Kiwi game developer hits 1 million mark in three days

  • January 15, 2013
  • Sim Ahmed
Kiwi game developer hits 1 million mark in three days

In only three days, Dave Frampton's latest iPhone and iPad game surpassed one million downloads on the Apple App Store, and its success continues to grow.

The Blockheads is a world builder game where the player controls a Blockhead as it constructs a house, mines for minerals, and explores an expansive map. Released on January 10, The Blockheads quickly hit the Top 10 App Store games charts in Australia, Canada, and New Zealand and is currently the top free iPad app in the US.

(Pictured: Sim Ahmed's blockhead, Oliver, attacking a carrot with a piece of flint)

Frampton is no stranger to App Store success. Majic Jungle, his one-man development shop, has created other charting apps like Chopper and its sequel, Chopper 2.

Frampton told Idealog the success of his previous games played a major role in supporting the development of The Blockheads, which took a year.

"Without the successes of Chopper and Chopper 2, I wouldn't have been able to develop The Blockheads," says Frampton.

"Despite it taking a little less time in months to develop than Chopper 2, I actually put a lot more hours into it working long days. I couldn't have done that if I had to also go to work in order to eat."

 (Pictured: The Blockheads developer, Dave Frampton) 

Although the game is free to download and play, users can buy Time Crystals which unlocks different challenges and speeds up the time for crafting. Frampton is keeping the sales figures for The Blockheads close to his chest at this time.

The freemium model is becoming more common and customers expect it, says Frampton. Taking advantage of it helps establish a player base from which the game can make money later, he adds.

"Being free allows it to have the least friction possible, so many more people can play it and hopefully tell other people how awesome it is," says Frampton.

Frampton puts the rapid ascent of The Blockheads down to cross promotion with other popular iOS games. During the development of The Blockheads he also created a series of teaser videos and giveaways to garner publicity, but isn't sure how much impact that has had on the game's success.

The Blockhead's similarities to the popular world building game Minecraft are acknowledged by Frampton. He says he has contacted Minecraft's creator Markus "Notch" Persson, and does not believe there will be any legal issues due to the two games' similarities.

"The idea of using cubes and pixel art textures is definitely borrowed from Minecraft. I think it's a beautiful aesthetic and the simple graphical approach makes such a complex game possible. However, there won't be any legal issues as The Blockheads is at its core a very different game, and it doesn't use any Minecraft assets or infringe on trademarks," says Frampton.

Developing the game and maintaining a healthy work-life balance was difficult, says Frampton. Finding time to work on The Blockheads, and attend to his one year old son meant sacrificing other aspects of his life, like surfing.

Frampton says he's unsure whether to expand the team at Majic Jungle in order to find time to develop other games. It's a decision which would come with benefits and drawbacks to Frampton's way of life.

"I love being my own boss, and have no real interest in managing others or growing a large company. However it's getting to the point where opportunities are slipping by because I just don't have the time. I don't want to cripple where this could go, so it's a difficult decision and I'm still thinking about it very carefully," says Frampton.

Originally published in Idealog.

This is a community discussion forum. Comment is free but please respect our rules:

  1. Don’t be abusive or use sweary type words
  2. Don’t break the law: libel, slander and defamatory comments are forbidden
  3. Don’t resort to name-calling, mean-spiritedness, or slagging off
  4. Don’t pretend to be someone else.

If we find you doing these things, your comments will be edited without recourse and you may be asked to go away and reconsider your actions.
We respect the right to free speech and anonymous comments. Don’t abuse the privilege.

Spotify gives its outdoor campaign a witty local twist

  • Advertising
  • August 17, 2017
  • StopPress Team
Spotify gives its outdoor campaign a witty local twist

At the end of last year, Spotify crunched the numbers and surfed its playlists to give thanks to its users for a 'weird' 2016. Now, Spotify's brought its highly successful 'Platform for Discovery' campaign to New Zealand shores to highlight some the most bizarre habits of Kiwi listeners.

Read more
Next page
Results for
Topics
Jobs
About

StopPress provides essential industry news and intelligence, updated daily. And the digital newsletter delivers the latest news to your inbox twice a week — for free!

©2009–2015 Tangible Media. All rights reserved.
Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our Privacy policy.

Advertise

Contact Vernene Medcalf at +64 21 628 200 to advertise in StopPress.

View Media Kit