TapJoy is a very large and respectable monetisation platform and offers you a host of ways in which to monetise your games. Everything from direct currency sales to showing videos and a host of things in between… Installing a free game (optionally having to play to level n); subscribing to a website or making a purchase on a website (for example: buying a domain on GoDaddy). Tapjoy allows you to reward your customers with virtual currency for doing an assortment of things… and in turn, Tapjoy pays you with real money for them doing so.
Tapjoy has a free plugin for Unity that you can download right on their website. Simply head on over to http://www.tapjoy.com and create yourself a free account right now. You will then get access to the Unity SDK. Completely free. Start monetising your games today!
Right about now you might be asking yourself: If Tapjoy integration is free then what does this WUMoney plugin do?
Or perhaps you are asking yourself: What is that Non Managed Currency server that I read about above and why would I want it?
Well, the way I see it, Tapjoy is a truly excellent monetisation system (and I bet you’ve seen them in games you are playing or have played but never knew it was them) but they do have one caveat that has put me off using them completely for a long time now and WUMoney seeks to be the solution to that issue and make Tapjoy the only monetisation system you will ever want to use.
Tapjoy offers you a choice between two options for hosting your players’ virtual currency (called points): Either let Tapjoy host it for you or host it yourself but both of these options have their advantages and disadvantages. Allow me to highlight these as I see them…
- They host the points on their servers for you
- It’s completely free of charge
- They make sure that the points go where they belong
- They take responsibility for player’s points balances being accurate and up to date. I.e. whatever they say the balance is, you can be sure that is what the balance is. That simple.
- They provide functions to fetch balances from their servers as well as manually award or spend those points
- You receive live notifications of when points are awarded
- When starting the game you receive a notification of points that were awarded while the game was closed
- You can get started right away
- By far the easiest and fastest way to get started monetising your game
- Hosting the points on your own servers give you complete control over the points
- Points are allocated per device, not per user. This means that everybody shares the same points on one device
- This means that if you have a shared device in your home, you might save up your points for a week or two and come home one day, ready to buy the uber pimped triple fortified mega tank, only to find your points depleted and a pink unicorn grazing in your tank’s hangar…
- If you own two mobile devices and want to play the game on both, each device will have it’s own points. Basically it means you have to play a new game on each device instead of continuing to build your world on whichever device you happen to have on hand
- Tapjoy no longer take any responsibility for what happens to the points once they have sent it to you
- You have to create a custom back end server system for your game(s)
- This means either needing the skill to create a server to communicate with theirs or having to find someone to do it for you, most likely at a premium
- All responsibility for what happens after they sent you the message is entirely on you
- They simply contact your website and say “This user is owed this many points”. You can’t pass any custom values to your server when Tapjoy contacts it. They just tell you who and how much
- You loose the functions to fetch balances and spend or award points. You need to implement this functionality yourself when you create your web server
- You no longer get any updates of when points are or were awarded. You need to create that functionality yourself
Clearly, having them host the currency for you has loads of benefits over self hosting, but for me, having my wife or my child spend my coins when I was saving up for something else… that is a deal breaker for me!
