I am also currently developing a game where I’m gonna offer different upgrades to make the ‘hero’ better. At first I was only thinking about using IAP’s for buying extra coins, but after reading this topic I’m pretty sure I’ll also use Tapjoy.
As per David’s suggestion I ‘volunteered’ to try out Tap Tap Revenge to see how they did it. I haven’t played it a lot yet (will have to play more some other day, purely for business reasons of course, like David wrote ) but this is how they seem to do it:
They have two different kinds of currencies in the game, Credits and Coins.
When you play a song you will earn extra coins (depending on how well you do it, I guess). Those coins can be used for customizing your character, for example buying different hats or accesories. As far as I could tell there was no other way of aqcuiring coins than playing the game (and also ‘liking’ their Facebook page).
You could also get clothes and such by paying through IAP’s that cost between $0.99 and $1.99.
There was a few different ways to get more songs. For every level you went up you would unlock free songs and also samples of songs (which meant you only got about half a minute of the song). You could then also buy other songs, for example the full songs of the ones you previously only had a sample of. When buying a song it often meant buying a song pack, which meant you got more than one song, often from the same artist. The more songs included in the pack the more money it cost.
For example, a pack with 2 songs cost $0.99 while a pack with 10 songs cost $4.99
Those were paid using in-app-purchases. But you could also purchase all the packs using credits. You got credits by completing different offers, using what I’m guessing was Tapjoy. Those offers were either downloading games (free or paid) or some other offer, such as buy something on a specific website.
After doing some research it seems you can also get credits in a contest every week;
“There is another way to get free credits. When they release a new track every Thursday there is a contest. You have to score higher then what they want you to score. If you score higher you could have a chance to win 1000 credits but other from that the only way to get credit easily is to download the apps.”
I can not confirm wether this is true or not and it could be that this is not possible anymore since it was posted a year ago (Source: http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20110210133204AAckV5y)
So you either earn credits by completing offers or you buy the track pack with IAP’s. However note that you’re not purchasing credits with the IAP’s so there’s no way that you can combine the offers and pay for a small amount of credits with IAP’s to pay for the song packs but you have to earn the full amount of credits using offers only.
So that is how Tapolous are doing it, and it seems as it’s working out great for them.
In my game I’m probably going to use both IAP’s and TapJoy but you can buy and earn some kind of currency (like coins) with both so you can combine them to get the amount of coins needed. That way people who can’t use IAP’s for one reason or the other can get free coins in a different way too.
The only problem with that would be the permissions, however I don’t think that would be a very big problem. Personally I never check what permissions are needed before downloading something and like David confirms the majority seems to be like me. Sure, it’s probably easier for a bigger company, like Tapolous, who have got millions of downloads to ‘get away with it’ but if you just state why the permissions are needed in the description of your application then it probably shouldn’t be a problem.
Please tell us what method you choose to go with, why and how it’s working out for you (whenever you’re finished)