Are PnC adventure games on iOS and mobile platforms the future?

There are exceptions, of course. But on this case (broken sword 5) both parts aren’t free. I was speaking about free game with additional parts / chapters to unlock with in-app purchases.

That’s why I wrote, that it is not a good example. :slight_smile: The question is, how and which parts you are selling.

Can you name (or point to) an adventure game that got bad ratings?

Yesterday was an example. In fact, finally the devs broken it on two apps: one demo and the game. On the first release it was an app free with in-app purchase to unlock the rest of the game.

I wrote that, of course, there is exceptions, for example The Last Door. It has good ratings with the model of free app with unlock in-app purchase.

I really think that for a game that is not focused about in-app purchases is better launch it with a price according to mobile market.
Generally a game focused about in-app purchases start with the in-ap purchases model like the first thing in the game design phase and all the game design run around it. Designing first the game and then trying fit in-app purchases on it is a bad idea.

On the other hand, the mobile market started with a lot of indie devs with cheap prices (and here started the pricing model of the market). Then came the ads and in-app purchases monetization because the high number of launches. Then arrived big companies with big marketing budgets and they are dominating the market. Now indie devs must be very lucky to get a great success on mobile and their niche start to be (again) no free games. In fact, a lot of indie devs are backing to PC like the principal market and seeing the mobile market like a secondary market.

And I repeat, everything have exceptions.

As I am able to reconstruct the reviews it seems more that the crashes of the game are responsible for the bad ratings. :slight_smile: Anyway …

… I agree with you. And of course it would be the best, if the game was designed with in-app purchases in mind.

But if you have a PC game and if you want to make money on Android you should consider these methods. For example the split in two parts like Broken Sword 5. And Terrible Toybox is working on a DLC, so they have to implement a in-app purchase anyway.

Broken Sword 1 on Android has more than 100,000 installs.
Broken Sword 2 on the other hand 10,000 to 50,000 installs (judging from reviews it’s 25% of BS1).
Broken Sword 5: Episode 1 seems to have a little bit more installs than BS2.
Broken Sword 5: Episode 2 got about half of reviews than episode 1.
They cost about $5 each.

TWP is a fairly large game (playtime wise) and maybe should be broken up into episodes too to have fair prices.
(e.g. episode 1 would need be the whole game more or less but e.g. stops after the arrest [to have at least some “conclusion”]).
Wouldn’t be too easy do but selling the whole game for like 5 bucks… I don’t know.

1 Like

You may be using a cross-platform engine but then you still have to do all the hard work regarding differences in input (e.g. mouse, keyboard, controller, touch interface, VR) and output (e.g. resolutions [pixel count and DPI], aspect-ratio, VR).
If you are using your own engine then additionally there is stuff like graphics and audio you have to get to work properly on the target hardware.

With having many platforms you also have the burden to maintain a lot of different versions… (or not if you abandon them)
This already starts with PC-only, e.g. Win/Mac/Linux multiplied by Steam/GOG/Humble etc.
And then with those more closed platforms (consoles in general, Apple store) you have certification processes etc.

I’d prefer point’n’touch.

Do you really like to drag? Gestures are OK, but I wouldn’t like to drag e.g. an inventory item from one side of the screen to the other one (and then missing the hotspot, having to repeat the process…).

Yes, you can follow the Broken Sword approach of divide the game on two parts to divide the price too (episodic game). And also is a good approach sell the DLC concept (add-ons to full game). But that i was saying is that demo with in-app purchase to unlock the game can be dangerous for the ratings: if an user buy the game you can have good or bad ratings about the game itself, but if an user download it for free and then must pay to continue he feel frustration and write rage reviews.

On the other hand, It seems that people are more motivated to buy mobile games that are “ports” of successful PC/Console games over direct mobile games. And people are not very motivated buying PC/Console game that are “ports” of mobile games. With this, devs that are not interested on focus their designs about in-app purchases, prefer the launch on PC and later launch the game on mobile markets. It isn’t easy design a good in-app purchase model in general, and is very hard fit some game genres to this model.

1 Like

No we are not. People simply jumped to a conclusion with no evidence. The new voice we’re recording will be added to the existing game and free for everyone and done as an update, not DLC.


