How To Create Your Own Casino App – PROVEN Keno App Template

 

Keno games are hot!

Keno is our most powerful casino app to date.

Really, Keno?

I was blown away too.  But if you keep reading, you'll understand exactly how we hit the JACKPOT with Keno.

This post is going to break down:

  • our development strategy for Keno
  • our findings
  • and a complete walk through of how to publish your own Keno app

There are no secrets here.  I've learned a ton about games in my 3+ years of app development.  I hope my experience along with Bluecloud's strategies can help you succeed.

If you want to take a stab at your own Keno app, we're giving away the code.  Learn the details and get your own copy now, just click here.

Quick heads-up:  the data and top level developer information in this post, is just a fraction of what our Community has to say about casino games and app development.  Get access to our VIP forum here.

In This Post

This is a detailed post. So if you want to skip the part that interests you most, click on a link below to fast forward to that section.

Table of Contents

The Rise of Casino

We had no intention of developing 100+ casino apps 3 years ago.  But we did.  We saw the demand back in 2012 and decided to go for it.

Chicken dinner!

We saw BIG profit margins in 2012, 2013, 2014, and even now in 2015.  People in our Bluecloud Mastermind community have seen the same results (some even 10x better).  And they have no intention of changing their business model.

It's no coincidence that we have SEVERAL professional poker players in our Bluecloud Mastermind Group.

Casino revenue is still climbing today, both globally and in app stores.

Keno games rule!

The estimated casino gaming revenue is $182.77 billion – Statista

Casino apps

40% of the top 10 grossing iPhone apps in May 2015 were casino games – Statista

“I missed the boat on casino apps.” – Joe Developer

Chances are you're thinking the same thing as Joe.  Take a look at the chart above 1 more time – 4/10 Top GROSSING apps in May were casino games.

The big difference between 2012 and now is:

  • information
  • resources

We were spending thousands of dollars and literally ‘rolling the dice' on developing source codes.  We didn't know what would work and what wouldn't.  We learned A LOT!  There were few blogs, and ZERO courses or guides to show us how to maneuver through the mobile casino Gold Rush.

There were no marketplaces like Apptopia or Bluecloud that we could visit and easily pickup a template already packaged and ready to go.  We had to develop all our apps from scratch, and it was a HUGE burden with development time and costs.

A problem that Bluecloud has solved with our app templates.

Yes, the casino category is competitive, but it is also rewarding and a TON of fun.  There is no such thing as a “sure thing” in business, but there are business strategies that can put you ahead of the curve.  And our strategies have been proven over and over to WORK.  Our company started as a 1 person operation and is now pulling in over $70k/month with full-time employees.

Learn more about our 9 Step Business Strategy that small businesses can follow to beat the competition.

Discovering Keno Gold

Our game plan for discovering what casino apps to invest in was simple.

We would send our development team to a site that hosted html 5 games and say – “make this an app.”

We literally did this for our whole casino portfolio!

Then we would publish, circle back and assess the data.

That's it!  That's the development secret that brought in HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS for Bluecloud – in just Casino revenue alone!

But Keno was (and still is) a unique case.  We immediately discovered that our Keno app had big retention numbers, high ecpms, and literally no competition.  This is when Carter came to me with my favorite 6 words – “How fast can we skin this?”

We went to TOWN!  Underwater keno, caveman keno, Egyptian keno, vampire keno, space keno – yeah, we got a little carried away.

But everything WORKED!

The top grossing iPhone apps

40% of the top 10 grossing iPhone apps in May 2015 were casino games – Statista

Next, we created a killer app template.  Ad networks, in-app purchases, analytics, SFX, max bets…we threw in the kitchen sink.  We made such a great keno template, that we could literally cover any theme or trend and publish immediately.

We mastered the mechanic.  Everything from the buttons to the flow of the keno balls falling from the screen matched what users were familiar with at the casino.

We began customizing our keno code.  Once we discovered the different demands for keno, we took things to the next level.  We customized keno apps uniquely based on our analytics and review mining for each app.

In real life, keno players will change keno rooms for better luck.  So, we followed the same strategy casinos use and created different themed keno rooms within the same app.

