Posts in Gaming (99)

Retirement of Our Older Apps

To our fans:                                                                                     

Thank you for downloading, playing, and loving our apps! ReignGames has enjoyed creating such fun and high quality games. As our products evolved, we were able to gain experience in the market and develop a variety of applications. However, maintaining too many apps can be detrimental for all of them. That’s why we’ve decided that it’s time to retire some of our older apps. By “retire”, we mean that the app will no longer be updated, and this includes bug-fixes.

When?
By the end of 2013.

What?
The following apps will not be updated, but they will be available in the app store.

Pig Rush
Spot the Difference
Spot the Difference with Friends
Monster Chorus
ZMVW
Flockwork
Save Me
Lovely

If you have any questions, please contact support@reigndesign.com.

Thank you again for your patronage! We appreciate our millions of fans, and we look forward to creating more entertaining and cutting-edge apps for you!

 

Trends in casual gaming: my takeaways from Casual Connect Kyiv 2012

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.

On Marketing:

  • • 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.

On technology:

  • • 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

On Monetization:

  • • 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

On Engagement:

  • • 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

Monday App Recommendation: Bubble Mania

App: Bubble Mania
Price: FREE
Category: Games Arcade/Family
Why we like it: Bubble Mania is based on the popular bubble popping concept similar to Bejeweled. The goal of the game is that as the mother critter you try to free your babies who are locked up in a maze of bubbles. The basic game play is extremely simple to understand and get into, with each level getting slightly more challenging, and each campaign introducing new game-features. The game has well placed in-app purchases, which can improve your gameplay but are not required to continue playing.
It has beautiful game graphics and matching animations - but most of all, its addictive, a game that is hard to put down, once you picked it up.