Saturday, 21 April 2012

Developing and Promoting Android Games: A published developers tips for being successful on Google Play

How many downloads will my Android game get?
Woodebox Android Game Download graph
Android is a fast growing platform that has enormous potential for Indie games developers. We recently featured an up and coming Android Developer's game (Woodebox Puzzle) and have been lucky enough to secure an interview with the game's developer. In our interview you'll learn some of the ways of making and marketing Android apps and get some tips on how to be a top Android game developer.

What factors can affect your Android App Downloads?
 The downloads were around
250/day, then it was decreasing slowly, and last week there is big
peek when xda-developers reviewed my application. Then it was also
decreasing. I am paying daily small amount on admob, which slightly
increases downloads, so we can try promotion on your server (editor's comment: Gametrender offers inexpensive banner and sidebar ads for app promotion) also.
Actually there shoudl be android police small promotion next week.

What software development kits are used to make Android apps and games?
I am using standard Eclipse
+ Android SDK combination running on Ubuntu, which is quite stable and
fully functional.

Do you have any other programming background?
(Editor's comment: A lot of people are interested in becoming game programmers, especially on the easy to access Android os. I wanted to find out the dev's programming background to let other potential Android developer's be realistic about their expectations)
Yes, I am Java
programmer for a long time, working on enterprise applications,
Android development I do as a hobby in my free time.

Is it easy to use the Android SDK?
Yes, Android SDK is quite easy to learn,
just over time as there is more and more upgrades (I started on v1.5
and latest version is 4), the development changes a little. Biggest
problem is actually number of different Android devices, from
different vendors, and SDKs are not working same on each device, and
also emulator is sometimes working differently (differently means it
is not working sometimes :).

What SDK's can you recommend for beginner's app development?
You mean Android
version or some 3rd party SDK ? For Android version currently 2.3 is
mostly used, so this should be lowest version supported by new
applications. Regarding other SDKs I am not using anything special,
except graphical library from JHLabs, which has all graphics
effects/transformations implemented in Java, and I am using it for
Woodebox levels preparation.

Any troubleshooting hints or tips for Android developers just starting out?
The biggest problem is variation of devices/screen
sizes/SDKs versions, so for bigger developments this should be kept in
mind. Small application will be unusable on tablet, if it is badly
implemented. This is the issue I am dealing with, otherwise everything
is working well. Also for game development, it is highly recommended
to use professional graphic guy, to have successful game, if you are
not skilled in graphics. But it is minor investment, for woodebox the
graphics cost 100EUR, marketing is much more expensive :)

How to become a successful Android Developer
In Peter's own words this is what he's been doing to improve his sales on Google Play and bring his game to the publics' attention. Note his frank answers about what marketing budget you need to promote your app and how to choose the right app to develop on Android.

I have reached 10000
downloads with Woodebox Puzzle, hopefully it will continue. I am not
yet succesful :)  Regarding my Android development I would sum

- I started 1 year ago, and I have developed few logic games (Bubble
Breaker, Blockout, Network Puzzle)
- It was not a big success, so  I realise I have to include some
graphics guy, so the game would look more professional, and also I
have to create original game, not copy of old game.
- I looked around, and I did not find "woodebox like" puzzle on the
market, so I started to work on that last year. After few month I have
first version with around 30 levels, that I released, to get initial
feedback from users. There were no major problems, so I continued with
adding new levels and features according user requests. Now the game
has 72 levels, 100 is the target, and then I plan to add some new
features- hints for solving levels or skipping one/two levels,
facebook page, web site where users could create their own levels and
others could download them and play, so I would not have to create all
levels by my own :)

I will see how it will go, now I am playing also with different kind
of in-game advertisements, and also paid promotion on the web and via
Android Puzzle game
The distinctive and well crafted
graphics of Woodebox make
put it above your average
Android puzzle game
admob. This marketing activity is quite new for me (as a programmer :)
and costs a lot in some cases ($3000 for banner on big websites, this
I didn't try yet), and it has no predictable result. So I am trying
step by step what results I can achieve. Very good result was after
free review on xda-developers page (immediate 1500 downloads),
otherwise it is hard to estimate any promotion action. I am waiting
for small promo on AndroidPolice weekly roundup, whether it will have
major impact. That's it ;)
Peter Halada is the man behind Woodebox Puzzle, a fun and well designed puzzle app on Android that is starting to rise through the charts. Hopefully if your'e a potential Android developer you'll find Peter's interview helpful in starting out your Android programming career.


  1. Thanks for sharing that information.
    I'm currently trying to improve downloads of my game, Rolly Poly on Google Play.
    How did you get xda-developers review?

  2. Thanks for the enquiry Roymam, if you have any review requests please forward them to If we have the time we'd be quite happy to review your app, we're an adsense supported website so our basic reviews are free but of course any donations are appreciated.


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