Character purchases using Coins.

Discussion in 'Technical Discussion' started by AndyG, Feb 9, 2016.

  1. AndyG

    AndyG Miniboss Boxer

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    Team BB.
    Some of you may or may not be aware of this issue...

    Apple are now REJECTING any games that have characters purchased by coins if you do not have a mechanism to restore the Characters.

    We do have a Restore button in BB but that only restores those characters bought using IAP which of course is an Apple implemented system.

    I'm just off the phone with Apple and as ever I'd have better spent 10mins hitting my head against a brick wall. They steadfastly refused to allow my App update unless I addressed the character restore issue.

    Basically the solution is to implement an in-game membership system to track gamers and their purchases. Needless to say anybody opening a game to be confronted with a sign-up screen is not going be hanging around very long to play. Words fail me that Apple actually think this is a good thing!

    They did say that they would allow the update to be approved but ONLY if you could give them a timeframe within the next few weeks to issue a further update with the restore issue resolved. So that was basically the end of the conversation.

    I would like to know what @TreySmith / @Andy thoughts are on this and any information on the way forward for Buildbox on this matter!
     
  2. Christoph

    Christoph Miniboss Boxer

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    I remember someone here had this problem already. This person just made the coin purchase a non-consumable item which means that when a user restores the game he has the coins back, therefore he can purchase the characters again.

    Ah, I think I found it: https://www.buildbox.com/forum/index.php?threads/in-app-purchase-character-choice.568/#post-3432
    and the original thread is: https://www.buildbox.com/forum/index.php?threads/rejections-based-on-iap-in-game-currency.473/

    What is weird is that the in-app purchases still are consumable in the instructions from Apple themselves: https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT202023 and they are last modified on Dec 2, 2015. Should be still the same.
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2016
  3. Andy

    Andy Miniboss Boxer

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    I would work on re-thinking the monetization strategy if this is the way Apple is going (and it seems to be true for sure). What many games are doing now is using rewarded video and in game coins to earn coins to unlock characters. The problem occurs when customers are effectively using real money to unlock characters.
     
  4. trudnai

    trudnai Miniboss Boxer

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    @Andy are you planning to add backend support for tracking in-game currency purchases or more like creating an Restful API or similar to let individuals deal with the server side of it?
     
  5. AndyG

    AndyG Miniboss Boxer

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    No I think you've got the wrong end of the stick there @Andy It WAS in-game coins collected and then used to purchase the characters. Apple are taking objection that there is no way to restore these purchases. Rewarded videos would have exactly the same effect. If the game had to be reinstalled there is no method to restore the characters purchased. You would have to collect coins and/or watch rewarded videos to collect the coins to get these characters again.
     
  6. Andy

    Andy Miniboss Boxer

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    Every case I have seen that has come through support in the past month or 2 was getting rejected because it has IAP for currency. Maybe they are now going further, but the monetization model I mentioned is what we have been using for all our recent games and there have not been any issues with Apple to my knowledge.
     
  7. Christoph

    Christoph Miniboss Boxer

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    Has this something to do with the matter?
    Source: https://developer.apple.com/app-store/review/guidelines/

    @Andy: do you say you have seen several apps being rejected because they had IAP for in game currency?

    You said in the other thread it shouldn't be an issue... --> https://www.buildbox.com/forum/inde...-based-on-iap-in-game-currency.473/#post-2764

    And why is the non-consumable purchase not an option?
     
  8. Andy

    Andy Miniboss Boxer

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    This is something new that in some cases Apple has started to enforce pretty hard in the last month or two. I know some people who have had no issues and other that have had issues. As you know, Apple is never very consistent with these things. But it does seem they are getting more picky about it. Every issue/rejection (per 11.5 you reference) I have personally seen up until now was due to IAP being used to purchase in game currency (which then in turn could be used to unlock other things).
     
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  9. trudnai

    trudnai Miniboss Boxer

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    Yes, Apple is taking care of this issue more seriously, they want to make sure user experience is great all the time. They only can take care of the IAP purchases, not the in-game-currency purchases -- they could provide a mechanism for those too in my opinion but that is not as straight forward process as handling non-consumable IAPs.
     
  10. heathclose

    heathclose Miniboss Boxer

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    sooooo... im a little confused by the back and forth here...

    a game like mobile strike (which i have never played) almost certainty has in game currency you buy on the app store (along with 1million other games)... this is no longer allowed?
     
  11. AndyG

    AndyG Miniboss Boxer

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    @Andy I can give you the name and phone number of the girl at Apple if you and/or @TreySmith wish to discuss the matter with her to get more clarification? I think this is pretty important and absolutely affects how you handle the whole currency/coins/character purchases within Buildbox.

