We just released the free edition of our puzzle game iPACROSS on iPad today. In-app purchase was implemented in this version. We offer the first 80 puzzles for free, and player could purchase the other 5 levels (320 puzzles) at a later time. Each level was priced at $0.99, so we kept the total price the same with the full version, which is currently sold at $4.99.
We started to work on this free edition 2 months ago. Besides the in-app purchase, we also implemented Game Center as the primary improvement. Since we shared the same code base between both full and free version, both of them got benefit from that.
We considered to remove the current OpenFeint support from the full version of iPACROSS, since we now have the Game Center. The migration would be easy since Open Feint do provide a migration SDK to move all the achievements and leaderboards automatically. However, after consulting the feedback from some loyal players, we decided to keep the OpenFeint support because players really like that. It sounds right to support both online platforms together.
We finished the iPACROSS Free on April 18, 2011. And Apple approved that on April 27. But we were very conservative in keeping it from release. Since both GameCenter and IAP were kind of new experience for us, so we want to make sure everything is right before we present the game to the players. Based on player feedback for both iPad and Mac version, we updated the free version two times before we finally believe it would be the right time to put that on AppStore.
On the first day of release, iPACROSS Free was downloaded by around 920 times, and 4 IAP had been made. Considering the amount of free content it has, I believe it would take some days before we could know the conversion rate, and compare the sale data between full and free version.
iPACROSS on Mac is almost the same as its twin brother, with slightly modified UI to adapt to different input styles. We started to create the Mac version as soon as we heard the news that Mac App Store is coming, and did the first submission to Apple on Nov 13th, 2010. We wished to be one of the launch titles of the Mac App Store. We did not worry much on the approval since we have never failed any submission to iOS App Store. And we had almost 2 months to fix the problem even if there was any.
But we had not made that happen. The Mac version were rejected for seven times. Each failure was a unique experience. We failed the first attempt because of the naming convention – we used the name “iPACROSS Mac” which Apple might not appreciate much. And then, we failed another few submissions for an incompatibility problem on one certain type of MacBook. After I fixed that finally, we got the latest rejection because of a slightly difference in App Store guideline that made our game good for iOS but unacceptable for Mac.
The game passed its eighth submission on the last day of February 2011. With all the experience we learned, the Mac version was almost perfect in its “1.0.0”, from the gameplay aspect. It has been featured in Mac App Store since the debut. The selling is beyond my expectation. And, on top of everything, the player feedback is truly fantastic.