[PLUGIN] Clay.io (leaderboards & achievements)

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Post » Sun Jul 29, 2012 6:33 pm

Wow Austin, I took a couple of weeks off since we first spoke in another thread. You apparently did not. Nice progress! Can't wait to dive into the multiplayer rooms.

I have a question that may be off topic here. I'm coming from a mobile-only background. Web games are new to me, but I see you charge 20% for any apps sold (or in game purchases). With Ludei's CocoonJS build server coming soon, I'm really interested in the possibility of building web games that I can also build into a mobile app for iOS / Android.

I'm making the assumption here that there's no way Apple or Google will approve a Freemium app on the store that bypasses their app stores and allows a user to do in-app purchases through Clay.io.

Can you shed a little light on how someone selling apps through the mobile app stores, an .exe file, chrome store, etc. would be able to monetize their apps, and how that affects the 20% fees associated with Clay.io?

Thanks for any clarification on the subject.
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Post » Sun Jul 29, 2012 8:35 pm

@gammabeam 1) will do, 2) I'll have a look when I get home, 3) logo for dark background or logo for light background

@jwilburn with the .exe, the Clay.io API (and payments) will still work since it's just a Chromium wrapper. For mobile app stores, we have it on our todo list to integrate Apple's in-app purchases in some format, otherwise it's against their terms to use another payment method (assuming you're going through the App Store rather than Safari). Once we get that in place we might be forced to up the fee to 30% for payments using that. As for Android, I'm not sure they have as strict of policies about 3rd party payment systems.
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Post » Sun Jul 29, 2012 10:13 pm

Thank you for the response, but I guess I'm still a bit confused.

Say I create a game that gets 2 million active users (we can dream right), and it makes heavy use of the multiplayer functions, achievements, leaderboards, etc. Your servers would get absolutely hammered.

The games I sell for mobile will be compiled using CocoonJS so the apps can get native-like speed from the accelerated canvas. Running the games through the browser on the mobile devices isn't an option as the games tend to run really slow in a browser on mobile.

If I sell this game on the app store, Apple charges (and keeps) 30%. Same for selling an app on Google Play, the Nook, Kindle Fire, etc. Chrome Store also charges (and keeps) a fee for selling apps through their store. They're not going to give you any of this money.

So how do you make money to keep the servers going if we don't sell our Clay.io powered apps through Clay.io's web site?
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Post » Sun Jul 29, 2012 11:27 pm

Part of that relies on us heavily promoting our platform and having consumers buy your game through our own marketplace rather than the others you listed (which is something you would likely prefer to, as it's a 20% cut vs 30%). As for the API, you might choose to do in-game transactions (buying a new level pack for example), which we would take a cut on (aside from games in the iOS App Store & on Facebook).

A game that has 2 million users is also great for our brand name ("Hey, look who is using us", and the links to Clay.io in the API).

Hope that clears it up some.
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Post » Mon Jul 30, 2012 1:04 am

"having consumers buy your game through our own marketplace rather than the others you listed"

I don't think you understand. This is not an option, no matter how much anyone would like it to be. Let me try explaining the scenario.

I have an idea for a game I want to make. I have no intentions of putting it on a web site. It's going straight to mobile. I'm going to create the game in Construct 2, and I'm going to export it to CocoonJS and build a native iOS and Android app, where I'm going to sell those apps on the Apple and Google Stores. Eventually the app will make its way to Metro as well.

Apple and Google are going to take 30% off the top, and keep it.

I cannot sell my native mobile apps on your site no matter how much either of us would like to. There would be no way to install them on the device even if you could. Mobile apps have to be acquired through the mobile stores. If I tried to use your in-app purchase tool to bypass the App Store, the apps would get rejected in the submission process. Neither Apple no Google is going to let someone bypass their stores, that's how they make their money.

In this scenario you're effectively footing the bill for my networking services without any payment in return, and there's nothing either of us can do about it short of de-activating my app on Clay.io after it's already in the wild, which would cause a huge backlash to me as the developer.

I apologize if I've hijacked a thread. I'm about to get started on my next game and I'm just trying to make sure that there are no surprises for either of us down the road. It would be devastating if the network somehow disappeared out from under a developer after their game was released, and it would be bad for you too if I had a lot of success with my mobile app and you didn't get a dime for it. I just want to make sure everyone's covered.

If I'm overlooking something, please let me know. I think this is going to be a big issue for anyone looking at CocoonJS.
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Post » Mon Jul 30, 2012 1:55 am

Is there a reason why you're not looking to the web at all and strictly focusing on mobile app stores?

We don't really see that being the norm, so if we lose some money on your game, so be it - I can assure you we're not going to can your game just because we're not making money on it. There's not much we can do right now for apps in the iOS and Google Play stores, they are pretty restrictive as you're aware, and charging extra on the already high 30% isn't something we want to do. We're also not big fans of a recurring monthly pricing structure, that just doesn't work for successful platforms.

