Thoughts About Mobile

Hey guys, it’s been a while since I’ve updated you.

I’ve made some progress on the monetization in Epic Battle Fantasy 5 on mobile. People had told me that no one likes compulsory ads, so the new plan is to make ads totally optional. At the end of each battle, you’ll have the option to watch an ad to get +25% more battle rewards, which means EXP, AP, and gold. I think this is a decent trade off, since you’ll only be tempted to watch ads after larger battles and bosses, and if you want to avoid them completely, it won’t take a lot of grinding to get those rewards back. Plus you have the option to simply play on a lower difficulty setting.

Anyway, the in-app purchases are likely staying as they were.
There’s 3 purchases, and they’re gonna be around $5 or $6 each:
• Ad removal and extra battle rewards
• DLC dungeons, including all the bosses, equips and other stuff within
• Custom Game Modes, Cheats/Challenges and Newgame+

So far I’ve got the in-app purchases working, ads almost done, and I’ve tried adding Google Play’s achievements, but so far I can’t get the user sign-in working, so I may or may not have those done when the game launches. I did spend a lot of time entering all of the achievements into Google’s system, so it would nice to get them working. I’m not sure how much mobile gamers care about their achievements though.

Overall the experience of developing for Android has been bleak. The developer dashboard interface is rubbish – everything is hard to find and counter-intuitive, every task takes more steps than it should, and none of the features are integrated with each other. Want to display ads? You’ll need to use a new dashboard and new credentials. Want targeted ads? You’ll need to ask the user for consent and write a privacy policy. You want to unlock achievements? You’ll need to use some new authentication method and new credentials. It basically feels like I need to make a new account and use a completely separate service for each feature!

Some of the requirements don’t make sense at all. They want icons to be 512×512 pixels, up to 1MB in size. And they want my developer page background to be in 4K resolution, but… also 1MB maximum. You have to fill in detailed questionaries for each new app you upload. Is it a news app? Is it a medical app? Does it contain ads? Describe in detail the violence and other mature content. You want to save your changes and come back later? You can’t! You have to fill in all of the details in one go or it’ll delete your progress. Want to enter achievement details on one page? Too bad – you’ll have to open a new tab for every single achievement!

I’ve heard from other developers that you never really get used to how awful it is, and that iOS is more or less equally bad. So I’ve still got that to look forward to.

Besides EBF5, I’ve also started porting EBF2. It’s a more complex game than EBF1, but I also know what to look out for when translating AS2 to AS3, so it should go quite smoothly.

So far porting my old games has earned me less than minimum wage, but it’s fun to work on smaller projects, and maybe it will pay off in the long term.

One of the things I’ve always envied about mobile games is how easy it is to show them to strangers or non-gamers. So I’m looking forward to having a decent portfolio of games I can show to pretty much anyone, anywhere. It’s just sad that Google and Apple are so awful to work with. But I’ll give them credit for recently reducing the cut of revenue they take from developers from 30% to 15%. That’s a nice change that will make a difference if these games ever take off and make some money.

Oh, and since people keep asking about the EBF Collection on PC, that’s been put on hold for a while. It’s a shame the timing worked out like this – it was almost finished. But since I got dragged into it, I want to finish all of the mobile stuff first, including iOS ports. Or maybe it won’t work out and I’ll return to PC sooner than expected.

6 thoughts on “Thoughts About Mobile

  1. DegenerateGamer

    Hey Matt, I just want you to know, really love your games. I played the first ebf when I was a kid, it always have been my favorite memory from my childhood.
    I really appreciate your hard work on the franchise. To be honest I don’t mind watching ads, I’m to poor to pay for games, so I figure I would watch ads to support you instead.

    Looking foward to the mobile version

  2. Joseph Howard

    Thank you for keeping at it anyway. I personally am quite excited to play EBF2 on my phone as I found the skill system unique and good for replayablility. I think you mentioned an expanded version of Adventure Story. I have kept up with every Steam and mobile Android version of your games and I hope it works out for you.

  3. Xys0

    Maybe you should prioritize the collection first after the Android ports. You might get burned out if you focused too much on what you are not too fond of. It would be a waste to leave the collection unfinished. You were so close.

Comments are closed.