My latest app, Zombie Air Strike 2 was released this week! It combines Sprite Kit, good ol’ fashioned UIViews and a lot of gorgeous satellite map data to explode zombies (or really radar dots so you can pretend those red dots are anyone you want.). Its free too for both the iPad or iPhone. Tap the image below to visit the App Store or keep reading for some history on the app…
This latest app is a sequel to my first Zombie Air Strike game which, despite “meh” early sales, turned out to be a solid seller for me in the long run. What’s solid? Maybe at best $350 a month. But considering after the initial development time, I only did one upgrade (for the first Retina device, thats how old it is), and let it just sit in the store. Now thats not that greatest way to build a fan base for an app, I should have made some significant upgrades over time, and you could argue Zombie Air Strike 2 should have just been an upgrade to the past version, but the point is, it more than paid for itself in the long run.
The long term livelihood of an app is sometimes hard to fathom after spending months developing it, even if its just time you spent in the evenings or your free time. Its never fun seeing low download numbers and single-digit In-App purchase numbers. And thats when I think a lot of developers second guess their work. They do things like run ads overtop their masterpieces to try to recoup some of what’s seen as “lost money due to lost time”. Or worse try to sell the source code or the entire app to sites like Apptopia. Nothing against that site, I think its fine to sell your app if that was your goal all along, but not out of frustration and try to make a quick buck as an exit strategy.
You’ll never know what can happen organically with your app in a year or even two. Long after the first Zombie Air Strike was even something I checked stats on (and I didn’t regularly because it was under a personal account, not CartoonSmart’s), I met a fireman at a party (that sounds funny) that told me he and all his co-workers were into this game called Zombie Air Strike. I hadn’t told him I was the developer, we were just talking about iPhone games. That showed me there was probably more potential in that app that I gave it credit for. What if I had added 10 new cities a month to it? Or expanded the gameplay? Obviously word of mouth had gotten me a firehouse full of sales, so if I had fostered that audience more, what else could have happened.
Think about how many bands got together in 2003, and you just heard their first big single in 2013. So give it time, my fellow devs. Let your app breathe a little. And if there’s a sub-point to this article, consider revisiting old ideas. Thats obviously what I did with Zombie Air Strike 2. I liked the concept of using real map imagery in a game, and I wanted to share that. Something you thought about doing 4 years ago, might not have been possible until iOS7. And of course (shameless plug coming…) , you know CartoonSmart has tutorials for iOS development.