Lectures at Casual Connect are programmed to focus on cutting edge topics in the video games space. On July 22 - 24, over 3000 industry professionals came to San Francisco for the ninth annual Casual Connect in the United States to listen to lectures from over 300 industry experts. Conference content was programmed by a set of industry advisors.
If you attended lectures at Casual Connect and want to see your favorite sessions again, or if you could not make it to San Francisco this time and want to see what you have missed, press the icon to watch videos and download slides (all content is FREE!).
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If you would like to speak at a future Casual Connect in Amsterdam, Serbia, Singapore or San Francisco, please email Tennille Forsberg.
Mobile has seen explosive growth across the country and across the world, and games play a critical role. With Android accounting for 62 percent of the mobile device market, the opportunity is massive for game developers. Google Play global head of games business development, Bob Meese, shares insights on the mobile gaming industry and how you can take advantage of it.
This past year has been a very profitable period for the social casino industry. So the question now is--what comes next?
In this time of transition, there seems to be no relevant new investment activity in the social casino industry. So is it a matter of survival of the older companies? Are the well established companies the only ones that will survive? But we must also ask, which companies will survive and why? The quest for profitability will be focused on channels (traditional platforms v.s. new platforms), markets (core markets v.s. emerging markets) and competencies (game design, analytics, marketing, distribution, etc.). In this uncharted territory, can social casino games become a complement or even a substitute for RMG?
This talk will focus on what elements constitute gambling and explain the very different perspectives of regulated gaming (gambling) companies versus unregulated entertainment companies. The casino segment of free to play games is one of the highest grossing segments of mobile and social casual games and this talk will define some bright lines as well as offer some alternative ideas on unregulated casino style gaming.
The mobile market in Asia has been ahead of the curve historically, and the opportunity for developers to take their games East, and vice versa, requires the right combination of finesse from content curation and culturalization. Ultimately it requires understanding your user base in each key market for your games, as well as using the best practices for sourcing new products and partners. This talk will cover successful case studies from gumi in Japan, Korea, and SE Asia. Plus you will learn what gumi has in store for North America in 2014-15.
John Maloney will take the audience through the evolution of regulation in casino gaming. John will provide the audience with a background of the industry’s mob controlled past to the modern day rules and laws that govern the more recent and diverse industry of today. Speaking directly from his legal background within the industry itself, John will discuss the important benefits, shortfalls and inefficiencies that exist within modern day regulation. This session promises to be an excellent guide to developers, publishers and investors who wish to better understand and prepare both for today and the future.
The barriers between video game developers and online gambling operators are being stretched thin. The surge of social casino gaming has opened the door for real-money operators to expand their field of battle into the gamespace. Traditional land-based powerhouses are lining up alongside a new generation of real-money service providers. Game developers are lining up in competition to launch the next great casino title. Does this herald a new dawn of monetization that will fill game developers’ coffers? Or is this the beginning of the Gamblepocalypse? Is this the best thing to happen to the game industry in years or are we speeding toward a cliff at breakneck speed? Let the debate begin…
Mobile device operating systems are rapidly expanding to run on every screen and device in the home, on the body and in the car. The next truly breakthrough game won’t launch on one device; it will launch everywhere and run on everything. Join Amazon Appstore vice president, Ethan Evans, to learn how advanced cloud services help game developers build online games that can scale and promise connectivity and continuity between these experiences. Finally, he’ll share some thoughts about the future of gaming to help you create new compelling gaming experiences across many platforms.
Big Fish Casino, Slots Heaven, Bingo Run. You see these titles at the top of the iOS and Google Play charts every week, but how do they get there? What have these developers learned as mobile UA has evolved significantly in just the past year? CEOs and head marketers from some of the hottest developers in the casino category will share their detailed insights on what strategies they've found to be most effective and which you should avoid. Moderated by John Gargiulo, SVP business development & marketing at BlueStacks: the largest Android-Gaming-on-PC platform on earth.
Leading slots designers discuss the fundamental differences between designing slots for real-money vs. social casinos, and present their key learnings for operating in an environment with no regulations. Learn how to turn freeloaders into paying players.
Creative, smart, and quirky people thrive in the interactive entertainment industry and often hold decision making positions. Join Tommy Palm, Games Guru at King, as he is interviewed in an intimate fireside setting, following an "Ask Me Anything" format by an independent interviewer, Arseny Lebedev, co-founder at Signus Labs. Attendees will learn more about Tommy's motivations, dreams, and desires as a game industry professional as well as part of King. The interview will end with a familiar inquiry on personal tastes and questions from the audience.
