual players who play while travelling to work on trains, buses or subways.

I have the ship control complete, with the first weapon (single shot) working. I will use code from Space invaders deluxe for weapons upgrades and also add in new weapons such as homing missiles and extra weapons drones to fight for you.

 

The first game will be called “Invaders – Earth Defender”, followed by four more games based on different planets and space objects (nebula, black holes, etc…)

 

I plan to release these over the course of this year. And will post development updates as I go.

This is all being written in B4A using the awesome LibGDX game engine library.

Space Invaders success!!!

Our game: Space Invaders 2017, has now passed 100,000 downloads on the Google Play Store!!!

Needless to say, we’re overjoyed at this, and never expected it to take off as it has, it’s currently still getting over a thousand downloads each day and we expect to hit two hundred thousand downloads within a few months.

 

For those interested, here’s the store link:

Space Invaders 2017

I’m adding gamepad support right now for a new update.

 

I’m also working on an upgraded version called Space Invaders: Deluxe, with higher resolution professionally produced graphics.

 

 

Support Coffee Induced Games

To help support us producing our games, can we suggest purchasing the language we use? Basic4Android from Anywhere software.

And what would really help is if you’re thinking of purchasing B4A, please use the following link to visit the Official B4X site.

B4X Official Site – www.b4x.com

For every purchase made here, we will receive a small amount of the sale and help give us the means and motivation to continue producing quality games produced using Basic4Android and publishing work in progress blog posts and Youtube videos.

So what are you waiting for? If you’re on the edge, go for it! What do you have to lose? B4X offer a full 30 day money back guarantee!

 

Our sister blog easyandroidcoding.wordpress.com also feature a series of tutorial articles you can use to get going on creating your own games using B4A and LibGDX. (LibGDX is free)