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Archive for May, 2012

Well, I received another reply from Apple the other day as to why Animal Trackers is not showing up in the iPad app store and this time it made sense.

It would appear that only apps that natively support the iPad, i.e. pure iPad apps or Universal apps, will actually appear in the Categories listings of the iPad app store. iPhone / iPod touch games do not.

So, anyone browsing the Games category sorted by Release Date on an iPad will not see Animal Trackers or any other iPhone only game. 😦

Well, if I’d known that when I began making Animal Trackers, I’d have endeavoured to make the game Universal.

But since it was my first iOS game, I didn’t want to run before I could walk, so to speak. There was also the problem with iOS 3.0 returning a view with the wrong orientation when creating a new view controller, so I had to force the game to use iPhone dimensions, just to get it to work.

Well, if Animal Trackers is going to have a chance of being even remotely successful, it will need to be Universal, so I plan on doing that conversion in the future. It will take quite a bit of work to do, though, as some of the puzzles and all of the times will be affected by a change in dimensions.

This is because if the iPad were to display the terrain over the whole of its screen, it would be able to show slightly more terrain at any one time than an iPhone would. This would mean that some hidden golden eggs may become visible and also shorter shortcuts could be taken, which would confer an unfair advantage to iPad players.

Still, I’m sure by the time I come to do the conversion, I’ll have worked out a reasonable way to do it.

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It has taken two and a half YEARS of work to get Animal Trackers onto the App Store.

So when it finally went live on Thursday 3rd of May 2012, I watched the midnight train (apps are released onto the App Store at midnight local time) pass from New Zealand (at 12:00 GMT Wednesday), through to Russia, Australia, Japan… Europe, the UK…

I searched for Animal Trackers by name in the App Stores for a number of countries, with it appearing in a few of them shortly after midnight local time. And since this was my first iOS game, I was pretty excited to see all my hard work finally get published.

But then I noticed that something wasn’t right.

In iTunes on the Mac, it said ‘Released: 03 May 2012’, but in the App Store app on the iPad, it said ‘Updated: 02 May 2012’.

On the iPad, I then looked at the list of Apps sorted by Release Date, but couldn’t see Animal Trackers on there with the other 03 May 2012 apps, and it wasn’t there with the 02 May 2012 apps, either.

Ah, I thought, it must just be taking a while to appear. So, I went to bed and got up the next morning, and checked again.

But no, it still wasn’t there.

So, I scrolled and scrolled and scrolled that list and Animal Trackers was nowhere to be seen.

I’ve so far exchanged emails with Apple three times, but the problem persists.

And this is a HUGE problem, because as a one person indie developer, I have no advertising budget, so the biggest bit of publicity that Animal Trackers is likely to get is to be at the top of the release date list in every country with an App Store – and Animal Trackers is not on ANY of them! 😦

All I was hoping for was at least a few people in each country to see the app on the list, buy it, like it, show it to their friends, who hopefully would buy it and show it to their friends, etc, with all these little ‘pockets’ of Animal Trackers players springing up globally – and hopefully, eventually, becoming one big ‘pocket’.

I’m fortunate to have had a few people find it, who must have read my postings on Twitter, Facebook, and a couple of forums, and therefore knew that the game existed. And the ratings that I’ve got so far are all 5 stars, so the game does have merit.

But that is just a handful of people, not the thousands of potential customers that a global outing would elicit.

So, the initial high of excitement from release onto the App Store has now long since drained away as I contemplate where to go from here. I gave up my job to develop Animal Trackers and am relying on its sales for a long-overdue income.

I’ll try another round of press releases to various websites, but the pre-release round garnered no response whatsoever. So, I won’t be holding my breath.

I’m giving it two months.

If I can’t turn this thing around by then, I simply can’t afford to work full time on app development anymore.

If the game was rubbish and no-one would have bought it anyway, it wouldn’t matter and I’d just have to accept that. But it’s the fact that people really do seem to love the game and it’s through no fault of my own that I’m in this situation.

😦

 

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It’s a little late, but…

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