Video Keno Kingdom has 8 different keno rooms for players to try their luck at.  Get your copy of Video Keno Kingdom here.

Keno with many rooms

We polished our marketing efforts.  We ran direct deals with ad networks and tested different promotional campaigns.  The ad revenue skyrocketed, and download numbers received a giant push.

We also discovered that Keno players are a different breed of gambler.  They know they're going to lose their money, they just want to stick around long enough to get a value out of gameplay.  In the app biz, we call this retention.

Finally, we took Keno cross-platform.  To our surprise, Google Play and Amazon gave us some of our best results.

How To Develop & Publish Your Own Keno App

By now, a lot of you have signed up to Bluecloud Select to get your own copy of Keno Kingdom.  That's awesome!  You've made a giant step, and already saved  a ton of money that would go into developing a code like this!

If you haven't downloaded Keno Kingdom and you want to follow along, grab your copy here.

Now I'm going to briefly walk through the process of publishing your own Keno Kingdom to the Apple Store.  The best part is, you can follow this process for every app you're publishing using Xcode.  It doesn't have to even be Keno Kingdom.  It could be a utilities app, photo app, productivity app…ANYTHING that runs with Xcode.

(If this is your FIRST time developing an app, check out our Tutorial 101 that goes through the entire development process of a far more simple corona code.)

So here's how easy it is for you to get this code up on the app store:

Step 1: Install Xcode and sign up for a developer account

Keno Kingdom is coded in Cocos2d-x, which is great news for you!  It's built on one of the most well known engines and it's cross-platform (can be published to iOS and Android Stores like Google Play and Amazon).

To edit the code, we will need Xcode.  You can download it for free here.

Xcode download

Download the latest version of Xcode online or on the Mac app store

You will also need a developer account.  Keno Kingdom is already setup to publish to iOS, Google Play, and Amazon stores.  I'm using the Apple developer program for this tutorial.

A developer account will cost you $99/year.  You can sign up here.

Developer registration

Join the Apple Developer Program here

IMPORTANT:  Make sure you enroll in the iOS package.  If you're second guessing yourself on how to setup your account – STOP NOW and check out our Full Access App Course.  We go into great detail about publishing, and even have a complete section dedicated to setting up developer accounts.  Grab it here.

Done creating a developer account?

Awesome!  Hi-five yourself, you're in the club!

Step 2:  The Grunt Work:  Bundle IDs, Certificates, & Provisioning Profiles

By now you've probably heard terms like Provisioning Profile, Bundle ID, Keychain Access…and your head is starting to spin.

Don't worry, I've got you covered.

This step can be the biggest nuisance when publishing apps.  Fortunately, after completing the following a couple times – it's a breeze!  Stick with me as I break some terms down and show you a brief overview to set things up for publishing.

NOTE:  If you get lost with ANYTHING from this step, it's not too much to ask for your developer to do it.  Have him or her do a screencast to keep as a SOP for the future.  After doing this half a dozen times, the whole process should only take 5-10 minutes.

how to provision

 

Above are some terms that may be new to you, I'll explain them and show you how to prepare for publishing your project.

Developer Portal & iTunes Connect:

The Developer Portal gives you access to developer news, resources, membership details, support, and most importantly – Member Center.

Member Center is where developers go to manage development teams and create Certificates, Identifiers & Profiles.  If you can setup Certificates, Identifiers & Profiles – the rest is a home run! 

Members and profiles

Member Center – located in the Apple Developer Portal

iTunes Connect should look familiar if you've already signed up for your dev account.  This is where we track and manage our app analytics, revenue, and most importantly – our apps!

Dashboard for Apple developers

iTunes Connect – the hub for all app reports and actions

What is a Bundle ID?

Every app requires a Bundle ID.  This is like your app's army tag.  An app cannot be submitted to iTunes Connect before it has been assigned a Bundle ID.

Check out the video below to setup your own Bundle ID in less than a minute:

Creating a New iOS App:

After you've setup your Bundle ID, it's time to create a new app on your iTunes Connect dashboard.  Make sure to select the same Bundle ID you created in the previous step.  Watch the video below for details.

