Founder and Editor in Chief with the 148Apps Network since July 16, 2008
Hi there, I'm the founder and publisher of this site, the best gosh-darn iPhone site this side of Mars. My team and I do our very best to bring you the best reviews and iPhone news every day. If you think there's something we've missed, let me know.
Now that Real Racing 3 is out, we are going to give you some tips to get the best times and have the most fun with Real Racing 3. All of that with an eye toward how you can minimize any real money investment in the game.
Real Racing is the most beautiful racer on any mobile platform, and it’s free, so there is no reason not to try it. I’ve played Real Racing 3 for around 30 hours total now, let me give some tips on how to get the farthest possible in the shortest amount of time and without paying a thing.
Manual brakes = faster times. The main tip I can give is one that I still haven’t mastered completely myself, turn the braking assist to low or even better off. Of the three assists in the game it makes the most difference in your racing times/speed. When the computer does all of the braking for you, it does so very conservatively. If you can at least turn braking to low, it will greatly decrease your times. One thing to remember, you can change this in-race, at any time. Hit the pause button and you can then get to the settings in the lower left of the screen. (See more dirty tricks below)
Get inside, quickly! You start in last place in every single race. Seems unfair, but get used to it. You can usually jump up at least half way up the standings in the first couple turns with smart maneuvering. The key here is to not follow the car in front of you. If you do that you can only go as fast as they are going, and the car in front of them, etc. Pick your own path, preferably on the inside of the turn, and zoom past the other cars as they all line up and then slow down when the car in front of them does. It’s best to not follow another car at any other time if at all possible, you get no advantage from drafting and will be more likely that you will need to slow down to avoid hitting the car you are following.
Build your stable of cars, smartly. You will need a single car that is one of the 3-4 for each circuit to race in that circuit. But you will need all of the cars in the circuit to complete it 100% as there will be races that require each car in the circuit. You should also note that most cars you purchase will be able to race in more than one circuit — just check out the list on the main page to see the circuits you have access to.
Posted by Jeff Scott on February 27th, 2013 + Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
The hotly anticipated free to play game Real Racing 3 is finally available in the US App Store. Grab it now and hit the tracks! Check out our Review of Real Racing 3 while you download this social racer.
In an awards celebration in beautiful Barcelona earlier today, the winners of the 5th Annual Best App Ever Awards were announced. It has been an amazing year for apps and an amazing year for the Best App Ever Awards. Receiving over five million votes, the awards this year reached a new pinnacle.
Chillingo founders Joe Wee and Chris Byatte accept the award for Most Innovative Game for The Act. (photo credit Jonathan Morris)
Today we are proud to announce the winners for awards covering both iOS apps and games. Over five million votes were received in the five weeks of voting. Without further ado, here are the winners.
GDC in San Francisco is the main event for everyone in the mobile games industry. It kicks off in San Francisco on March 25th and we’re happy to be there for our 5th GDC. In the time since my first GDC things have changed from people saying “there are games for iPhone?” to “we’re going mobile-first.” It’s been an amazing transformation.
Party with the mobile folks.
148Apps will also be co-hosting the Pocket Gamer party on Monday night, the first night of GDC. All are welcome and there’s even an open bar. Sign-up for the party now and we hope to see you there (don’t forget your 2×2 app icon stickers).
Indie Mobile Speed Pitching Session
In partnership with eight other awesome mobile sites, we are also trying something a little new this year. In an effort to make sure we save time for the small indie mobile game developers, we are co-hosting a speed pitch event. The idea is similar to a speed dating event where there are a group of tables set up and the prospects go from table to table. In a speed-pitch event, developers go in sequence pitching their games to mobile game writers. If you are interested, you can get more info and sign-up at the Eventbrite page. We are co-hosting this with all of the biggest mobile sites out there and there’s no cost, we’re just looking forward to seeing a bunch of your great games.
And meet with us one-on-one
If you’d like to schedule a one-on-one meeting with us, send us an email at gdc at 148apps.com. Please include your full contact info and a bit of info about your company and games. Also include what days and times are best for you to meet.
I’ll be there along with Rob and Carter to cover all that GDC has to offer.
Here’s a quick rundown on how earning in-game money in Real Racing 3 relates to real dollars and time and what it would take to finish the game. What we found is rather shocking, doubly so if compared to current day console racing games.
