1 month 1 week ago

Any indie developer can tell you that building and selling an app is not a get rich quick scheme.  Unless you have a sizable team behind you, the game isn’t going to pay the bills. 

Everyone has their own reason for doing it and here is ours: my health.  Chris is a web developer so he likes to create things anyway and I was cornered into working from home.  However, we picked this particular type of game because I have epilepsy.  There are a lot of different kinds of epilepsy and different ways to treat it so I won’t go into them all.  Personally, one of the main problems I’ve been having is with my memory.  It’s unclear whether it’s from the seizures or the medications but there are many memories that I’ve lost.

We did a lot of research on the subject and realized that puzzle games, reading, writing and learning new things were all great “exercises” for memory problems.  Of course, there are a million puzzle apps out there, but none of them were exactly what I was looking for and that’s how Edges was born.  Chris actually came up with the basic concept and we both built off of it from there.  Believe me, designing a puzzle app, creating a company, learning marketing techniques and everything else that has gone into making “Edges – A Puzzle Challenge” has been exactly what I’ve been looking for. 

It has challenged both of us in the best possible ways and we are both learning as we go. Chris has kept his job because, of course, the game is hardly paying our cable bill.  However, I cannot put into words how much “Edges – A Puzzle Challenge” and Clearly Puzzled Games, LLC has changed my life.  


1 month 2 weeks ago

When we released Edges – A Puzzle Challenge, Chris and I researched early on what to do to get our name out there.  Every article seemed to agree that we needed to create a press kit and send it to all the app review sites.  There are dozens of review sites listed on just as many blogs.  We looked up each one.  They fall into four categories: 

First: sites that would only look at the app pre-launch.  We had already missed that boat. Being new to the business we waited until after the release, but we won’t be making that mistake again. 

Second: paid review sites.  This was out of the question for us.  Who is going to trust a site that is charging for reviews? 

Third: sites that review for free!  These were the ones we were looking for, but they were few and far between.  Most wanted an email with a description, a promo code, video and screen shots.  Not a press kit per se.  Unfortunately, most admitted that they would probably not have time to review Edges – A Fun Puzzle Challenge, or they would review the game but not notify us in any way.  Several sites generously wrote that if we wanted to speed the process along we could pay a modest amount or even advertise.  But the bloggers told us these "free review" sites were supposed to be our golden ticket to fame!  What were we doing wrong?  After three weeks of waiting, none of them reviewed and only two promo codes were used. 

And finally fourth: the sites that no longer existed.  Of the approximately one hundred sites that we visited, nearly fifty of them no longer existed.

So why in the world should we create a press kit that no one wanted?  It made no sense.  And yet article after article wrote that we needed a press kit.  At this point we thought what do we have to lose?  We even made a section on our site specifically for the press.  We announced that we had a press kit on twitter and told everyone where to find it.

Within twelve hours we had nine requests for promo codes!  If you’re an indie developer out there and you have been running into the same trouble we were, email us at and we’ll let you know how we put together the press kit.


1 month 3 weeks ago

Being in the app creating business is brutal.  There are over 2 million apps current in the iOS App Store.  Approximately 600,000 of them are games (the number fluctuates frequently).  So when Clearly Puzzled Games set out to launch its first game, Edges – A Puzzle Challenge, we knew we had competition.  However, there are some things we wish we knew ahead of time:

1) Advertise before the game launches 

We had no idea we should start to advertise before the game launched.  We just crossed our fingers and hoped for a smooth launch.  The only people who knew the game was going to be released were our friends and family.  After the smooth launch we started to send press releases to the app review sites, but many would only take pre-launch press kits.    

2) Social Media is your friend!

Get on every social media outlet you can!  Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn, and Twitter are all extraordinarily useful!  However, start all of these accounts, before you launch, not after.  The more followers you have on launch day, the better! You can keep your followers updated on the progression of development if you need content.  Be sure to update your content on all platforms often! 

3) The App Store Description Counts (a lot)!

It sounds obvious, and that’s probably because it is.  But when you’ve spent nearly 200 hours designing and developing a game and you’ve explained it to all of your friends at length, you know it like the back of your hand.  However, the general public may still not understand what your game is about or how to play, and that’s why copy counts.  It’s your sales pitch to the rest of the world!

4) Getting Featured on the App Store isn’t random  

Every morning after we released Edges – A Puzzle Challenge, I would check to see if we were featured on the front page or even in the editors’ choice section of the app store.  After all, we have a quality game! We haven’t been.  Then I did some research and realized that three weeks prior to launch we were supposed to fill out a request to get featured.  Usually it’s the bigger companies that get chosen, but the board meets to decide the game’s fate and they choose indie games if they are quality games.  We haven’t run our first update yet, but when we do I know exactly what to do first!  

5) Don’t stop producing apps

It’s important not to put all your eggs in one basket.  In other words, you put your heart and soul into one game knowing it is going to be a smash hit!  But what if it’s not?  At Clearly Puzzled Games we are fortunate that our game is slowly gaining traction, but slowly is the key word.  While we are still promoting Edges – A Puzzle Challenge, our second game is already in development.

Now that we’ve gone through the process once we won’t make the same mistakes twice.  Hopefully this will prevent other aspiring app developers from making the same mistakes we did!

1 month 3 weeks ago

From Indie Game Launch Pad:

I have built this site for developers to showcase their games, tell the world about them whilst in development and add links to where gamers can buy/download them and more. I will link it to the usual social media channels and hopefully it may help get you a download or two.

They and we really appreciate the exposure.