The blogs of an indie iOS game developer

GeoSpin for iOS, how did it get to here !

Hi everyone.  I’m Jason Casey, founder of Lazrhog Games.   Just to ensure you pronounce the name right,  it’s pronounced “Laser Hog”.  The name was my first ever gaming tag, and probably like everyone else, I have no recollection as to why !

Lazrhog Games started as a name for what I was doing when I first discovered the iPod Touch, and the whole Jailbreak scene.  It was Xmas 2007, and I was a frustrated games programmer, having been writing games for a hobby since I was 11 (many moons ago).  I had just got an iPod Touch and discovered the jailbreak scene.  Before long I had written a simple match-3 game that went by the name of iZoo, just to learn the ropes.  There was no SDK, there was no programming environment, it was a case of compile and run on device to see what happened.  Crazy days.  Anyway, a good friend @SkylarEC from iPodTouchFans (as it was known then) offered to host it for me, and it got downloaded some 2 Million times (probably more now).   Awesome huh.

Before long I had ported Noiz2sa, rRootage and Neverball to the jailbroken iPhone/iPod family.  At that time, TouchArcade.com was in its infancy, but being one of only a few developers writing games for the devices, they picked up my games and wrote about them, and I in turn advertised TouchArcade.com on the splash screens, giving them free advertising to what was now, Millions of players of my games.  Well TouchArcade.com grew into the most successful iOS gaming site on the Planet, and I dropped into relative obscurity when the Appstore launched (as I didn’t have a Mac).

You can see what Blake Patterson wrote way back on July 8th, 2008, here

Anyway, so the Appstore flourished, and like pretty much everyone else, I fancied a bit of the ‘Goldrush’.  So I got  Mac (eventually) and quickly adapted Neverputt, a mini golf game for the Appstore and released it.  It got to Number 4 in the overall UK charts.  However, the first review in the USA said something like “DON’T BUY THIS IT CRASHED MY IPHONE”.  Well “thanks!” to whoever lied about it in that review, it didn’t do anything of the sort, but you ruined all Neverputt’s downloads in the USA from that point on (I suspect it was another mini golf game developer).  So I never got to sell 100s of thousands of Apps that others did in those early days….. :(

Anyway, Some more Appstore games followed, free ports of Noiz2sa and rRootage, a port of my own game iZoo (now MiZoo as the name had gone) and then iPlutoid, which I am immensely proud of.  MiZoo did OK.  iPlutoid bombed.  It was the game I wanted to make, but it was the game noone wanted.  It is technically a masterpiece of quaternion mathematics, but you live and learn.

So it brings me to GeoSpin. Well, after iPlutoid crashed and bombed, I decided to write a game with more universal appeal, a puzzle game (of sorts).  Although my addition to this would be to add a more arcadey-feel.  Anyway, the development process of GeoSpin will be another post, because there is loads more to that story yet, plus I wasn’t the only developer either, as a friend of mine joined in.  Anyway, if you got this far, its time to look at the GeoSpin launch numbers….

Well, TouchArcade.com featured GeoSpin thanks to a review by the (I think) very talented Jared Nelson.  I had heard that being featured on TouchArcade, can sometimes possibly lead to a feature by Apple.  Well it happened.  GeoSpin got featured on the front page of iTunes and 7th on the list of New and Noteworthy games in 64 countries.  I was dead chuffed.  Here are the sales figures for GeoSpin…

That first spike was 200 sales off the back of the TouchArcade feature.  It then depleted down to 6 sales in the day before being featured by Apple.  It goes to show, being written about by a big website is only great if you capture the imagination of the audience and they start to write about you.  Well GeoSpin didn’t and dropped out of view very quickly.

But then the Apple feature kicked in, and GeoSpin peaked at 1381 sales in 1 Day.  Damn that made us happy.  GeoSpin has been downloaded 10291 times to date.  Which beat our stretch target we had set for the year in the first 3 weeks :)   The feature has run out now, and sales have dropped but now is the time to drive sales through enhancing the quality of GeoSpin and hopefully getting players to recommend to others.

Anyway, we are hard at work on the HD version of GeoSpin (which will be free at launch) and the next version of the iPhone GeoSpin, which is getting a whole new game bolted onto it, which would standalone as a game in its own right !

Hope you enjoyed my first blog post in a long long time…. I’ll post a bit more regularly now ;)

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