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Romans_I_XVI
Level 7

Save Roku Games - Developers Please Read!

Hi everyone, you might know me as the developer of Retaliate and Snake. Both of these games have had a fair amount of success on the Roku, each has 100,000+ installations and is actively played by many every day. Yet, if you get on your Roku 3 you will see they are a ways down the list, behind games that has far fewer players and have lower ratings. Other developers have already pointed out the lack of attention and mishandling of the games category on this thread...
viewtopic.php?f=34&t=92293

I'm here to tell you how this can change!

David Rodriguez produced Roku Recommends videos, but more importantly he constantly pushed to improve gaming on the Roku. He is the one who fought for ad supported games. Because Retaliate was free and had gameplay that fit nicely with having occasional ads between rounds, it created an opportunity try out ad revenue in games (since it wasn't really making money otherwise).

It worked great! Many games that previously weren't generating much or any revenue have converted to this. Snake probably wouldn't exist because I wouldn't have had the drive to make it. Video Poker, which is probably the game with the most total installs, is finally generating revenue for the developer after being completely free for years. David is THE reason this happened, and he is the ONE person pushing for more and better games on the Roku, treating it as a priority, where as the higher ups consider games unimportant.
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/ ... ter-gamers

The results of that attitude are fairly apparent in the new sorting of the games section. Which is completely nonsensical, with almost no order, and is sadly the official "algorithm" meaning it probably will continue to be nonsensical henceforth.

David's last day is March 2nd. I am calling for David to instead be placed in charge of Roku gaming. This is critical to us game developers, David has a passion for games that is otherwise missing at Roku.

Please +1 and/or leave your comments on this thread. Let's get the attention of the higher ups with this!
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8 Replies
Komag
Level 9

Re: Save Roku Games - Developers Please Read!

I'm all for the the games section to get more respect and reasonable presentation/organization Smiley Happy
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renojim
Level 8

Re: Save Roku Games - Developers Please Read!

"Romans_I_XVI" wrote:
David's last day is March 2nd.

Say it isn't so! Smiley Sad I owe a debt of gratitude to David and he is the one and only person at Roku that I could ever rely upon to always respond to my questions and concerns. Just when I think they are finally doing something right they get rid of him? What gives?

-JT
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adamkaz
Level 7

Re: Save Roku Games - Developers Please Read!

I'll just say that on the whole, it would be awesome if Roku gave some attention to improving their SDK documentation, improving the level of support to developers, and improve the transparency of how channel ranking works.
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Romans_I_XVI
Level 7

Re: Save Roku Games - Developers Please Read!

"renojim" wrote:
"Romans_I_XVI" wrote:
David's last day is March 2nd.

Say it isn't so! Smiley Sad I owe a debt of gratitude to David and he is the one and only person at Roku that I could ever rely upon to always respond to my questions and concerns. Just when I think they are finally doing something right they get rid of him? What gives?


Exactly! When I first started making Retaliate David actively sought me out and encouraged me. On top of that, he is the one who actually suggested I make a Snake game for the Roku.

Simply put, my games wouldn't exist without him!
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belltown
Level 7

Re: Save Roku Games - Developers Please Read!

Sounds like you (and EnTerr and the other games developers) are making a reasonable request.

Perhaps algorithms are just too hard. Perhaps algorithms are designed to favor the channels that yield the most revenue for Roku.

Maybe a simple solution would be 3 games categories: Newest Games (ordered by date first published); Most Popular Games (ordered by number of installs); Highest Rated Games (ordered by users' ratings).
https://github.com/belltown/
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Romans_I_XVI
Level 7

Re: Save Roku Games - Developers Please Read!

"belltown" wrote:
Maybe a simple solution would be 3 games categories: Newest Games (ordered by date first published); Most Popular Games (ordered by number of installs); Highest Rated Games (ordered by users' ratings).


Yes, that'd be cool. Or allow users to sort the existing games category in the ways you mentioned.

Either way I have my doubts much will be done. Again according to this...
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/ ... ter-gamers
... games aren't a priority.

I feel like David has advocated for Roku games and helped get them to where they are now. Roku is making a pretty penny off of games and especially RAF games, which wouldn't exist without him. Any game developer here probably knows personally of his passion for Roku games. I know I do. I just don't understand the change.
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TheEndless
Level 7

Re: Save Roku Games - Developers Please Read!

I've never worked with David Rodriguez personally, and it's not clear what the circumstances are behind him leaving (companies don't typically provide lead time when they let people go, so my guess would be that it's his choice to leave for some reason), so I can't comment on that. But what I can say is that, on the whole, the only time I tend to switch to a different STB, it's to play a game, so I'd say there's definitely a market there for that.

As for the channel store sorting, while much of the discussion has been centered around obviously bad sorting in the games section, I think the issue is much greater than that. The recent removal of the Top Paid category is a good example. That category was clearly not being weighted properly, and I suspect the same is true, to some extent, across the board. Channel discovery is, without question, one of Roku's biggest weaknesses.
My Channels: http://roku.permanence.com - Twitter: @TheEndlessDev
Instant Watch Browser (NetflixIWB), Aquarium Screensaver (AQUARIUM), Clever Clocks Screensaver (CLEVERCLOCKS), iTunes Podcasts (ITPC), My Channels (MYCHANNELS)
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Romans_I_XVI
Level 7

Re: Save Roku Games - Developers Please Read!

Wow, I didn't even realize the top paid section is gone. That has probably had a huge impact on your purchase counts, that's sad.

The top paid section was a mess, I remember when I first got my Roku the instant watch browser was at the top of the top paid section, which makes sense considering it had the most installs and best ratings. Recently though it's been fairly nonsensical with channels having only a few ratings at the top. Apparently now they've just done away with it altogether... I guess that's one way to fix it lol
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