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Omega Box accolades

omega-box-jay-is-gamesSo Omega Box has been featured on the front page of Kongregate in the Hot New Games section, check it out! Also, the people of JayIsGames have made a full review post on the game, which is truly a great honor! (read the review here)

It’s been a goal for me since I was younger to create a game and have it reviewed by JayIsGames!

The success of Omega Box continues to pile up, and thanks to these two websites alone, the game has had a huge surge of plays today, up from the 40,000 range back up  to 100,000+.


Omega Box – 1 Week Stats

omega-box-650x250

A look on Omega Box’s statistics 1 week after release. Measuring the stats (whether using Mochi Analytics – not entirely accurate, MochiBot, GamerSafe, or other APIs) is something all developers should do, as the information is critical to the the standing of your current game, and the quality of your future games. (PS thanks to our great bunch of fans!).

Revenue

Although we are unable to disclose the exact amount of $ received, we landed a very generous $x,xxx exclusive licensing deal with AddictingGames. We decided to leave out MochiAds since it brings in only a small percentage of revenue, however the revenue from traffic we receive from Omega Box more than makes up for it.

And note to developers, be true to yourself when negotiating a licensing deal. If you worked hard on your game (meaning red bulls, long nights, & coding marathons) and believe in its quality, it’s only right that you hold the bar for as long as you can at a price you deserve.

Average of Ratings from Major Portals

These portals were chosen through Google, and have high Alexa Rankings, are well known, and Omega Box either has many plays on their site or many votes for ratings. The final aggregate rating will be based on the average percentages of the major portals listed.

- NewGrounds.com = 4/5 (won 4th Place Daily Trophy)
- AddictingGames.com = 71%- Kongregate.com = 3.77/5
- GameFly.com = 4/5
- Y8.com = 71%
- HallPass = 24/27 Thumbs Up
- Funny-Games.biz = 79%
- GamesButler.com = 5/5 (Featured as Game of the Day!)
- t45ol.com = 76%
- Gameslist.com = 5/5
- EbaumsWorld = 5/5
- MoFunZone = 86%
- PlayedOnline.com = 4.12/5
- GameNode.com = 8/10
- FastGames.com = 4.56/5
- BelugerinStudios.com = 4.5/5
- ArcadePreHacks.com = 4/5

FINAL RATING = 84%

Game Plays

Omega Box racked in a huge amount of plays in it’s first week of release across the web, AddictingGames bringing in the most with 550,000 + plays alone. A new record for the launch week of any of our games! NotDoppler brought in 55,000+, Funny-Games with 35,000+, ArcadePreHacks with 25,000+, MoFunZone with 20,000+, Kongregate with 18,000+, NewGrounds and FreeWorldGroup both with 10,000+ , and a hundreds of websites ranging in the 100 to 5,000 plays range. Omega Box managed to h0ld a very high 100,000+ plays per day since it’s release, tapering off to around 50,000 towards the end of the week. The massive amount of websites hosting our game (in the next section) helped contribute to our 1 million!

PLAYS ≈ 1,000,000+

Hosts

Compared to our other games, Omega Box had a whopping number of portals hosting it (according to MochiAnalytics). The top 5 hosts were:

1) AddictingGames
2) NotDoppler
3) Funny-Games
4) MoFunZone
5) Kongregate

Omega Box was able to penetrate deep, crossing language barriers in the process, and giving IronZilla alot of reach and exposure.

NUMBER OF HOSTS = 249 websites

Play Session Time

Omega Box is a progression type game, so we managed to hold the player’s attention for a good amount of time:

>5 minutes of play: 41%

>10 Minutes of play: 26%

> 30 minutes of play: 8%

AVERAGE PLAY SESSION = 14 minutes 11 seconds

Facebook Likes

This stat is an estimate of how much Omega Box was shared (“Liked”) through Facebook. AddictingGames.com has the majority of likes, racking in about 1,100, and other major portals ranged from 10-200 likes.

FACEBOOK LIKES ≈ 1,600+ likes

Demographics

Omega Box was originally designed from the ground up to appeal to the tween audience, and although they rated pretty harshly (~70%), we managed to grab the attention more of teen – adult gamers (NewGrounds, Kongregate).

The top 10 countries for Omega Box’s number of plays were:

1) United States
2) Canada
3) United Kingdom
4) Polamd
5) Netherlands
6) Australia
7) Germany
8 ) Brazil
9) Russia
10) France

Fanbase

Our fans are what motivate us to continue to forge quality games, and we thank you for all your support! Various videos have been made on Omega Box, check this one out made by SirTapTap, my personal favorite. It’s hilarious! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z6drUt-3mkg. I also wish I could post all the comments we found funny / inspiring, but there’s simply too many!

