Success Story Series : Star developer – Anthony Cardinale

This week, we’re glad to present to you Anthony Cardinale, a French indie developer and Unity specialist. He has released over 30 games on the Play Store and the App Store, many of which have more than a million downloads.

Today he’s releasing his book: « Creating games with Unity from A to Z » (in French), and he’s happy to share his thoughts on mobile development and gaming here. Please welcome Anthony :)

Doll Dismount OriginsCan you tell us a bit more about yourself and how you became a game developer?

I have been passionate about video game development since I was a kid, and I’ve always wanted to create my own games. It’s not always easy to start as a developer, but thanks to my studies and new tools like Unity 3D, I’ve been able to fulfil my dream. This software gave many indie developers a chance to create multiplatform games at lower costs.

You are a Unity expert and enthusiast, how did this game engine become your favourite? 

I discovered Unity in 2008 when they released its 3rd version. This version hurt its competitors because it was delivering a truly powerful and free tool. The new versions brought even more features to the software which is, in my opinion, the best compromise of the market. The community is gigantic, there are many resources, well-written documentation, and handling it comes naturally. Unity is available to all and anyone can start developing quality games without any difficulty. I’ve never found such ease with the other engines.

AB: You’re even releasing a book about Unity game development, can you tell us a bit more about it?

I’ve always loved sharing my passion through video tutorials on miscellaneous platforms such as Youtube. In recent years, people have been training themselves with my videos, I wanted to offer a new way to learn, and writing a book seemed like an excellent alternative to video. Books offer the readers the advantage of being held while coding without having to pause a video every 30 seconds.

This book allows the reader to learn how to create games with Unity and to go even further: monetization, maintaining and updating your game… This book answers all the questions you could have when you start creating a video game with Unity.

What is your most successful game? What do the players love about it? 

I developed several games with various thematics in order to find what the players were looking for. It turns out that my most successful game is the quite violent « Doll Dismount Origins » in which the player pushes a puppet to make him fall down. He gains points relatives to the damages taken by the puppet. The game is available on Android and iOS.

How did you learn about AdBuddiz, and what is your experience with us so far? 

When you’re publishing an app, you can’t help but ask yourself: « How can I monetize my game ? ». I had the chance to discuss with a consultant from Google several times, and he told me the best way to make money with a game is to offer it for free on the stores. Indeed, 95% of the games are free. The usual way of monetizing a free game is to display ads within it, and that’s when AdBuddiz comes in. AdBuddiz is a excellent mobile ad network for several reasons:

  • The SDK is very easy to integrate.
  • The quality of the ads
  • The documentation and example APK
  • Great customer service

Thus, I chose AdBuddiz to display ads in my Android and iOS games. The revenues generated up until now are more than decent and it’s enough to talk about a small success for an indie developer.

How do you monetize your games?

I’m mostly relying on ads. I decided to stop publishing paid games because it is not the best strategy anymore (at least for indie developers or small studios). So, I display ads in my game, between two levels for example. I also tried in-app purchases in order to offer bonuses to players who like the game.

What is the game that started it all for you, and what do you think mobile development and gaming will be like in 5-10 years?

The most successful game was also the one that allowed me to discover the potential of the market: « Doll Dismount ». That game gave me the means to finance several projects afterwards.

The mobile market is evolving very quickly, and I think that in a few years it will be totally different from today. Smart watches are coming to the market, along with virtual reality devices compatible with our smartphones… And virtual reality is growing as well… What is sure is that players will always ask for more, and they need even more sensations, immersion and features.

Would you like to add anything? :) 

I hope that the indie developers community will keep growing and that my book will help people embark on creating video games with Unity. I also wish a prosperous future to AdBuddiz, which helps developers to make a living out of their passion and create even more original new games.

 

Anthony’s book « Creating games with Unity from A to Z » is for now only available in French. You can find it here: http://www.d-booker.fr/unity3d/250-concevez-vos-jeux-de-a-a-z.html

 

Top mobile ad world acronyms you should know

CPI, CPM, Fill Rates, SDK…Interstitials…#*&$!

There are acronyms that everybody is fluent in and uses every day, even in business contexts, like TBC (To be confirmed/continued), ASAP (as soon as possible), TTYL (talk to you later) and other more casual (or, useful) acronyms like OMG, LOL, BTW and TGIF. And then there are acronyms used in the mobile advertising world that confuse and make lives difficult for everybody, and the fact that new ones keep cropping up all the time just isn’t helping. 

“Since we run on a CPI basis, the CPM is just for your reference, but if you update to our latest SDK in all your freemium apps, our new algorithm will better optimize your impressions and with our high fill rates, your ROI will definitely improve.”

If you’re thinking “is this person speaking in English?” – trust me, you’re not alone. We’ve all been there. We know how painfully annoying it is to figure out what each of those acronyms really mean and that’s why we’re here to help you get through the mayhem and become fluent in mobile marketing geek speak.

