Three Months of BlackBerry PlayBook Game Download Stats

Game Business Games

I’ve had six free PlayBook games available on the BlackBerry AppWorld store for three months now. I thought it might be useful to share my download and play statistics for other developers who are considering the platform.

These games have been available as free downloads since the store launched with the release of the new PlayBook tablet.

I ran a report on the total number of downloads from all six games over the past three months of time. I also gathered my analytics data from the Playtomic service which I used on each game to track views, plays (number of plays per view), and average playtime length per view. I also used Playtomic to provide the global leaderboards.

Using this data I built the following graphic (click to enlarge):

Hybrid Mind Studios BlackBerry PlayBook Game Download Stats

I should also mention that five of these six games have been fairly popular and all within the top 25 lists of their respective free categories. They’ve all been well reviewed (when reviewed at all) and I’ve done next to no promotion of them. These downloads basically represent players discovering the games through the PlayBook AppWorld interface.

You’ll note that I tracked the review percentage. This represents the amount of reviews I received per game based on the number of downloads.

It was pretty easy to convert my existing Flash games over to work on the PlayBook. Besides receiving a free PlayBook for the first game as part of BlackBerry’s launch promotion I was also fortunate enough to be compensated as part of a contract for my conversion on the other five games too. This allowed me to release them for free to study the market in the most favorable of download circumstances.

That said, if I wasn’t being compensated for my efforts I would not find these numbers to be very encouraging at all! Each game was only downloaded an average of 1300 times.  That number would be far, far smaller if I was charging for these games. That is not a good indication that I’ll be attempting to pursue this market further unless new changes or information comes to light–I simply can’t afford to make that kind of super risky business decision with my time.

I’ve enjoyed the free PlayBook I received from BlackBerry. It is the first tablet I’ve owned and it seems to be a fine enough device. I am not a heavy tablet user though and have little to compare it to besides having used an iPad for a bit. I’d be curious to see other developer’s download numbers (and even sales data) on the PlayBook device. Anyone making any money?

Drawing with a Tablet

Art

Self portrait from mirror

Yesterday I took an hour and sat down with my drawing tablet and a small hand mirror which I propped up on my desk.

I have been feeling like I wanted to do more drawing lately from real life things since it has been too many years since I used to regularly do that. I’ve felt some of my illustration skills slipping a little and I am going to try to draw at least one hour a day.

For fun I took a time lapse of the drawing. I took shots every 30 seconds and turned them into the following video:

I’m continually amazed at the both the flexibility that my drawing tablet offers as well as the way it lets me get every pen effect I used to be able to get with an actual pen and paper.  I use a Wacom Intuos 3 tablet and it has really changed the way I approach drawing.  Instead of having to labor over storing and scanning my drawings in order to post them or use them in a game I can now work directly in a digital environment.  Plus I have become accustomed to the nice tweaks you can do when roughing out the initial drawing’s form.

If you watch the time lapse video you will see where a few times in the beginning I am able to resize the initial shape and size of my head.  It is a pretty common thing when drawing to get some of the proportions a bit wrong. In my case I often tend to make things elongate too much vertically.  I was able to squash the vertical dimension down and then later resize my facial features to more accurately represent what I was seeing in the mirror.

Once the proportions were right I was able to start defining the shape by laying down the shading.  Another nice benefit of digital drawing is I can use the pen set to a white color to come back in and hatch light areas. In a traditional drawing I would do this by erasing an area if I was using pencil or by carefully laying out pen over pencil guides so that I would leave the area white to begin with.  Being able to just come back over with white pen and flip to black pen again and again can really let me focus on getting all the form and feel right without worrying about the logistics of meticulous planning and allows me to flow along with the drawing in a way I enjoy a lot more.

I was trained classically as an illustrator way before things like tablets existed. I was initially quite worried when I bought my tablet if I would be able to adjust to looking at the screen while my pen hand drew on a different surface. What was striking was how quickly I did adjust until it became like second nature to draw while looking at the screen. I didn’t need to watch my hand anymore. I think a lot of that has to do with getting a tablet that is large enough and in the right proportion to your screen’s aspect ratio.  I have a fairly large landscape tablet and the pen is mapped from the relative position on the tablet to the same relative position on the screen.  I think this helps with the transition and learning curve a lot.  The pen has so much sensitivity and angle sensing that I can pretty much get every effect I could out of a traditional pen or pencil.

Anyone else out there have thoughts or experiences to share on drawing with a tablet?