Before we get to the details, we should note that these numbers are current at the time of writing. But like most free to play games the in-app purchase prices, timers, and values can change at any time the developer wishes. In the two weeks I’ve been playing, changes have already happened twice. So, the numbers reported could be different than they are when this is read.
In Real Racing 3, to get to 100% a player needs to win every one of the 961 current events. As there are races restricted to each one of the 46 cars in the game, to enter those races the related car must be owned. So to get to 100% in Real Racing 3 players must buy every car and win every race. What will it take to do that?
Also take note that like many free to play games, Real Racing 3 is tuned to allow players to earn everything without paying. But a player really has to want to put the time in to earn it. The developer doesn’t charge anything for the game with the hope that players will spend some money in the game to speed up their progress.
To earn enough money to buy every car in Real Racing 3, what would it take? Our numbers show that it would take over 472 hours to earn enough money to buy all of the cars in the game. Or to purchase all of the cars with real money via in-app purchase, it would cost $503.22 at the current best rate.
To earn all of the cars in the game rather that buy them with real money, a player would need to finish 6,801 races with an average (per our RR3 stats) of 4:10 per race earning R$3,700 per race. That would equal 472 hours to earn the R$25,163,573 it would cost in the in-game currency to buy all 46 cars. That does not include the cost for repairs, maintenance, or upgrades which can be rather expensive.
If a player wanted to take the shortcut and buy all of the cars in the game with real money, that would cost $503.22 in in-app purchases. That’s assuming the current best rate of R$50,005 per US$1 when buying R$5,000,000 at a time.
Let’s compare the cost for Real Racing 3 to modern day console games, what could be purchased for that $503.22. For one example, a player could get a 4GB XBox 360, Forza Horizon (one of the newest racing sims on the 360), all of it’s DLC including over 127 cars, and a 22″ Vizio flatscreen LED TV. And still have $17.22 left over.
I think I can safely say that the way that the cars and the in-app currency are currently structured in Real Racing 3 right now seems a bit out of whack. It seems extreme to think that players have the choice of playing for well over 400 hours or paying over $500 to unlock everything to complete the game. Or most likely, some combination of the two.
And these numbers are not counting any of the promised expansions that will deliver new events and new cars. Those will increase the time and money required to get to 100% complete.
Nor are these numbers including upgrades that could be required to win races. It is very unlikely that any player can win all races without upgrading at least one car in each series. And those upgrades can get pricey as fully upgrading a car can cost more than the base cost of a car. So while on paper it could take 472 hours to earn enough in game currency to buy all of the cars. In practice that number could be as much as doubled to pay for upgrades that would be required to win each race.
Free to play games are tuned to balance the fun a player has vs. the developers need to get earn money to pay for the game development via in-app purchases, that’s just the way free to play works. I’m not going to say it’s wrong, but it at times like this it just doesn’t feel quite right.
For players that feel the need to get to 100% in games, take caution with Real Racing 3. It will take a lot of time, or money to make it to 100%.
Posted by Jeff Scott on February 24th, 2013 iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad
I find PDF Expert to be really useful. It’s great for organizing, editing, and even digitally signing of documents. The iPhone version is available for free for the next few hours and is normally $9.99. Grab it!
Posted by Jeff Scott on February 23rd, 2013 + Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Very odd for a release time, but Speed Kills has been released today. It’s a great looking combat racer built with the Unreal Engine. It reminds me a lot of Death Rally, let’s hope it’s as good as that. It’s free, download it now and give it a try. Let us know what you think.
Sonos today released an update to their apps that allows you to save global favorites, called Sonos Favorites from all of their music services in one convenient list. For instance you can save a playlist from Spotify, a favorite radio station from the streaming radio, a favorite station from Sirius XM. And each of them will appear in your Sonos Favorites where you have two touch access to them. Much better than diving three to four levels deep looking for your favorite sources.
Sonos also announced a new awesome speaker. The Sonos Playbar. Meant to be a speaker bar that sits under your large screen TV, the Playbar has all of the usual features of a Sonos speaker meaning that you can play “all the music in the world” on it. It also has optical connection to hook directly to your TV. The Playbar will be $699 and available in just a couple weeks. You can preorder it at the Sonos site. Here are the key features, direct from Sonos:
• HiFi Sound for your TV: PLAYBAR’s powerful nine-driver array and unique acoustic software deliver immersive audio for movies and games, huge waves of live concert sound and wirelessly streams all the music on earth. PLAYBAR includes six mid-woofers for deep, rich low frequency sounds and three tweeters for crystal clear high-frequency sounds.