Advertiser – the person or company that advertise their apps in other apps

API – Application Programming Interface. Specifies how software components should interact with each other

Campaign – details which types of ads to show over a period, budget and target market

CPC – Cost Per Click. A pricing model in which advertisers pay a certain amount each time the user clicks on their ads

CPI – Cost Per Install. A pricing model in which advertisers pay a certain amount each time their advertised app is installed (downloaded and opened the app)

CPM – Cost Per Mile. Mile ‘thousand’ in Latin. CPM is a pricing model in which advertisers pay a certain amount for every 1000 views of their ads

CTR – Click Through Rate. The percentage of people clicking on the ad. (Number of clicks on an ad divided by the impressions)

CPA – Cost Per Action. A pricing model in which advertisers pay a certain amount each time a user performs a specific action (like reach a certain level in the advertised app)

Fill Rate – how many ads are delivered compared to how many ads are requested. The higher the fill rate, the more ads that are shown

Freemium app – A freemium app is free to install and use but have locked features that require users to pay to use

F2P game – Free 2 Play game. A game that is free to install and play but offer in-app purchases for virtual goods, features and upgrades

Impression – A view or an appearance of an ad on a mobile device

Interstitial – a full-screen ad

IAP – in-app purchases

Non-incentivised traffic – no reward given to the user for clicking on the ad or installing the advertised app

Publisher – developer who shows ads within their apps

SDK – Software Development Kit. A piece of code that permits developers to smoothly integrate ads into their app

OK, now that you’re fluent in mobile marketing geek speak, you’re ready to venture into the exhilarating and highly rewarding world of mobile advertising!

Success Story Series: Star developer – DAF

DAF is a team of two indie developers from Málaga, Spain who are having great success in the mobile game industry – doing what they love. David creates the games and Pablo creates the music.

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We are happy to feature DAF in this weeks’ Success Story Series.

1. David, can you tell us briefly about your background? How did you become an indie developer?

Years ago I used to program simple games on my PC, but my only audience was my brother and some friends. I had long been disconnected from the computer world, but then my first smartphone landed in my hands. I decided to start app development to entertain myself and earn extra income on the side (the economic crisis in Spain was at its worst). Although I did expect to eventually make a living out of it, to tell you the truth, I did not expect such success in such a short time. It was a real surprise.

2. What is your most successful game? What is its concept in a nutshell?

It is called Archanoid DEMOLITION. It’s just a clone of the classic arcade game Arkanoid, in which bricks are destroyed by bouncing a ball on a racquet.

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3. Your games have a simple yet addictive gameplay. What are your tips for creating successful mobile games? 

Although it may sound cheesy, I believe that a game can only be successful if you create it with affection. In the case of Archanoid, I had tried many clones in the Play Store, but none of them corresponded to my idea of what Arkanoid should be like, so I decided to create my own game.

How to make a game that is addictive? I guess by creating a desire in the player to surpass himself; to beat his own records or achieve certain levels and have fun while doing it.

4. Creating a game is one thing, but how do you get many people to install it? What are your promotion methods?   

I placed links to my game on a few Facebook pages of Android magazines, but I didn’t really notice an increase in the number of downloads. In my case, what really seems to have worked is word-of-mouth.

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5. Why did you choose AdBuddiz?

One day I received an email from you, inviting me to try the service. I liked how you operated and have been with you ever since.

6. What has your experience been using AdBuddiz? 

Very good. AdBuddiz ads have beautiful graphics and a very elegant design, which makes them very pleasant for the user, not annoying at all. In addition, out of the three advertising companies that I use, AdBuddiz generates the most revenue for me – twice as much as the other two.

7. What would you change about AdBuddiz?

Lately the portal has been greatly improved, we can now visualize the number of clicks and installs. Perhaps adding even more statistics would be nice.

8. Do you use any other monetizing methods apart from advertising? What combination works the best for you? 

Currently I only monetize through advertising.

9. What are your inspirations when creating a game? Where do you get your ideas from? 

The inspiration usually comes from the most unexpected places. An old comic you’re rediscovering, a film… And of course the classics, the wonderful games from arcades. The 80s is an endless source of inspiration.

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10. Do you have enough time to play yourself? What are your favorite games? 

Not much, but of course I play the odd game. I have ‘Hill Climb Racing’ and ‘Final Freeway 2’ installed in my mobile devices. On PC, I sometimes relax doing a virtual flight with Microsoft Flight Simulator X. But since you’re asking for my favorite games, I have to mention a very, very old game that gave me many hours of fun, and made me interested in how video games are made: ‘Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark’ – from the great Atari VCR console.

11. What changes in the mobile ad market do you anticipate from here until 2016? 

It is difficult to predict, but I guess more and more companies of all kinds will be created around mobile applications, not only IT companies. Perhaps in the future there won’t be much difference between the ads on apps and the ones we see on television today.

12. Where do you see DAF in 5 years’ time? 

My dream is to start a business together with some friends, but under a different name. I would like DAF to always keep the indie spirit it has now. In the near future, I would like to enter the world of Apple – at the moment I’m dedicated to Android only.