An Indie's Tale: Jandusoft
Who is Jose Antonio and what do you do at JanduSoft?
My name is Jose Antonio Andujar and my friends often call me Jandu, that’s why the name of my company is JanduSoft. I graduated from Computer Engineering school in 2007 but I’ve been passionate about computers since I was a kid. I’ve always enjoyed doing computing projects like Robots (DSRobot) for DS homebrew games (follarium), etc.
JanduSoft is currently just me, so I get to do everything: programming, marketing, design, business management, web design, web administrator, etc … I’ve outsourced very few parts of the game development, just the graphic design mainly.
How did the company start?
In 2011, I was working in a company and was fired along with most of my colleagues. It was the first time I was fired from a job and that made me think I had to move forward and make a personal project. I started developing ”Guess the Character” by myself, but in less than one month found a job, leaving the game unfinished.
Since I could only dedicate my free time to the development, it took me four months to finish the first version of the game and I launched it in June 2011. It only got 100,000 downloads in a year.
In April 2012 I decided to make a re-skin of the game. I was aware that the graphics were bad since I made it with Photoshop and I’m not a graphic artist, so I hired a graphic designer and wrote a press release.
Then in June 2012 my game climbed up in the App Store ranks and became # 1 in many countries, including the US. Guess the Character has now been downloaded by almost 6 million people.
And that is how JanduSoft was born.
The latest version of Guess the Character was a hit, what were the keys for that success?
Perseverance was crucial in my experience. Most people say that if your game doesn’t fly, you should think about your new project. I was the exception. Even though the first version was not a hit, I invested resources to make it better and I was rewarded in the end.
What’s the revenue model of your games?
My games are free with advertising. Users also have the option to unlock the ads and get in-app items.
What are your main goals for 2013?
I have a hardware project for tablets under development and I hope to finish two social games this year.
For a small developer like you, what are the main challenges to stand out on the App Store and build a company around your games?
The biggest challenge is getting visibility. You need to spend money on advertising and marketing which is something most small developers can’t do.
If you want to have a chance to succeed, you’ve got to be innovative. Small developers, more than anyone else, need to create new experiences and develop products that don’t exist to stand out from the crowd.
What piece of advice would you give to other indie developers who want to build a business on the App Store?
As I said, the key to success lies in being persistent:
- Try to dedicate every minute you can to your idea and launch your first project as soon as possible.
- Set achievable goals that you can meet in a relatively short time (do not think about making an RPG as a first milestone).
- If you have the chance, find a co-founder. It helps a lot!
And above all, indies need courage. There will be very hard moments that make you think about quitting. Be strong and continue until you reach your vision.