Category Archives: iOS

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.

EBF5 Mobile Pricing Info

Hey guys, people keep asking about how much EBF5 will cost on mobile, so I figure I’d let you know what the plan is at the moment. (although all of this may still change…)

It’s going to be a free app with in-app purchases for the DLC dungeons, Newgame+, Custom Games, and Cheats/Challenges.

The free mobile version is going to be very similar to the free web version, so it will include the full story content, but it will have the balancing of the latest Steam version, and the new Monster Cards will also be available. There’s gonna be ads after every battle or two – I hear the thing you gotta do nowadays is give the player some incentive to watch the ads, so I may need to tie some extra gold or something to that.

As for the in-app purchases, it’s probably going to be $15-$20 for the full package, with the option to buy the features separately, for example, $5.99 to remove ads, $5.99 for the DLC dungeons, $5.99 for Custom Game modes, etc. So it could potentially be cheaper if you’re not interested in everything.

Anyway, I’m working on the Android version first, with iOS coming a bit later. The game will work best on a large phone with a stylus, but I’m making the interface bigger to make it more user-friendly for smaller phones and fat fingers. There’s not that much work left to do, but I’ve also not been working much lately, so who knows how long it will take. I did say I would have a beta for Patreons soon, so I should at least try to get that done… but I shouldn’t make any promises. I’m sorry for the delays though.