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WestSloth Games year 2020 wrap up

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Hello All! For WestSloth Games year 2020 was mostly business as usual. We were still working part-time on game development within the time that was available. Sometimes there was no time at all and sometimes there was some spare time for gamedev. I any case, we accomplished and learned a lot during this year.  Here are some highlights: Major update for Flamingo Tap Tap Run Android game was released in the very beginning of the year. Some statistics with download numbers and ad impressions/eCPM values is revealed in separate blog article .  Couple of updates were done for Flamingo game. These included couple of bug fixes and API level updates. Biggest update introduced embedded minigame to get more shrimps.  A new variant for our previous rocket game was released in June 2020. Rocket Orbit can still be found from Google Play Store, although the number of downloads has so far been bit disappointing. In interested in details, please check separate blog article on releasing " Rocke

Flamingo Game statistics update

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Our reasonably popular Flamingo Tap Tap Run Android game is celebrating 1-year anniversary after a major update in the beginning of January 2020. In this update we introduced several playable Flamingo characters and did some improvements and fixes to gameplay.  Although the game has not been a real breakthrough, the number of new downloads has been fairly steady throughout the year. Advertising revenue has also been steady, and even increased towards the end of the year. We are still talking about less than 10 Euros per month, but with current investment and effort it is just ok. All Flamingo game downloads are organic , since no paid advertising used. And yes, we have not included any in-app purchases in any of our games. I collected couple of graphs showing how the total number of installations and number of new installations (28 days moving average) has developed since the very first launch date in September 2019. Major update was done in the beginning of 2020 and that has been m

Rocket Orbit Android Game

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  Today we published new hyper-casual game to Google Play Store (beta version, still).  Game is called "Rocket Orbit" and it is some kind of a facelift for "Rocket to Uranus" game that was published about two years ago.  Biggest modifications were done in visual outlook where original multi-colored UI with (almost) all possible colors is now replaced with restrained set of colors. Main theme consists of different shades of blue. We also added a UFO to bring some randomness to the game.  Playing Rocket Orbit game is simple: You are controlling small blue rocket that is jumping between the planets from one orbit to the second orbit. You need to schedule the tap accurately so your rocket can get to next planet orbit safely.  🚀 Rocket Orbit game features:  ✔️ Easy to play hyper-casual game mechanism ✔️ Yet challenging and hard to master ✔️ Annoying UFO disturbing your perfect game ✔️ Google Play Services Leaderboard ✔️ No levels, just endless space in front of you How

Own Fan Product Store: Why?

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We got couple of weeks ago new idea: We ordered a few t-shirts with our own designs from one large European print-by-demand service, and started thinking if we could also sell clothes with our own designs for larger audience. We thought that by buying products, our fans (I guess we have some?) could support our operations and at the same time these unique products would act as advertisements for our games. After familiarization to the topic we came to the conclusion that it is worth at least trying it. The risk is quite small because there is no own warehouse and the on-demand vendor takes care of all practical matters (orders, payments, printing, logistics, etc.). It took me approx one evening to set up the account for WestSloth Games, create some initial designs (Flamingos, mostly), and then decide the appearance of the online shop. After that we were ready to go and now we have Fan Product shops up and running world-wide. One shop in EU and one shop at US. Links to both

How Many Downloads? (Real Data Included)

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I will now present a realistic summary how "Flamingo Tap Tap Run" Android game did over the first 6 months. For that I created a graph that shows moving 30 days average for new downloads. It should give a good idea how the number of downloads has evolved after the updates. Graph looks great (really steep slope after major update) as long you don't look the scale on the left hand side. But here come the details: First major version of Flamingo game was available on 3rd of September 2019. It had just one flamingo character and there was no use for collected shrimps. This version got around 50 downloads per month, that has been pretty typical for most of our released little games. Second major version with large update was released on 3rd of January 2020. This one had total of 8 playable flamingo characters which player could buy using the collected shrimps. This update increased the number of monthly downloads to 200+ and it can also be seen from the attached graph.

Unity3D JSON Serialization (save game data)

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Let's keep this short: My BoxingDay activity was to create a small Unity3d project utilizing JSON serialization for saving game data. Basically, this sample project shows how to save and load game data in one serializable class. Whole project is available at Github: https://github.com/jliias/SaveData (I believe it should work as such) In this sample project I will serialize GameData class, that contains following variables: bool adsEnabled int coinsCollected int highScore These variables are packed and unpacked to text format using  JsonUtility  API that can be used to convert Unity objects to and from JSON format. Basically, it is possible to pack and unpack simple objects to text format by using this API (e.g. collections or arrays are not supported). Serializing to JSON is done using ToJson method, and and deserializing using FromJson method. It is important to add [Serializable] to the top of class that will be serialized. This is very simple solution a

Using Unity3D LWRP and shader graphs in real game

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My previous Unity3D post was demonstrating my trials with scriptable render pipeline and shader graphs. Now I have gone one step further and combined these techniques with one of my previously released game. "Ball Twister" was originally released about an year ago. I did not advertise it too much because of boring outlook and bit simple gameplay. However, now I have found this game perfect for testing scriptable render pipeline and shader graphs in real 3D environment. Attached video shows how different new version of Ball Twister looks compared to the original one. Original version (on left) is using standard Unity render pipeline and shaders. Enhanced version (on right) is using LWRP (or URP) and shader graphs. In enhanced version, rolling checker board texture, swirling sky and obstacle materials are all using shader graphs to create a sense of movement just by tweaking textures. Basically, only objects that are really moved are black obstacles and coins. Everyth