• Play all the music on earth with this complete wireless HiFi system: Whether you’re watching your favorite movie, catching up the latest TV series, gaming with your friends or having a full-on house party, PLAYBAR provides the perfect HiFi accompaniment. Easily access popular music streaming services such as Spotify, Pandora and Rhapsody, your favorite Internet radio stations and your personal music library through the free Sonos controller apps. And, PLAYBAR can be used as a standalone all-in-one player or added to your Sonos system, expanding your listening experience throughout the home.
• Home Theater made simple: To set up PLAYBAR, all you have to do is connect an optical audio cable to your TV and apply power. You can place it in front of your TV or mount on the wall and PLAYBAR’s built-in sensors will automatically orient the audio channels and adjust the EQs for the perfect sound. When you add a SUB or two PLAY:3s, you can get a full 5.1 experience without the need for messy wiring or complex audio set-up. Control the volume with your existing TV remote or via one of the free Sonos Controllers for Android, iOS, PC or Mac.
Tim Cook is being interviewed today at the Goldman Sachs event in San Francisco. Fortune has the details, live blogged by Philip Elmer-Dewitt. One of the things Mr. Cook mentioned is that Apple has now paid out over $8 Billion to app developers. A staggering number considering Apple had announced $7 Billion paid to developers just a little over a month ago.
Mr. Cook also had a non-denial of the possibility of a cheaper iPhone, and larger screens for iPhones, he stated that Apple will “never create a crappy product.”
I feel lucky that I got a lot of time to play Real Racing 3. With well over an hour of playtime with Firemonkeys community manager Sam Mayo walking me through the game, I think I got a fairly good feel for Real Racing 3. That time with the game has just made my anticipation for the release greater.
I also got the opportunity to record a ton of video. Of the cars, some of the tracks and race types, the repair system, and more.
Wonder what the 46 cars are in Real Racing and wanted to see them? This video is for you. Here’s a parade of all 46 cars where you can see their specs at the bottom of the screen.
A special note here. Some of the cars don’t look perfect. The reason for that is the damage system in the game. If you damage the car while racing, that damage is persistent, much like it would be in real life. Your car will be represented as damaged anywhere in the game you see it. You can still race it, upgrade it, paint it, etc. But it will remain damaged, with it’s performance reduced, until you spend the in game currency to repair it and wait the time it takes.
Now, back to that video.
Customize and Upgrades in Real Racing 3
Like most racing games, Real Racing 3 has upgrade and customization options. For Real Racing 3 you can make a variety of tiered upgrades to the Engine, Drivetrain, Suspension, Brakes, and the Wheels. Under each section there are from two to four tiered upgrades you can do. Meaning that you need tier 1 to apply tier 2, and so on. Each of these upgrades applied to a single car and has the possibility to increase the top speed, acceleration, braking, or traction of the vehicle. Each one should decrease your lap times by some amount.
Mount Panorama Track – Time Trial in Real Racing 3
Mount Panorama is aptly named. You race up this steep track on a mountain that never seems to end, crest the top to a beautiful panorama, and plunge right back down the other side. Awesomely rendered vistas, but better keep your eye on the road. I did make more than a few mistakes on this time trial / Autocross race while looking around the beautifully rendered track.
Head to Head – Circuit de Spa-Francordchamps in Real Racing 3
We also did a head to head race on the long and very fast Circuit de Spa, or just Spa. It’s a great track and racer “drollted” provided a worthy challenge, until he made a mistake near the end of the first lap. It was bye bye from then on out as he had to take second place and I got the win!
Full 22 Car Race on Southbank, Melbourne in Real Racing 3
Real Racing 2 was amazing with up to 16 cars in a single race. Real Racing 3 has bumped that up to 22 cars. In this Southbank race you’ll see all 22 cars squeeze through a very narrow course. Southbank is the course through the streets of Melbourne. It’s a track that doesn’t exist and was just a fun experiment by the Firemonkeys team to add a brand new course. And a challenging one at that! This race gets a little dirty with lots of bumping and wall grinding in the narrow turns. I couldn’t pull out a win on this one. It was my first drive on the track and I made too many mistakes. Those walls just jump right out at you! The best I could do was to climb from 22nd to a disappointing 6th. Even dirty driving can’t win every time.
