I’m not a SEO specialist. I will sum up here all that I’ve learned about the prehistoric app store search engine.
1) The search engine don’t take into account the app’s description (it was once, but Apple was not able to cope with the spam inside the descriptions, and decided to stop processing it).
2) The search engine takes into account the title.
3) The search engine takes into account the hidden list of keywords the developer enters during the submission process.
4) The search engine don’t take into account plural forms. For example, if you want your app to be listed when searching for “puzzle” and “puzzles”, you have to enter “puzzle,puzzles” in your keyword. As we are limited to 100 characters in the keyword list, this is not ideal.
5) The rank order is based on popularity, something similar (but not exactly the same) to what is used to rank the top paid/free apps.
6) Your app will be rejected if it uses the title of another app as a keyword (example “blockoban”). But, if a game is using regular words from the dictionary in its title (like “Angry birds”, or “Fruit ninja”), you can add those words separately in your list (“angry,birds,fruit,ninja”).
7) You can’t change your keywords once your app is approved (you need to submit an update to do so).
8) Never heard of an app reaching the top 10 because of having “angry,birds” in its keywords. Don’t count on the app store search engine to increase your visibility. Making a good app with a good icon is the only recommandation.
9) Apple just improved the search engine. If your application provide in-app purchases, the search engine takes into account the in-app purchase displayed name.
So, you have a game made with Flixel ? And you wander if it could run on upcoming Blackberry Playbook ? Maybe you want to win the free Playbook too ?
The catastrophic launch of Slap No Slap has inspired me this sketch, quickly done with Photoshop and an old Wacom tablet.
@SlapNoSlap is not a bad game. Actually I like to play it more than my previous games. It has all you could wish from an iPhone game, it’s Retina display enabled, Universal for iPhone and iPad, and Game Center enabled. I’ve spent about 7 full weeks on it.
Chillingo has offered to publish the game, so there must be something right in it, no?
But for a reason I don’t understand, so far, this game was ignored by almost everybody, from Apple editors, to reviewers.
261 persons have downloaded it the first week (follow my tweets if you want more stats). With only 2 ratings on the US appstore, it’s diffictult to say how the game is perceived. If you are one of the proud owners of Slap No Slap, be sure that I’ll keep updating it and adding new features, until it’s ready for an evil marketing plan.
Do you need a simple news feed for your application? You could probably rent a piece of server and code something in PHP, Ruby or Python, you could for example use google app engine as your backend.
But did you think about using Twitter?
3 limitations you have to know before choosing Twitter as your backend :
4 major benefits of using Twitter as your news backend :
I’ve been sucessfully using Twitter as my news backend for 1 year now. It’s implemented in all my iPhone / iPad games.
Let’s take an example with Blockoban. First of all, as we are talking about iOS development, you’ll have to get a Cocoa Twitter client. I used the great MGTwitterEngine. Let’s see what happens when launching the game.
So here it is, you can keep your players informed about the latest news without updating the application. I’ve been using this for 1 year now, and I’m very happy with it. It’s not the most sophisticated news system of the world, but it just does the job. Note that this can be used also to cross promote your games, as seen in the screenshot above.
Making a level on BonusLevel.org, is the rule, but making a game doesn’t happen so often.
Today, a game started more than 1 year ago by 2 young members of BonusLevel.org, has made it to the front page. The game is a mouse avoider, called “Path 4 Mouse”, with endless options in the level editor. If you are not familiar with game development, maybe you don’t know how difficult it is to finish a game! So I want to congratulate geckojsc (15 years old) and MARC2008 (16 years old) for their great achievement. I’ve seen their Flash skills improving along the months while the game was taking shape, and I can’t wait for their next games.
The BitmapData.draw method in Flash, is protected. If you try to write a MovieClip from another domain/website into a BitmapData, you will get a SecurityError. Unless this domain authorizes other domains with a crossdomain.xml policy.
I learned this when trying to write a Youtube video on a BitmapData.
Youtube is not cool, but fortunately, Vimeo is! Yes, Vimeo authorizes all of us to write their videos on a BitmapData, allowing a bunch of fun experiments (http://asciimeo.com/).
All you have to do is request the right crossdomain.xml, which is not documented on their site (http://vimeo.com/api/docs/moogaloop) .
I knew that asciimeo.com was using BitmapData.draw on Vimeo videos, so all I had to to do is open a video on asciimeo, and use firebug (http://getfirebug.vom/) to capture the crossdomain.xml urls. And it worked!
Here are a bunch of calls you have to add in your AS3 projects to allow Vimeo videos being written on BitmapData :
Tanks to http://twitter.com/peter_nitsch and http://twitter.com/UnitZeroOne who pointed me to Vimeo.
As I already told, Vimeo is a cool community, visit their forums where you can reach the staff : http://vimeo.com/forums