Tweet Defense Interview


posted 5/5/2010 by Charles Husemann
other articles by Charles Husemann
One Page Platforms: iPod
  Has developing your own game changed the way you look at games now? What was the biggest lesson you learned during the development of TweetDefense?
Absolutely! Almost every game I play now I think about the underlying decisions. Why did they use this color palette? Why is the main character a male? Why is this inventory system as complicated as it is?

These are things that I only thought about in passing before, but are really part of the game design – what can you do to make this the most fun experience someone could have while playing it.

The biggest lesson we learned from Tweet Defense was that the barriers to doing some crazy things you thought impossible are mostly imagined. That sounds so corny, but literally if you want to make a game – do it! Yes it takes hard work, yes it takes some research, but ultimately the iPhone platform allows almost anyone to create a game, and sell it for money right there next to Ubisoft and EA titles. We’re in a pretty amazing time in the industry right now – well, except for all the Fart applications.
What were your expectations for sales of the game and have you sold as many as you thought you would? Was it difficult to get your app approved?
Our expectations were all over the map. I think some of our friends and family thought the game was going to rival Halo or God of War, while others thought we were wasting our money.

We’re very happy with the sales we’ve made, and we’ve learned a TON – 1st hand experience in marketing and publicizing an iPhone game on a crowded platform, learned about the app store ecosystem, learned some of the tricks that people do to gain attention. It’s been a great process, and just as a case study it’s worth the time for anyone to do.

The app approval process was much quicker, and more painless than we had thought originally. The folks at Apple were very quick to approve the application. Despite some of our initial uncertainty - it was a painless process.

With over 150,000 apps available, the App Store is a bit of a crap shoot right now, how do you get your game noticed on the service? What do you think Apple could do to make it easier to find games on the service?
Ah, the golden question...

For us, we had a really unique idea that no one had done before. To integrate Twitter into the game play, rather than just allow a light client, is something that I expect more games to do in the future. This unique hook allowed us to get lots of attention from sites that normally wouldn’t report on an iPhone game launch – Gizmodo and Mashable had write-ups on the game, which was pretty crazy to see.

In order to make it easier to find what you want, I’d love it if Apple really spent some time on their genius recommendation system. If you look at Netflix, they are pretty amazing at what they think I’ll like, and I would love to see a system even ½ as good start to spread to places like the App store.
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