That’s all we have right now. You can tell from all of the coverage we’ve been giving Real Racing 3 that we are anxiously awaiting it. Real Racing 3 comes out as a Universal build on iOS on February 28th. It also realeases for Android at the same time.
Note that this is a preview of Real Racing 3, not a review. We can never review an app when it’s presented by people related to the app. The reason is that we have no idea how the game is tuned for that demo. We need to reserve judgement for the final release of the game, downloaded from the App Store, and set up just like it is for everyone else.
We got a chance to grab some quality hands on time with Real Racing 3 today. We got about thirty minutes of video we’ll be posting over the coming days. The game, much as we expected, it’s pretty amazing! It looks great, it plays great, and our concerns about the free to play model were somewhat assuaged.
We’ll have more on the free to play model once we get more time with it. But you can at least rest assured it’s not super intrusive. It exists pretty much as we guessed last week, but with less friction and fewer pay walls than I anticipated.
The free to play energy system in Real Racing 3 works like this. You earn cash when racing. When you race, and damage your car, you have to pay for those repairs. The better you are, the less damage you do to your car. To fix you car, you have to use the cash you earn. You also have to pay for upgrades and new cars. While the damage to your car does affect the power of it, you can chose to not repair it and keep racing.
Also, typical to most free to play games there are two currencies included. Dollars and gold coins. Dollars pay for repairs, upgrades, etc., the gold coins speed things up, reducing your wait time.
Repairs and upgrades take time to complete. How long depends on how much damage or how big of an upgrade it is. You can speed them up by using gold coins. You only earn gold coins by leveling up in the game or by buying them with real money via in-app purchase.
All in all, not that intrusive for free to play games. But I can’t totally give it a pass as the device I was playing on had millions in cash and thousands of gold coins. That doesn’t give me a good feel for how fast you earn money or how fast you are forced to spend it. We’ll have more when we get a chance to try it on our devices.
Here’s a quick demo of Real Racing 3, featuring the first full race seen anywhere. We’ll have more videos coming soon with more on the cars in the game, the repair and upgrade system, and more. But first, here’s 4:26 of Real Racing 3 bliss.
Real Racing 3 launches as a Universal app on February 28th. We hope to have a promo code soon so we can start setting some hot laps. When we get one, we’ll have more in-depth info.
We reported last week why we thought Real Racing 3 would be free to play. Today Bloomberg has gotten confirmation from Nick Earl, SVP for Mobile and Social at EA that RR3 will indeed be free to play when released on the 28th.
The exact implications of this and how being free to play will impact gameplay are the real questions now. We’re hopefully getting hands on with Real Racing 3 in just three short hours. Hopefully we will know soon and be able to tell you as soon as the embargo is up. We’ll keep our fingers crossed.
What do you think, how will being free to play impact this franchise?
Well the good news is that it’s finally officially got a release date via an email we got directly from EA. And that date is just over two weeks away. Thursday, February 28th is the day. Schedule your PTO time accordingly.
Posted by Jeff Scott on February 11th, 2013 + Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
The Walking Dead season three continued last night on AMC with the premier of the second half of the season. It was a pretty intense episode, much like just about every episode this season. To celebrate the return of the TV series, grab the great iOS games for the series as both are on sale.
Posted by Jeff Scott on February 7th, 2013 iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad
Seesaw is a new type of social network app. It lets you pose a question to your friends and get their opinion back. For instance, should I order an IPA or a Double IPA? Or should I go to Hawaii or Cancun? You can use it for serious questions, or just for fun. Asking “does this dress make my butt look big?” is not suggested though. You might get the truth.
Posted by Jeff Scott on February 7th, 2013 iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad
Zeptolab has released an update to the favorite Cut the Rope that includes a new series of levels called the Lantern Box. These new levels, demoed below, have been released to celebrate the upcoming Chinese New Year. It’s nice to see a game like this still getting updated.
Posted by Jeff Scott on February 7th, 2013 + Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
The Act has been on my list of most innovative games since the first time I saw it. It’s unique hand animated look and time slide mechanic make it stand out. Now you can give it a try for free with The Act: Arcade. This lets you try the first scene for free with the others available for a one time in-app purchase of $0.99.
