Devlog – Truck Trials – Disappointment – 14 October 2018
I haven’t posted for a little over a month, I have been licking my wounds and basically avoiding the app thing for the last two weeks. What follows is a slightly depressing account of my most recent attempt at making any money off Truck Trials.
I decided to follow a friends advice and advertise Truck Trials using Google Ads. I ran the ads for just over a week and ended up spending slightly more than I wanted.
In total, I spend $90NZ (my budget was $70) and got 900 installs, which I thought was pretty good. Unfortunately, this did not translate into much ad revenue. Over the same period, I made a total of $4.74US. The NZ – US exchange rate is pretty bad at the moment, but not THAT bad.
I am not really sure why the revenue was so poor. I did see a large increase in the number of impressions over the same period, but this did not translate into dollars. I am using an Ad Mediation service “Appodeal“, which is supposed to have good return (from the reading I have done), but from what I can understand (which is extremely limited) the service doesn’t really make good money until you get an average of 1000 impressions per day as up until that stage it is still in “training” mode. I believe that until it finishes training that the revenue all comes from a “cost per click” (CPC) service and not based on impressions (CPM). As an indie dev I am very reluctant to roll the dice and see if this is true.
It is always entirely possible that Truck Trials is just a bad game. As I explained in an earlier post, I currently have no analytics in the game (GDPR reasons) so it is hard to figure out exactly what was going on.
Paid to Free Campaign
My final big idea was to follow an idea from App Masters and make one of my in-app purchases (IAPs) free for a couple of days and see if I can advertise this to get downloads.
I decided that I would make my “Super Pack” free for two days from Thursday, October 4th to Friday, October 5th. This turned out to be harder than I thought it should. Android doesn’t allow you to make IAP free, and iOS only allows you to make non-consumable IAPs free. I got around this by coding the free period into the app itself, this allowed me to bypass the app store limitations.
I then sent an email to two websites that advertise “Apps Gone Free” and sat and waited. Once again I experienced that same excitement I did when I first released Truck Trials and expected the downloads to metaphorically fly off the shelf. This did not happen. Neither website ran my game in their “Apps Gone Free” section. I even sent an email to them asking for a reason so that I might be able to address whatever the reason is, but no one responded.
The final thing I tried was to post on reddit (https://www.reddit.com/r/apphookup), I thought I might get a few downloads from there. As a person who is not a reddit regular, I didn’t have enough karma points for my submission to be accepted.
I know this post sounds like I am defeated, and in a way I was, but having taken the last two weeks off I am ready to start the indie grind again. I feel that I have given Truck Trials a really good go, and feel happy to move on.
I am going to spend a few weeks trying to figure out what my next project will be, once I know I will continue to blog my adventures.