I'd definitely recommend developing for the web as well (even if it's just the mobile web - Mobile Safari's performance is nowhere near as bad as it used to be in iOS4)

As for the networking services we provide, it's pretty basic - just grouping players together for you, not the full shebang for a backend (back and forth communication). We are planning on a messaging API (for communication between players), but this will be limited and is more for turn-based games rather than real-time multiplayer.
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Post » Mon Jul 30, 2012 2:50 am

@gammabeam (updated)

1) Have you tried "On Login (From prompt action)"? That should be triggered when the close button is clicked to, because that's when we log the user in as "Anonymous".

2) Is your browser blocking a popup?

3) Here's a zip with vectors of our logos if you want something scalable). From my other post: logo for dark background or logo for light backgroundaustin2012-07-30 02:51:15
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Post » Mon Jul 30, 2012 6:44 am

Thanks again for your reply Austin.

"Is there a reason why you're not looking to the web at all and strictly focusing on mobile app stores?"

There really is no short answer to this question that does it any justice. I'll try to be concise. :)

I'm a home school teacher. My stack of upcoming game titles are aimed mostly at K-5, or adults who like word games / puzzlers. They're the kind of titles that don't really lend themselves well to in-app purchases. Although this is probably the most lucrative business model for app developers right now, I don't want to subject a 6 year old kid to an advertisement about ED or a popup asking him to enter his credit card number.

This means selling the game outright, and my research has shown that parents are more likely to buy apps for their kids for mobile devices than they are web games.

My business model is aimed more at creating fun titles that parents, especially other home school teachers, would not mind spending a nominal fee on for a mobile device. My wife and I spend a decent amount of money each year buying titles for my son to play on our tables. We've never purchased a web title.

The flip side to this whole thing is that I'm just unfamiliar with the web game market in general.

- How often do people purchase web games? I never have. I don't know anyone who has.

- Say I just created a new game and put it on Clay.io. How much exposure is my game getting? How does that compare to Chrome Store? What's the benefit for me as a developer to sell through Clay.io over Chrome Store? when Chrome Store is likely getting 100x the exposure for my games?

- How do I secure my web game? What's to keep people from stealing the code / assets and re-releasing it with a few tweaks?

Scirra have made major efforts to give their Construct 2 developers options when it comes to exporting their games. If you look at the export options you'll see:

- Metro (Windows 8)
- iOS (via CocoonJS)
- Android (via CocoonJS)
- EXE
- Chrome Store
- Scirra Arcade
- Kongregate
- And talks of Mac OS coming soon.

I think it's probably a bit unrealistic to expect my situation to be unique considering the amount of discussion on this site regarding CocoonJS, Awesomium, and other export options.

Let's say I export my game to the Web, iOS, Android, Metro, and Mac OS. I sell 10,000 total, 2K on each platform. If I sold 2K of those apps through Clay.io, that means I have 8K customers using your network that you're not getting paid for. Now imagine 1000 developers doing the same, assuming we all decide to sell through Clay.io instead of Chrome Store. Those amount of gamers playing on your network without you collecting any money becomes quite staggering.

For what it's worth, I know you said you're not interested in doing this, but I'd happily pay a membership fee for an UNBRANDED plugin that I could easily match the rest of my games looks with that provided the networking, data storage and social features you provide. I'd even be happy putting a Clay.io credits on the splash page along with my own logo. It would be more appealing to me from a design perspective to have the UI match the game, and it would be at least financially rewarding for you if you were making some profit from our non-web based customers.

Something to consider either way. Thanks again for your responses and taking the time to read my concerns and questions. I like the idea of your service, I just don't want to feel like I'm taking advantage of someone. If you offer a good service, you should get paid for it.
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Post » Mon Jul 30, 2012 10:12 am

1- I'll try that soon, I'm fairly sure it'll do the trick.
2- Silly me! It was definetly blocking the popups!

Thanks!
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Post » Mon Jul 30, 2012 3:36 pm

I agree with jwilburn. This plugin is really awesome and I think you deserve receive for your hard work. Sometimes I think I'm stealing from Scirra, because C2 it's really incredible and I paid so little for it. That's why I'm planning in buying another C2 License to support Scirra.

And I hope Clay.io can turn into a profitable business for you too. Maybe something like a Free Edition, with just the Scoreboards and FaceBook and Tweeter. And a Business Edition with all features. I don't know, I'm just wandering...

A friend of mine plays Kingdom Rush, a flash game and they have premium content. According to my friend, they sell pretty good. But their game are on the Apple Store, so I think this helps the publicity. I'm planning on releasing a WebGame with Free and Premium contents using the Clay.io .

Talking about this, Austin, I tried the Payment option and no good. I created an item, with the price 0,00. The API tells me that the item is for free. OKay, but when I choose an option, it's says the Payment process will conclude in another page. Well, the Pay Pal page didn't open neither any other page. So, the Payment system it's already functional or just for test?

Thank for your time and sorry if said something wrong.Zanuff2012-07-30 15:51:54
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