    She was absolutely not moving on the issue. I discussed with her my development environment (Buildbox) and how there was no method at this time to be able to restore characters purchased with in-game coins. She said she would only allow my current v1.2 update to go through if at some point Buildbox made a restore feature available and I could give her assurances and a reasonable timeline that I would follow up with a v1.3 update that included this feature.

    So basically stuck between a rock and a hard place. Either moving forward do not have character purchases using in-game coins (and make them free or IAP) or manually code a restore mechanism once exported to Xcode etc., which kinda negates the whole ethos of BB!
    -----
    As a footnote both my v1.0 and v1.1 update were initially rejected because of a lack of Restore button for my IAP's. Basically the reviewer couldn't find it because it was only available on the start screen. I believe this issue is resolved in BB2 and can be placed more or less on any screen but any games produced using BB1 this could become a problem moving forward if a reviewer gets picky and demands the Restore button is available on the Game Over screen etc.
     
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  12. AndyG

    AndyG Miniboss Boxer

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    Here is the rejection info they are quoting:

    From Apple
    • 10.6 - Apple and our customers place a high value on simple, refined, creative, well thought through interfaces. They take more work but are worth it. Apple sets a high bar. If your user interface is complex or less than very good, it may be rejected

    10.6 Details

    Your app uses intermediary currency to purchase items that function as non-consumable products but does not include a restore mechanism.

    Users restore transactions to maintain access to content that they’ve already purchased.

    Next Steps

    Please modify your app to include an optional user registration feature that allows users to restore their purchases to all of their iOS devices.

    We recommend indicating that account registration is necessary to restore previously purchased In-App Purchase products, and providing a way for users to register later if they wish to access this content in the future.
     
  13. trudnai

    trudnai Miniboss Boxer

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    First of all it was not as strict as nowadays. Second, a game developer can implement their own mechanism to restore purchases. That means you have a server that stores and validates in-game-currency purchases and within your game you have the ability to restore these purchases by connecting and authenticating to that server.
     
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  14. Andy

    Andy Miniboss Boxer

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    IMHO 10.6 is the wrong reg to be quoting here, but this particular Apple reviewer seems to be stuck on this. The info they posted is still talking about restoring purchases, specifically IAP as indicated in the last line of the info you provided. I still believe their intention is to only require this if you are allowing purchase of IAP with coins. However we will be monitoring this for new information and encourage all feedback.

    We've dealt with this issue on an off for a few months now, we are no longer including a coin store in our games. No one buys the packs anyway. We've had no issues with rejections since we started doing this. I've talked to @Aaron F because he deals with this stuff everyday.

    In your case we suggest doing this:
    1) Upload a new binary the way it is now
    2) If they reject, then take out your coin shop and upload again

    Rest assured, we are for sure looking at this and will do what is needed. But Apple is always very inconsistent when implementing new policies. Before taking a drastic approach here we have to sort out what it is that Apple is really trying to do.
     
  15. heathclose

    heathclose Miniboss Boxer

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    you mean in your own personal games... coin shop will still be an option in bb, right?
     
  16. Andy

    Andy Miniboss Boxer

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    BTW, I should add that in BB1 a restore button can be put anywhere... it's just a regular purchase button.
     
  17. Andy

    Andy Miniboss Boxer

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    @heathclose
    You may want to tread carefully at this point... it is not 100% clear what Apple will now allow without having a restore functionality. Apple doe not provide restore functionality for consumable purchases. We, as in the company, do not use coin stores at this time because of this issue, and because we don't see many people buying them anyway.
     
  18. AndyG

    AndyG Miniboss Boxer

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    OK just to be clear here this isn't about purchasing coin packs from the Coin store.
    This is about collecting coins as you progress through the game and then using those coins collected to "purchase" a new character.

    As for a Restore button anywhere news to me. The documentation clearly states only 3 places: Main, Info & Pause.
    However I raised a support ticket as I could not enable Restore on Pause and Sean himself stated: "That seems like a mistake in the User Guide. Restore Purchases makes little sense on the pause screen."
    restore.png
     
  19. Andy

    Andy Miniboss Boxer

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    I completely understand what you are saying. But this is also the only time I've heard of this particular situation. So more research is warranted to confirm your finding.

    Regarding BB1, wow, I got too many things going through my head. You are correct, for some reason I was thinking "Remove Ads" sorry about that.
     
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  20. heathclose

    heathclose Miniboss Boxer

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    take a breath man... you guys are busy and we appreciate you
     

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