All About Symbian - Nokia (S60) and Sony Ericsson (UIQ) smartphones unwrapped

  #1  
Old 02-02-2007, 07:29 AM
slitchfield slitchfield is offline
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A puzzle for the weekend, sir?

Good games for S60 3rd Edition seem to be arriving in a steady stream. Quite a number of them from ZingMagic's direction, it has to be said. Here I review Magi-Mix, a superbly-implemented and very challenging word puzzle.

Read on in the full article.
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Old 02-02-2007, 11:45 AM
Shaxer Shaxer is offline
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nice review, Steve.
you seem to be really satisfied with ZingMagic games. I have bought one the other day too and it would be interesting to see your views on it - or your views on my views
which is more cheeky? requesting a review of Sokoban or writing one and asking for your opinion about it?

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Old 02-02-2007, 11:53 AM
slitchfield slitchfield is offline
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Well, there have been one or two (Chess, Yacht) which I personally have tactfully avoided reviewing 8-) But in general, they're pretty solid and worthwhile.

Yes, please do consider writing a review for AAS - I'd love to see your comments. Email me directly (I'm at slitchfield@ukonline.co.uk) and I'll take it from there.

Steve
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Old 02-02-2007, 02:26 PM
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timsalmon timsalmon is offline
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No trial again...Grrr!

Have the days gone completely where reviews on AAS put a standard reactionary statement to software developers about not providing a trial? I know it's only a few quid, but even so.

Ah, the old days...

Tim

  #5  
Old 02-02-2007, 02:47 PM
slitchfield slitchfield is offline
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Well, I'd normally make a comment, but games are a special case, especially something this focussed and simple in gameplay. And yes, it's only 5, about two pints of beer..... Obviously a trial/unlockable version would be preferable, but in this case I'm not going to castigate ZingMagic over it 8-)

Steve
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  #6  
Old 02-02-2007, 06:28 PM
bbj bbj is offline
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Hi all,

Whilst superficially trial versions may appear to be both cheap to produce and theoretically increase sales the problem, particularly with the new world order of Symbian OS 9, is that trial versions are quite expensive to develop

Lets assume registrations are based on IMEI
i) to be able to obtain IMEI's across the current range of devices your application has to be Symbian Signed. Any comments to the contrary are simply wrong. Even though some recent devices have now fixed this particular bug many devices in the wild require capabilities.

ii) the distribution agreements for practially all web distribution sites explitly state that any trial/registration type variants of applications must refer the downloader to the specific site the app was downloaded from. Whilst the same dialog can be used, a text variant is required.

Any variation in the download .SIS requires the application to be re-signed.

Even if i) above is fixed long term, its a non trivial task to change apps between those that need signing and those that dont. Quite a lot has to change.

Anyway, lets assume apps distributed via 10 web sites (a low number). Thats 10 different versions of the app required as each needs some different text. Each signing instance costs round numbers 200 euros. On average it takes us about 3 man hours to handle all the admin, uploading/downloading, purchasing, accounting etc etc that goes with dealing with the symbian signed process. (I believe some companies have a single person dedicated full time just to dealing with SS.)

Assuming a person costs 100euro/hr all in (cost usually twice salary rates).

So it costs approx 500 euro per SS variant. Across 10 sites thats 5000 euro in signing fees alone - with a product like Magi-Mix at current price point thats at least 1000 sales just to break even.

Oh - and if you want to produce an update - you have to go though the whole process again - so thats anther 5000 euro.

The alternatives:
A single 'commerical only' version. Signing costs: 500euro. Now only have to sell 100 copies to break even - i.e. 10% of trial versions. So even if we loose 90% of our sales by not having a trial version we can still afford to develop apps.

Produce the app as free ware. Trouble is wife seems to think we need food to eat, water to drink etc to stay alive, I happen to agree.

Put the price up considerably, to say 20 euro/copy to reduce the break even point to say 500 units. Except that price has as much if not more effect on unit sales compared to if there is a trial version or not.

Any other suggestions more than welcome.

Hopefully the above gives some insight as to why the 'old days' are commerically very different compared to today.

John

  #7  
Old 02-02-2007, 07:11 PM
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timsalmon timsalmon is offline
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Fair enough! Many more people trying to make a living out of this than there were in the 'old days' of shareware, I guess, when people were doing it as a hobby a lot of the time. Symbian Signed certainly seems to have changed things. Thanks for this insight.

Tim

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Old 03-02-2007, 08:30 AM
svdwal svdwal is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bbj View Post
Hi all,

Whilst superficially trial versions may appear to be both cheap to produce and theoretically increase sales the problem, particularly with the new world order of Symbian OS 9, is that trial versions are quite expensive to develop

[knip]
Any other suggestions more than welcome.

Hopefully the above gives some insight as to why the 'old days' are commerically very different compared to today.
Convince the testing house that signing ten copies of a trial version should cost as much as signing one copy of the same trial version. (The testing house is supposed to be able to see that binarues are identical in sis file). The only difference in these 10 copies is a file that points to the 10 different websites.

The ISV wins when the trial version generates enough extra sales to make up for the trial version testing costs.

The testing house wins because they make money testing the extra trial version.

The problem remains convincing the testing houses.
 

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