Once an app is created, you can insert marketing information, pricing, app descriptions, and more.

App data new

Input all publishing and marketing requirements

What is a Distribution Certificate?

Distribution Certificates (or signing certificates) are used to link developer accounts, apps, and distribution provisioning profiles when uploading to the Apple Store.  You will need to run the Keychain Access application which can be found in the Utilities section of any Mac.

IMPORTANT:  There are 2 different types of Certificates – Distribution, and Development.  Distribution handles uploading to the Store, and Development Certificates are used for developing and testing apps.

Check out the video below to setup your own Distribution Certificate.

Remember, you can use the same steps for creating a Development Certificate used for testing apps.

What is a Provisioning Profile?

Provisioning Profiles are mostly used for security purposes so you have control over what devices can test your apps.  We will also need a Distribution Provisioning Profile to authorize that your app can use certain app services and ensures that you are the one submitting the app.

Follow the video below to create a Provisioning Profile:

Again, there are 2 types of Provisioning Profiles – Development (testing) and Distribution (submitting).

Step 3:  Download and unzip your Keno code

This part is really cool.

Bluecloud hooks you up with your own online repository.  That means, we create your own online account where we store all your codes, courses, and other Bluecloud products.  Anyone who purchases a Bluecloud product, or joins Bluecloud Select will get their own personal repository.

If you're not a member of Bluecloud Select yet, you're missing out!  Sign up here.\

Get access

Bluecloud Select gives members access to source codes, ebooks, videos, VIP forums, and more

Go to the Keno code page in your Bluecloud Select app source code repository, and download the Keno code.

Unzip the files.  You'll find the code AND documentation:

  • Code:  The kenokingdom.xcodeproj is the brains of the app.  This is the Xcode project file we will use to submit to the App Store
  • Tech Guide:  A basic overview of the code and details to make your developers job easier.  Shows where ad networks are stored, in-app purchases, along with other important data.  You can view the Tech Guide here.
  • Asset Sheet:  A breakdown of all the images in the code.  This is a great reference tool for designers and coders.  You can view the Asset Sheet here.
  • Ad Library:  There are several ad networks integrated in Keno Kingdom.  The ad library helps customize which ones to run and when.  You can view the Ad Library here.

Step 4:  Get resources and instructions to design team

This is REALLY easy.  Once you've done your market research and have a theme for your Keno app, you need to send instruction over to your design team.  The easiest way to do this is to send them the Asset Sheet, the resource files in your code, and a link of a similar app live on the store or a demo video of how the code operates.

This way the designer knows what you want, how it works in the code, and how to deliver it.

I like to send designers a zipped file of JUST the resources in the app template.  That way it keeps my code from being ripped off.  If you want to do this too, I've created a file that has ALL the Keno Kingdom resources ready to be sent over to your designer.  You can grab it here.

You'll notice our images are watermarked, this is so no one can duplicate our work.  But the code still runs even with the watermarked images.

You can run the code too by using the simulator.  Check out the video below to learn how to run the simulator:

Step 4:  Input resources and metadata

This is the most fun part.  Are you ready to create a whole new app in 2 seconds?  You bet you are!

There are multiple ways to replace images in a code.  The easiest way for me is to drag-and-drop the new resources in Finder.

Make sure you have all your file dimensions and names correct.

TIP:  If you don't want to update all the file names in the code, have your designer use the same file names as the original code.

Drop resources

To replace resources, you can simply drag-and-drop in Finder

That's it!  You've just created a totally new app with it's own theme and feel.

Step 5:  Ad Networks, In-App Purchases and Game Center

Our Keno template already has an Ad Library integrated in the code.  That means you can run Chartboost and Applovin video and interstitials without having to install or integrate anything in the code.  Easy!

Instead of paying a developer $50-$200 to integrate an SDK or update your code with new Ad IDs, I'll show you how to link the code with your app account.

This will save you tons of money down the road, and it only takes 1 minute.  Already saving money 🙂

Check out the video tutorial below:

IMPORTANT:  When using Chartboost, make sure you have included your app in at least 1 Publishing Campaign.  You can create a Publishing Campaign on the Chartboost dashboard.