Presenting data from surveys of thousands of social game players, Andy will show what players expect from their interaction with an app, Customer Services, CRM and VIP Management. TraffGen's data clearly indicate what player's believe are the largest influencers of purchase & high k-factor behaviour.
Real money poker and casino games launched the online gaming industry, but have these businesses run out of steam? Have the player acquisition costs made this RMG unprofitable? Is social poker the savior or has social casino taken over? Can operators drive social poker (or casino) players in to real money poker? This panel of real and social poker experts will address these questions and more.
The Social Casino industry operates in rapidly changing market conditions. In the second of an ongoing series of lectures, Elad Kushnir of Playtika will update the audience on market forces that must be mastered in order to become (or stay) a relevant contender in the industry. Join this session to glean insights from the latest trends and movement in social casino.
A session comparing & contrasting the IP licensing, affiliate, license platform partnership, and get-your-own-license options for bringing a real-money game to market. From the point of view of an early stage/small company, Jon will chart the decisions made in bringing his company's first RMG game to market.
It’s easy to see that casino games are hot – a glance at the top grossing charts confirms that games like slots and bingo are big and getting bigger. Now a new genre is emerging: one that combines casino game mechanics with the esthetic, story arc and progression techniques of typical casual games. Examples of this game type range from Bingo Blitz, a game that uses bingo to power a collection game, to Slingo Supreme, a fusion of slots and bingo organized around structured progress, to Battle of Fortune, that uses a slot machine to decide battle outcomes. The real success in this market is learning how to leverage these classic engagement methods to your advantage. This session will be focused on design aspects of social casino games, with a particular emphasis on engagement and re-engagement. Come and explore with Cynthia as she tells us about success, pains and lessons learned within her own experiences.
Mobile has played an incredible role in the growth of social casinos over the past two years. We have seen massive acquisitions and different strategies to stay ahead, but what has put Big Fish Casino in a top spot is a fundamental understanding of mobile as a primary platform. Let’s take a look back over the past four years to see why mobile is important to the growth of social casinos and what are the best practices to keep in mind to move forward.
People playing games cross-platform play more and pay more. Learn how Facebook and its tools can drive higher engagement and significantly impact your bottom-line.
In the world of real money gaming, minigames, such as slots and scratch-offs, have traditionally been used to increase revenue and keep the player engaged. In fact, minigames often contribute upwards of 30% of profit to an operator's bottom line. This strategy is now making its way to the world of social gaming and we are starting to see packs of spins and scratchoffs as top in-app purchases for several of the best monetizing mobile games. Although minigames may appear to be straightforward features, there is substantial expertise involved with building an effective slot or scratch-off. In this session, we will look at best practices for implementing casino minigames that drive substantial increases in both revenue and retention within your mobile titles.
The creativity of the games industry is transforming the gambling industry. Social Casino games give the gambling world compelling new entertainment options to attract audiences for future growth. Game developers in turn gain access to one of the world’s most lucrative markets. Building a Casual Casino game requires more than simply adding gambling. The gameplay and triggers within the game need to be very different: not only to entertain gamblers but to build their trust, and to operate within the laws. This session will take a deep dive into how to structure Casual Casino games, as well as the process of applying for and getting approved for a gambling license. Games will be demonstrated to show how they need to work to meet all of these requirements.
As data analysis tools become more powerful and sophisticated, game developers have access to an increasingly large pile of data about their users. But at some point the datasets become overwhelming, often leading to analysis paralysis. In this lecture, Win COO Yaniv Leven suggests a unique, top-down methodology for data analysis and shares the top KPIs that his company uses to cut through the information overload and help reveal the true meaning behind user behaviors.
Get the insider's perspective from a panel of the top social casino recruiting experts, who will debate it out with in-house recruiters from some of the big social gaming companies. This panel will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of companies using recruiters and also discuss the what getting recruited means for individuals -- how to get on their radar and the process of getting placed.
eSports is taking off in a big way, on a global scale. Game video content and live events are drawing massive audiences and have become essential elements of most game companies’ strategy. But, just how big is the eSports boom in the West? Who are the eSports viewers and active participants that are loyally dedicated to their favorite games, teams and players? Which companies are taking eSports to the mass audience? Why are mainstream brands like Coca-Cola, American Express, RedBull and HBO investing time, money and energy in reaching eSports fans? And probably most important: What opportunities does this provide you? Peter Warman, CEO at Newzoo, will share hard figures on eSports’ popularity during a brief intro and host a panel discussion between key players in the eSports and video streaming space, each in their own way.
