Archive for the ‘Post-mortem’ Category

Spaceship Destroyer on Google Play (a post-mortem)

Monday, December 1st, 2014 by Phillip Napieralski

Everything on this blog is something that I’ve put into a product, or created a prototype using. My latest adventures into haxeflixel is no exception.

Introducing Spaceship Destroyer

When I first started dabbling n haxeflixel, my goal was to be able to pet all my old flash flixel games to mobile. Today, I finally realized that goal. Check out my “studio” website at to get to starship destroyer.

Learning experiences

No matter how much you scope the game down to, you’ll need to scope it down even more to ship in a reasonable timeframe. I hear all the time of people that start projects and never finish them – I’ve even done that twice in the past month! I even remember reading on Reddit about a guy that spent 7 years developing a game. He kept pushing it off, doing a little bit, then pushing it off again. The problem with that is, naturally, the lack of immediate satisfaction. Another problem is that you are going to change a LOT in 7 years (or 2 years, however long it takes you to build it). By the time he finished the game, you could tell the difference between the beginning and the end of the game.

Ultimately, I went into Spaceship Destroyer thinking of having 10 different levels, many in-app purchases, in-game ads, launching on iOS and Android, and many more bosses and enemies. What I ended up with was a great game that has 5 levels, 2 in-app purchases (that are great values if you like the game), and 16 upgrades.

Integrating achievements and leaderboard

The most interesting to implement was the achievements and leaderboards. I opted to use Google Play for both, which was super easy using HaxeFlixel and Sergey’s extensions. The gist of the setup is, you get an ID from the Google Play Developer Console, plug that ID into the extension APIs when some event occurs (eg; killed 500 enemies), and watch as it just magically works! The set-up was very minimal.


The hardest part when I was creating this game was monetization. I originally was thinking of having ads after every level you beat (which I still may do), but ultimately, it was easiest to support in-app purchases with HaxeFlixel when I originally created the game. So, I opted for 2 in-app purchases that allows you to buy coins to purchase upgrades.

How has it worked so far? Well, I’ll tell you once people start downloading it :), which brings me to my last point of monetization – marketing!

Marketing has always alluded me. I started a small, very focused, campaign on AdWords that ultimately got me <100 clicks and only a few actual installs. However, I chose cheap keywords and also chose a low budget. Perhaps if I went all in with marketing and decided to spend hundreds, it might pay off.


Overall, Spaceship Destroyer was a labor of love. My love for bullet hell shoot-em-up games, gradius, R-type and similar games forced me to make this game. It had some unique challenges, in terms of scope, implementation and monetization, but it was worth it in the end (though, maybe not financially)!

Don’t forget to check it out on