On Xmas day I started a Book contest where you could win 5 copies of the print version of my Cocos2D book. Now here are the winners!

Three Winners for outstanding contributions

These are the winners that I picked because of what they said in their comments respectively other contributions they made:

Marcotronic for his stunning adaptation of the Beatles’ song “Let it be”. He wrote new lyrics, then re-recorded the song with his own voice. It made me laugh and gave me goosebumps at the same time. I promote this to be the official Learn Cocos2D book hymn! 😀

Let it be: Learn Cocos2D

Dad of Geek And Dad for his heartwarming story about his neighbor being laid off. Things like that shouldn’t happen so undeservedly and I hope his neighbor finds renewed spirit when he receives the book as a gift.

The G man for being so passionate about Cocos2D besides his situation. He only has a dialup connection and the country he lives in doesn’t even allow him to register a domain or join the iOS Development program. I just hope there aren’t any import regulations for programming books.
G also posted this funny reimagination of the Cocos2D logo:

Those are the outstanding commentors that I simply could not resist gifting a book to because of their comments. Congratulations!

Three Lottery Winners

I still had two more winners to pick but couldn’t decide, so I chose to do a lottery to give everyone else a fair chance. I also decided I can spare one additional copy, so there are now 3 lottery winners chosen randomly from the remaining 22 unique commentors with the help of Excel’s RANDBETWEEN() function.

Without further ado, the three lottery winners are:

Dani
Tom
dzk34

Congratulations to all winners! I will contact you by email shortly.

I also wish everyone a Happy New Year 2011! May your code compile and your games sell.

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Bad user reviews and comments can actually be a good thing

On May 20, 2010, in Marketing, by Steffen Itterheim

Bad reviews, or simply trash talking and bad-mouthing, can have a positive effect on your game, and yourself. Don’t be overly concerned if some idiots voice their BS and drag down your review score. If you value what you do and others see that value, the positive effect of some bad rep is simply that it encourages others to voice their opinion in favor of the product and you. The things you should not do, however, is to be overly protective and try to remove such posts. That will only serve to earn you disrespect from everyone because freedom of speech is a much higher value. If disrespected, it will earn you much more disrespect in return. If you’re in doubt whether what’s been said is offensive, keep it online until someone complains. The more absurd and unreasonable negative comments are the more happier should be, and you’ll quickly notice other users jumping in to make their case. You, on the other hand, should stay out of it. React to the positive comments, ignore the bad-mouthing and trash-talking that is only targeted to lure you out in the open.

Applied to the App Store, where you have no control over the bad reviews other than complaining about them in your blog: don’t do it. No one cares about your whining on bad reviews. They happen. If your game is really good, it will get good reviews. The bad ones will only serve to encourage others to post their opinion and they often provide good reasons not to listen to “those jerks”. The other bad reviews which are clearly not from idiots you should hold dearly. They contain valuable criticism about your product. It will help you improve. Nothing is more powerful than a dissatisfied customer or someone who was simply disappointed which you were able to turn to your side by listening and reacting to their criticism. People love to criticize, but even more so they love when someone is actually listening and making changes in their favor.

Caveat: some people will always criticize no matter what. And some will always know how to make things even better. Those are the kind of people who could sway you into feature-creep, don’t listen to them, they’ll kill your product the more you try to make it theirs. And some will be jerks for live and just randomly change their opinions on a daily basis, probably based on what they heard or read today, or whether they were drinking or not, or whether today’s weather is good or bad. Listen only to the feedback that is voiced most often, which others agree on and which is consistent.

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