In-App Purchases are also available with our Keno Kingdom code.  You will need to create and SUBMIT In-App Purchases on iTunes Connect.  Each In-App Purchase is also accompanied by a Product ID that needs to be inserted in the code.

Sometimes In-App Purchases are located in multiple areas of a code.  Make sure you have inserted your Product IDs in all applicable spots.  Take a look at our Tech Guide for more information about setting up In-App Purchases.

 

IAP setup

Setup in-app purchases

Lastly, a Game Center Leaderboard ID will need to be added to the code.  Create a Leaderboard on iTunes Connect to get your Leaderboard ID.

Get the ID

Create a Leaderboard in iTunes Connect and replace the existing ID in the Xcode

In Xcode, go to PZGameCenter.mm file and then browse the function: “void GameCenter::submitScore(int score){

And replace the strings for both free and paid versions

Step 6: Archive and publish

Last step!

Now we need to upload the code to iTunes Connect and publish it.

Things to check in Xcode before uploading:

  • Bundle ID:  Should match the Bundle ID with the app on your iTunes Connect account
  • Version and Build numbers:  If this is a new app, start at 1.0.  If you're updating your app, the Version and Build numbers need to be greater than the previous ones.
  • Bundle Display Name:  Needs to be relevant with your app.  This is the text that will accompany your app on the user's device.
  • Ad IDs:  Make sure your Ad IDs match those on your ad network dashboard, and campaigns are turned ON
  • Code Signing Certificates and Profiles:  Make sure you've added the proper code signing files to upload your code

If you're missing any of these steps, go back and reread this post.  Everything you need to know is included.

Check out the video below for a step-by-step tutorial.

Nice!  Our code has been successfully uploaded to iTunes Connect!

Before publishing, make sure you have done the following:

  • Finalized your title
  • Input keywords and app description
  • Uploaded screenshots for all devices
  • Uploaded your icon
  • Selected your app category
  • Localized metadata (if needed)
  • Updated your app rating
  • Created and submitted any in-app purchases
  • Setup Game Center (if applicable)
  • Selected the latest build
  • Set your price and release territories

When you've finalized everything, select your build in iTunes Connect and Submit for Review.

Get app reviewed

After uploading your code, select the build and submit for review

Step 7:  Grab a sandwich and relax

Nice job!

Knowing how to upload an app is an important skill to have.  Even if you have a development team already, it helps to know the process.

Now that you have the skills to publish an app, start working on customizing your code based on your data and user feedback.  Put together an update plan.  And get marketing strategies laid out.

Finally, keep learning and improving your app knowledge.

Bluecloud Select is the holy grail for app information.  Members of our Bluecloud Select community refer to it as – better than Google when it comes to app development information.   If you're new to apps, or on the Top Charts already, there is no better community out there.  Sign up and get more tutorials like this one + 4 of our best source codes.  Sign up here.

Also, if you liked this tutorial, check out our Tap To Shoot DIY tutorial using a Corona project.

Rock n' roll!

Have a question about Keno, Bluecloud Select, or uploading a code ?  Leave a comment, I'd be happy to answer ANY question!

How to Make An App
 

COMMENTS

  • khalid July 31, 2015

    Hello Mark,
    Great Article. thanks for the pointers.
    I want to make my own game app. I got 0 background in coding. I plan to pick and choose a source code. I would then like to add a few to new ‘Functions or moving objects’ to the source code. How do you recommend i do this discretely.
    1 – Get a designer to design the moving objects (with functions) and then find a different developer to add this to the source code
    2 – I should try designing these moving objects + their functions myself and then pass em on to a developer to insert them in the code.
    3 – I should get a developer / designer to create and add the moving objects to my source code.

    I js dont want the developer / designer to reskin my reskin.

    Any suggestions.

    thanks

    k

  • Mark August 3, 2015

    @Khalid
    This is great stuff. Getting an app template and adding to it is going to separate yourself from competitors in the market, and help evolve your app and UX to a higher degree.

    To answer your question, 1 or 3 is the way I’d proceed.

    When it comes to discretion, the best thing is to start small and establish ‘Trust.’ You should send out NDAs, and even involve attorneys with things like partnerships or big projects. But the best method is to start with small tasks/projects and build to heavier items once a solid relationship has been built.