Enter WUMoney. WUMoney is a Self Managed Currency Server that was custom built for WordPress and the WUSS system. Simply install this plugin on your website and enjoy these features:
- Get a fully functional web server for use with Tapjoy
- Automatically send Tapjoy the relevant success / error response they require
- Validate/authenticate the security values Tapjoy sends with each message to authenticate the call came from them, is for your game and uses a currency you created
- No unauthorised calls to the server script
- Store points balances per user, not per device
- Your points are stored in the cloud and follow you from device to device. Start the game on your iPad, continue playing on your Galaxy…
- Use your points on platforms that Tapjoy does not support. When Tapjoy hosts your currency is is only available on iOS or Android. With WULogin you can spend your points on all platforms that Unity supports
- Tapjoy requires that you create a separate currency for Android and iOS for each game. You still need to do that as WUMoney doesn’t change how Tapjoy works… but the currencies are now interchangeable between devices since it is linked to your account, not to your device. So play on one OS and continue on another and take your points with you
- Regain the functions to fetch balances, spend points and give points
- The function names are identical and work the same way as Tapjoy’s functions, making it easier to follow along with Tapjoy’s instructions on their website while making use of WUMoney to manage your points
- Your game can now have unlimited additional currencies, not managed by Tapjoy, but using the exact same functions, thus giving you a less confusing time working with multiple currencies
- Non TapJoy hosted currencies require 0 configuration. Just start using them and WUMoney does the rest
- Currencies are stored per user, per game. Tapjoy only ever tells you “That device, so many points”. No custom fields means no telling yourself what game the points belong to short of creating a separate server per game. WUMoney is able to determine what game the transaction originated from and allocate the points to the correct player and the right game.
- Regain the ability to send a notification when the game starts to tell a player if any points were awarded to them while the game was closed
- Due to WUMoney being able to track both the game and the player it means that, just like all the WUSS kits, it only needs to be installed on your website once and it will work with all your current and future games
- No configuration required apart from storing th currency keys you get from your Tapjoy dashboard
- No need for a custom server per game!
- You are able to spend points on all the platforms Unity supports but you can still only use Tapjoy’s monetisation system to earn new points on iOS and Android devices
- When Tapjoy sends points to your server, your game does not get a live update. Instead, whenever you contact the server for anything, any updated points will trigger an event in your game as well as sending you the new total
- Tapjoy automatically triggers the OnAppLaunched placement as soon as a connection is made to their servers. Since we have to tell them who the player is first and that can only happen AFTER we have connected to their servers, this means you can no longer use their OnAppLaunched placement. Simply use my Logged_In placement instead to do exactly the same thing
As you can see, WUMoney clearly makes a big difference in deciding on whether or not to use the Tapjoy hosted or non hosted virtual currency.
One more thing to take note of is that Tapjoy offers a whole host of additional events like telling you when a video has started, when it ends, when a user cancelled performing an action, analytics etc. For exact details on what the Tapjoy SDK can do, please visit their website. Know that when you install WUMoney you will be making use of my functions to fetch balances and spend money but all the other features of the Tapjoy SDK is still available to you and still works the same as before. Apart from fetching point balances, spending points and awarding points, you still use the Tapjoy SDK directly for everything else.
As an added bonus, though, WULogin comes with a simplified method of calling placements. Tapjoy requires a whole bunch of events to be setup and prepared and for you to create delegate responders per variable that you create. WULogin takes a different approach. WULogin comes with a very long list of possible placements that you might want to use. Simply drag the WUTJPlacement component onto the WUTapjoy prefab you load at the start of your game, pick a placement from the drop down list and then make sure to use that name in your Tapjoy dashboard when you create the placement. And that is that. All loading, showing and reloading is taken care of for you.
WUMoney offers you all the benefits of Taptoy minus the limitations and tops it off with a bunch of extra benefits… Get your copy now!
One very important thing to note before you buy WUMoney is this: WUMoney offers you a non managed currency server via your WordPress website but in order for you to make use of Tapjoy’s services you are going to have to install their plugin and follow the setup instructions from their website and (most importantly of all) play by their rules. The single most important rule being that TapJoy does not allow their virtual currency to be used to purchase real world items or in any form of gambling. If you decide to make use of their service and use managed or non managed hosting, you still need to abide by all their rules.
This makes this kit quite a bit different from the rest of my kits because plugin setup and configuration and any bugs or problems will have to be looked up on their website as they dictate how their plugin works and what features they offer and how you implement them and when, etc. All this kit does in terms of Tapjoy is take ownership of points balances off their hands.
All matters relating to setting up TapJoy’s plugin in Unity and getting it to work is all done and explained on their website, not via myBad Studios technical support.
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