Sister site Pocket Gamer editor Richard Brown discovered that Real Racing 3 is showing up in Game Center. The good news is that means it’s been approved by Apple and it can’t be long before the release now. While it’s not out yet, this does bring up something interesting. Something I noticed in the Game Center achievements lends a little to the accuracy of rumors and theories I’ve been hearing that Real Racing 3 will be released as a free to play game.
Last week we took you through a three part series about the history of the App Store icon, Real Racing. Rob Rich covered the history and design of the first two games in the series. He also covered time-shifted multiplayer and other new features expected in Real Racing 3. An excellent series and well worth a read. One thing we didn’t cover is how the game will be monetized as it has yet to be announced. That monetization method is likely to have huge implications on how the game is received by the fans of the series.
In the past few months, monetization of games has made a huge shift. With the exception of Minecraft Pocket, the only games to spend any time high up on the top grossing list have been free to play games. It’s obvious where the money is. Real Racing 3, with a budget likely to eclipse the reported $2 million budget of Real Racing 2, may have to be free to play to have the potential of making a profit. Let’s take a look at the evidence.
For one, Firemint / Firemonkeys have already tested the free to play world with mixed results. The follow-up to their first smash hit Flight Control, called Flight Control Rocket was initially released as $0.99 paid download. The game was tweaked to drive higher in-app monetization and made free to play. There was a bit of a backlash though as many of the in-app purchases were considered “pay to win” items. Something that really ruins the competitive aspect of games. Flight Control Rocket was never a huge hit and it’s thought to have lost money.
A similar thing happened with another Firemint / Firemonkeys game, Spy Mouse. Initially released as a $0.99 puzzle game, it was tweaked with in-app purchase items included and made free. It is rumored that this change was much more successful for Spy Mouse in generating revenue. So we know that Firemint / Firemonkeys have their tests in free to play. They also see how much money is being made in free to play, it’s logical that they would move that way. Nearly the whole industry is heading that way.
Today the Real Racing 3 Game Center achievements are discovered, thanks to the carelessness of an EA employee. To my eye they verify that Real Racing 3 will be free to play. Two achievements in particular, “Extreme Paintover – apply 100 paint jobs” and “Wrenching Experience – conduct 5,000 repairs” point in that direction as they both seem excessive for a standard paid release.
Free to play games usually have what is called an energy system. This is the pay/play wall you hit when you have played a certain amount without paying anything. The energy system can be thought of as your allotted playtime. The energy / playtime decreases as you play and rebuilds as you wait. The “Wrenching Experience” achievement listed above to me indicates that cars will need to be repaired after racing, effectively refilling your energy to race again. The reason I think that is that 5,000 repairs is a huge number unless repairing the car is a necessary condition to racing. And why would that be a necessary condition of racing if it wasn’t a free to play energy system?
Free to play can be done right, even in racing games, so I’m holding out hope for Real Racing 3, should it turn out to be free to play. I have faith in Firemonkeys that they will not ruin my most favorite francise on iOS. When the game play is put first, and the monetization is optional, the game could shine as free to play. But when an overly aggressive energy system interrupts gameplay and forces plays to pay up or wait, it really saps the excitement from the game. I’m hoping for the former, obviously.
I can also hope for a single in-app purchase to just unlock everything and get rid of any play limits, energy systems, or similar. That would be the best of both worlds. But I doubt we’ll see that.
For Real Racing to succeed with both free to play and core racing gamers, it needs to carefully ride that thin line between pay walls and allowing players to just play. It’s a tough line to ride. And if there’s even a hint of pay to win, it will in my opinion, kill the game with all but the most casual gamers. Something like that would lead to a huge backlash from the hundreds of thousands of devoted players that love the Real Racing series, like me.
We’ll find out next week. EA is hosting an event in San Francisco which will be the first event to let journalists get hands on with Real Racing 3. It should be evident there what the plan is for monetization of Real Racing 3. Oh yeah, and I finally get to play Real Racing 3!
Posted by Jeff Scott on February 6th, 2013 iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad
BBC has released an iPhone app specifically targeted to the UK sports lover. In other words, Football fans. In my quick look it’s well done, and generally snappy version of their mobile site. Though it does seem to lack features that you would expect like the ability to add favorite teams. (or favourite teams if you prefer)
Those of us who focus on mobile and mobile games probably haven’t heard much about Paradox Interactive, a hard-core PC game company from Sweden. They make some of the most loved PC games in the strategy and RPG genres and have been around for 14 years. They have decided to take a polar bear plunge into the icy waters of mobile games in 2013 and have introduced a couple promising looking titles for the iPad.