The real money gaming category and the social casino category are converging, but how far will it go and what category of games most closely mirror real money games? Is it realistic to assume that social casino game players in the U.S. will convert to real-money players when real-money gaming is legalized? In countries where real money gaming is legalized, do these players also play free social casino games? What kind of free-to-play casino games do land-based casinos desire in advance of real-money gaming becoming legalized? Exploring the similarities and differences between social casino and real-money game designs and the demographics behind each category of games, Greg Mills will answer these questions and share his insight from working with real-money gaming companies in Europe as well as with U.S. land-based operators over the last year.
In-Sourcing -- a game producer's secret weapon or ticking time bomb? Seasoned game industry operators share their perspective on the advantages and pitfalls of operating off-shore studios. The panel will discuss topics such as how to set up a studio, government incentives, labor costs and what to watch out for.
Pay $5 to replace what you lost or pay $5 to keep winning – what would you choose? With a $4.4 billion market opportunity, social casinos have a huge opportunity to monetize their games. But most monetization strategies focus on “loss replacement,” forcing players to pay to keep up with their losses. Derived from established gambling methodologies, these models don’t always translate effectively to F2P environments. In this standalone session, attendees will learn to reconsider relying on selling coins and, rather, learn how to sell players on better odds.
The casual games market is huge, but saturated. It's hard to make money unless you have the right combintation of marketing spend, significant IP, great gameplay, and sometimes, luck. How did we get here in casual games? And more importantly...where are we going? Jill Braff, veteran of the games business, will examine today's market and identify unexpected new sweet spots that most developers overlook, with examples from retail, television and social causes.
Andrew Paradise, CEO of Skillz, will speak to his vision for the future of mobile gaming, a world in which both developers and gamers benefit from monetization. Current monetization methods, such as advertisements and in-app purchases, aren’t doing enough to support the thriving game development industry. As a result, cash-based competitions are quickly becoming a driving force within gaming, introducing a new monetization tool that presents lucrative opportunities for developers, and the only solution that does not compromise the user experience or the quality of a game. Skill-based cash gaming may be the holy grail that everyone has been searching for.
With only 2% of users making up over 80% of revenue in most apps, the controversy of data-driven whale chasing vs. quality content grows. Moderated by industry expert and monetization consultant, Lauren Feldman, this panel will examine the ethics of free-to-play content and the balance between providing quality entertainment and keeping your company in business. The discussion will also focus on the exploitation of ads in apps, merchandising of virtual goods, designing to create "addiction" and next generation methods for increasing lifetime value. The panelists will discuss specific case studies of monetization; successes and failures, and how they have been able to find success in an ecosystem filled with more than 1M apps across multiple platforms.
The majority of lotteries in 3rd world countries run on paper, where a few of these countries each sell a few hundred million to a couple of billion dollars of lottery tickets every year. These lotteries are desperately exploring ways to go digital. What are the constraints they face? Do they have the right infrastructure needed to go digital? There are many such questions in our mind. The reality says these countries do not have consistent electricity, nor have they broadband Internet. Does that mean they can not benefit from the latest technology? Does that mean they still have to run their lotteries the same old way they have been doing for the past 15-20 years? Rahul Rajguru will tell his fascinating story of going into 3rd world countries and converting their paper lotteries into mobile.
Video game tournaments are becoming big business. And while eSports have come a long way, they have yet to achieve widespread popularity in mainstream culture. However, as mobile continues to bring video gaming to the masses, we may be reaching a tipping point where eSports tournaments will enjoy the same type of popularity as their physical offline counterparts. Come listen to the people who make eSports a reality discuss the past and present of eSports and how one day professional gaming may be bigger than the MLB, NBA, NHL, and NFL combined.
