Dojit-Notify October Update

In this October update we have added a number of features, including updating both the Unity and PhoneGap plugins, so don’t forget to update your plugins.

Developer Defined Variables : We have been asked by many App and game developers to increase the number of developer defined app variables. So we have. This mean you can have a mix of triggers from both the level/sub-level and variables accessed by the player. These variable may be items collected within the game or clicks used within an app. Basically anything that the user does, you can track and may a push notification for. The management of the app variables has now been given its own section of the developer user interface.

Upversion Push Notifications : The plugin now reports on the game version which installed on the phone. In IOS 7, the phone automatically up versions the applications which reduces the players visibility of what is new in the app. So we can now send a push notification describing the new features for that version.

Click Through Statistics : The push notification click through support has been added to measure the click through rate of your push notifications. This will be reported to you in the analytics menu within the developer panel.

Certificates Management : The method of uploading and changing the demonstration and production certificates has been streamlined. This is now under the games menu. This allows you to add, modify and delete certificates for both Apple and Android.

We have also updated the pricing to make it based on the number of active accounts, so you pay for who you monetize.

This gives you a powerful set of options for creating push notifications. So check out http://developer.dojit.com

The Innovators of Appsworld

Appsworld, the leading multi platform developer’s event, is now in it’s fourth year. On the 22nd and 23rd of October, the event will host luminaries of the industry, such as Steve Wozniak, the co founder of Apple, and Trip Hawkins, the founder of EA. It promises to be an essential gathering for experienced and new developers alike, where knowledge can be shared and new software demonstrated.

It would be expected that most of the attendees would be games developers, looking to make the next big smartphone game. However, reading through the speakers list brings up some surprising companies. Why are asos, the clothing website, there? Or McDonalds? Or Tesco? This shows that these are companies who are using app technology in new and exciting ways. Just how is the technology being used now by this year’s speakers? (All apps mentioned are linked by company name).

Food apps

Several fast food companies, such as McDonalds, Starbucks, and Subway, are increasingly using app technology to interact with their customers. McDonald’s use the app to deliver nutritional information about their menu and information about their locations, but also for more direct communication with the user. They are currently running a competition via the app for users to win a free iced frappe when they upload their very own advert.

The Starbucks app, on the other hand, actually acts as a digital stand in for the Starbucks Card. Using this, customers can transfer funds to the card, pay for their goods and automatically log ‘Stars’ in their rewards system. Doing so creates a ‘one stop shop’ for Starbucks customers.

TV apps

The TV apps represented at Appsworld all offer services allowing users to watch their programming on demand, which is a huge step forward in the technology and the way we watch TV. The BBC iPlayer app is one of several services the BBC offer, alongside their News and Weather apps.

However, other players are taking the technology one step further. Sky offer a Sky+ app, allowing Sky users to remotely manage their recorded shows on their phone, as well as wifi app that allows users to use their service on the go, and their own betting app. ITV offer a unique service, where several of their own shows, such as Britain’s Got Talent, The Cube, and The Only Way is Essex have their own dedicated apps. These are a new way of getting viewers involved with their shows, and an interesting use of the technology.

Shopping apps

There are a plethora of stores that are now embracing app technology as another marketplace for their wares. asos, Argos and Tesco all have apps allowing their customers to shop their phone, with Tesco also developing the technology to allow customers to use the phone as a Clubcard, in much the same way as Starbucks are doing. However, The North Face have taken advantage of the technology to create Snow Report. This app is designed with ski enthusiasts in mind, telling them where the best ‘powder’ is, and updating them on the resorts with the best current conditions.

Entertainment apps

The advances in entertainment that have been made in app technology are simply too numerous to describe, but there are two interesting examples on the Appsworld speakers list. The first is Shazam, an app that ‘listens’ to any music that the user holds their phone up to, telling the track name and artist. It also allows them to buy the track directly from the app. This is a prime example of the technology solving a problem we didn’t even know we had.

The second is Disney. They have several apps and games, mostly related to their cinema releases (although they were the company behind the hit game Where’s My Water?). They are now experimenting with the technology to create ‘Second Screen’ screenings of their classic films, allowing viewers to interact with each other and play games and quizzes as they watch.

There’s plenty of exciting things happening in the app development field, as this by no means exhaustive list proves. Anyone attending Appsworld will surely come away with hundreds of ideas as to where to take the technology next,.

Dojit Games will be in attendance at Appsworld this year, so if you see us please come and say hi! We’ve been working on our own technology, Dojit Notify, which will help developers use push notification technology more effectively to really connect with their users. See you there!

Push Notifications Services and Your Customers

In the last few years, the mobile app market has exploded.  As of June 2013, it is estimated that 900,000 apps populate the Apple App Store. With such a vast amount of apps to choose from, how is a customer to choose which one to download? Once they’ve decided on your app, how do you keep them interested? Recent research has shown the average shelf life of an app is only 30 days. Standing out and retaining customers in the market is certainly one of the biggest challenges facing developers today. However, there are solutions, such as the optimised use of push notification services, available.

Think of the last time you downloaded an app or game. What made you keep coming back to it? Most successful games right now follow a certain template in their design. There are clear goals for the customer to follow, with appropriate rewards when they are reached to make them feel accomplishment from the task. There are also rewards given every day when the customer opens up the app. Also, many apps include seasonal content, for example at Christmas, which is available for a limited time only.

