Tips from Djinnworks

They write little and rarely about Djinnworks, despite the fact that this small Austrian studio has been releasing top projects over and over again for the fourth year. Now, for example, Wingsuit Stickman is in the American top 10 paid games, and Line Surfer is in the top 10 free apps. Read about the studio, as well as the secret of their success, below.

Djinnworks games are very easy to learn. They are distinguished by severe graphic minimalism – awkwardly drawn characters against a background of crumpled paper – and a well-developed physical model.

Looking at their projects, it’s not hard to guess that the studio is small. However, knowing that in a little over three years Djinnworks has managed to release about 30 games on the App Store and Android, counting the Lite and HD versions, it is hard to believe that only three people work in it. These are the founders Robert Szeleney and Heiko Hufnagl, as well as the recently joined graphic designer Heiko Parzer. 

It is even harder to believe that with so many projects released, their quality is at a stable high level, and the fans of the company’s games are a sea and a small ocean. Moreover, many Djinnworks games, including Rope’n’fly, Stick Stunt Biker, Line Birds, have been at the top of the American paid apps chart more than once. 

Considering that at the moment, for the second week (from May 10), Wingsuit Stickman is in the American top 10 paid games, and their last year’s hit Line Surfer holds about the same amount in the American top 10 free games, we decided to find out what the secret is. 

“The most important thing is to make games that people really love,” says Robert Szeleny. – “Despite the fact that it sounds simple, it requires a good knowledge of the market, its analysis, as well as experience. At Djinnworks, we focus directly on the gameplay and believe that this is the most important thing in the game, this is what gets the user hooked on the game. As a rule, we keep the schedule to a minimum so that, in the end, it perfectly reflects the very essence of the project. There are many games with excellent graphics in the App Store. And, of course, it attracts those who are prone to impulsive actions and, accordingly, purchases. But if a particular game is not as interesting as it looks, it will be quickly forgotten. Make another such game – and perhaps no one will buy your developments anymore. But if you release some cool games that people will like, then most likely users will start following your projects themselves.” 

Another very important thing is updates,” Robert continues. “We always release updates to our successful projects. Stick Stunt Biker alone was updated about 20 times in 2011. And in each update we added new content, new features (tracks, mods, etc.). However, we also release updates for unsuccessful applications. If people don’t like our game, we immediately rework the concept, try to change what they didn’t like or caused them concern. A good example is Line Surfer. Half of the users liked it, and another half did not. We sat down, found what people specifically didn’t like and changed the game so as not to scare away those who liked the game anyway. Two updates later, Line Surfer had a 4.5″ rating.

“The main rule is as follows: if you like your own application, then it is very likely that others will like it,” sums up Heiko Hafnagl. 

By the way, the total number of downloads of Djinnworks studio games is more than 60 million. 

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