Traditionally, enterprise and indie are pitted against each other in the competition for share of audience and share of wallet, with one forecasted for success and the other obsoletion. Counter to these predictions, these entities have converged in the quest to master the new media model of gaming. Toy maker Hasbro bought a majority stake in Backflip. TinyCo partnered with FOX on Family Guy: The Quest for Stuff. Kabam and Warner Brothers Interactive Entertainment teamed up on The Hobbit: Kingdoms of Middle-earth. Generating revenue and offsetting user acquisition costs, these partnerships go beyond simple licensing deals to capitalize on existing franchise audiences and indie industry know-how.
How do two entities traditionally at odds balance priorities to capture legacy audiences and gamers alike? How does the central role that ads play in traditional media companies translate to the free-to-play ecosystem? And how can we expect these partnerships to continue to shape the media landscape as the gaming industry matures? Hear from both indie game developers and major media companies on the trend of franchise extension through interactive gaming experiences.
With the Asia mobile gaming market predicted by some to exceed that of the US in a few years, the opportunity for mobile developers in Asia has never been greater. This talk will initially touch on the specific opportunities in Asia for Western mobile developers, including an overview of the key markets like South Korea, Japan and China as well as the complexities and differences of these markets compared to the West. The focus of the talk will be to provide a better understanding of the specific and unique distribution channels in these markets for games as well as best practices for sourcing a potential partner to help you enter these markets successfully.
Consolidation in mobile is heating up: Game studios have combined forces; service providers are merging or gobbling each other up. What does this mean for the mobile games industry, and how will it impact developers and publishers? Enter Upsight CEO Andy Yang on the heels of the high-profile merger of app analytics company Kontagent + mobile monetization firm PlayHaven. Andy will shed light on why consolidation is becoming a significant trend, how it will benefit the industry in the next 3-5 years and provide strategies for developers to navigate the always evolving mobile games market.
What are the problems in mobile publishing right now? What are the biggest challenges for publishers? Why should developers seek publishers? In this session, a panel of mobile game publishing experts will come together and answer the tough questions facing the mobile gaming industry right now around game discoverability, competition in the market, avoiding pitfalls in deals, and what developers can do to optimize their partnership with publishers for success.
So, you have decided to do the right thing and market your application. Fortunately, you live in a world where everything is trackable, measurable, and transparent. You may be thinking, “I’ll try my luck and bid low. If I can get engaged users on this bid – it’s a win-win!” What if I were to tell you that in the advertising world, more is actually less, meaning, the higher you bid, the less you pay for a booking/ paying user? The key here is to find your balance point! How much it is worth paying, to get the right amount of new users at the desired level of engagement.
Identifying and acting on app market trends is nearly impossible without access to context-driven data insights. Luckily, App Annie CEO Bertrand Schmitt has the information to identify emerging trends before they happen. What is working in Japan that will soon thrive in the US? How can a messaging app in South Korea aid the London app economy? Mr. Schmitt will reveal how developers and publishers can use analytics to act on emerging trends and become the next great app leaders.
China is rapidly becoming the largest mobile game business opportunity for top developers given its size, rapid growth, and monetization potential. However, the fundamentals of the market are quite different from the USA and European experience. Applying best practices from those markets to China, or entering the market with implicit assumptions derived from success in the West, is likely a recipe for underperformance in China. This talk is a must for any developer who seeks to tap into the massive monetization opportunity presented by China's mobile games.
Mobile Web is a largely untapped platform that delivers high-quality gaming experiences to players and growing returns to publishers. While often dismissed as a viable distribution channel due to discoverability, technological and monetization challenges, mobile web offers the clear benefits of a streamlined, resource-saving development process, autonomy from third-party platforms and customizable business models. In this session, hear industry experts debate the future of mobile web. Are we just browsing or on the brink of an innovation spree?
Expanding from an extremely casual title to more traditional genres is both a challenge and an opportunity.
With its rapidly rising mobile penetration rates, growing 4G availability, and maturing ecosystem, Southeast Asia (SEA) is likely to be the next frontier for mobile game developers. However, only those companies that can navigate the region’s complexities effectively will succeed in SEA. Animoca’s David Kim examines the platforms and technologies that are driving Southeast Asia’s amazing growth, while prescribing tips and exploring best practices to help mobile game developers excel in the region.
Helping indie developers strike a balanced ecosystem between monetization and entertainment in freemium games can be challenging in today's marketplace. Games are only successful at generating revenue when they're entertaining for people to play. Leading mobile game publisher, Chillingo sales director, Levi Buchanan can share insight and tips on how indie devs can achieve success based on case study examples.