First up is Magicka – Wizards of the Square Tablet. This lightweight, and lighthearted RPG arcade game is a genre-bender, and that many times works well on mobile. Magicka is a one to four player game where each player is a wizard in a series of co-op quests. While the game has some free-to-play type elements in it, like gathering coins and buying upgrades, currently they don’t plan on releasing it as free to play. The plan is to release it this spring as a straight pay to download title.
We mentioned that Magicka is rather lighthearted. This comes from the fast paced, quick spell slinging nature of the game. With four players and a number of enemies on the screen, and sometimes a huge boss, it leads invariably to misdirected spells. So, basically, it’s easy to kill other wizards. But, it’s also easy to revive them. This is where the fun comes in with players screaming at each other to bring them back to life and, perhaps, “accidentally” killing the yellow wizard, repeatedly. I may have experience with that as I played the yellow wizard.
Magicka is a true cross-platform iOS and Android title where players can play on either device in the same realtime multiplayer game. Local multiplayer is currently supported, with internet multiplayer to be included if the response time is satisfactory. Magicka should be released in the spring. We hope to get our hands on a beta build and have a more in-depth look at Magicka soon.
Next up is a bit more of a hard-core title, Leviathan: Warships. Warships is a futuristic navy battle, turn based multiplayer game where you outfit your navy and go into battle at sea. It’s an asynchronous turn-based multiplayer game where you can have multiple games going at the same time. Something we’ve repeatedly seen works very well on mobile platforms.
While this game is much more of a core gamer strategy title, it can also be played in more of a quick arcade manor. The depth is there if you want to get into it. You can get deep into the strategy of how you move, how you utilize your different ship types properly, and how you outfit your armaments. It can be strategized to the point that it’s a chess-like game of planning, attack, and defense. Or you can just charge in, missiles firing, and try to surprise your opponent. Either way, it will be hard not to have fun with this game.
Leviathan: Warships will also support single player games and allow you to mix and match a number of single and multiplayer games going on at the same time. Take a look at the announcement trailer below for an idea of the gameplay. While no iPad specific screens are shown, the plan is to make gameplay is as close to this as they can possibly make it.
In my short time with this game, I was really impressed by it. I look forward to getting a preview build of this as well so I can really spend some time with it playing the different modes and testing out the best strategies. Look for a more in-depth preview of Leviathan: Warships soon.
Disclosure notice: Paradox Interactive paid the majority of the cost to bring me and a bunch of other journalists in to see these games. These preview opportunities in no way influences our decision on what apps and games we cover. We only cover things that we think you, our reader, would be interested in.
Chillingo in partnership with Samsung have announced their plans to develop a new indie-focused game developer portal, 100% Indie. While on the surface the message is to create a resource to inspire game developers to create great games, the end goal is to promote Android game submissions for the Samsung Apps market.
Chillingo co-founders Chris Byatte and Joe Wee are spearheading the new initiative to inspire mobile game developers which they have declared is Chillingo’s “next big thing.” The 100% Indie program will be a website dedicated to bringing inspirational and informative articles to experienced and new game developers alike. Content for the 100% Indie site will come from more than just game developers though with filmmakers, musicians, and other creative types expected to contribute to the site to create a library of content all focused on helping developers make better games.
The end goal with the website is to draw the interest of developers by providing them with inspirational materials while hopefully persuading them to submit Android games to the Samsung Apps market. Fairly aggressive revenue share has been announced that ramps up, in tiers, to the industry standard 70% two years after launch of the program.
“Developers will receive 100% revenue from March 4, 2013 – September 3, 2013, 90% revenue share from September 4, 2013 – March 3, 2014, 80% revenue share from March 4, 2014 – March 3, 2015, and after March 4, 2015 on Samsung Apps, developers will begin receiving the industry-standard 70% revenue share.”
Developer submitting games to the Samsung Apps market through the 100% Indie program won’t need to be exclusive. Those same games can be released on there other Android app markets as well. It should also be noted that games submitted through this program will not go through the normal process Chillingo follows to help fine-tune the game. Chillingo will be doing just “light curation” to the games submitted in the program.
