May 19 2010

Help us kick-start our Facebook page

Tag: Business, Codeminion, GeneralMaciek @ 4:54 am

If you enjoy our games and have a facebook account, you can now follow us at our facebook page. You can find our page at: http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#!/pages/Codeminion/127088663974722?ref=ts
Once we get more followers (people who hit the “Like” button), we’ll be able to set up a friendly facebook username, so the link will be much simpler.

UPDATE: The current link is www.facebook.com/codeminion and it can also be accessed at www.facebook.codeminion.com. Thanks for liking us :)

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Oct 23 2009

Where is StoneLoops? Or how to get rid of your competition in the Apple AppStore?

I know that lately I haven’t been blogging a lot, but recently something very notable  happened that I feel everybody should learn about. As you know our marble popping game StoneLoops! of Jurassica has been ported to the iPhone platform and proved to be a huge success. It  stayed in the global US app top 10 for almost two months and never dropped out of top 100. Until now that is, because today StoneLoops! has been removed from the App Store by Apple on the request of… MumboJumbo.

If you don’t know Mumbo Jumbo, this is the company that creates Luxor marble popping games. In fact Luxor is one of the  biggest marble popper franchises in the entire casual games market. When StoneLoops! was released on the PC and MAC it was over 3 years after the first Luxor game and the marble popping genre was almost dead. In result StoneLoops! never reached any serious top-tens and has stayed in the shadow of the giants - Luxor and Zuma. But on the iPhone it was the other way round.

Together with an external company Playcreek we managed to prepare a very solid port of StoneLoops! to the iPhone platform. It was a great success for us that we managed to launch the game sooner than MumboJumbo managed to complete their iPhone port of Luxor. In result the roles for StoneLoops! and Luxor have reversed in the AppStore. Due to an excellent port and good timing our game became the genre leader receiving hundreds of positive user reviews. In the meanwhile Luxor for the iPhone received very little attention and quickly dropped out of the various top100’s. I can imagine that MumboJumbo wasn’t entirely satisfied with this result, but hey – what can you do about it? It seems you can do quite a lot…

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Jun 07 2009

Sales stats by country

Tag: Business, Casual Games, CodeminionMaciek @ 6:28 am

I recently answered a question on a polish gamedev message board about how game sales vary by Country and I thought that it would be a good idea to post it here as well. As far as I know this kind of stats are very difficult to find.

The stats shown below are based on sales made over the last 5 years on our own website (www.codeminion.com). In this time we recorded online transactions in almost 100 countries (94 to be exact). I find it pretty impressive, as we even had sales in the Vatican. Anyway, click the continue reading button if you’d like to learn which 20 countries make up the most of our sales.

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Feb 08 2009

Prices go down

Tag: Business, Casual GamesMaciek @ 11:59 am

If you haven’t been watching the downloadable casual game market lately you will be surprised to learn that 19.95 is no longer a standard price. For some time the market has seen loyalty programs (such as giving discounts to customers who sign up to buy more than one game) but now it seems that the 19.95 USD price point for casually buying  a single game is going away.

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Sep 21 2008

To Hype or Not to Hype?

Tag: Business, Casual Games, Codeminion, SaqqarahMaciek @ 9:53 am

Adventurers JournalAs you might know we are already working on a new, unannounced game. Everything is going all right so far, but the progress seems slow as we have just begun and we are still in early preproduction. During the last couple of weeks we’ve been defining the minimal feature set for the game, designing prototypes and experimenting with various ideas trying to see what elements will make it to the final game. We also had an interesting discussion about whether we should hype the new game or keep a low profile during the development.

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Jul 31 2008

Localizing Saqqarah

CUG FrameworkLocalizing games – or basically translating them into different languages, if you’re not familiar with the term – is now a common thing on the task list of a game developer, and casual games are no exception. Unfortunately the more complex a game is, the more difficult and costly it is to make localized versions of it. What’s more, if you don’t plan ahead for future localization right from the start it is possible then later localizing a poorly coded game will not be plausible at all! I know something about it as our first casual game Magic Match is available exclusively in English and it is not without a reason…

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Jul 09 2008

I predict fish and pyramids in future games

Tag: Business, Casual Games, Game ReviewsMaciek @ 3:08 pm

FishdomDon’t worry, this won’t be another rant about Big Fish games. Rather than that I would like to tell you about a some nice match-3 games that should be very interesting for both players and developers.

Match-3 games have a tough job breaking into the top-tens these days. Fortunately there are still match-3 games that manage to do it even on hidden object oriented portals. Our own game Saqqarah is just making its way to the top-tens and Fishdom is also an excellent example of a modern match-3 game that has the potential to outsell even big hidden object  productions. But why is that? Let’s see what makes up a good modern match-3 game.

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Jun 28 2008

The good BIG bad FISH exclusive GAMES…

Tag: Business, Casual Games, Codeminion, SaqqarahMaciek @ 3:13 pm

SaqqarahSaqqarah is now on BigFish and I am very happy to report that on the second day after the launch we’ve made it to the top ten. Till the last minute we didn’t know how the market would respond to the game and now we feel a big relief,  although it’s of course too early to tell if the game will be a great success over time - but all initial signs sure look encouraging!

Anyway the game is now an exclusive title for BigFish and it is currently getting serious promotion on their website.  What more could a developer want? In fact I could think of something, especially  after some recent events…

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Jun 21 2008

Casual Games Exclusive vs. Self Publishing

Tag: Business, Casual Games, Codeminion, Game DevelopmentMaciek @ 12:28 pm

Lately we are doing a lot of stuff that is new to us. Most important is that we are now self publishing our games under the Game Club Cafe brand. This is different than with Magic Match, as this game was published on an exclusive basis by Oberon Media, who later purchased the entire IP (intellectual property) rights to the game.  There are days when we regret selling Magic Match to Oberon, but generally we think that it was a fairly good decision business wise.

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Jun 18 2008

Saqqarah - a new record!

Tag: Business, Casual Games, Codeminion, SaqqarahMaciek @ 4:32 pm

SaqqarahI hope that you don’t mind that recently every blog post on Casual Games Harmony is about Saqqarah, but I can’t help it as there is so much going on! Anyway we’re thrilled to see how good the game is doing so far. The feedback is very enthusiastic and coming from both gamers and publishers. So far the game has not been rejected by a single publisher we talked to, and we already talked to about 10 different distribution channels. We were very worried that we would have problems similar to the ones I wrote about earlier regarding StoneLoops! After all Saqqarah is also not a hidden object game. Fortunately everyone seems to be noticing how much effort went into creating Saqqarah and now we have first hints that not giving up on quality was the right way to go and that we won’t regret it.  Anyway, you’re probably wondering what record I was referring to in the title of the post…

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