Choy Wai Cheong will discuss the current state of the Android market throughout Asia, highlighting what changes we have seen in the past 6-12 months. He will analyze the market on both a macro- and micro-scale, reviewing the sales and growth of the region as a whole, and will also identify which marketing methods are successful in specific regions and why. Finally, Choy will present regional case studies to demonstrate how to effectively market your app and pinpoint particular market differences within the region.
Thousands of mobile game developers have emerged in China since 2013, sharing the rapidly growing market (1 billion USD in 2012, 2 billion USD in 2013). How to choose the right team members to get started, how to make a profitable game title and how to achieve unique success are the key topics to be discussed in this session.
Before we were flinging birds and clashing clans, we were dropping Tetriminos and clearing lines with Tetris, the original casual game. This June, Tetris turns 30. It’s one of the most popular video game brands in the world, with billions of games played annually. Casey Pelkey will share insights into how to keep a game born in the ‘80s part of our gaming and pop culture for three decades and even more relevant today.
In this lecture, Sabrina Carmona of Behaviour Interactive, will elaborate on current data from the Latin American mobile market. She will also discuss the characteristics of the studios involved, and the reasons why Latin America is a great opportunity for the international gaming industry.
Since the launch of the first smartphone, evolving technology has been drastically changing mobile games. Now that most everyone has a high-powered gaming computer in their pockets, player expectations have grown considerably. But things are just getting started. New technologies are helping mobile developers to create visually stunning games that delight and connect players like never before. These technologies include:
● 3D game engines
● New scripting languages
● Synchronous multiplayer
● Analytics & visualization platforms
Independent mobile game developers have a tough road in an exceedingly crowded and very expensive app marketing landscape. The most successful indie developers tend to either go against the grain, break through with a new genre, or an orthogonal approach to monetization or with the help of a partner that can help them scale. Walter Driver, CEO of Scopely, will offer strategies for indie devs to including working with a partner to help scale their audience, building recognizable branding and aesthetics, creating their own unique categories to stand out from the crowd.
Pricing mobile games is a delicate balancing act. Gone are the days of long development cycles as developers must tighten budgets with narrowing game launch windows. Whether you are making a free-to-play or paid title, mobile game launch plans have similar components and must include pricing analysis to be successful. But what if your research suggests your game should be a paid title? Or what if your ad budget isn’t big enough to make a dent on the “Free” charts. Matt Shea, Head of WildTangent, will discuss strategies for ROI in game marketing and share why pricing a game at $.99 is likely not the way to go.
Bryan Buskas of AdColony will refresh his popular developer survey – which was a hit at Casual Connect 2013 – and unveil insights for the first time on the latest trends and strategies for user acquisition and monetization straight from the top grossing devs to you. The new developer “future-casting” research presentation will pull insights and show change in attitudes over the past year on topics such as, “What advertising channels are currently being used by Top Grossing mobile developers?”, “What user acquisition channels and ad formats are most effective at achieving campaign goals?” and “What trends from last year are on the down and out?”
With aggregated data and real input from the biggest developers in the world on important topics like mobile video, social, and more, Bryan will discuss the ever changing mobile marketing landscape and give attendees a dose of reality on what’s working and what’s not. In a highly competitive landscape where many devs keep their marketing tactics and spend close to their chests, this new research will deliver a high quality, not-to-be-missed Casual Connect talk!
As the competition in mobile casual games marketing is becoming more intense, it is time to look for new areas——Welcome to the Chinese mobile games market! More than 300 million Chinese users are waiting for your products, while numbers of native games are looking for global users. 17mobi will provide details of the Chinese casual game market and help you build the connection between China and overseas.
Over the past year, messaging apps have begun to open up new opportunities for game developers. These opportunities require everyone to rethink the idea of a messaging app, which typically is just associated with texting and calling. Today's next generation messaging apps are undergoing a transformation into becoming "mobile platforms." Messaging services are concentrating on building out SDKs and gaming centers within their apps. These initiatives are still in the early days and the payoff for such opportunities are potentially very big for game developers given the sheer scale of messaging apps such as Tango which has more than 200m registered users. The opportunity here is for game developers to create their games with messaging platforms in mind and leverage these channels as a powerful new way to drive virality and reach new players.
While the majority of mobile gaming growth is coming from emerging markets, mature markets are still top revenue generators and important to the success of your game. To achieve optimal monetization potential in both emerging and mature gaming markets, it’s essential to incorporate new distribution channels in your go-to-market strategy. This presentation will explore the expansion of new game stores across the globe and how you can leverage them to maximize your game’s revenue.
