Success as a Lone Game Developer



Some developers, however, choose to go alone.

For most creators in the mobile gaming industry, development is a collaborative process. Ideas are bounced around, iterated upon and eventually turned into a game by a team of devs, each with their own area of expertise.

Some developers, however, choose to go it alone, and one person who’s no stranger to sailing the high seas of the app stores single handedly is Martin Jonasson, creator of hit titles including rymdkapsel and twofold inc.

To find out how Jonasson, also known as Grapefrukt Games, has mastered the art of lone wolf development, we caught up with the man himself to talk monetization, marketing, and user acquisition.

To devs just entering the space, Jonasson suggests avoiding thoughts about money—at first, at least.

That being said, Jonasson does have one piece of advice: temper your exceptions right away.

“Don’t expect your first thing to be good,” he says. “Don’t expect it to make any money. Try to iterate as best you can, and make something only you can make.”

One of the benefits of working as a lone developer is that he can focus on the things he enjoys, says Jonasson. Taking that philosophy into the realm of marketing, he explains it’s important for devs to choose techniques they love.

In his case, that means spending time personally interacting with players on Twitter and connecting with them on Twitch.

“I’m fairly active on Twitter because that’s something I enjoy and the fact that I can reach a bunch of people doing it is a bit of a lucky side effect,” says Jonasson. “I’ve also done quite a bit of streaming on Twitch which is perhaps a bit more niche, but really does help build a connection with people,” he adds.

User acquisition for Jonasson couldn’t be more straightforward. For him, the trick is to create a game that’s unique and feels great to play. After that’s completed, the only thing left to worry about is how to communicate that concept to players.

Usually the communication comes in the form of cutting complicated features, or iterating upon existing ideas to make them stand out even more. Jonasson says his iterative process goes on until a project is as close to perfection as it’s ever going to be, or until he runs out of time.

“Armed with a game that’s unique and great feeling, it’s much easier to approach press and players alike. I can’t possibly compete with the marketing power of King or Supercell, so I aim for the niche,” he says. “It’s much easier to be a world champion in a sport you invented yourself.”

Source: Chartboost.