Wednesday, 19 March 2014


Today we reached our first #1 position in Windows Phone store in the card games category in Brazil. This is a good moment to look back at how we got here.

First concept

Already in 2011 we had an idea of collectible card game Permia - Tournaments. We started working with the title and in March 2012 we hada a working prototype of the game to show in Game Connection - America. (Concept demo) We met with over 20 publishers and most of them liked the idea behind the game. The concept was early stages and we were a brand new team so we did not manage to start co-operation with any of them. We believed in the concept and we continued working towards the closed beta launch. In June 2012 we launched the closed beta mostly because we promised to do so. It really was not in any shape for release, but it was something. At that time we concentrated on selling the idea to the publishers or some funding partners that could help us to continue with the product. For that purpose we produced a new trailer to be shown at Gamescom 2012. (Trailer)

The result was quite similar. People liked the concept but were not ready to take the risk with it. One of our last hopes for the product was AppCampus. They had started the program where they give grants for promising projects with a 6-month exclusivity period. They had an event here in Lappeenranta where they presented the program to us. We sent the application and started waiting for the results. After a couple of weeks they granted 20k€ for our project. That was not enough for us to really deliver the first idea of the concept, but it definitely helped us. It was part of the bigger picture where we managed to get a Tekes project approved as well.

Birth of Permia - Duels

We did not start immediately with the design milestone. The reason was that we really did not have enough resources to continue with the original concept and our hands were full with the other projects. Almost half a year passed before we were ready to continue with the program. One of the close colleagues came up with an new idea for more simple card game that might be more feasible to do with our resources. We created a design plan based on this new concept for AppCampus and they approved it. We were in a hurry because financially it was really tight situation at the time. In 3-4 months we passed the first release candidate to the AppCampus quality team and at the time they were not satisfied with it. There was one big feature missing and the quality of the game was not good enough. That was the first wake up call to really take Windows Phone environment seriously.


We continued to work with the missing feature and decided to apply for the AppCademy (AppCampus acceleration program). We were really sceptical about the acceleration program at first. One month away from home listening to lectures and coaching. Participation means that product would be on hold during that time. However, from the first day we were satisfied with the decision to join the program. We were given top level coaching in all areas from production to branding, marketing and user experience. The time spent there helped us go towards better quality than we would have been able to do without it.


We don't have plenty of resources to promote our app. I think it is a same situation with most of the independent teams at start. Today it is crucial to get visibility for your app to have any possibility to really succeed in the market. After we released our game at December 2013 in Windows Phone store we really did not know what to expect. We knew that we have possibility to get some promotion from Microsoft and Nokia if we have good ratings. But the amount of support we have had from AppCampus program has been amazing. First month went almost on our own. It was Christmas time and we were little too late to be part of the Christmas promotions. We used that time well and noticed that downloads from Russia were progressing well without any promotion. We discussed with our Nokia contact about possibility to have local campaign in Russia that we will support by localizing the game. Our Nokia contact was successful and the result was whole week featured in Russia. At the same week we were featured all around the word and it was really good campaign for us. We still have most downloads from the Russia and they are really important market for us. After that we have worked closely with our Nokia contact to plan different campaigns and we have supported those campaigns with game content whenever it has been possible. We have updated the game often and have developed it further.

Final words

If we think about the support from AppCampus. The first thing is the grant. It can be something from 20k€ to 70k€. Money is always welcome and helps. The real difference comes from the other forms of support. They really push for the quality and help us developers to get good ratings with better quality apps. AppCademy is excellent acceleration program and is valued much more than any grant they give. And after those they put so much effort to really help us to promote our apps in store. That is something that is hard to buy with the money. I can imagine that without them Permia - Duels would not have over 260 000 downloads today and our #1 store position in Brazil.

Big thanks to the AppCampus staff. You have been a great asset on our journey to app developer. You have shown the possibilities that are in Windows Phone environment and we are really happy to be part of the program.