Playing with a Star Wars arcade game idea, again

I’m not updating this blog often enough so I thought I’d just share some thoughts on a new game idea. The game is a straight forward arcade game though for me it’s a little odd as the primary focus isn’t on blasting and explosions. At least it isn’t yet! There’s time for that to change.

To get an idea for the style head over to my Playstar Arcade and play Night Bomber.
I’m loving getting back in to the pixel art style and sci-fi games like this lend themselves to it.

HTML5 as a search term – we’re almost there

I recently started poring over the search terms to the Playstar Arcade in some more detail.

I found something quite interesting. A number of search terms carried the phrase “no download”.

Here’s a brief summary:

  • free online ipad games no download
  • mobile games no download
  • online ipad games no download
  • free games no downloads
  • free mobile games no download
  • free online games for ipad no download
  • free online mobile games no download
  • online games no download
  • free online games with no download

I receive a healthy amount of traffic from search engines, most of which are on desktop. I’d love for this to shift to mobile but that will take some time. None the less it’s encouraging to see that people are looking for games to play and are aware that games can be played without the need to download an app.

Although the phrases listed above are all variations on a couple of themes they show a brief insight in to the mind of the searching gamer. That list accounts for around a third of all phrases that include “no download”.

The intriguing phrases are the ones that contain “iPad”. I imagine it’s fairly common knowledge amongst the iOS community that there is no support for Flash or any other 3rd party browser plug-in. So this can really only amount to games that can be played in the web browser natively.

The same cannot be assumed for those searching more generally for “mobile” or simply “online”. But by virtue of the fact that they’ve included “no download” I’d assume that they are referring to browser games.

There is a clear opportunity for HTML5 games here. As the quality of HTML5 gaming rises (and it should as publishers demand more visual quality at least) we can hopefully start to see a level of education amongst the browser gaming public that “HTML5”, at least in a gaming sense, can be synonymous with not only quality gaming but crucially “no download”.
Strictly speaking it could also become synonymous with “online”. But let’s not muddy the water as its real strength is of course in “offline”. That’s a different story.

HTML5 is quicker to type and probably ultimately far easier to remember.

Let’s look at that list again with the words changed to suit the HTML5 developer.

  • free HTML5 ipad games
  • mobile games HTML5
  • HTML5 ipad games
  • free games HTML5
  • free mobile games HTML5
  • free HTML5 games for ipad
  • free HTML5 mobile games
  • HTML5 games
  • free HTML5 games

We’re getting there…

Analysing the Playstar Arcade – Gingerbread (Android v2.3.6) visits

As the month draws to a close I’m enjoying poring over the visitor statistics collected through my Playstar arcade courtesy of Google’s Analytics.

The figures are interesting in terms of growth but a little depressing when I see that under closer inspection there’s a significant percentage of traffic who don’t get the full experience.

Take a look at these charts.

November 2013 - 171,462 visits

November 2013 – 171,462 visits

This chart stands out for the high percentage of visits from devices loaded with the Android Gingerbread OS version 2.3.6. Gingerbread, the 2.3 range OS from Google, is notoriously clunky for HTML5 game execution. It’s not without its functional issues and is typically the OS that comes bundled with popular lower spec models such as the Samsung Galaxy Y or Galaxy Ace.

28.6% of 171k visits is a lot. Too much. It pains me that so many people would come to the arcade and not get the experience that I want to deliver.

99% of my traffic is mobile.

The 21.1% listed as other is a mix of Android, iOS and Firefox. iPad emerges as a popular device.

December 2013 - 235,758 visits

December 2013 – 235,758 visits

December is a month that traditionally skews the figures since it contains the Christmas holiday season. I have over the last few years experienced a marked spike in traffic to my games in the two weeks that typically constitute the Christmas break. This Christmas was no different.

Although the figure of 23.6% is a reduction on the previous month for Gingerbread users, it’s still high.

As mentioned in a previous post iPad increases in strength but still falls under the category of other.

January 2014 - 255,601 visits

January 2014 – 255,601 visits

So on to this month. Obviously I’m posting this with a full day’s worth of data to collect. I imagine the total # of visits will be closer to 262,000 based on the pattern over the last 30 days.

Gingerbread’s presence is still a little ominous although less so than it might have been. 22.2% of total visits is still a reduction but a small one. Moore’s law has to kick in at some point and the public will surely all be holding a minimum of Galaxy S3 in their hands soon!

It’s thrilling to be at a quarter of a million visits per month. It’s also thrilling to see so many high end devices visiting the arcade. The purist in me really does care for the owners of those low end handsets but at some point I know I have to let go.
I’m not such a purist that I’ll invest countless hours of time and money ensuring that my games work perfectly across the board. I am after all always keen to continue producing fast paced, action packed arcade games.

 

 

List of iPad shoot em ups

I have a small collection of shoot em ups on iPad. I have to say they’re all fantastic but a couple really stand out. Phoenix and Icarus-X in particular are a real thrill to play. Don Pachi is always excellent. Not all titles are specific to iPad but all play well on the larger screen.
I’d love it if ESP RaDe and Under Defeat made it to iPad some day.
Please help me add to my list. If you know of a cracking iOS shmup let me know.

Air Attack HD
Do Don Pachi
Exexe
Icarus-x
Infinity Field
Lightning Fighter
Phoenix
Shmup
Sky Combat
Sky Force
Space Falcon
Tyrian