Woo-hoo! :thumbsup:

By the way, Mr. Gilbert, I seem to recall you mentioning in the blog after release about some new content that you would release but that may not be free. Was it access to the “arcade” room, or something like that?

I was wondering if that is still your plan.


We might do the uncensored Ransome dialog as DLC, but that is not in the works yet. The main reason we’ll do it as DLC is so there is an explicit action to get the swearing, because we’d hate for parents to suddenly find a game they tough was OK, suddenly filled with raw swearing.



No, forget it.

1 Like

Ah! Yeah, that was it. :slight_smile:

It makes sense. Thanks.

“Installs” are not “sales”. :slight_smile: But even if we assume only 50.000 copies, Broken Sword sold remarkably good.

Yes, but Broken Sword 1 was the best game in the series IMO.

Yes, but only if you won’t state clear that it is a demo. The most bad ratings in the stores are due to crashes, non working apps or wrong (or misleading) descriptions.

:reyes: You pay a lot of money for the voice recordings and then you give that content away for free?

Wow. That’s really, really great! (How can I throw more money at you? :))

But I’m curious: Why don’t you do a DLC? It seems that no one complained here in the blog and forum. You could make additional money and you would be a pioneer: The first one that implemented a DLC for an adventure. :wink:

I suppose that the vernacular definition of “DLC” (Down-Loadable Content) is that it is paid for, at least how it’s being used here? I always assumed that it is just additional content you could download beyond the main game or application, like DVD extras, screen-savers, new levels, whatever – and that it may or may not be free.

However, it seems that in the context of this and the previous thread, it means specifically “not free.” Right?

Mr. Gilbert, I’m just curious: If you don’t mind sharing, what is your view on turning a game like Thimbleweed Park into a “pay-to-play” mode, as some have suggested above, unlocking rooms or characters via paid-for DLC? In my opinion, it turns the game into something else completely because it changes the player’s motivations.

Also, (and I do not mean to offend anybody who does this, there are many motivations for doing such things), in my mind it seems as if it is a way to “milk” the franchise, by turning what should have been a single product into a “rented” service.

I know others may disagree. Personally, I do not mind paying $20.00 or more for a good iOS game or application of high quality, and I never really fell for the “everything should be free!” mentality, but I know I’m in the minority there.

Good point! You are absolutely right: “DLC” doesn’t mean necessarily that you have to pay for it. It’s just additional content. But today you have to pay in most cases for a DLC. In my posts above I meant payed DLCs. (btw: The Wikipedia article interprets even single episodes of a game as DLCs.)

I’m not Ron but as we both had discussed that above I just want to clarify: I don’t like in-app purchases either. But if there is no other working payment model on a platform and you have to earn money, the “pay-to-play” mode could be legit.

The point is “iOS”. :slight_smile: iOS users are far more willing to pay money for a game as Android users. These are two different “worlds”. Most app developers earn their money primary on iOS.

Just some thoughts on the whole matter.

  1. I installed scummVM on my android smartphone to play MI1 with the newest UI, the same as MI2 (nine verbs, inventory with drawings). The display was 4.3 inches wide. I didn’t like the experience: it was difficult to recognize objects, to use fingers in a precise way… Even if nowadays most smartphones have a display equal or wider than 5 inches, those decimals don’t make a big difference.
    Given that most smartphones have android as OS, and all the problems of this marketshare already listed, I personally don’t expect a great economic return from here.
  2. Tablets, with their wider screen, more or less from 9 to 12 inches, start to offer a good user experience for a point and click game. I played for some minutes Ace Attorney on iPad, and it was a good experience in terms of usability. For my personal experience, among tablets iPad are very widespread, and they have a marketshare of people that are used to pay for good software to install on it. Many people that I know that use Windows Pc for work, when they had to buy a tablet, they chose iOS (iPad).
  3. For what I saw, for people who aren’t regular gamers, tablet and iPad in particular represent a device for leisure, entertainment, everyday tasks, and surfing the web.

If all I wrote is somewhat supported by evidences, then iOS is the most important platform for TWP in mobile section.

Yeah but if you really liked BS1 you would buy BS2. If you then don’t like BS2 it may affect your behaviour regarding buying future installments of the series but you would have already bought BS2.