Got Light developer Ben Reynolds explains how his game accidently became a freebie on the Apple App Store. The iOS puzzle game was recently released in the store but a minor programming error – one small line of code – turned his $1.99 game into a $0.00 game.
Reynolds says that, like many developers, he included a button to activate the testRestorePurchases method in the game for testing purposes. This was to test the paywall after level 28 in the game (to get past level 28 the game requires you to pay $1.99). The test button let those playtesting get the entire game for free.
But the problem is that Reynolds forgot to remove that function from the final version of the game that was released on Apple's App Store.
While Reynolds is not happy about this error, he's handling it like a gentleman, even encouraging the community to go download his game for free until the update he has already submitted to Apple is being processed.
So why did Reynolds share this information with the world?
"Why am I writing about this? To share a lesson learned: stress-test your game," Reynolds writes. "Especially with something as important as monetization. The problem was literally one line of code. The Restore Purchases button is fairly out-of-the-way in my app, so I didn't catch it when I was just playing the game out of habit."
He also notes that having a lot of playtesters – including those who are really willing to turn things inside-out to break your game and find bugs – is of paramount importance.
You can read Reynolds' blog post over on Gamasutra.