Posts in Events (20)
The video from my talk at Casual Connect Kiev titled: Touch me! The Art of Making Mobile Games "Feel" Good is now online. View the video below:
You can also read my wrap-up blog post from Casual Connect.
I've spent the last three days in Kyiv, Ukraine attending Casual Connect Kyiv 2012. Besides presenting on controls in touchscreen games, I met a lot of great people from the Ukrainian and Russian game development communities, as well as thought leaders in the industry. Here are a few interesting points, quotes and trends from the conference:
The big trend:
- • You cannot fight the trend towards free-to-play games, it's taking over the market, segment by segment.
- • Most big companies are spending their money on paid user acquisition/CPI, this leaves a gap for marketing stunts to acquire users at low or no-cost, look for strategic marketing partnerships
- • Answer tweets/facebook messages in the persona of your game characters (e.g. the Bad Piggies reply to people on Rovio's social media accounts)
- • It's way easier to get to top 25 in smaller territories first, then target the US later.
- • Have your programmers create tools that enable game designers to modify the game without programmer intervention - e.g. let the game designer modify parameters in an excel file which is read by the game.
- • Programmers naturally write defensive code while game designers want to stretch the boundaries. This conflict is a good thing.
- • Try to build a game engine that you can reuse in multiple games, which will get better and better over time.
- • Never rewrite a game from scratch, your "crappy old code" actually contains a lot of institutional memory and smart bug fixes.
- • The development of a modern mobile game is never finished.
- • Unity 4 supports export to Flash Player, using Stage3D; so you don't need the Unity Web Player. Also has dynamic fonts on mobile, a new animation system, and lots of other cool stuff!
On game reviews:
- • Try to find out what kind of games specific game reviewers like before sending review requests to then
- • In iOS6, search ranking is affected by third-party reviews
- • A short video showing the gameplay/functionality of your app is essential
On Cross promotion:
- • Cross promotion is the cheapest way to market your apps & CTRs are very high: use all your advertising space: like splash screens, loading screens, notifications.
- • Having tons of connected games makes a big and powerful business; the closer the match the better cross promo works
- • Consider providing incentives for people to watch ads (eg provide virtual currency for watching a video ad unit)
- • Price segmentation: always offer low and high priced versions of items to maximize revenue
- • Provide new items or levels on a daily schedule (for example, unlock one new level a day for a whole month)... keeps people coming back
- • You must segment your users, treat paying and non paying users differently. Paying users should get free bonuses to encourage more purchases. Non-paying users should get more ads.
- • After 30 days, if someone didn't spend money in your game, 95% chance they will never buy anything in lifetime of game
- • Retail marketing budgets are much larger than e-commerce budgets, and can be accessed with the right partnerships
- • Levels are a retention strategy. Don't sell them, give them away and sell ancillary items (hints, upgrades)
- • Create "moments of absolute joy" which can be shared
- • Look for points in the game where engagement drops off and offer bonuses at those points
- • Work on the "core compulsion loops" of your games, it's what keeps players coming back
I got distracted doing other things and the placeholder talk sat there in my calendar, reminding me about the event on September 8th. So in the end, I decided I'd prepare a talk... on placeholders!
I'm going to try to persuade you that placeholders - those little pieces of text that hint to you what the real content will look like - are worth your attention. There are four reasons why...
By popular demand, we're running a new contest to win one of our awesome Pig Rush plush toys!
1. Print out a copy of this outline drawing of Jumpy the Pig...
2. Color it in! Crayons, pencils, paint, it's all fine!
3. Take a picture of your creation (or scan it)
4. Post your picture to facebook.com/pigrush or email it to support (at) reigndesign (dot) com
5. Closing date is 31 July
We'll pick some of the best entries to win a Pig Rush toy. What are you waiting for, get coloring!
As it's the Fourth of July, we'd like to wish all our friends in the United States a happy Independence Day. To celebrate, some indie game developers have banded together to make their apps free for the day, under the hashtag #INDIEpendenceDay. We're pleased to announce that our hit game Pig Rush for iPhone and iPad is available absolutely FREE today! Download it now from the App Store.