Launched! Baby Monkey (Going Backwards on a Pig)

August 4, 2011 by

Check out our first game in the app store: Baby Monkey (Going Backwards on a Pig)

More details coming soon… in the meantime, enjoy the game!


Casual Connect and Our First Title

July 18, 2011 by

Exactly a month has passed since we tossed down the ‘game in a month’ gauntlet.  So where is our game you ask?  Well, its complete, apple approved, and waiting for us to hit the big red button.

As much as it pains me not to launch our game right this very minute, we are going to try our best to be patient and work out a few marketing related details.  As soon as we get that worked out, we’ll see what happens when we hit the big red button.

If you want a sneak peak we will have a demo on us as Casual Connect this week, just shoot @kihongames a message and we’ll figure out the details on meeting up.  Hope to see you there!


Game Concept to Apple Store in a Month

June 17, 2011 by

No sleep till Casual Connect!  We decided to put our long term projects on hold to tackle a simple game with a short timeline.  With Seattle’s Casual Connect quickly approaching, it makes for a perfect deadline to meet.

We roughed out some ideas and concept art over the weekend and jumped into production yesterday.  I’m very excited to share our direction but will need to stay tight-lipped at least until we submit it to Apple.  Until then, all hands on deck.  Even Dan is diving in from his vacation in Hawaii, now that takes dedication!


For us to have the game in Apple’s store by July 19th, we have decided to shoot to submit it by July 5th, giving us roughly 3 weeks of production.

In the immortal words of Leeroy Jenkins:

“Thumbs up. Lets do this!”

Labs: Mobile Games Marketing via ChartBoost

April 14, 2011 by

ChartBoost announced last week that they “are launching [their] first tool: cross promotion through customized boot up interstitials.

Who is ChartBoost?  And what are boot up interstitials???

ChartBoost may be new on the mobile scene, but their team is not.  The founders have past experience at Tapulous and according to their recent blog post:

We have been working on the App Store since before it was even born

That should cover the who, but what about cross promotion boot up interstitials? Luckily, I had the pleasure of chatting with Maria Alegre, co-founder of ChartBoost, a few weeks ago and she was able to explain this in further detail.

Lets start with the cross promotion bit.  When I hear cross promotion I think of banners above web games that display callouts to go try some other game.  Typically, publishers either have to pay for these ads or they can trade… ex: give 100 clicks away for your game in exchange for 80 back.  The assumption here is that even though your players are leaving your game, they will still come back PLUS you will have 80 new users on top of the returning players.  Also, there is some ‘strategery’ in who to display the banners to as some publishers only display the ads to players who are not buying in-game purchases.

In ChartBoost’s case, cross promotion is not a typical banner above the app, instead it is through ‘customized boot up interstitials’.  ChartBoost’s interstitials are full screen advertisements.  They are called ‘boot up’ since they get the most bang for their buck if they are shown when the apps starts; however, I am under the impression that you could display them at any time. The word ‘customized’ is key, because you can format the advertisement to mimic your game’s art style and thus make it appear more like news instead of an annoying ad.

Although I do not believe they are using ChartBoost, Maria told me to check out Miniclip.  Miniclip has an example of a full screen ad (or interstitial) in their game Fragger.  After a few levels you may see an ad similar to the following:

They had recently released iStunt2 and were using these full page ads in their existing titles to encourage their user base to try their latest and greatest.  Click ‘Get It Now!!!’ (and yes, they did just put 3 exclamations on that button) and you will be taken to iStunt2′s app store page.

Ok, so if MiniClip did that without ChartBoost, why do we need ChartBoost?

Well, for one, you can use the cross promotion aspect and buy/sell/trade installs with other games.  But secondly, and what I am most interested in, is the analytics and fine tuning that ChartBoost provides. They will handle tracking impressions, clicks, and installs.  Plus, they have tools to let you tweak who sees the ads and how frequently they are shown.

Lets say our studio releases a new game: “Avian Exasperation!”.

If we have ChartBoost already installed in our previous titles we can start a campaign across those titles.  We can set parameters to ensure those who are already enjoying our latest irked birds game will not see the ad at all.  For everyone else, we can set how many times and how often the ad will be shown.  ChartBoost will keep track of all of the impressions/clicks/installs and report back to via their web app.

And there you have it. ‘Customized boot up interstitials’ in a nutshell.