Making Money with Android

Anagram Hero - May 2013

I think we should start off with costs to create Anagram Hero.

Sounds: $500
Promo video: $1500
Graphics work: $5600
Outsourced node.js consulting: $2150
Outsourced Game Engine: $5300

Total: $15k

Ongoing costs:

  • GAE servers + node.js boxen: $200/month (minimum cost, not saturated)
  • $50/month (actually $99/m, but shared with WordHero)

May 2013 income:
Leadbolt: 82k impressions @ 0.23% CTR = $16.19
MMedia: 747k impressions @ 0.33% CTR = $158.75
Mopub market: 213k impressions = $96.64
Admob: 8k impressions = $0.57

Total: $272.15 (so a little above running costs). So average eCPM = $0.25

Flurry user data:
91k sessions
4.5k active users

ROI = 0.133%



Dude, I think you may have paid way to much to create this application. What do you think?

In my opinion you could have done without the video -$1500 (or gotten a cheaper one for $500)

Regarding the graphics work - someone took advantage of you. $5600 is ridiculous for graphics. Next time come to me and my team will gladly do it for you for $500.

As for the $5300 for game engine creation - I think you could have gotten this done for way less also. For this amount of money you could have hired two full time senior java/android developers from India - for 3 months, or more.

I did not write this to attack you or get a rise out of you. I wanted you to know that it should not have taken this much money to create that game. I appreciate the complexity of your app but it seems like maybe you got caught up with some expensive developers/designers who cared more about making money than working efficiently for your business.

Again - what are your thoughts on this, do you think you paid too much?

And for sounds in the future use this site, they should not have cost more than $50 - Royalty Free Stock Video, Music, Photos, Illustrations, Sound Effects, After Effects and 3D Models |

Holy shit.

At this point my recommendation is to change up the ASO aspect- try different icons and descriptions. It might get featured by Google Play like your last game so don’t give up quite yet.

Sorry man but I can’t believe you invested so much in this app …

I noticed, that so many users really can appreciate your app without good graphics (I am a bit lucky because I am sound designer, programmer and mid-level graphics designer myself, and I got many friends at almost every part in the IT sector. It is a give and take scheme with my friends, everyone helps out everyone so almost no one of us has any costs.

I recommend you to invest more time of yourself in learning how to do basic sounds and graphics so you can reduce your costs enornumously (damn I cant spell this word xD)

Greets, and good luck, Alex

EDIT: I don’t wanna offense you and I won’t flag you, because I am not an asshole, but JUST IN CASE you bought ratings, take care of the ratio, it seems very very odd…

Some feedback:

  1. Nobody got paid more than $20/hour, except the engine person.
  2. Almost every graphic required 3-4 different iterations before a final was chosen. The final one was further modified. There are over 100 files in drawable-hdpi (excluding the country flags!)
  3. I tried sounds from websites, but could not find a consistent theme for a bunch of sounds (each action also has up to 3 sounds - a random one is chosen). I don’t regret getting a professional to create custom sounds.
  4. Promo video. Ask anyone who does this professionally, and that price is insanely good. Some kid with After Effects does not produce that sort of quality. The video was done because I assumed I could get the app featured on Google Play using contacts at Google, and having a video is a requirement. I was wrong (about getting featured).
  5. I got a quote on using AndEngine to redo the engine I had written (from scratch using SurfaceView)… it was over $20k @ $20/hr.
  6. I spent around 5 months full time on it. Almost no code is shared with WordHero. Probably > 100 hours a week. My company used to cost me out at > $150/hr. Add that in and you now know why people quote app development costs of > $100k.
  7. Yes… ASO is now the next step. I have hired Gabriel @ App Store Optimization and ASO … lets see what happens. We might all be doing this in a few months.
    @alecman : I did not buy ratings. What ratio are you talking about ?

@pwndroid : PM me about graphics… I am looking to redo WordHero’s main screen.

Well my app has 10 times more downloads but only 2 thirds of the ratings you have.

