I’m making my income reports, including traffic numbers, public. That way, anyone thinking of starting something similar can see real world numbers. There are a lot of other sites sharing their income, so why does the world need another one?
I’m sharing the figures from month 1, which isn’t that common. Also, I can’t see many income reports from mobile app developers. So I’m hoping that this is something unique.
My hope is that these reports will inspire someone else to try something themselves. Please let me know if you think I can improve them. I’m always looking for ways to improve.
December was a major month for me. On a personal note, I’ve been taking the opportunity to relax now I don’t have a full-time job. It was a lot weirder than I thought, but I’m very glad I did. December was the one and only month I’m going to do that though, so January will be full speed on this and job hunting.
The biggest thing was the release of my first ever app. Basic Pairs is never going to be a £10k/day earner, but it’s a major psychological event. I sat on releasing it for weeks, mainly through fear. Fear of what, I don’t really know. But I know that clicking the “release” button and getting the confirmation that it was accepted felt like a load was lifted off my shoulders.
I’ll be trying hard to not let fear control me again.
Hours this month
As always, I track the hours I’m spending on this project. It helps me track “return on investment” and highlights how much effort is required for something like this.
Only a very slight change this month. I think this site is currently consistently worth about 1000 sessions a month.
Audience Stats – December 2016
As analytics was broken for a third of last month, this isn’t that great to look at.
Acquisition Overview – December 2016
My new post on sharing code between React and React Native went straight to the top. It’s interesting that previous big pages are nowhere to be seen.
Page Views Top 10 – December 2016
A nice increase in organic search.
Total Income £1.14
£1.25 (£14.99 a year)
Play Developer Licence
Total Expenses £21.49
Profit over time
Total Profit £1.14 – £21.49 = £-20.35
Income Over Time – December 2016
Best month yet income wise. If I didn’t pay for the Google developer account, I was only 11p down! I’m going to be trying hard to focus and produce more stuff in 2017. Hopefully my December 2017 income report will be vastly different!
Lessons learned this month
Releasing an app is trivial
The process to get an app on the Google Play Store is very simple.
Progress this month
Like every month, I set myself some targets in my previous income report.
Update Basic Pairs so it’s out of the “functional but ugly” category – Success
Try to get Basic Pairs on the play store – SuccessBasic Pairs
Welcome to part 1 of my first ever dev diary. In this part, I’m writing about the plan and what I hope to achieve. In future installments, I’ll provide details of progress, problems and any new techniques. I’ll even provide download numbers, income and anything else that’s interesting. Join me while I create Hangman in React Native.
Sign-Up To Get the Code
As with all of my games, I’m planning to release the source code. Only those who sign-up to my Game Development mailing list will get the code. You’ll also get access to any updates I make when I add new features.
The source code is then yours to do with whatever you like. Want to re-skin the app and publish it in the app store feel free. I’d love to hear how you use my stuff.
I’ve only just started making games. I’m not confident enough to tackle something ambitious. Basic Pairs went well, but there wasn’t much too it.
I want something that just stretches my skillset. Hangman seems like a nice little progression. The rules of the game are simple and all the events seem to map to a state machine.
Finally, there are also a lot of existing apps out there to draw inspiration from. So that’s what I did first, checking out the competition.
After putting it off again and again, I’ve finally published my first Android app. Basic Pairs is live in the Google Play Store. This post is my first game post mortem where I point out some of the things I’ve learned. Hopefully my future game post mortem posts won’t contain the same mistakes.
What Went Well
Starting Very Simple
I’m fairly sure I could’ve made a more complex game, but I’m glad that I didn’t. Why?
It’s not to say it was an easy game to write. I think it was just far enough out of my comfort zone that it could be classed as deliberate practice.
I really enjoy working with React Native. The developer experience is excellent. Hitting save in your editor and then seeing the emulator refresh due to hot reloading is awesome.
Christoph Michel has recently released a much more complex app and blogged about his experience at http://cmichel.io/lessons-from-building-first-react-native-app/. So I’m not expected plain sailing in the future, but so far I’m sold. BTW, Christoph is churning out some fantastic stuff, so I highly recommend you check his blog out.
Making the game “pretty”
It’s nothing to be too excited about, but I’m glad I managed to turn the app from this:
I wanted to display a timer of how long each level was taking. I made it work with a setInterval of 300 milliseconds. That ran fine in the emulator, but when I put it on my phone, especially on the level with 8 pairs, it ground to a halt. The interface was unusable.
I couldn’t get to the bottom of that, so took the feature out.
Not porting features instantly
The android version looks a lot nicer than the web app. Instead of ploughing on with the android app, I should’ve ported each feature to the other version as soon as it was finished. If I ever get a Mac and have three versions to maintain, I’m going to struggle to keep them in sync without more discipline.
Updating Versions Mid Project
I updated react native as soon as a new version came out. Rather than falling backwards when it failed, I ploughed on and ended up losing too many hours.
There was no need for me to upgrade, so I won’t be doing that again in a hurry.
Fear and Procrastination
I had built-up the process of releasing the app so much, I was virtually terrified to do it. The game was in a releasable state for at least 2 weeks before I finally hit “published”. I was working on virtually anything else to avoid hitting publish.
Now it’s done, off course a massive weight is off my mind and it’s incredibly painless.
I think it boils down to the fact that I was scared Google were going to reject it. Fear of failure 🙁
My first ever app, which happens to be a game is released. I’ll be looking back at this first game post mortem and reminding myself not to be scared.
If there’s any other information you would like to know, please leave a comment. Or, catch me on on twitter.