Jason (one of my readers of this blog) ask me an interesting question.
I am interested in creating or reskinning apps for profit, although I am computer literate I am not familiar with code are their any publications I can read or tips you have or is this even possible with my lack of knowledge on the subject?
Interesting question. Let me say it’s very much possible to do this with no experience, but that the more you can learn before you dive in the better.
Here are a couple of definite things you do not need:
- You don’t need to be a programmer
- You don’t need to be an artist
- You don’t need to be a gamer
- You don’t need to own a mac or an iPhone (Mac computers are required to upload apps to Apple’s app store
- You don’t need to know anything about ASO (App store optimization).
The first two point (no need to be a programmer or artist or more or less 100% true). You can find resources to do this for you. My own company Intrinsic Services provides these services.
But in addition there are a ton of contract sides like elance.com, odesk.com, freelancer.com and more where you can find a ton of people to perform these tasks. Check out my article on finding resources for your app reskinning projects for specific information.
The third point about not needing to be a gamer is also true. But it does help if you are a gamer since it gives you more of an understanding of what the industry is all about and can actually help you in deciding things like the type of games you should specialise in (if any), what constitutes a “fun” game, and things like that.
The other big thing it does is help you understand how games generate revenue for the game producers. What the ads look like, the in app purchases, how getting someone to download a free game can earn you money, that type of thing. Actually playing games that have these types of monetization in them can help you understand the entire industry better.
Basically this knowledge can help you make more informed decisions. If you know nothing about games right now, then nothing is stopping you downloading some games on your iPhone, or other smart device and playing around with some. You might be surprised at how much fun is to be had, and heck, a ton of games won’t cost you a cent to download.
You definitely don’t need to own a Mac to be an apps producer – Yes a Mac computer is needed in order to develop a game for the iPhone or iPad, but as previously mentioned you can outsource that process. Another thing to note is if you are looking to create apps for Android, a Mac is not required.
Technically its not necessary to own a smart device (iPhone/iPad, Android phone/tablet, etc) but it makes sense to do so. I mean having an iPhone (for example) means you can actually test games you are getting reskinned. A good idea particularly early on. And as mentioned its a good idea to do some research and play some games to understand the industry better.
ASO is another skill you technically do not need to know, but having some knowledge of, will help you out dramatically. ASO covers things like the choice of icons, keywords, conversions (viewers into downloads) and things along those lines.
Generally ASO is not something you leave to a programmer or an artist – it takes specialised skills. But the thing is, you do not need to be a geek to learn it, you just need to do some research and learn the basics. The information is out there.
Here are a few specific examples – A “border” around your game icon is usually a good idea, so that it does not “blend” into the background meaning the icon fails to attract the attention of the potential downloader.
See this as an example.
Note how the first image naturally attracts your eye whereas the second image seems to almost blend in with the background. Strong colours are important as well.
What about knowing that despite people generally agreeing that keywords should not be put in the description field of an app in Apple app store, that in fact it can be a good idea, because Google and other search engines can pick them up and deliver some traffic for you. e.g. Google will “index” your apps “page” on apples site and often this will rank incredible well!
e.g. People search for apps in the app stores and sometimes in Google as well. Best to optimize for both, right?
The point I am making here, is a lot of this stuff can be learned by allocating some time to research it. It’s entirely possible to completely hand over the entire app reskinning project to an individual or a company like ours, and have it completed for you, but having a base level of knowledge certainly won’t hurt you.
It’s all about what level of involvement you want to take in the process. Where possible you should outsource the “work” component of the project like the programming and artwork to professionals and concentrate on the more important things like monetization, business strategy, and the like. e.g. Work on your business, not in it. The “work” should generally be outsourced (but as part of a plan with you understanding the overall process).
The process of reskinning games is not that hard if you are prepared to do a bit of research and ground work up front.
Got questions? Ask them below and I’ll do my best to answer them.