Successful Indie Devs stories: Tyson Ibele

Game developer Tyson Ibele has an impressive track record across his three mobile games. His first project, Jungle Moose, received about half a million downloads; Bean Boy followed up with 1.5 million; and his most recent, Quest Keeper, netted over 2 million. And if this wasn’t enough, he still has a day job doing 3D animation (which he’s been doing for over a decade).

Quest Keeper by Tyson Ibele

One thing that’s helped his success: All of Ibele’s games were given editorial features by Apple, appearing on the front page of the App Store. Not surprisingly, iOS is responsible for over 3.5 million of his games’ downloads. As for how he got Apple’s attention, he says getting some public recognition helped. Ibele points to the TouchArcade forums as a great place to post about your game — a busy thread is likely to catch the attention of editors. “The other apps that got featured the week I got featured, were apps with popular TouchArcade threads and a lot of developer feedback,” says Ibele.

“If you look on the App Store, you’ll see there are a ton of games that get featured almost purely because they’ve come up with unique gameplay in an extremely minimalistic design,” says Ibele, drawing attention to the French publisher Ketchapp as one consistent source to watch. “Look at the weekly features, take what you see there and distill it down to the building blocks of what a successful game is.”

Ibele’s Takeaway Tip: “I’ve got 4.5 million downloads, and my analytics say my average session length is 3.5 minutes. So if your gameplay isn’t fun in 3-5 minutes, you probably won’t do well on mobile.”

Right now he is working on Zombox, an open world top down game. You can follow his updates on twitter: @tysonibele or at his development blog:


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