Bullfrog Download Statistics

One of the more interesting things about releasing software is tracking how people find your software and how many people download and use the product.

Since I first released the Alpha version of Bullfrog back in October 2005, I’ve been tracking approximate download and referral statistics. I finally got around to actually putting all these numbers together with some nice tables and charts with a nice little summary about what everything means.

So if you are at all curious as to how well Bullfrog did in downloads and who turned out to be the best referrer of traffic check out my Bullfrog Download Statistics article on my Outer Level company blog.

Bullfrog Listed on MacGameFiles.com

Finally, I’ve gotten around to actually submitting Bullfrog to some of the download sites.

The first site I’ve submitted to is MacGameFiles.com.

I’ve decided to spread the submissions out a bit to both make sure my server can handle the additional load and to get a feel as to which sites bring the most traffic.

I’ll try and put together a graph to give a breakdown of traffic before and after each submission.

You can find the new listing here: http://www.macgamefiles.com/detail.php?item=19259

This entry has also been posted to the Outer Level Blog

The Indie Developer’s Guide To Selling Games

A new book has just been published that hopes to help indie game developers in the area of business that most of us struggle with. Besides the actual game design and development, marketing is the most important aspect of reaching success as an indie game developer.

No matter how good your game is, if no one knows about it, your sales will suffer.

Joseph Lieberman of VGSmart specializes in indie game marketing and has taken his expertise and compiled it into one volume. The Indie Developer’s Guide to Selling Games is available in paperback ($34.95) and PDF (27.95).

Jeff Vogel on the View From the Bottom

Spiderweb Software’s Jeff Vogel (Avernum, Geneforge) describes his
View From the Bottom of the game industry over on RPG Vault. Or what Joe Indie calls the “anti-Pavlina” view of game development.

What is the moral of this? The game industry is a highly competitive, scary place. It’s not hopeless, but it’s a tough road. And that’s a good place to start to describe the view from the bottom.

Also check out part two of Jeff’s series View From the Bottom #2:

Indie developers have a real purpose in this world. They make little niche products for markets too small for Activision. They make many new puzzle games for the casual audience. Or, at least, the same old puzzle game again and again. They rewrite Asteroids… because someone has to.

Looks like a series that is well worth following. Vogel has a long successful history in the indie game industry and probably knows what he’s talking about.

Update:
Psychochild responds to Vogel’s article with The Indie Problem…again:

So, let’s talk about the real problems with indie game development and why you don’t see innovation from them.

Let’s be honest here, there are some serious issues you have to deal with as an independent game developer. It would be wonderful if that old myth about “if you build it, they will come” were true. Unfortunately, that’s not the case.

Announcing LicenseKeeper, a New Blog, and a Company Name

A funny thing has happened to me since I started writing about my pursuit of Mac game development. New needs, ideas, and opportunities have arisen. Some directly related to blogging, some related to running a MicroISV, and yet others related to my normal everyday technology-centric life.

This last item leads me to my first announcement:

Over the past year, my collection of shareware or demo-ware that I’ve downloaded and purchased off the internet has grown significantly. All these products have something in common. They send me a license key to unlock the full version of the software after payment. This license information comes to me via email and I copy and paste or type in this information into the application and it “magically” unlocks its full feature list and I’m ready to go.

So what happens when I reinstall Mac OS X or upgrade my computer? I need to find these emails again and then enter all these license keys and related information. I can use SpotLight or search in Mail.app to help me find all these registration receipts, but that assumes I can remember the applications I registered and their names. Magnify this problem if I ever need to buy multiple licenses for future employees and their computers. What about software running on multiple company servers? It would be nice to have all this information in one place.

This leads me to a new software development project: LicenseKeeperTM.

LicenseKeeperTM is a Cocoa application that keeps track of all the applications a user has purchased, the license keys and serial numbers needed to unlock the software, and all the registration information that was used to purchase each product.

Additionally, LicenseKeeperTM provides me a good way to gain more experience with Cocoa, Objective-C, and CoreData. It also gives me the opportunity to learn about the details of packaging and distributing a Mac software bundle and pushes me to work out the details of my distribution system (i.e. website, payment gateway, etc).

This announcement also brings up a new issue for me. Now that I’m actively working on non-game related software development (yes there are more products to come) and want to share the experiences through a blog, I need a place to do this; MakeMacGames doesn’t feel like the right place to do it. I imagine many that follow this site don’t care about non-game development or about consulting articles.

So this leads us to my second announcement: The Outer Level Blog. This is my new official company blog where I plan to bless the world with all of my non-game programming wisdom.

As I’m sure you’ve derived by these announcements, that my company name is Outer Level. I’ve held off revealing this until now because I wasn’t sure whether to use the same company name I use for my consulting work as my software business. Obviously, I’ve decided to simplify my life and stick with only one company or company name. This reduces paper work and headaches on my side and it may very well turn out that one side of my business benefits the other.

So, if you’re interested in following a MicroISV that is developing applications for the Mac, I hope that you follow me to The Outer Level Blog. But never fear, my gushing about what I’m up to in the realm of Mac game development will continue here on this site.

Open-Source Shareware Registration Framework

Are you looking for a way to setup a registration system for your shareware software?

There are several commercial products out there, but Aquatic has released a free (donations accepted) open-source framework: AquaticPrime. It supports both Cocoa and Carbon integration and also includes a php-based library for use on your online e-commerce shopping cart system.

AquaticPrime utilizes the strong one-way encryption algorithm, RSA to provide for a powerful way of locking down your product.

Aquatic also has simple Developer Documentation available to help you along your way when integrating the framework into your product.