Wave Trip for iOS is an incredible game that recently got featured by Apple. The game has been developed by “Lucky Frame” and sports a gorgeous user interface that is surrounded by the entire idea of music creation. We recently talked to the developers at Lucky Frame to get a behind the scenes picture, understand about their marketing techniques and how they managed to get featured by Apple.
1. How did you conceive the idea for the App?
Our original idea was to combine a drum machine with a classic space shooter “shmup” style game. We thought that the linear level design of a shmup could lend itself quite naturally to musical creation, which is something we are deeply interested in.
We made a prototype but ran into a few issues in terms of making it fun while retaining the musical element – so we removed some of the punishment element of a classic shmups (like dying!) and it really hit that sweet spot between music and game.
2. Do you think Apple’s offerings for developers for developing Apps is good? Are there any changes required?
I think overall it remains a very good platform for development – the devices are brilliant, there is a pretty wide array of coding libraries available, and the software is generally well supported. The challenges really come from releasing an app on the store – Apple has become so successful at recruiting developers that it is virtually impossible to break the surface and get any significant attention!
3. What is your marketing strategy? What marketing techniques do you use to promote your App in this heavily competitive application space?
The best marketing strategy is to create interesting things that people want to play with. We really concentrate on making games that feel new and exciting, and offer something unusual and wonderful – as a very small company, our main advantage is the ability to be uncompromising and very free in our brainstorming as well as the application of our ideas.
The second approach we have is to be very open. We are unapologetically quirky and small, and we are very public about what we are working on and how well it is doing. This helps build a relationship with our customers and network, which is so important.
4. Can you describe your “Eureka” moment while developing the App?
I think, rather than a Eureka moment, we noticed after a few months of development that we were still really enjoying playing our game. That was such an important moment for us, because we realised that even after hundreds of hours of playing it was still fun!
5. How did you come to decide the price that you would be charging users to purchase your App?
Setting pricing is very much a guessing game! We definitely didn’t want to set Wave Trip at the cheapest price, because we feel that it devalues the amount of work that we put in. We also felt that the open-ended nature of the game, where you can create your own levels and explore hundreds of user-generated levels, added a lot of value. However, we recognise that it is a pretty unusual game and we didn’t want to scare people off – so we decided on $1.99, which felt like a happy medium.
6. What gave you the kick to convert your idea into reality? What kept you awake all night long?
We’ve always wanted to make Wave Trip. We’ve been working on combining music and gameplay in a meaningful way for a long time, and we feel that Wave Trip is the best application of those ideas we’ve done so far. What kept me awake was mostly wondering whether people would want to make their own levels – it turns out that they do! We’ve had hundreds and hundreds of levels submitted already, which is just amazing.
7. Your thoughts on paid marketing? Paid ads, reviews, sponsorship and more. What made your App’s marketing plan successful?
We generally avoid paid marketing. I think that we are able to do really well on our own, and I have a hard time imagining that spending $500 on marketing would result in over $500 worth of sales.
8. Your App has been featured on the “Featured” section of the App Store. How did you make that happen? Any tips?
I think the main tip is to generate as much buzz about your app ahead of time as possible. It’s a really good idea to get your app approved by Apple first, and then hold off on release for a little while. You can use that time to send promo codes to journalists and bloggers, and set a fixed release date. This will build up attention, and if you are lucky Apple will take notice!
If you have any questions for the developer, please ask using the comments section below and we will make sure it is answered.