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Archive for September 2014

Starwood Hotels Showcased in Apple's Keynote Announcing iPhone 6, Apple Pay and Apple Watch

We were thrilled to see our partners, Starwood Hotels & Resorts, featured in the most recent Keynote from Apple. If you missed the news, Starwood showed off the ability to skip the check in line and even skip picking up a key. The Apple Watch can be used to open your hotel room door. How cool is that? Once again, Starwood demonstrates they are the most innovated and forward-thinking global hotel company.

If you missed the keynote, you can find it here...



Rocketeers support The Vital Ground Foundation

This month, Rocketeers are supporting, the mission of The Vital Ground Foundation, which is to protect and restore North America’s grizzly bear populations by conserving wildlife habitat.

Photo credit: John Hechtel via

Working cooperatively with landowners, local communities, and state and federal agencies, Vital Ground addresses the issue of habitat fragmentation by protecting crucial lands for the benefit of grizzly bears and other wide-ranging wildlife.

Rocketeer Stefanie Duke chose this organization and said, “I chose Vital Ground because I love conservation. The bear that appeared in Legends of the Fall, was a favorite of mine.  He inspired me to love bears more and to want to help preserve their native habitat. And someday, my dream is to visit Vital Ground.” 

Vital Ground has helped protect and enhance nearly 600,000 acres of wildlife habitat in Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Alaska, and British Columbia. 

For more information, visit


Bottle Rocket Gets in the VR Game Early with a New Original Game for Samsung’s Gear VR

Rocketeers from our Thruster gaming division are set to provide a sneak peek of its under-development virtual reality game Saturday, September 6 at the 2nd Annual Big(D)esign Conference in Addison. 

To be called Nyx, the fast-paced arcade shooter was designed from the ground up for the new mobile VR platform, the Samsung Gear VR, which was jointly introduced by Samsung and Oculus earlier this week at IFA in Berlin, the show often described as “a virtual cornucopia of consumer tech.”  The Thruster team worked closely with Samsung and Oculus on early prototypes of the device, code-named “Project Moonlight,” to explore optimizations for the game.

Bottle Rocket Virtual Reality Game Nyx

Nyx utilizes the new mobility-driven platform to take players on a shoot-em-up thrill ride, which includes targeting via head mounted motion controls that give the game a very natural feel.

“The real joy in these types of games is to move past just surviving and start trying to achieve bigger and better scores” said Brian Cope, who is leading the game design for Nyx. “Learning patterns and finding techniques to incrementally ratchet up your score has been a core aspect of the arcade shooter genre.” 

Matt Johnson, EVP & GM of Thruster, said “Nyx has been an exciting opportunity for us to demonstrate the power of VR immersion to our customers.  We have been working on VR approaches with several large brands that are looking to teach and inform their customers in exciting new ways.  The Samsung Gear VR has been instrumental in helping us achieve this goal." Thruster titled its conference session, “The New Normal of Virtual Reality.”

The Gear VR’s initial release is an ‘Innovator Edition’. It’s an early-access, beta-version of the device for developers and enthusiasts (like Bottle Rocket).  You can learn more about the Gear VR Innovator Edition here

For information about Big (D)esign visit:    


How To Come Out On Top When Dealing With Negative Reviews

App developers have a love/hate relationship with reviews. From one perspective, a pack of great reviews on a widely searched site like Yelp, Amazon, or the App Store can drive revenue increases for your app.

However, bad reviews can weigh you down and make users wary to spend money or time on your app.

Often we’ll want to shrink away or fight back against bad reviews, but that can be counterproductive and even more damaging – rather, taking a proactive approach to the review system and getting to know your users is the more solid approach.

Consider this:

  • 60% of users consider reviews important
  • 80% of users say reviews impact their decision to purchase
  • Only 7% of users never look at reviews
  • A single star of improvement on Yelp can lead to a 5-9% revenue increase

Clearly the benefits to reap are massive.

Keeping the goal of helping the user in mind can mean the difference between a stellar review profile and a list of complaints that drive away new business.

The three key steps in keeping your reviews in check are:

  • Monitor
  • Invite
  • Respond

You should monitor the app store and social media, invite your users to offer feedback and receive support, and lastly, respond to complaints with iterative fixes and attentive customer service.

Further, bad reviews aren't the final say on your app. The App Store shows reviews for the latest version of your app by default, so updates and new releases provide you with a shot at redemption. 

Keeping an eye out on your reviews will allow you to build a deeper connection with your users and provide better releases.

Sources: Google, Jakob Nielsen, Mike Smith,, eMarketer, Chris Thompson, Apptweak, Apptentive



Recent News

One of Bottle Rocket Apps' latest applications has given a fast-food bird some new wings.

Chick-fil-A's latest version of its mobile app, released last week for iOS, allows customers to order and pay via their smartphone. The app allows customers to use the new features at more than 130 locations, with more expected to roll out in 2015.

Read More