Game Design Game Development Geek / Technical

Freshly Squeezed Progress Report – Submitted to App Stores…Now We Wait…

In my previous sprint report, I changed the URLs for my Call to Action buttons so I can do some simple analytics whenever someone shows an interest in signing up for my mailing list or otherwise going to my website, and I started updating the build so that the game complies with Google Play’s latest policies and requirements.

I continued the work of creating the builds to release to the app stores.

Sprint 52: Release criteria

Planned and Complete:

  • Update Android targetSdkVersion to 30
  • Create Android bundle
  • Create Google Play store entry
  • Create App Store entry

Planned and Incomplete:

  • Create a strategy guide

Unplanned and Incomplete:

  • Update Toy Factory Fixer web pages

First, let me take a moment to look harder at that number above. Sprint 52. That’s 52 weeks I’ve tracked my work on this project. An entire year’s worth of slow and steady progress. And it is finally coming to fruition.

I think I’ll have more to say about spending 52 weeks on what was supposed to be a one month project in a post-mortem.

Anyway, in my last report, I was worried about how changing the target SDK broke the game’s ability to open a web browser and get to my website, and luckily it was a relatively quick fix.

It turned out that Android is starting to require more information about what an app might do, and so there is a new thing in the manifest file called queries, in which your app expresses its intent to use things such as ACTION.VIEW with the scheme HTTP or HTTPS. Once those were in place, the app seemed to work correctly again. I plan to write up the technical details in another post.

Next up was creating a new Android bundle, and luckily there was no real difference between the bundle I submitted for an update to Toytles: Leaf Raking and the bundle needed for a new app, or at least I didn’t need to change anything on my end, so the bundle built just fine with my existing build scripts.

Then I needed to submit the bundle to the Google Play store, and it was here that I finally decided to figure out exactly what I needed in terms of screenshots and such. I re-created the app icon and the feature image since they were originally created months ago when the game looked a little different, then I spent time playing the game and taking multiple screenshots, trying to setup good looking situations that might make someone curious enough to play the game.

Toy Factory Fixer

I had to create a privacy policy, which is a little modified from the one I used for my previous app. I needed to specify details about the data I track, which isn’t much.

Otherwise, once I had the screenshots, I was able to submit the app for review.

Next, I needed to build the app for iOS, and there were no new requirements I could find, and I was able to build, test, and upload to the App Store.

I created a store page, reusing a lot of content from the Google Play side, and the only trick is that iOS requires separate screenshots for multiple form factors. As my game does scaling, it means in practice that there are black bars at the top and bottom or the left and right edges of the screen on some devices, and so I modified the existing screenshots quickly.

I similarly had to answer some questions about the data I track and how it is not personally identifiable, and then I submitted it for review.


At this point, all I can do is wait.

Toy Factory Fixer - In Review

Well, that’s not true. There is always more work to do.

In creating the privacy policy, I realized I needed to update the web pages related to Toy Factory Fixer. For instance, once the game is released, it shouldn’t say “Coming soon” anymore. The animated GIF is outdated. I need to provide links to the app stores. And so on.

And I still want to create a strategy guide as a free gift for people who subscribe to the Curiosities Newsletter (see below).

But basically, as soon as both app stores approve of the game, assuming they don’t find anything that I need to fix first, then I will be sending an email to my newsletter subscribers and telling them that the game is available.

So if you want to be one of the first to know, subscribe below!

Then you can wait with me, and I hope the wait isn’t too long. I’m really looking forward to you trying out my latest game.

Thanks for reading!

Want to learn when I release updates to Toytles: Leaf Raking or about future Freshly Squeezed games I am creating? Sign up for the GBGames Curiosities newsletter, and get the 24-page, full color PDF of the Toytles: Leaf Raking Player’s Guide for free!