The +1s are half of the amount of the ratings, normally they are ROUGHLY close to them

I don’t know man, I think you are over thinking this entire thing. Let’s put it this way, I have been following word hero and your progress on Anagram Hero for quite awhile but I think your missing a fundamental reason for the lack of success with Anagram Hero: No one knows what the fuck an anagram is (at least no one that owns an android. The first thing that Gabriel should have told you is change the name. The most popular anagram app on the market is 100 sec anagram. This app came out in October 2012 and has somewhere between 10-50k in downloads. This was released by a developer that has a gazillion downloads on his other apps. The guy probably uses house ads. You think he would have been able to drum up more downloads than 50k right? The name is too exclusionary and pretentious is my opinion. A 6 year old should be able to be able to know what the words in the title means. I’m not even sure my 16 year old knows what an anagram is lol! Anyways, no offense, I hope none taken. Change the app name to mixed up words or something like that and watch the downloads go through the roof.

I think you are missing your biggest source of free downloads: Players of Word Hero. If I’m correct you only used banner ads for cross promotion in Word Hero. Banner ads are useless. I’ve tried campaigns with banner ads: 1+million impressions, 300 installs. You need to do like a custom full screen ad letting all your players of Word Hero know about Anagram Hero, in my opinion.

LOL that’s me right there. I use the entire adobe suite; sound forge, soundbooth and pro tools for audio; then program in java, python and bash.

I am my own app studio and wish i had other people that wanted to make apps around me. But all the programmers i know from work (my regular job) are burnt out each day. They make the gambling video slot machines you see in casinos around the world. I am the test engineer that does my best to break them :slight_smile:

@mind - killer game but those costs do seem a bit high.

@danixp : agreed. I think so too. Let’s see what Gabriel comes up with :slight_smile:
@XdebugX: I used banners in WH. Shitty response. I agree that a full-screen advert is needed. I will be putting something like that into WordHero in an update (currently looking for a graphics guy).

@hubris: yeah, GAE costs don’t scale well… and by that time you are locked into the platform. If I have a second app that brings in a LOT (like over $100k), I’ll pay someone to build me a proper stack on EC2. But I know Python, so it was just so damn easy to get started on GAE and have everything I needed already available (memcache, task queues, db, RPC, etc, etc).

@alecman : I think I know why. My “Rate this app” does not have a “I don’t want to ever see this dialog again” button. Just a “No thanks” button. Which resets the 3 days + 7 uses before it triggers again. Call it a… uhh… ‘bug’ :slight_smile:

@hubris lol that’s pretty funny :smiley:
Are you doing “real” music as well? Maybe we could do sth together, or even a whole app ( a synth or sth like that )

sry for offtopic…

@mind well I didn’t try this to prevent me from annoying users^^

Well, I don’t think I am doing anything underhanded. If they run the app once a day, they will see the dialog once a week (3 days AND 7 uses). If they run the app multiple times a day, they will still see the dialog only every 3 days. I don’t remember, but the buttons are probably “Rate this app!” and “Not right now”. Hitting the ‘rate’ button will prevent the dialog from ever being seen again, regardless of whether you rate the app or not.

So, the behavior might not be ‘standard’ … but it is not deceptive and can be easily gotten rid of, without rating the app (although the way you do this is not exactly intuitive… but lets blame that on bad UI design… or something ;))

I love python. The whole reason i even learned it was the funny monty python references in the classes.

I mix music. I am terrible at a good many instruments (bass guitar, piano, dideridoo, hammered dulcimer). But its much easier to get basic sets of separated music and do whatever you want. I have nearly a full size audio studio because it do my own SFX and voice overs. My prize piece is my 32x8 Mackie analog sound board.


with all the respect , i think the icon for Anagram Hero is horrible! I do not understand what you tried to do there. Whats that background for? Why is “Anagram Hero” written there (thats the title for) instead of using that space to explain whats the game about? And it also looks a little bit cheap.

It seems like it is a joke, considering the excellent icon you got for Wordhero (says EVERYTHING with that icon)

Change the icon immediately. Just my personal opinion.

More likely to wait for Gabriel @ App Store Optimization and ASO to see what he has to say. But yeah, probably needs a new icon.

Notes about the icon:

  • 99designs -> best designs used in A/B testing with Admob
  • same icon developer as WordHero

Go figure…

Oh Okay.
By the way did you buy the $450 package of ASO or he offered it for a lesser price?