The Required Roles When Reskinning Apps

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So how do you go about finding resources?  You know these humans with great knowledge of the industry and reskinning in general.

The first thing you need to do is establish who you need.

Part of this is figuring our your role in the process.

To give you a bit of an idea, some people who I reskin apps for like to take a more active role, others prefer to have a complete “hands off” experience.

For example, do you want to be involved in coming up with a name for your app?  Do you want to be involved in the icon design?  What about the graphics?  Uploading the completed game to the app store?

There are a number of roles that are required when doing an app reskin.

Artist

A large component of the work involves the graphics, so you need the artist.

Graphic-design

This is pretty much a given, unless you have some good graphic skills you should virtually never do this yourself.

Sound technician

Usually the sounds have to be replaced when you reskin a game, so who is going to find the right sounds, make sure their is a valid license for them, and to actually get a copy of them to the programmer for insertion into the game.

One of the arts to this process is getting the right sound for your theme.  For example if your theme is in the style of motor bikes (for example) you probably want the sounds in the game to be related to that.

It can be an art form to find good sounds.  The same applies for music if the game has any.

Programmer / Coder / Developer

For a reskin they do not have a huge role, it can be as simple as “copying” all the new graphics and sounds into the reskin, and “updating” the parts of the code that deal with monetization.  That is the part of the code that ensures, when the player clicks an Ad, or downloads a “Free” app, or does an in app purchase, that the money ends up in your account.

Steven-Brien-Web-Developer


As mentioned earlier, it is entirely possible to do this yourself if you own a relatively recent Mac computer (3-4 years old) and are prepared to invest a bit of time in learning.

Have a read of this blog post where I discuss some cool courses you can sign up for to learn how to do this yourself.

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ASO (App Store Optimization) Dude

New buzz word that did not really exist before “app stores”.

As you will see in the optimization section of this eBook there is more to reskinning a game than just changing out the graphics and sound and uploading,.   Some research and analysis needs to be done on keywords to be used in the app name, descriptions, and the like to maximize your downloads.

What about the demographics (audience) of your new reskin.  Even the design of the icon can have some important elements to think about with ASO.

app-store-optimization-aso

This is another area you can do yourself if you have time to research and understand the concepts.

But trying to save money by doing this section yourself, and then not doing a proper job can be shooting yourself in the foot because you may miss out on a lot of downloads, and revenue that an app with good ASO would get.

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Misc/other tasks (including Testing)

Things like uploading your app to the app store, or creating the screenshots that “advertise” the game in the app store.

You need a Mac computer to upload the app to the app store.  Screenshots do not require a mac.

Screenshots are relatively easy to create, but again consider the ASO process.  You will see many games use text in the screenshots to encourage downloads by the player.

The idea of the screenshots is to give your potential player who is reviewing your app in the app store an overview of what the game is like.  So take the time to do these screenshots properly to get the player excited.

What about the overall responsibility to ensure that everything has been completed?  That is has all been tested.

Are all the graphics replaced correctly?  What about on the iPhone and the iPad versions?  What about the retina version of the graphics?

This may mean you need four separate devices to test properly.

Its very easy to miss an individual graphic file when reskinning, so either you pay for someone to make sure its all done, or you do it yourself.

Just who will check that in fact ALL images have been replaced, that all sound filed have been replaced, that when an ad is clicked, that the “click” is recorded in your stats.

See where I am going?   Each of these are separate roles that you need to make a decision on – e.g. DIY or outsource?

The amount of involvement you are prepared to take, the time you are prepared to allocate, the money you have to spend, and even the computer equipment you own, all play a part in which of these components you will outsource and which you will do yourself.

Many people I speak to choose to have someone to “do the lot” for them so they don’t have to worry about it themselves, and that is a good option.  But be sure the person you choose understands their role.

Expect to pay extra for this service.  Most outsourcers will NOT do this level of checking for you.

They general thinking of an average outsourcer is that they will wait for you to find errors and report the things that need to be fixed.  They are not particularly good at checking their work.

This is one of the reasons to consider paying a little extra.

I have been an online marketer for a number of years and have done a lot of search engine optimization in my time so have studied App store optimization extensively.

But other programmers might have no knowledge of ASO.  Or more dangerous (for you) they may have a “bit” of knowledge and will advise you on what they think you should use as keywords, etc.

What I am trying to make clear here don’t assume that a professional is an expert in everything.  e.g. A good artist is not usually a good programmer, a good programmer is not often a good ASO “dude”, and a good project manager is not necessarily a good programmer.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions.  If possible get onto Skype or the phone and talk to the person you are planning to use.  Ask some hard hitting questions. 

Make sure the person you hire is an expert in what you are hiring them for.  Or if you are “prepared” to go with someone with a bit of knowledge in that area you need help with, make sure you make allowances for this with that component of work they do for you and to not expect a perfect job. 

Remember that not paying for these services, or relying on outsourcers who are not experts in the areas they are working on may well affect your income in the app store.

Ok, enough babble about roles and the various types of resources, how do we find them ?

One way is to start on websites like freelancer, or odesk, elance, etc.

On these websites you will find many many people to choose from, from a variety of countries, each with a variety of skills.

Be fully prepared to find people who will happily try to scam you by pretending to have skills they do not have.  This is where an interview is useful.  Not necessarily to “catch them out” but also to figure out, are they are good match for you.

Do you get on well?

For example, some programmers come across as very condescending and even arrogant.   Yes it’s true, hard to believe.    Arguably you could say to a degree its a lack of social skills in some examples, but do you want to work with someone like that?

What about someone with poor English who you struggle to make understand what you are trying to achieve?

Or what about someone who is the reverse, too “scared” to talk to you, or to offer suggestions, or to voice their opinions.

For example I have established in this ebook that I am not an artist, but often I will have an idea in my head for a certain theme.

Click here to read another reskinning apps article

About the Author Tim Buchalka

Tim and his team completed over 500 reskins for himself or clients, and is an expert in the field.He has written 3 complete games, and has two complete video courses on Udemy that are about reskinning (as well as an Android development course with over 16,000 students!).
You can find out more about Tim’s video courses here. He has also written a 110 page ebook about reskins that will give you the knowledge and skills you need to succeed with reskins which is available on this website. You can get a complimentary copy of this ebook as well as discounts to his video courses by visiting this link. To contact Tim, visit this sites contact page.

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