    The REAL question is, what ‘Functions or moving objects’ are you going to add? And how do you know those are the best features to add?

    I recommend:

    – Get a source code to help you LEARN about app development. Don’t focus on making tons of money quite yet.

    – Hire a team and get the app published

    – Learn how to measure your app and improve numbers. The most important things at this phase are retention, $, downloads, marketing. How are the ‘Functions or moving objects’ you mentioned going to help the app? How do you know THOSE are the most important items that are needed to add?

    I highly HIGHLY recommend (if you haven’t already) you add your info to our email list. You can click the header above or on the homepage. I also recommend checking out our Complete App Course which will get you up-to-speed on what you need to starting off, hiring, publishing, monetizing and a bunch more with your apps. Grab it here:
    http://www.bluecloudsolutions.com/bluecloud-app-course/

    Cheers!

  • Khalid August 13, 2015

    Hello Mark

    Thank you for ur comments. I feel soso much more confident now to start my project. The developer and designer i will outsource the game to would most probably be based in India. I dont know if signing an nda with them wowou protect me in any way especially if they r based in India. Are there any other measures i can take. I just want to assure myself that the developer doesn’t reskin my idea and launch it before i do. Loooool.

    Thanks again for ur wisdom

    K

  • Mark Nagelmann August 15, 2015

    Great question K. One precaution you can take is to send your designer JUST the resources from the code. Like I explain in the blog post, you can literally send him/her the link to the resources so you don’t even have to WORRY about your code getting ripped off. That link again of just the images in the code is here: http://www.bluecloudsolutions.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/Keno-Kingdom-Resources.zip

    You are correct about an NDA not being the best security measure. Unless lawyers are involved, an NDA doesn’t have much weight anyway. But it is something. The best thing to develop when working with someone new is TRUST. And it takes time. The biggest thing you want to be careful of is not getting what you paid for. To bypass this, I recommend working on platforms like Elance or Odesk so you can have workstations online. Create small milestones. And finally, if you can use version control services like Github, that’s a HUGE bonus.

    Finally, remember that 99.9999% of people on this world are good hearted folks just looking to keep their end of the bargain. They are more interested in making you happy so they can get a good review than they are concerned with stealing your work.

    Rock on!

  • James Margulis February 29, 2016

    Hello Mark,
    I’m starting my own app and I was wondering what are the best places to get app templets and how much they would cost?
    Thanks!
    -James Margulis

  • Carter Thomas Carter Thomas February 29, 2016

    @James – We offer this Keno template as part of our Bluecloud Select package ($1 to try it out). I’d recommend starting there. http://www.bluecloudsolutions.com/join-bluecloud-select

  • Lee P March 26, 2016

    Hi there, I purchased the Bluecloud casino bundle a year ago and got out of the app game.

    I’m now ready to start again with those codes, was wondering what I’d have to do to bring those codes up to date? I think it was in IOS 8 or something… is it IOS 10 now?

    Thanks!

  • Carter Thomas Carter Thomas March 26, 2016

    @Lee – if you send an email to support@bluecoudsolutions.com we can give you an exact answer. Glad you’re back! Good time to be in the casino biz 🙂

  • Lee P March 31, 2016

    I’m banging my head against the wall trying to come up with a theme idea for casino apps.. As I presume specific theme keywords would be the only way I’d gain visibility for my casino app in this very competitive space. Any ideas? Thanks!

  • Will May 25, 2016

    Hi, I have a question is the Keno template source code working on ios 9 ?
    does it have been updated ?

  • Carter Thomas Carter Thomas May 25, 2016

    @Will – Yes. We have a team of developers that updates the codes for every new iOS and SDK improvement.

  • Hokigame January 3, 2017

    Having read this I thought it was extremely informative.
    I appreciate you spending some time and effort to put this information together.
    I once again find myself personally spending a significant
    amount of time both reading and commenting. But so
    what, it was still worth it!

  • topsituspoker.com October 31, 2017

    It’s difficult to find well-informed people on this subject, but you sound like you know what you’re talking about!
    Thanks

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