Do sighted people like Audio Blackjack?

I demonstrated Blindfold Blackjack to many of my colleagues, and many suggested that the game would be great for Blackjack aficionados who want to play the game while doing something else.  That was why we experimented with the alternative names like “Audio Blackjack” and “Bored at Work Blackjack”.

We modified the app’s description in the iTunes App Store; the description mentioned how the app is great for playing Blackjack while you are driving, since that’s what everyone said when they heard about the game.  Apple immediately rejected the app’s new description, stating that it is against Apple’s policy to encourage reckless behavior.

Here’s our first attempt at a cartoon promoting that bad idea:
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We followed Apple’s suggestions, and made the description more appropriate for simply playing the game without anyone knowing what you are doing.  Here’s the updated cartoons that appeared in the App Store:

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iPhone 5 in vector format.

 

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We created a small graphic to use when advertising the product.

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We started a Facebook suggested post advertising campaign targeting the 2 million people who have an interest in Blackjack and own iPhones, and used the tag line “Blackjack in your car, or at work, without looking at the screen. It’s free!” and “Just listen and play”.

The suggested post was shown to 27,000 people; 335 people clicked the ad and they were taken to the iTunes App Store page on their iPhone to get the Blindfold Blackjack for free.   So far, so good.  Two people installed the app.  Neither of them purchased an in-app upgrades.  Based on how much we spent with Facebook, each installation cost about $40.

Assuming the sighted people really don’t care about an audio Blackjack game, we decided to see how effective Facebook would be at garnering the attention of visually impaired people for Blackjack.  At this point, I didn’t have a good understanding of how many blind people use Facebook.

Since the advertising image was irrelevant to our target audience, we changed the tag line to “Play Blackjack without looking at the screen.  It’s free.  Just listen.” and “Blackjack with your ears”.

We targeted the suggested post at people who stated they were visually impaired, and it was displayed to 3,400 people; 22 people clicked on the advertisement and they were taken to the iTunes App Store page on their iPhone to get the Blindfold Blackjack for free.   Four people installed the app.  None of the purchased an in-app upgrade.  Each installation cost about $11.

We terminated the Facebook campaign at that point, and reached several conclusions:

  • Facebook may be a potential way to reach the blindness community, but we need more research.
  • Sighted people are not interested in audio equivalent games of popular app games.
  • To use advertising to promote our Blindfold Games, we need a better way to generate money from each game.

What’s new with the Blindfold Games

I’ve been so busy working on games for the past half year, that I haven’t had much time to blog. I’ve built many new games, and I’m working on more, and every day, I get a suggestion for another game.

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The Blindfold series of games now includes:

    • Blindfold Hopper – a cross between the old arcade game Frogger and Angry Birds.
      Blindfold Crazy Eights – the card game Crazy Eights where you play against the computer, or other people in Apple’s Game Center.
      Blindfold Wildcard – similar to the card game UNO. Right now you play against the computer; we are testing playing against other people with Game Center.
      Blindfold War – the card game War. You can play against the computer, or other people with Game Center.
      Blindfold Spades – the card game Spades where you bid how many tricks you can take, and you play against the computer.
      Blindfold Solitaire – includes many popular solitaire games including Klondike 1 card, Klondike 3 card, Spider variants, Free Cell variants, Gold variants and Addition Solitaire variants.
      Blindfold Video Poker – just like a video poker machine in casinos.
      Blindfold Blackjack – play Blackjack against a dealer.
      Blindfold Sudoku – Sudoku played on a 9×9 grid.
      Blindfold Sudoku Mini – Sudoku played on a 4×4 grid, designed for beginners.
      Blindfold Cryptogram – Cryptogram letter substitution game based on quotes by famous people.
      Blindfold Racer – The original game that started this project. Drive with your ears, instead of your eyes.

I have several more games in testing, and I’m working with about 40 visually impaired people who come up with great ideas for each game. Some of them have even contributed audio files to make the games more realistic.

Over the next few months, I’ll go into detail about how each of the games were created and tested, and what else we have planned.