Alot of people especially liked the game soundtrack, be sure to check out the composers of these great works on Newgrounds to download the mp3′s: http://www.newgrounds.com/portal/view/564193

Conclusion

We managed to attain a great amount of success with Omega Box, which in total took about 150-200 hours to complete, but as always there’s still a long way to go, and a lot more goals to achieve. IronZilla’s currently throwing a bunch of ideas around in the lab, and at the same launching side small side projects such as this one. It’s still early in the year, so stay tuned!

~ John


Steambird – By The Numbers

From Andy Moore Blog

Well! I’m back from the Game Developer’s Conference and the Flash Gaming Summit, where I spoke about how SteamBirds is doing and let all my cats out of their respective bags. I think it’s time for another by-the-numbers gig!

When I last left you, my very popular SteamBirds: By The Numbers article let you know that SteamBirds had made approximately $34,000 USD (gross).  This article was so popular it was copied over to Gamasutra and into two different magazines! (score!) I suppose that means you guys want more?

So let’s start by getting caught up.

SteamBirds: The Original

Since last writing, SB went on to make an addition $11K in various sitelocks and licenses, and to this day is still generating more business (did 3 sitelocks in January alone!). I’m fairly confident that the original SB is going to make money for a loooong time.

SteamBirds has now made approximately $45,000 USD.

Here’s a popular chart: breaking down the sources of all revenues for the original SB:

I really like this graph because it visually represents how much I loathe advertisements.

I say this a lot, but there’s no harm in re-iterating: I hate ads, I’m really bad at deploying good ads, and I have no advertising strategy other than “tack it on hastily.” You can see it really paid off;

  • Mochi ad revenue has paid so little, it hasn’t even sent me a cheque yet (they promise they owe me $78 though)
  • CPMStar sends me regular cheques, though the amounts are dwindlingly low
  • Kongregate’s revenue-sharing advertising model is about the only thing that pays out, and it pays out IN SPADES.

4-5x more revenue than CPMStar and Mochi combined?? Why does anyone even bother with advertising anymore?!

And even then: All advertising combined is hardly 10% of combined revenues. It might be worth it, but only in this larger-scale economy. I don’t think I’d bother with advertisements at all if I had a game that was expecting to make less than $30K.

As far as traffic and popularity goes:

(Click for Big)

It seems like traffic is dwindling off to nothing, but it’s been nearly a solid year of 50,000 plays per day (and trended up to 150K/day around the time of Survival’s launch). That’s more web traffic per day than I’ve ever hoped for with a personal blog, so I call it a success!

But that’s enough whinging on about the original SteamBirds. Let’s jump into the fun, new stuff!

SteamBirds: iOS

The wonderful fellows at SemiSecret Software (Eric and Adam) worked hard at making an iOS version of the game. They launched two separate SKUs – one for iPhone/iPod Touch ($0.99), and an HD version ($1.99) for the iPad.

The iOS version of the game was identical to the original flash game, except:

  • The game came complete with the “Bonus Missions” (previously only available at ArmorGames)
  • The in-game art was completely redone by hand by Adam
  • The game got a brilliant, awesome title screen (also by Adam)
  • Features all the original, epic, awesome music by DannyB (buy the soundtrack here, and support more awesome music from DannyB!)

Here’s a total sales graph:

(Click for Big)

The iPad sales were fairly consistently around half the volume of the iPhone sales, which was surprising – considering how many more iPhones there are in the world!

What was super interesting, though, was this zoomed-in portion:

(Click for Big)

(ignore the dip around Jan. 5th – error in the data – sales were consistent)

I love the big spike at Christmas time. Shows people reveling in proper Commercial Spirit! But even more interesting was the App was on an “introductory sale” for December. We bumped the prices up $1 on January 1st ($1.99 / $2.99), and there was no affect on sales at all! Interesting…

I have to say that the iPad edition of the game is, hands down, my favorite game experience. SteamBirds feels like it was designed to be on that platform, and I love it to bits. I bought an iPad just to fawn over it.

SteamBirds: Android

Victor’s team at FlatRedBall created an Android edition of the game for us. This version of the game was again, identical to the original SB, except:

  • The graphics engine was entirely re-done from scratch, and features really awesome 3D effects
  • Contains dozens of bonus missions and storyline, not available anywhere else
  • Contains MULTIPLAYER gameplay!

I don’t have a fancy graph of Android sales, but I know the performance was approximately 20% of the iOS counterpart in terms of gross revenue. I know Android has a vast install base, but not every Android phone has the Marketplace (as opposed to 100% appstore penetration on the iOS), so I have no good feel for how much of this is luck, how much is market, how much is user response, etc… It’s very difficult to feel out the numbers.

20% is still a big chunk, though – but much like the advertising revenue – only if you expect the game to push over $30K or so.

I have a huge problem with Android’s default “Sort by all-time sales” market, and content discovery is hideously broken, so that could be a huge contributing factor here. Hopefully Google will fix that.