It must be pointed out that Chillingo isn’t very well known for their Android support. Until the past quarter they had just dipped a cautious toe into the Android pool. But Chillingo still feels that they are in a perfect position to build the Samsung Apps catalog with games. “[Chillingo has] great relationships with great developers. Lots of our developers are cross-platform and have experience in Android” notes Mr. Byatte.
Posted by Jeff Scott on February 5th, 2013 iPad Only App - Designed for iPad
Paper fan Bas van den Broek has created a creative commons licensed PDF with 54 pages of hints and tips on using Paper. Most of the pages of his Cheat Sheets PDF have to do with blending and coloring of drawings, there’s plenty to learn here for any fan of the iPad app Paper. Grab the PDF at Bas’ site, here.
Posted by Jeff Scott on January 31st, 2013 iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad
It came a little late, but the Best App Ever voting app has been released. While voting on the Best App Ever Awards ends on the site at midnight Pacific tonight, it will be open in the app through February 6th. That’s right, if you submit votes through the app you’ll have nearly an extra week of voting.
Posted by Jeff Scott on January 31st, 2013 iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad
Netbot and Netbot for iPad have gone free. While App.net has failed to take over the world, yet, if you are interested in this alternative to Twitter, you’ll be hard pressed to find a better client to use with it.
We’ve had way better than expected response to the Best App Ever Awards this year. We thank you all for your votes. If you haven’t gotten all of your votes in, you have just a couple more days to do so.
Voting is open through midnight Pacific time on Thursday, January 31st!
Kevin Dent is the newly announced COO of P4RC. A company that you may not of heard of, yet. But if our conversation below with Kevin is any indication, P4RC may just be about to crack a nut no one else has been able to thus far.
148Apps: Kevin, tell us a little about yourself and your background in games.
Kevin Dent: I started my gaming career making mobile games in Dublin, Ireland in 1998 by conning my boss. I was group head of sales at the time and I had a budget to hire 13 additional sales people and instead I hired 3 sales people and 15 developers –I actually forced them to wear suits, they loved that; no really- one day my CEO came in and said “have you ever heard of mobile games?”, he showed me one of my games and I knew I was caught, so I confessed. Yeah, so he had no clue and I basically “outted” myself.
He asked were the games making money, I said “about 2M pounds –old Irish currency- per month”, he called me a bunch of names, calmed down and said “ok fuck it, keep doing it”. I was ecstatic. The company was sold soon after that and as I was an early employee I did pretty great out of it. So I moved to Slovenia, started a studio, sold it, started another, folded it, started another and sold it.
At that point, I joined Hands-On Mobile.
I was kind of scarred from that experience, I had signed a golden handcuff contract; so I could not leave until I was with the firm for 365 days. Wada San the President of Square Enix reached out to me and asked if I would be interested in making a Final Fantasy game on feature phones –there was no iPhone back then- I said that I need to clear it, but I gave him a soft “yes”. Can you imagine? I went into my bosses office and said “Mr X, I have been offered Final Fantasy and it is a great deal, lets do this.” The response was “GREAT, is that a video game?”, I resisted the urge to face slam the guy into his desk.
148Apps: Before this, you lived the sweet life of an indie. Why chain yourself to a single company?
Kevin Dent: So all this basically happened because of a kid I had been working to help. It was a surreal experience, he had a golf ball size tumor removed from his head and he just about broke my heart. He will have chemotherapy from now until the end of the year. All I could think of was unless I am creating something huge that benefits both my peers and gamers, I would not be about to do sometime huge.
To be clear, games are never huge; it is the community that back them that are huge. So I went through this period of self-inspection to figure out how I could actually do something great for everyone with an amazing team. I spent a lot of nights doing crunch and one night I just did an emotional crunch and figured out if I was ever going to be able to realize my full potential I had to close my business, jump off a cliff and hope gamers and devs catch me.
Unfortunately I am not really that skilled in anything other than making games, I am definitely not smart enough to be a doctor, a civil rights lawyer or anything important in the world of philanthropy.
Then the next day a guy called me and suggested that I close my business and join his firm –which was P4RC- I loved the solution, I did not actually think I would like it at first, but I got into it in a big way. I was making a ton of money and more than one friend told me that I was the dumbest smart guy that they knew –I am not that smart- but I did it anyway. Funny side note, my accountant moved my business to his colleague and refused to talk to me after I closed my business.
