Getting banned from Google Play is a major set back, but I still feel like Phoney Girlfriend, or something like it can be a hit. There’s three approaches we could take with it.
1. Launch everywhere else aside from Google Play
In a way this is the easiest option, since we were planning to do this anyway. Create iOS, Amazon and Windows Phone versions. We’ll need to tone down the content a lot, and probably switch over to a Phoney Messenger, which is more of a story game than a chat application. I like Phoney Messenger better anyway.
The downside is we are still at the mercy of the app store Gods. There are a lot of app stores though, and surely we can’t get banned from all of them. Can we? Another thing is if we are kicked off iOS, we probably can’t continue this approach.
2. Create a messenger extension
Phoney Girlfriend is basically just a messenger app, why make the whole app? What if we were to create a service that hooked into an app like Telegram. Basically players would sign up on our website, and we would create a server that sends them telegram messages. It’s similar to Phoney Girlfriend, cross platform and feels a lot more real since you are actually getting Telegram, WhatsApp, Line, WeChat messages.
Downsides? Still at the mercy of someone else. We’ll need to write a bunch of server code, which is something I do not know how to do. We can’t control the experience as much as we like. One thing I can already foresee being not as nice is when we present messages to players it might come out something like this.
“Hey it’s Brenda! How are you?”
B: Really great
C: Get lost Brenda I don’t want to hear about your snake!
Players would actually have to type the letter a, which feels a bit weird. Their message wouldn’t appear so the chat history would look weird. It’s not a super nice experience.
3. Create a Web Application
Phoney Girlfriend was designed to be a mobile application, so porting it over to a web application means we’d need to make a lot of design changes. The two hour delays aren’t really acceptable without local notifications.
It’s a big user interface, and user experience change, and would basically require completely rewriting the entire app. Hubert is a web app expert, but I don’t know anything about it so there’s a lot for me to learn.
The biggest benefit is freedom. With a web app we can do whatever we want, be as offensive as we want, as long as we don’t break the law, no one is going to stop us!