The one huge saving grace here was the Android edition’s winning of the IndiePub Game of the Year award. The cash prize (and other perks) that came with that made it all worth while!

Mobile Edition Summary

Both mobile editions were “featured,” and both rose in ranks quite quickly. In terms of 72-hour sales, SteamBirds rose to a peak of #12 on the iPad “Games” category (#25 overall, if memory serves), which was really nice and super exciting. Sales didn’t hold, though, and tailed off rapidly.

Not hating on the tail at all, of course – it’s nowhere near launch-day-numbers, but they’re still generating cash. :)

If I had to do it all over again, I probably would target Android still – just because I like supporting the platform. Even with a featured, popular application with backing from Penny Arcade (two or three times now!), it hardly paid for it’s own development.

That said: Both mobile editions were done via contractors working for revenue split (50% each, which I think is generous!), and the resultant windfalls from both devices was, essentially, free money.

All in all, iPad/iPhone/Android split out to be a fairly even pie: around 33%/33%/33% each.

The mobile market has a fairly long tail, though – and that tail is pretty thick and lucrative, especially for Android.  I believe these figures will round out nicely in the coming year, but they were only launched near the beginning of December, so we don’t have a lot of data yet.

Let’s move on to the NEW game!

SteamBirds: Survival

SteamBirds: Survival wasn’t a gigantic technical change from the original, but it has very different gameplay. I’ve blogged about the specifics previously, so I’ll let you go read that (or just play it!) instead of updating it here.

Sponsorship

The game went up on FlashGameLicense.com looking for a sponsor. We were fairly open to anything, but being the Christmas season with an non-thematic game: we had a fairly poor turn out. Several sponsors said they’d be willing to pay more in the Spring, but we didn’t want to wait. Not to worry: in the end we got a really good deal.

Our primary sponsor ended up being AXE, the body-spray brand (pit, pit, chest). They paid just over $10K for the game. A hilarious conversation came out of this:

Me: “OK, I’m done incorporating your logos. Where should I sitelock the game to?”

Them: “Oh, uh, we don’t have a website. Can you host it?”

Me: “Y… yes?!?!”

You see, typically a sponsor is paying for the traffic redirection back to their site. In this case, Axe didn’t have a dedicated portal – they just wanted the ad space. This allowed us to retain and control our traffic, show our users exactly what we wanted to show them, place up-sell icons for the mobile editions, place our own blog and twitter feeds… That’s worth an extra $10K of value any day!

And again: Much like the Original SB, sponsor and licensing requests for Survival keep rolling in, and I expect it to make us money for a long time coming.

Advertising

This go-around I learned my lesson from the original Steambirds: no advertisments. We didn’t bother integrating with Mochi or CPMStar, and any revenue put forth by Kongregate was just a nice dollop of icing on this cake.

MicroTransactions

A new twist, however, was Micro-Transactions. To date, Survival has made an additional $10K or so in MTX – not too shabby considering there’s a maximum limit on how much you can spend (there are no consumables, by design).

The airplanes in SteamBirds: Survival are so different from each other, that unlocking/purchasing a new plane is like getting to play a whole new game. Some of the planes have fairly straightforward changes, but some themed planes – like the SolipSkier, Canabalt, and AughtNine planes – drastically change gameplay into something entirely different.

So here’s how we worked MTX:

  • The game contained a total of 24 planes
  • 16 planes were unlockable by regular gameplay
  • 8 planes were only unlockable with cash
  • The planes ranged from $0.75 (Cockroach) ->$10 (AughtNine)
  • Buying all the planes individually cost $20
  • There was a prominent “Buy ALL!” button in the game that only cost $15 (25% off!)

Let’s see how well each did:

Isn’t that interesting? 70% of all sales came from the “Buy All” button. It almost seems like we shouldn’t have put the microtransactions on the other planes at all! The vast majority of users would rather just hand us $15 than actually buy each individual plane.

I love that people would trust me with an investment of that size, you know? It feels really good when a flash game player drops $15. Gives me hope for humanity, and the industry!

Free Plane!

We wanted to bait people with a free plane – just give us your EMail address, and we’ll send you a free premium plane! Of all the total users that ever entered the game: 10% clicked on the newsletter signup button. However, only 1% actually made it through the signup process! Signing up for the free plane required you were already signed into a Gamersafe account, so we lost 90% of our potential email addresses because of this hurdle. BIG LESSON LEARNED!

The BlackList

One big problem with the original SteamBirds was certain shady sites (usually in Asian countries) ripping out my advertisements, breaking sitelocks, and preventing outbound links (and sometimes even erasing credits!) or otherwise hacking the game and posting it without permission. For Survival, I implemented a dynamic blacklist – that allows me to block any site from seeing the game on a whim.

