How to distribute an iOS game funded by Kickstarter
C Frank0 stashed this in Kickstarter
This is brilliant, though I'm missing something:
The most important step was telling Apple what we were going to do before we did it. We were pretty confident this plan would work and didn’t break their rules, but there was no way we were going to rely on it without getting some confirmation. Luckily, they reached out to us first because they thought the game sounded cool, so we took that opportunity to explain our issue and proposed solution. They were very helpful and in fact offered some other potential solutions, along with the advice that the free ZR Advance app must have at least some content for curious downloaders (in our case, we made some of our Codex available, plus people could look at the base).
How does a normal person -- say, you or me -- tell Apple what we're going to do?
Especially since he says that Apple would not like him to reveal who he talked with?
Otherwise, AWESOME idea. Thank you for sharing the link!
Yes, this is brilliant!
I had met founder of AppBackr.com back in early 2010. They were trying to do the exact same thing... I suspect Kickstarter today has a lot of momentum and is probably a better place to fund such projects.
Also shedding some light on how Apple works... (-:
As *normal person*, I have had my fair share of Apple review rejects as well as slap on wrist for doing things that clearly violate Apple ToS etc. (AppDiscover, an app to discover other cool apps, was scraping iTunes for the first year of the product which was against Apple ToS).
In all these instances we worked out schemes or explained to Apple why we are doing what we are doing and it always turned out just fine.
Apple does not want to let developers have names of individual Apple employees who review these apps, however apple has a robust process in place to be able to speak with *someone* and to explain your position. We felt, Apple was quite flexible about making adjustments. Once in a while we hit a wall but that is actually much rare than what the popular media / blogs would have you believe.
Most folks don't know this, but apple has a support line for developers which you can just call and get a live person to talk to. These numbers are listed at https://developer.apple.com/contact/phone.php (apple developer account is needed to access the numbers). I always called the 1 (408) 974-4897 number. (-:
Once you call and leave a detailed message and create a 'case' in Apples system, wheels start to move. There are very very few exceptional cases where things just went to the black hole and nothing came out of it.
We did not have any such experience, every time we created a case we got a response. Sometime we got to talk to someone, sometime we didn't need to talk to anyone after our initial message was provided, and some other times we received emails with next steps, request for a phone call with someone or email with queries seeking more information which we provided via email and via the section in app description for reviewer. In all case things were resolved.
Sometime we had to make changes to our app slightly and we got some better understanding of why Apple insisted on asking us to do things a certain way. Sometimes we were approved just as it, once they understood why we were doing things a certain way.
In my experience, the big frustration developers have (and we had too) related to the opaqueness of the process and related to not having a sense of clarity on the time line of response. So these two things caused a great deal of heart burn but once you developed a stomach for such uncertainty and plan a little, things mostly work out well.
Ashish, thank you so much for sharing this!
I now feel like I at least understand the process of contacting Apple.
And yes, Kickstarter and Indiegogo and other crowdfunding platforms offer a very promising future for mobile entrepreneurs, I think. Funding development in advance of shipment could really enable some fantastic apps.
We were also wondering how we could get in touch with Apple regarding Gym Hero, because we feel we need to be featured in the App Store. Even though we have splendid reviews and only get praise, we don't really move up in the store rankings, because they're full of the old players in the gym workout app section. People don't like their apps, but they're popular - and I have the feeling that being popular is enough to stay popular in the app store rankings.
Thanks for the tipp with calling Apple, we'll try that.
Kickstarter and games seems like a natural fit now but I'm not sure how many people really knew to what degree that was true until very recently.
I work for a company that published some of Double Fine / Tim Schafer's more recent games. *Nobody* expected what happened in March:
I'm starting to wonder if consumers are as burned out of Kickstarter as I am.
I won't contribute to any more Kickstarter projects.
No instant gratification. Sorry, entrepreneurs, I think a lot of Kickstarters are scams.