Endless Elevator went into Beta Testing on May 27, 2020, 8:10 PM.
Finally we made it to public testing! After a few months of keeping myself quiet and a seeming eternity of bug fixes I think I got a minimum viable product fit for your eyes, ears, and phone-ready fingers.
Please head over to our Beta Test Page and try it out. I’d love to get some feedback from other enthusiasts and developers.
Get it Here!
Chat With Us!
We have an anonymous Chat Channel right there on the page that you can trash talk into so go for broke! (You are also allowed to be supportive and kind as well if that is your nature).
The Beta Page has more information about the game as well links to articles written during development that explore the mechanics of the game.
Last Sunday we released our game The Dog Run into the Google Play Store.
This post is a breakdown of the first week release click through rates from this web site and the conversion rates that resulted in an actual download of a game.
Let me say from the outset that without some form of “advertising” or publication campaign a new game on the Google Play Store is never going to be successful. We found this out the first time around with our game NumBlocks:
NumBlocks is a fun little numbers game that’s a bit like Tetris with numbers that add together. It was our first game with Unity and only a bit more than an experiment in finishing a game that looked good enough to publish. We weren’t that proud of it and were really just proving our development and release cycle for future games. It was never publicised and never got downloaded…by anyone. So if you are not promoting your game… no-one is looking … and no-one will play it.
This time around with The Dog Run we really do want people to play the game and enjoy it. The game is a simple endless runner with a quirky hand drawn style that held many interesting development challenges. More information about the game is available here:
But what I want to investigate and be transparent about is the way we used this web site and the landing page as a way to interest people into playing the game.
We released the game into the Production Google Play Store on Sunday October 21st.
On the next day at about 8 am New York time we posted on social media channels (we found from research, and validated with our own posts over several months on this site, that this is one of the times of the week that got the most traffic).
We only used Reddit, Facebook and Google+ to promote the release of our game. We Tweeted and posted to LinkedIn and Tumblr but no-one really follows our feeds on those platforms so I won’t count them.
So what can we say about this set of groups? Well they are all Gamer’s Groups. These are “our” people. This is where we go when we need feedback or inspiration or help. We may not be active in all of them and by no means is this an exhaustive list but after working our way through this lot on a Monday morning there is no energy or time left to look for more groups to join and contribute to. So this is not a “general public” group nor are they representative of what I think our target audience might be. But these are gaming enthusiasts and I think more likely to try new games and provide that sort of validating critical and informed feedback that is important for making the game better. (I love you all!)
So now for the stats….
After seven days since posting these are the figures that hit our website (which normally gets about 20 – 30 visitors a day). The graph below shows the two weeks previous to release and is indicative of the sort of traffic we get. The blue bar just under the 500 mark is what happens when we do a blog post. The big orange one is the day after our “social media campaign” (if you could call it that).
Total number of visitors over that week was: 1199
But as you can see a day or two after we posted the traffic dropped straight back to normal. Although the traffic we did get that week was all mostly to look at the landing page of the game.
It is interesting to see where that traffic came from – and it’s overwhelmingly Reddit that drives the traffic to our site. This image below is the stats from the big orange day.
So as you can see even though we posted to heaps of groups in Google+ and Facebook not many users of those platforms were reached.
Out of this massive spike in traffic the number of people who actually clicked on the link to go to the Google Play Store was: 76
This is about 6.5% (rounded up) of our total traffic during that period. Every day during that week the click through rate was about the same average rate.
Now for the fun part. Out of those 76 players the number who actually downloaded the game and played it was: 21!
Well that’s a huge improvement over none.
I was very excited by this number. I’ll type it again in long form….. Twenty One!
So what I want to drive home with this post is the amount of traffic that you got to drive into your web site to get the sort of volumes that will get your game downloaded.
Let’s break it down into simple numbers…… Out of 1200 people only 75 looked at the game and out of that number only 21 downloaded it. That’s 1.75% of the traffic to my landing page downloaded the game. That’s the truth of it and remember that these are “our peeps” not the general public so I couldn’t even say that this is indicative of the way the real world works. But it sure is interesting and in a few months after I’ve spent some time marketing this game to real people (not just the gaming community) I’ll do another post and see if the stats still hold.
P.S. If you want a friendly copy of all those social media links email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll forward them back. (Maybe on a later post – if there is enough interest – I’ll put them online). Zulu.
Let me say straight off that your first port of call for any Unity debugging should be the Unity Console.
Though sometimes you need more low level operating system logging for Android. This is where ADB (in lower case) comes in.
On Windows this is a command line tool to view the logs from a connected Android device.
The command line is not the only way to use the tool sometimes it’s better to use the Android Studio interface (a bit more graphical).
You will need to have your Android device connected to your workstation and USB debugging turned on (Google that if you need to). You could also use an Android emulator on your desktop.
I use Leapdroid or KoPlayer. (Leapdroid have now joined Google and no longer support the emulator but it’s still available to download on the internet). I guess you could also use the emulator that comes with Android Studio.
When your game is installed and running on your device go to the directory in your workstation (PC) where the Android SDK Tools are.
It can be handy to know the device id of your Android phone/tablet whatever. This command will help:
List of devices attached
You can specify that the log spew into a file instead of into your console (the console is pretty much useless as there is too much to scroll through).
C:\Users\<user_name>\AppData\Local\Android\sdk\platform-tools\adb.exe -d logcat > adb_logcat_out.txt
-d use USB device (error if multiple devices connected)
logcat show device log (logcat --help for more)
-s SERIAL use device with given serial (overrides $ANDROID_SERIAL)
The default Log Location on my machine was:
A few seconds of output got me a 6.5 MB file so a bit of filtering is advisable
If you run into trouble with the adb server just kill it and restart.
C:\Users\<user_name>\AppData\Local\Android\sdk\platform-tools\adb.exe logcat -s ce10171a5c19853003 DEBUG
C:\Users\<user_name>>C:\Users\<user_name>\AppData\Local\Android\sdk\platform-tools\adb.exe logcat -s ce10171a5c19853003 DEBUG
* daemon not running; starting now at tcp:5037
* daemon started successfully
--------- beginning of main
--------- beginning of system
If you want further help check out these pages from the Unity Manual and Tutorials: