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Confidence in Nonsense

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AUG
08
2013

Want to “Share what inspires”?

If you’d like to contribute your art picks for our “Share what inspires” Pinterest page, we want to hear from you!  Just drop us a line with your email via our contact page and we’ll add you to our contributor list.  We’d love to see what inspires you!

COMMENT 0
JUL
09
2013

Pinterest: Share what inspires!

PinterestWe’ve recently added a board on our Pinterest page to Share What Inspires!  On this board we’re sharing pictures and artwork that inspire us creatively and we’d love to see what inspires you!  Check the new board out at http://pinterest.com/itzyinteractive/share-what-inspires/ and see what we’ve come up with so far.  But be warned, it’s going to be geeky.

COMMENT 0
JUN
10
2013

Mobile game review sites are a waste of time

With app discovery being one of the main hurdles that an indie, mobile developer will face it’s understandable to want to reach out to the hundreds of app review sites out there in the hopes that they’ll be able to help launch your game to stardom, or at the very least be a lifeline that could potentially keep you afloat. Dozens of guides exist providing tips on how to make your mobile game stand out in the hopes of garnering some review attention. So armed with this knowledge, you put together a press package, research which sites to approach, find out who to contact and what their favourite color is and then start initiating contact. This is what I did, and in my opinion it was about as effective as wishing on a star.

We now have two games under our belts and trying to court review sites for coverage has felt a bit like sending head shots to a supermodel in the hopes she’ll take you to your prom. On each title I’ve spent weeks of my time reaching out to review sites and have zero to show for it. For our next title, I won’t waste my time on a single one and I wouldn’t advise any other mobile app developer expend any effort either unless they specifically know someone who can provide them an “in.”  Statistics show that roughly 20% of users discover their apps through 3rd party sites including press releases, blogs and review sites combined and given that the chance of being featured by one of these review sites that make up a portion of that 20% are slim, how much time should a mobile developer spend on the off chance that they might be featured on one of the worthwhile sites?

Between Vex Blocks and Itzy3d, I’ve initiated over 400 contacts with mobile review sites, not counting some actual back and forth conversations and follow-up. I’ve received a big, fat goose egg for reviews for our latest title, Vex Blocks and one review for Itzy3d from a site that is no longer active. The other reviews we received for Itzy3d were paid reviews of poor quality I shelled out for in a desperate attempt for exposure before I realized I was being scammed. I currently have an email box full of review sites asking for money for their “expedited review services” ranging from $25 to upwards of $300-$400 for exposure on sites that rarely even reveal meaningful data regarding readership when requested.

I followed the guides. I carefully crafted my press package, I personalized, I included media and gameplay videos. I researched sites and people, attempted to establish a rapport with reviewers and even when a dialogue was established, in the end all the work I put in didn’t help move a single copy of either of our titles.

Now while I’m sure a piece by a well known game site certainly wouldn’t hurt app exposure, the reality is these sites are inundated with requests for reviews and most likely if you don’t know (or aren’t willing or able to pay) you’re just one of thousands of voices crying for attention. The sites that don’t exist to simply take a desperate indie’s money and throw up a couple of paragraphs for their few hundred readers are most likely so backlogged with review requests that even the most well meaning among them probably hasn’t a prayer of reviewing even a tenth of the requests they receive. So far, based on my experiences, I’d recommend you not waste your time if you find yourself in the same situation. Again, I’m not saying that you might not get lucky with review sites. You might win the lottery. What I am saying is there’s probably more productive ways you could spend your time promoting your game.

There are dozens of promotional activities that can yield results. The sites that have provided write ups of either of my titles I didn’t even have a chance to contact before they had written something based on our press releases. My initial press releases sent out through various PR sites generated more internet exposure and game coverage on websites than 400 contacts to roughly 200 individual sites. Other activities that I’ve engaged in have included blogging, keeping a company facebook page (I try to keep it entertaining while being informative on our products), maintaining our website keeping up with twitter interactions. These have all resulted in far more eyes on our product then reaching out to mobile review sites.

And in the time it took me to write this recommendation today, I’ve already received two more requests for cash for “expedited review services.” As most people aren’t perusing review sites on their phone when looking for apps, the impact of being reviewed is questionable in the first place.  I love review sites and I use them all the time but for mobile indies out there looking to promote their titles I say don’t get sucked into the time-consuming trap of emailing or filling out the web forms for these sites who’ll just use this contact as an excuse to add you to a list to hit you up for money. This isn’t every review site, but it’s enough of them.

COMMENT 0
JUN
07
2013

Itzy 3D heading to E3!

ItzyFall

Itzy 3d is heading to this year’s E3!

Thanks to the folks at 100% Indie, Samsung and Chillingo, Itzy 3d will be part of the independent developer showcase at this year’s E3 expo in Los Angeles next week.  Itzy 3d has been selected along with 29 others for the “Indie Heroes” showcase which will feature other work by independent game developers currently working with Samsung as part of their 100%Indie initiative.

http://www.100percentindie.com/2013/06/06/100-indies-e3-games-showcase/

COMMENT 1
MAY
29
2013

Stumped by a Vex Blocks puzzle? Ask the developer!

 

Puzzle16x9

Not only does Vex Blocks boast a Timed Mode, FreePlay Mode and Arcade Mode, but Vex Blocks also offers over 80 puzzles via the puzzle mode.  A good number of these puzzles require gamers to rotate their devices or even flip their phones end to end to control gravity as part of the solution but if there’s any puzzle that completely escapes you, ask the developer!

If you’d like to see a solution to one of the Vex Blocks puzzles posted on our site, email us at contact@itzyinteractive.com or contact us via our Facebook site or Twitter with the specific puzzle pack and puzzle number and we’ll create a new blog post detailing the solutions to our more tricky puzzles.

And keep watch for new puzzle packs in the coming months!  We look forward to hearing from you.

COMMENT 0
MAY
07
2013

Vex Blocks now available on the Apple App store

VexLogo512We’re please to announce that Vex Blocks, nominated for “Best Brain & Puzzle” and “Best Casual Game” in this year’s “Best App Ever Awards” Android edition, is now available for the iPhone and iPad through the Apple App store.  An alternative to traditional, “Match 3” type puzzle games like Bejeweled or Candy Crush, players create chains of colored lightning by matching up blocks based on symbol, color or both.  Head on over to our Downloads section, or click the icon to take advantage of our $0.99 launch pricing.

 

COMMENT 0
APR
22
2013

Vote for Vex Blocks in the “Best App Ever” Awards!

Vote for Vex Blocks for Best Brain and Puzzle Game

Vote for Vex Blocks for Best Casual Game

Click the buttons above cast your vote!

VexLogo-128The nominations are in and Vex Blocks is in the running for the “Best App Ever Awards” in the category of Brain and Puzzle Games and in Best Casual Game.  The 5th Annual Best App Ever Awards were created to celebrate the best mobile apps and games available.  The site states “Our goal is to help gather together the very favorite apps of the real users, not just the best-selling ones.”

Previous nominees and winners in the Brain and Puzzle category over the past 5 years have included such titles as “Cut the Rope”, ” Angry Birds Rio”, “Where’s My Water”, and “Feed Me Oil.”

Cast your vote today and help support independent developers!

APR
19
2013

Best App Ever Awards

Nominate Vex Blocks for Best Brain and Puzzle Game

Nominate Vex Blocks for Best Casual Game _

Do you like Vex Blocks and want to express your admiration in the form of easy click voting? Then click the button above and head on over to the Best App Ever page and express your love!

COMMENT 0
APR
07
2013

Play Vex Blocks for free on Android!

multiBlocks_1000x500We’re pleased to announce this morning the launch of “Vex Blocks free” for android!  Here’s a snippet from our recent press release!

“Indie developer, Itzy Interactive, today released a free version of their well received puzzler, Vex Blocks via Google Play. “Vex Blocks free” now brings users the opportunity to experience this exciting and addictive block game without the need to dig out credit cards. Match up blocks by symbol and/or color to draw the longest chain of lightning possible. Draw lightning chains on your screen to surround and neutralize bomb blocks before they explode or to capture power-ups and increase coin count. Collect coins to gear up with unique power-ups like the Black Hole, X-Block or Nuke to help along the way. As an added bonus, players can challenge their friends to beat their score and earn more coins, or team up and take on score trials together.

Reviewers and fans alike have raved about Vex Blocks.

“This electrically-charged colour-matcher marries slick neon visuals with classic Bejeweled-esque gameplay. We approve of the game’s polished visuals and Thor-like obsession with lightning bolts.” – PocketGamer.co.uk

“I have only played maybe 10 phone games in my life, and this one is my favorite. Easy to learn how to play, beautiful to look at, challenging but not too hard. I really love Vex Blocks.” – Conrad Nobert – Instructor – Northern Alberta Institute of Technology

“Surprising depth, amazing gameplay. I honestly wasn’t sure what to expect from Vex. I’ve played a fair number of block games over the years and find that generally they tend to be “pass the time while waiting for the bus” type games. Vex blocks has definitely fallen into the the realm of “augh! so close!” and “I know if I replay I can do way better”.” – Aaron Clifford – Developer – EgoAnt Productions”

COMMENT 1
MAR
21
2013

Vex Blocks updated to version 1.17

android_app_on_play_largeThe Android version of Vex Blocks has just been updated to version 1.17.  The newest update has added a “Quality Settings” menu for users.  Players can now manually set their devices to Low, Mid or High graphical settings while gauging performance via a built in frame counter.  The recent update has also added new features such as an on-screen Score Goal for use in Challenge modes and visual and audio cues when Challenge goals are met.

Look for the iOS version of Vex Blocks in the comings weeks!

COMMENT 0