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technicat

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A member registered Mar 10, 2015 · View creator page →

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I don't deploy apps on Google Play, anymore (itch.io is my only Android app store!) but on Apple's App Store I try to reply to most reviews. For a long time they had no reply feature, but I like to think that if users see that you reply to reviews they're less likely to say crap. In particular, I like to reward nice reviews with nice responses, and I do contest some negative reviews (recently someone in Canada complained that my dim sum app didn't have enough dishes, and I asked they're over 300, how many is enough? And by the way, I've found that stereotype about Canadians being nice doesn't apply to app reviews) But I try not to be a jerk about it (I've written negative reviews, too, and in one case the author went on a personal attack against me). How you reply is part of your marketing, you want users to support you.

For foreign reviews, I can google translate a "thank you" response or something else short (in fact, before I left Google Play I managed to google translate "visit itch.io" when someone gave me a low rating for having ads and he thanked me and increased my rating). So there have been some cases where they've changed ratings or even when from negative to positive after I responded (one person changed from one-star to five-star after I explained it's just me, not a corporation doing this).

But I also don't worry as much about foreign reviews, as App Store users in the US will only see US reviews (I don't remember how it works on Google Play) and the average of US ratings. I have one app that shows as four stars, but if I go into my developer dashboard I can see the wordwide average is more like two stars.

There was one contract I had with a previous employer where I was looking at some old OpenGL code and cursing whoever wrote this undocumented mess, and then after a while I grudgingly decided the code wasn't that bad, and after another while I remembered I was the person who wrote that code.

Thanks!

I've never looked at go code before (now I'm king of interested!), but I scanned the butler repo and saw filtering.go. I was looking at the CustomIgnorePatterns variable at first but eventually realized that's the command-line option and the PresetFilter function must be imported from the lake repo listed at top. Reading code is such a rabbit hole!

One quick thing, scroll down and check if you don't already have that email address listed in Additional Emails?

Thanks for the review! Great channel, itch.io should feature it!

You should be able to roll the ball with the mouse, but I did have trouble getting it to work consistently with different mice, particularly on Windows. I think the iPad version has the best control, swiping on the screen to roll the ball, which best emulates the original game's control which used a real bowling ball like a trackball.

Also if you type

butler help push

you'll see there's a --ignore flag to supply additional ignore patterns

From looking at the butler github repo, looks to me like it's using this filter list in https://github.com/itchio/lake/blob/master/tlc/walk.go

var baseIgnoredPaths = []string{ ".git", ".hg", ".svn", ".DS_Store", "__MACOSX", "._*", "Thumbs.db", ".itch",
}

Good to know! I sort of assumed that's the case, as the revenue I count is the amount I receive in paypal for the year (and in Apple's case, the amount paid into my bank account).

I've never received a 1099 from itch.io, I assume they don't do that. Apple doesn't either, but if I remember correctly I do receive 1099-MISCs from Google, Amazon, Microsoft, and Valve, which I find a real convenience, not having to total all the app sales myself!

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I have never heard of any threshold under which you don't have to report income. I also make less than $50/yr on itch.io (we should form a club!) but I still report it (minus the itch.io and paypal cut) as self-employment business income on schedule C (and of course I deduct self-employment business expenses, such as app store registration fees, game engine licenses...which is a nice thing about having your own business.

https://www.irs.gov/businesses/small-businesses-self-employed/self-employed-indi...

Of course, I am not a tax lawyer, accountant, or IRS representative, so you might want to check with one of those to be sure.

Edit: there is a minimum threshold for total income that affects the requirement to file a tax return, but I gather as you're filing anyway, that's not the issue. 

https://www.thebalance.com/are-you-required-to-file-a-tax-return-3192868

Similar to Dark Dimension's suggestion, what I would do to learn new Unity features is take an existing game and try enhancing it with the new feature, e.g. today I'll try adding dynamic lighting (shadows), and then I'd read the Unity doc (Unity generally has excellent documentation, it amazes me when people don't read it), and any other useful articles resources like their blog articles or forum discussions, then I try it out, and that usually results in going back to the aforementioned resources to figure out problems and understand optimizations, and then once I had the tech under control there's more widerspread research involved in how to use it properly (lighting is a big topic!)

That doesn't really answer your question on tutorials, but I don't like video tutorials (and most Unity tutorials seem to be video) and I don't like Unity GUI. I think they made a mess of it, problems including it's a lot of work just to do something simple, and you can't just code it, you have to do all this manual drag-and-dropping of assets (so I can see why you might want a video tutorial!) and thus it's hard to make anything reusable. I suppose if you want a good-looking GUI you have to use it, but last I checked (which was at least a year ago) yet another GUI system was in the works, and if I wanted to just concentrate on the rest of the game I might try to get by with their original all-scriptable GUI API which I think can still be used in-game

https://docs.unity3d.com/Manual/GUIScriptingGuide.html

and in fact I used it for a sample pause/options menu in my now-obsolete Unity book, but I converted it to C# a while ago, might be usable

https://github.com/technicat/learnunity/blob/master/chapter17/unityproject/Asset...

Fun YouTube channel!

I'm always looking for reviews for HyperBowl

https://technicat.itch.io/hyperbowl

I've learned from every game dev experience, and I happen to have gamasutra postmortems (a format I find highly useful for every project) for two of them: my second paid gamedev job and my most recent project (which is actually a licensed remake of my first gamedev job and on itch.io)

https://www.gamasutra.com/blogs/PhilChu/20121207/183083/Classic_Postmortem_Takin...

https://www.gamasutra.com/blogs/PhilChu/20150119/234416/HyperBowl_on_the_Small_S...

