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Arachni Crusher’s first month

Arachni Crusher has been live for just shy of a month and I thought it would be interesting to write up a quick overview on how the first month has gone. Let’s get started with the download stats.

Downloads

Not too shabby for a game that can bring out some serious arachnophobia:

Google market

  • Paid: 5
  • Free: 248

Amazon market

  • Paid: 7
  • Free: 523

GetJar

  • Paid: N/A
  • Free: 72

Revenue

We had no intentions of “making it big” with AC however we did want to try and recoup some of the costs that come with buildings apps (marketplace signup fee’s, domain name, Android books, etc). Earning enough for a free lunch wouldn’t hurt either.

We decided to try a free (with ads) and paid (without ads) revenue model. Ads are displayed on each level on the bottom of the screen. We adjusted the spider spawn locations to make sure that they didn’t spawn underneath the ads thus making the levels more difficult for the free version. We also remove spiders as soon as they approach the ads so try and limit the chance for a accidental click.

Paid: $10.38
Ads: $17.49
Total: $27.87

AC Ad Revenue Graph

It looks like we’ve earned back our google marketplace fee and we’re on our way to a free lunch!

What’s next?

We’re currently working on a new mode for AC; endurance. Endurance has no real objective except to simply crush as many spiders as possible. The mode will progressively add more spiders and powerups as time goes on to help keep it entertaining. In the future we may add a leaderboard so you can compete against friends to see who can crush the most spiders.

We’re also working on 10 new 4th of July themed levels that include new spiders, powerups, and backgrounds.

Here’s hoping our second month is at least as successful!

Arachni Crusher Released!

After roughly four months of development, I’m happy to announce that our first Android game is out the door! We actually turned the release key about a week ago and in that time we’ve had two people purchase our paid version (ad free) and received 114 downloads for our free version.

We have an additional mode and new holiday themed levels in the pipeline.

Check out my Arachni Crusher portfolio page for information and grab a copy from the google market.

Introducing Arachni Crusher

My old roommate and I have always been interested in game development and have always wanted to create our own game. We’ve played with a few different platforms in the past however nothing has either come of it or been successful. After finishing our latest project we’ve decided to take a shot at the mobile scene and develop a game for Android devices.

We’ve bounced a few game ideas around and have decided to go forward with a simple tap game called Arachni Crushers. The game objective is to crush spiders that run across the screen by taping on them. We’re planning to have 10 levels that increase in difficulty and ending with a boss spider. Difficulty will be determined by the number of spiders on the screen at one time, speed of the spider, and spider type (poisonous for example). Arachni Crushers will have two game modes: Endurance (crush spiders forever to achieve an all time high score) and Time based (crush x amount of spiders within a timeframe).

I’ve never written anything for Android but I’ve done a fair amount of Java in the past and Android has been on my radar for quite some time. After spending 2 months I’ve managed to churn out a very early alpha build of the game that consists of the basic game mechanics:

Arachni Crusher early alpha Arachni Crusher image research

I have a goal to complete most of the code by the end of the year so I can focus on testing the game against a wide array of hardware while my roommate completes the art.

Pandora Scrobbler Chrome Extension

For the last year or two I’ve been using a web based application to scrobble tracks played from Pandora. However the latest UI (HTML 5) has broken the scrobbler and I haven’t been able to find a replacement. With the possibility of losing track of my music listening habits I decided it was time to write my own chrome extension.

I’ve been using an extension to scrobble turntable tracks that Gabek created and I decided to simply clone his project and replace the turntable detection with Pandora.

After spending a few hours learning how chrome extensions work I ended up with my version of a Pandora Scrobbler.

Running it is simple:

  • Install the package
  • Open Pandora in a new tab
  • You’ll be prompted to authorize the scrobbler via last.fm
  • After authorizing, simply reload your pandora tab.

Once you’ve authorized you won’t need to authorize again unless you remove the extension or remove the app from your last.fm account. You can click on the “PS” icon in chrome to sign in as a different user or see which user you’re logged in as.

I need to add a delay between when the song starts and when the scrobble request is sent (currently the song will be scrobbled as soon as it begins playing).

Github repo.

Rocking a VPS

After almost exactly four years of hosting Xmech with hostmonster, I’ve finally moved to my own VPS from Linode. I’ve been really pleased with hostmonster and I would highly recommend them however I’ve come to a point where I require more control over the server hosting my projects (installing specific applications, libraries, etc) and a VPS is the way to go.

There are quite a few VPS providers out there but after a few hours of research I’ve decided to go with Linode due to the high customer praise, affordable prices, and a great community.