For this first part of our Developer Q&A series, we sit with Sunny Lee, maker of classic arcade shooter game, Salad Hunt.
- Q1. How did your early experiences influence what you are doing today?
Our father was an electrical engineer who immigrated from Taiwan, so we had a lot of early exposure to computers and games. Even though games have become bigger and more complex over the years, we still see flashes of the gameplay we enjoyed growing up, but wrapped in a flashy modern container. The games we’re making are designed to recreate some of the basic gameplay we knew from video game arcades but redesigned for a new generation on mobile platforms.
- Q2. When did you come up with the idea of Salad Hunt? How was the idea conceived?
The name and theme of Salad Hunt originated from Telly’s time as an expatriate in Hong Kong. While lunches in central Hong Kong can be delicious, they would often also be heavy and unhealthy. The quest for a more balanced diet led to his weekly ‘salad hunt’. During his time in Asia, he also noted the frequency of restaurant mascots that were cute versions of the food they served (i.e. sushi, chestnuts, buns, etc.). Pondering the appearance of a salad restaurant mascot would be the origin story of the Salad Hunt cast.
- Q3. What has been your strategy for promoting/acquiring new users for your app?
Our strategy has been focused on our core demographic of children, their stressed-out parents, and in general, the young at heart. We’ve been working with a number of indie gaming organizations, video influencers, and family-friendly entertainment organizations in order to bring Salad Hunt directly to the end users without competing directly against the large studios for attention on the App Stores.
- Q4. When did you start thinking about monetization?
We’ve considered monetization since we started conceptualizing Salad Hunt. Although our primary goal as a new studio has been to bring our product to as many users as possible (hence making it free-to-play), we recognize that proper monetization would both increase player engagement as well as support ourselves for continued development long after release.
- Q5. What has been your app monetization strategy?
We opted for rewarded video ads as our main monetization method. Aside from monetization, our goal has been to maximize engagement with players and give non-intrusive breaks in gameplay which are best achieved with rewarded video ad format.
- Q6. What prompted the move to ad mediation?
The fact that ad mediation offers revenue maximization and ad diversity by bringing in multiple demand partners encouraged us to adopt it for monetizing our app.
- Q7. Why did you choose video ad formats for your app? Do you run other ad formats as well? What is the strategy behind it?
We run in-app video ads only. Video ads, in general, are more receptive and with formats like rewarded videos, it offers a non-obstructive user experience which we are optimal for our game app. Other ad formats are less effective and some can be distracting to players.
- Q8. What advice would you like to give to aspiring app developers?
Don’t overthink and just start making games. Even if you’re not an experienced programmer, there are plenty of online courses that can get you started and you can tweak basic games until they start to become your own.