I can think of only three full-fledged publicly available 3D game engines that I've used in projects: Unreal, CryEngine, and Unity. I'll add Godot to make four as that's the engine I'm most interested in using for new projects. And for the fifth, ancient Renderware was not a complete game engine, just a renderer, but I've used it in a  few proprietary studio game engines.

Use of company names is more a trademark issue than a copyright issue

https://www.uspto.gov/trademarks/basics/trademark-patent-or-copyright

Aside from that, I agree with Jeroen's advice.

Do you have spaces in your pathname? If so, I think you need to put quotes around it.

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I'm not speaking for itch.io, but it seems to me that finding an early audience (and feedback) for your game from your circle of acquaintances is  just smart marketing and development. If you ask only for positive reviews and high ratings, I still wouldn't consider that cheating but I'd find it annoying (like how every Medium post ends with a request for a clap or every podcast ends with a request for a like and subscribe). On the other hand, if you pay for fictional reviews and ratings or get them from fake accounts, that's definitely cheating.

Edit: the way you phrased your original post doesn't sound like cheating but the topic title does.

Thanks! Yeah, those manifests look OK to me. The only thing I can think of is what Dark Dimension suggested, perhaps the latest version was signed differently (something like that happened to me with Unity Android builds a few years ago, something changed in how my builds were signed and I couldn't update my app on Google Play)

https://forums.xamarin.com/discussion/183885/fixing-app-not-installed-problem-ap...

Unity doesn't support Javascript (Unityscript) anymore

https://stackoverflow.com/questions/60348922/how-to-add-javascript-support-to-un...

Is it possible for your to post the manifests here? In your original post you list

The versionCode of the last 3 are:  8)   1.8.0 9)   1.9.2 10) 1.10.0

where I assume you meant versionName, but I'd like to be sure.

I've published games where I released updates with additional levels, so I don't see that a story-based game is necessarily different. However, I'd avoid describing the game as unfinished in any way (maybe "episodic" or "continuing" would present it more as a feature). Aside from the marketing aspect, it would be less risky, rejection-wise. I once got an App Store rejection because the description had the word "sample" in it, even though I was referring to another project that I was crediting. Google Play may be less strict, but in my experience even there paid apps seem to get more review scrutiny than free ones, and when I've had a rejection it was a real hassle figuring out exactly what their objection was and even how to respond.

It's really not obvious! At first I didn't see anything wrong on Firefox because you have to click on the list element and select Edit HTML to actually see the nbsps, but then I decided to check it out on Microsoft Edge and their inspector showed the problem immediately.

At first I thought it's probably just bad luck with the word-break property, but this sparked my curiosity, so I checked it out in Firefox Tools (Inspector), and it seems the HTML for the first list item for some reason has no-break-spaces (nbsp) instead of regular spaces like the other two list items. I tried retyping the line with regular spaces in the Inspector and then it looked fine, so I suggest you retype that line in your devlog making sure you're not  somehow entering  nbsps and see if that fixes it.


By the way, Google also does this. I tried downloading and installing Android apps from itch.io on my phone via  Chrome and it gives the same type of warning telling you to stick to Google Play. But downloading with mobile Firefox works fine.

Also, once you've downloaded a macos app, you can control-click on it and in the resulting context menu select Open to run it (it'd be a nice itch.io feature to have these instructions displayed for macos apps downloads)

https://itch.io/t/1125819/unidentified-developer-problem-with-macos-and-itchio-g...

Charging $.99 again, because a sad App Store development fact is that ratings go down when you make it free.

Thanks!

Thanks for the review! Yeah, the front-end design is questionable, especially since I deleted a bunch of the social media links, but when I started working on this remake  (over ten years ago!) I wanted to reuse the arcade/attraction design (instead of the old Windows version). If you're not familiar with the original arcade game, I posted the old promo video here https://vimeo.com/user127637069 I'm glad you noted the platform support! The background for this version of the game is I worked for Hyper Entertainment for a few months on the original back in 2001 (took over for the original  lead programmer) and then in 2008 Unity added iPhone support, so I licensed the original assets from Hyper (they were really cool about it) to remake it in Unity. I figured the swiping control would be a nice emulation of the original bowling ball controller and then I could support every Unity platform! (one of my regrets is I never got a Wii U version working).

 https://technicat.itch.io/hyperbowl (also made the App Store version free recently)

I'll check out your games, too. Took a quick look at them, and they have a nice art style!

Assuming you successfully downloaded the game (I tried it with Firefox), instead of double-clicking on the .app file, control-click and in the resulting popup context menu select Open, then you will get this menu, ignore the warning designed to scare everyone into using  only the Mac App Store, and select Open.



I dislike all the app/game stores I've tried except the cool developer-oriented ones like itch.io and gamejolt. I use itch.io as my main portal for desktop/web/android games largely because it's fairly polished, I have a lot of control over it and can reasonably customize its appearance, but of course I have to use the App Store for iOS. Google Play was great for getting lots of downloads for my free apps but paid apps are another story and you have to decide once and forever whether an app is free or paid (so free with IAP  is probably the way to go) and there are a lot of other hassles like having to list a support email address which is then spammed by ad vendors and publishers looking for desperate developers (sad to say, I've had disappointing dealings with makers of Android tablets for kids). I got my most steady revenue for paid apps on Steam, the App Store, and the Amazon Appstore (and briefly but brightly, the Nook app store), and I made a few bucks on the Microsoft Store.