Thursday, December 12, 2019

Find a Way is out

After being more than one year in production, Find a Way is already out on Goole Play. You can also play the demo version (the first 8 levels) on Itch. The game turned out quite well: it's pretty, has nice music (thanks to Kevin McLeod from incompetech), and is fun to play. Here's a quick promo video that I made:

... and a couple of screenshots:

Go give it a try!

I'm not going to start any new projects for now because I've just had a second baby and my free time is severely limited. Instead, I'm going to focus on my existing apps and games, and experiment with smaller changes in them and/or in their promotion strategy. I'm curious if I can get any results.

I'm going to take a quick nap right now. Wish me luck with Find a Way and come back in a while for more updates.

Sunday, September 22, 2019

Unity Ads and "Designed for Families" program

I was trying to join "Designed for Families" program on Google Play with my Blobby Volley game. The game itself is perfectly suitable for children and I only use Unity Ads in it, which is listed as a certified ad network. Unfortunately, I got rejected twice and I got a more detailed explanation the second time. It turns out that, although being a certified ad network, Unity Ads are not automatically
suitable for children. Here's what the email said:

The ad content in your app does not comply with Families Policy Requirements.
  • For example, your app contains an ad for dating
  • For example, your app contains an ad for gambling
  • For example, your app contains an ad for contests or sweepstakes promotions
  • For example, your app contains an ad for sexual content
  • For example, your app contains an ad for alcohol
  • For example, your app contains an ad for drugs/tobacco or uncontrolled substances
It had also a couple of screenshots attached showing those illegal ads.

It turns out that Unity Ads, by default, serve adult ads, unless you specify otherwise in you Dashboard (Monetization > Ad filters).

Be careful when you add restrictions though, because your fill-rate and CPM will certainly drop.

To read more about the topic, see this thread on Unit forums and the official guide for creating games for children and families.

As to Blobby Volley, I'm not going to apply for the program for now.

Sunday, September 8, 2019

Find a Way: Progress report 10

I finally got some graphic designs from my friend! It means that I'll be able to move on with the game a step further. Still, some details are missing or need to be changed but there's a chance that I can finish the project before the end of the year. Here, take a look.

Friday, August 2, 2019

Unity Ads Stats on CodeCanyon

I published my app Unity Ads Stats on CodeCanyon. The app shows various statistics on ads in your games, e.g. revenue, started/finished videos, CPM, and fill rate. If someone doesn't trust the Google Play version or just wants to customize it, they can get the source code and play with it themselves. I already managed to sell a couple of copies and I'm hoping for even bigger sales. I also added an information card in the original app pointing to CodeCanyon.

And since I'm already writing this post, I might as well share with you what I'm doing now...

I started working on a very small project that I'm hoping to finish in a month or two. It's supposed to help foresters measure the volume of trees that gets cut down. I know it sounds very specialistic but my brother-in-law asked me to do it and I'm curious if writing something for this particular niche might actually be a good idea. It's supposed to be a one-screen app, so it shouldn't be difficult to code. I'll let you know how it does when it's done.

As to my new game: Find a Way, I'm still waiting for the graphics to be done... I know it's been half a year and I made an ultimatum to my friend who's supposed to create them that if she doesn't finish until the end of August, I'm going to find someone else. I'm keeping my fingers crossed so that she sits down to do it soon.

In the meantime my Blobby Volley started gaining more users and it has more than 6k active ones now. I'm thinking about improving it a little bit, since I'm getting lots of bad reviews because of inconvenient controls and multiplayer errors. I need to finish the other projects first though.

That's pretty much what's going on right now. I'm hoping to close up all the started projects until the end of November, because then I'm going to have another baby and it'll probably get extremely hard to get anything done for a while.

Monday, March 25, 2019

Your app has been removed from Google Play due to a policy violation...

That's the content of an email from Google I found in my inbox the other day. It also contained the following paragraphs:

Issue: Violation of Usage of Android Advertising ID policy and section 4.8 of the Developer Distribution Agreement

Google Play requires developers to provide a valid privacy policy when the app requests or handles sensitive user or device information. We’ve identified that your app collects and transmits the Android advertising identifier, which is subject to a privacy policy requirement. If your app collects the Android advertising ID, you must provide a valid privacy policy in both the designated field in the Play Console, and from within the app.

I was scared at first, but then I used a free App Privacy Policy Generator to create a Google Docs document with the policy. After that I added it to the Google Play listing and to the app's menu. After publishing a new version of the app, it has become visible again. I'm still waiting for Admob to start serving me ads though...

Anyway, I hope this helps if you have a similar problem.

Sunday, March 3, 2019

Find a Way: Progress report 9

I finally got some designs from my friend and they look very promising. Take a look and let me know what you think. I like the paper version better and I'll probably be using those.

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

February Updates

Find a Way is slowly coming to a close... At least I'm hoping so. I talked to a friend (another one) who should help me with the design. There's just some polishing left and the game will be ready to be released. You can play an early version here:
BTW, seems to be a great place for publishing your indie games. I'll post my game there as soon as I finish it. I wonder if anyone else has any experience with this site. I'll be happy to hear your thoughts.

When I was not working on Find a Way, I was helping my wife launch a newsletter with kids' events in my area. It's been moderately successful so far with a couple hundred people in the Facebook group and signed up for the email list. Hopefully, it will grow even more so she (or perhaps we) can start treating it as something more serious.