Thanks to the first release, I had a lengthy list of ne’er-do-wells, and put them in right at the start of SB:S’s launch. I also put in metrics to see who was trying to defeat my locks!

6 sites in particular were pretty bad, hammering away at the game thousands of times trying to make it work, to no avail. In the end, I had some interesting stats:

  • In the Original SteamBirds, I had 4,000,000 plays from “banned” locations
  • In SteamBirds Survival, I had less than 60,000.

I’d say that’s a success! 4 million plays that generate zero revenue and zero fan love is 4 million hits I’d rather not have.

What was super interesting is how this has skewed my stats of plays-by-countries; the USA is always #1, but the rest of the top 5 were always Asian countries in each of my other games. In SB:S, Brazil, Spain, The UK, and Canada come into the top 5. Now I know where to localize my games to first!

Other Interesting Stats

I cranked up my statistics tracking in SteamBirds: Survival, and got a bunch of neat figures out of it. Here’s a few:

  • Avg. PlayTime of SB: Original: 24 minutes
  • Avg. PlayTime of SB:S: 30 minutes (improvement!)
  • 25% of all rounds end with the player clicking “More Tips” on the gameover screen
  • 25% of players quit the game manually (without dying or closing the window)
  • 15% of all players unlocked >2 planes
  • 11% of players hit Mute (up from 6% on the original SB, down from 80% on my crappy games!)
  • 10% of players attempted newsletter signup, 1% succeeded
  • 3% of players clicked on the Twitter/Facebook icons at least once
  • 0.9% of players clicked on the Credits button (this is sadly consistent from everyone I talked to in the industry)
  • 0.7% of players unlocked the AllUrBase (hardest non-pay plane to get)
  • 0.5% of players clicked on the “buy the mobile edition!” button in game

That last one is super interesting to me. Totally tells me that there is very, very little crossover from the flash to the mobile market. Maybe not worth ever including? (then again: if a single journalist sees it, it might make a huge sales difference)

Total Revenues

So how is the SteamBirds franchise doing, overall?

I estimate we’ve made around $200,000 USD so far, with all things included. Here’s how I break it down:

“Old Rev” being the Original Steambirds, “Flash” being SteamBirds: Survival. Note that the original SB has an extra year headstart on Survival, and I wouldn’t be surprised if Survival overtakes it in the long run.

A lot of people will look at this chart and say “Woah! There’s so much money in the mobile market… Why are you bothering with the flash version?!”

My response to that is quite simple; the only reason we made more than $10 on Android is because we got Featured by Google.  It’s a similar story on iOS.  The reason we were able to get featured so easily is because of the fame and endless praiseworthy reviews the Flash version got! If the Flash edition never existed, we would never have had an opportunity to get as much exposure as we did.

I fully plan on developing for Flash into the future. And I think what we have in store will turn the tables on where the biggest revenue lies. ;)

The Future

So what are we working on now?

  • SteamBirds: Survival for iOS and Android
  • SteamBirds: Multiplayer (working title)

I’ll keep you posted as long as you keep your eyes glued here!


Newgrounds Loves Omega Box!

NewGroundsAward

Omega Box won the Daily 4th Trophy on Newgrounds with a rating of 3.94! Omega Box will be launching on Kongregate later today, hopefully it’ll have a following there as well.


Dodge, Survive, Evolve.

omega-box1

It’s alive! Check out our latest project, Omega Box, sponsored by AddictingGames.com. Play it Now!

Here’s some interesting stuff after the jump:

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Project God – being created in the lab

IronZilla’s latest project is currently in the lab, an Action / Adventure game. It’s a different take than our usual casual games (i.e. Ski Runner, Man Hunter) but in addition to displaying the growth and maturity of IronZilla, it is mostly to showcases the true talent of game design and artistic expression. It’s a full on effort of passion, and will no doubt be more of a work of art, than a “casual game”.

Why Project God?: We do have a final title to this game, but the reason for the project title is because the game has to do with Gods, and a lone hero. But of course we wouldn’t want to spoil the surprise for you.

Below is a piece of concept art, quickly drawn (as in less than a few minutes) to portray the scale of the game and give our fans a bit of insight on what’s to come.

project-god-art-1

I’ve drawn a ton of concept art for Project God myself, and may even think of releasing them as an e-book for players that beat the game in good fashion.

Started officially on Dec. 25th, and IronZilla’s come a long way, already finishing up the music, storyboard, core game design (as well as the hundreds of papers for the game design docs -.-) and main menu. We expect a swift release, but we’re certainly in no rush, art takes patience, and we’re hoping to release a piece that will have the game indie scene on their feet.

- John Funtanilla


Happy New Year

happy-new-years-2011

Happy New Year from IronZilla! 2010 was relatively quiet for us, but for all the good reasons. We’ve been working on a few projects behind the scenes, which should be up and running for 2011. Here’s a recap of this year’s landmarks!

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