In addition, there are social elements used to keep friends playing together. If one person is stuck at a certain part of a game, they can reach out to their friends (usually via their Facebook friends list) through the game for help. This can bring a player back to the game who may have been neglecting the app themselves. Also, goals within the game often focus on adding or contacting friends through the app, thereby spreading word of the app in a very cost effective manner.

The apps that use this model, such as Where’s My Water? and Minion Rush, are successful because they are designed with the customer in mind. A game will get boring and stale very quickly if the consumer is asked to repeat the same tasks day in, day out. Achievable goals and rewards mean a player will come back again and again and get the most out of your app. Since both the Android and Apple App Stores are now factoring the ‘stickiness’ of apps in their rankings, how do developers achieve this with their own apps?

This is where push notifications come in. These Apple and Android notifications act as a ‘nudge’ towards the player, reminding them to play your game. In most games, push notifications are used to remind players to perform an action, usually within a specific time frame. However, they can be used in much more creative ways, to allow you to keep your players involved in your game and increase your Frequency of Visit ratio. Why not use them to alert players when their friends have visited them with gifts? Share short term rewards if the player opens your app in a specific time frame? There are multitudes of ways to use push notifications that haven’t been fully explored yet.

Services such as Dojit Notify can be used to create these kinds of push notifications. Using the system provided, the developer can create personalised notifications for their players, sharing tips and rewards that are geared towards each individual. The whole process is done online, through a simple interface that allows the developer to create notification recipes in seconds.

This means that the consumer receives a much more personalised, involved experience from your app. When they receive push notifications that are meaningful to them, they are more likely to stay with your app and keep logging in everyday, keeping your app successful!

dojit-notify : what problem does it solve?

The average cell phone has 41 apps on it according to the recent Nielsen report.

The average person with a iphone or android device plays games between 7 am and 10 am,  so the major group of players are probable commuting to work or school.

So the average person at around 7am has the choice of 40 competing games or apps?

As a games developer, What are you going to do about it?

How are you going to make sure they choice your game or app?

dojit-notify solves this problem!

So we at dojit wanted to send them a push notification message, not just any old message about some random stuff thought up by the marketing department, but a message about the game, about the point in the game they were playing which ensures we help them get the most out of their commute.

These players have some time to enjoy and its important they do it in your game and purchase the upgrade while they are at it. The push notification provides them a context aware message nudging them into action, into playing your game.

So we designed dojit-notify for game developers, a context aware push notification service which is a solution provided to game developers, check out developer.dojit.com for more details.

dojit notify

game push notification strategy

The majority of game developers just about create a marketing plan, so developing a game push notification strategy is just one step too far.

why should you?

There are two reasons: player retention and monetization.

The app stores have hundreds of thousands of games, with thousands coming onto the store every day. So the first biggest step for any developer is to develop and implement a marketing strategy which ensures people download your game. This is normally done with a mixture of social media and in/out of game promotional marketing. The business model for advertising is such that you pay for click throughs. This are a few steps away from players, so from click throughs we have viewing store page, then downloads, opening the application and finally players. Each step means less people.

Once that person has downloaded the game and playing it, then the developers monetization strategy kicks in. This is normally based on some game tunings and designing which we did back in the studio, some months ago. However, developing a strategy for a casual game which works for a 16 year old and a 96 year old is also
impossible, especially as an indie game developer.

New data from analytics firm App Annie shows the growing strength of freemium apps. Freemium app revenue has quadrupled over the last two years, and freemium apps now generate 69% of the world’s iOS app revenue and 75% of global Android app revenues. In contrast, the premium app market has shown little to no revenue growth over the same period. The average revenue per download for paid apps is higher on iPad than on iPhone in the Apple App Store in the U.S.: $4.04 versus $2.25, respectively.

However, its been proven that we need to get our players to around 60% through the game until we can truly monetization the game. This means we need to “nudge” them forward to get the full immersion of the game.

How do we nudge them forward?

dojit has been thinking about this and come up with a number of tools, the first two being, game treats and dojit-notify.

Game Treats are codes which a player enters to get something extra in the game. They can be communicated through the game or via push notifications, social media or via the web site. In fact any way the developer feels it best with their target demographic. http://developer.dojit.com/game-treats/

dojit-notify allows developers to create a series of recipes which when triggered sends players context aware notifications through the push notification services. Context aware notifications get higher rates of awareness and application usage, which increase player retention which drives revenue within the game .

The push notifications should be part of generating a community which your player can feel part of without constant series of notifications. Therefore it is important to plan who gets what and when and how this fits into the entire communication strategy for both the business and also the game.

In summary push notifications increase player retention which drives revenue. Using out of game notifications to bring players back to game after periods of time is important in maintaining and building your player base. In game notifications also engage players with context aware messages to nudge them forward. By using automatical scheduled context aware notifications, with developer defined rules you can launch your game knowing your work is done.

When is best to create a game push notification strategy?

When you are designing the game, though needs to be put into the monetization points. These points are clear goals within the game and therefore measuring how many payers are before, on or after these points is an important first step. From here you can create strategies around these points which nudge players forward or notifications to bring players back into the game.

dojit-notify has been created to be used during the development, launch and post launch cycles of game development. The service is free up until launch. Take a look at http://developer.dojit.com/ .