I have always been a “right time and right moment” sort of guy, so I just decided to go for it. I am happy that I did.
148Apps: Ok, so then P4RC (pronounced “park”) had the goods to pull you in, what exactly what does P4RC do?
Kevin Dent: So right now gamers on mobile can engage in different rewards platforms, most of these firms reward gamers for having “moments” I am not making this up. Once you hit that “moment” you get a bag of Pop Chips etc. Now I am sure there are people that enjoy Popchips! P4RC is different in that we go in altogether different direction. We created a platform where gamers accumulate points regardless of whether they have their “moment” or not. With those points they can spend them on whatever they want, we are empowering the rewards business.
They are your points, it’s your choice and they are your rewards.
Also we do not cap the points so you can go big, medium or small; they are your points.
148Apps: So users gather points by playing games and redeem them for real world prizes. We’ve seen things similar in the past, but none have really gained a foothold. What does P4RC have that others don’t, and will that make it successful?
Kevin Dent: Similar yes, but there is always a catch, a deadline or an expiration in terms of the points. Not so with P4RC, your points accumulate so if you don’t like what is in the store, you don’t have to settle. This is key for me personally as I don’t want gamers to settle, as a game developer myself, I never want gamers to have to settle ever. The data supports this argument, we currently have 1.7M users who are racking up points, we are giving away mid five figures in prizes weekly. We have investors, it is their money so hey that makes me pretty happy. We want to give away 100X that figure daily.
The second thing we have is that we have all made games at some point, personally I have made a little over 300 titles on various platforms; some were well received and others not so much –hello Ironman on feature phones- my point is, is that we are uniquely positioned to know what developers and gamers like. We have lived the nightmare that is crunch, we have lived the horror show that is looking at your game and thinking to yourself “wow this is a total piece of crap”. Perspective is incredibly important. Since we came out of private beta we have signed up 65 games and we will be announcing those as they go live if the developer wants us to and this leads me nicely into my final point, every other rewards program seems to be want to be the star. It is a fool’s errand, I want the in game experience to be the star. With P4RC you do not even have to leave the game and even when you finish playing there is nothing to do, you bank your points without doing anything.
Signup is easy, I was at a bus stop the other day and I paid an old guy $10 to sign up to P4RC just so I could witness someone go through the process. It took him 37 seconds.
Apps World is coming to San Francisco in just a couple weeks. They are offering free developer passes giving access to a select set of workshop tracks for free. You can grab one here.
148Apps is a media sponsor of Apps World and will be there to see the latest from the app development community. If you’d like to meet up, please contact Jeff Scott on Skype at beergeek.
Full details on Apps World below.
Apps World – Discover the future of multi-platform apps.
Apps World will be returning to North America in 2013 for two days of engagement and high level insight and discussion around one of the largest growing industries – mobile apps. Apps World North America will be taking place in the tech capital of the world San Francisco on February 7th-8th 2013 at the Moscone Center. We’re expecting over 5000 developers, mobile marketers, mobile operators, device manufacturers, platform owners and industry professionals for nice different targeted workshop tracks, speed meeting, 1-1 meetings, parties, tackling a spectrum of issues across the app ecosystem.
Register for your paid workshop pass, gaining access to all workshops & networking platforms. Use discount code APPFRIEND20 for 20% discount (discount applied on early bird rate, which expires 14th Dec)
Rovio’s next game could be a third party title called Tiny Thief. From a small developer in Barcelona, 5 Ants, Tiny Thief was shown off at GDC last year. The game involves you as the thief creating diversions, setting traps, and avoiding obstacles to get to the goal on each level.
The appeal for Rovio is obvious. Looking at the video below, it shows the same strong character development and cute overall design as an in-house Rovio title. It will fit in well with the Rovio portfolio.
Tiny Thief is the first know third party title for Rovio. Rovio’s involvement was confirmed by an investor of 5 Ants at Mobile Games Forum in London. Release of Tiny Thief is expected on the iPad and iPhone in the spring.
Third party publishing is something we’ve heard rumors of Rovio considering entering into for a while and it makes business sense. With well over a billion installs of Angry Birds, that makes a formidable cross promotion catalog.
Evernote now comes with reminders to ensure that you never forget an important note. You can pin a note to the top of the list and add a due date to receive in-app and email notifications. It will also mark a note as done when you complete your task. Now we shall never forget to [...]