One of the biggest challenges in the mobile advertising world today is how to advertise without compromising user experience. In this session, we’ll reveal our secret recipe for the right mix of user experience and monetization strategy.
Since its inception in 2007, Mindgrub has grown to 50+ employees, made over 75 apps and has learned a tremendous amount along the way. Last year, Mindgrub officially launched their games division, and now has five titles available in the Google Play and AppStores. In the early years, putting a cool game in the store was all you needed to do. Today, with millions of apps and games available for download, Mindgrub has found that there are six key ingredients to rising above the noise and creating a successful mobile game. In this presentation, Dan Jorquera will discuss the steps taken when releasing a game in order to drive downloads, increase popularity, and get a ROI.
Lei Zhang, US general manager of Chukong Technologies, will give an overview of how WeChat is already changing the mobile game market in China and how its influence will seep into the West. Chukong predicts Tencent will take about 20 to 30 percent of mobile game revenue in China, but the company’s lasting impact will hinge on whether Tencent chooses to become a true, open gaming platform or remain a closed, curated publisher.
Are you a mobile developer? Do you seek to better understand how to gain tracking and exposure through paid marketing? Then come listen to Social Point’s VP of marketing, Adam Jaffe, share his views on mobile marketing, tracking and analytics. By the end of his talk, you will be better equipped to tackle the large and ever-changing landscape of mobile marketing.
Mobile has ushered in a new era of games which defy the rules set by traditional video games. A large section of the industry is struggling to adapt to the new rules of the rapidly changing mobile gaming market. Adapting means shedding the 20-30 years of console, PC video games legacy and looking at game development in a whole new light. Reliance Games' General Manager Sandeep Shetty, will take you through the process of shedding the baggage and help understand how different audiences are playing mobile games and why these definitions need to be redefined for the mobile platform.
Even with the increased focus on mobile platforms, the importance of the device on which users play games will take a back seat in the future while virality and the social gaming experience will continue to be the driver of entertainment for everybody, everywhere. This talk follows the development of the action-RPG KingsRoad by Rumble Entertainment which is available on browsers, Facebook and mobile devices (iOS and Android) and offers cooperative gameplay across all these platforms. The development philosophy is not based on platforms and metrics, but on long-term sustainability and a lasting experience for all players alike.
With more than 1M apps available across multiple platforms, app developers worldwide are constantly looking for ways to drive higher quality downloads and increase retention rates. Moderated by industry expert Dean Takahashi, lead writer for GamesBeat at Venturebeat, this panel will explore the ins and outs of the science that goes into driving higher quality downloads, increasing player retention and longer term customer value and ROI in the app and mobile landscape. In conjunction with Matt Bruch, sales lead at Publishers Clearing House's Liquid Wireless platform, Andrew Birnbryer of AppLift and James Peng of Storm8, the discussion will also focus on the ins and outs of player engagement, increasing app store rankings, ad testing and ad optimization and the ongoing importance of ratings and reviews. The panelists will discuss specific case studies of successful app launches and how they have been able to maintain player engagement, excitement and drive retention across a number of popular apps.
This session will explore how to leverage emotions and design in order to capture more in-app revenue. It will cover different approaches to metrics driven design with supporting case studies. In addition, developers will learn the six fundamental design principles used to move customers through the advertising funnel.
Everyone from game developers to ad networks are adopting a mobile-first mentality. Emphasizing mobile doesn't mean neglecting other platforms -- there are significant benefits to cross-platform development, especially on Facebook. As the platform provider for monetization on Facebook with a robust mobile business, TrialPay is in a unique position to offer learnings about building games and apps for both platforms.
Facebook has strong benefits as a development platform: there's no need to wait for store updates, there are no device issues, and the user acquisition market is less competitive. TrialPay will take you through the tools, tips, and tricks that will deliver Facebook and mobile success, with special emphasis on the strategies of top developers like King, Kabam, and Wooga who have a thriving presence on Facebook as well as mobile.
As mentioned in our report with SuperData, published in this May, the Chinese mobile games market will reach $3 billion this year, surpassing the US market. Obviously, there are tremendous opportunities in this market; but, what is the most critical experience and know-how that you need to find success in China? Along with the most updated market data of the 1st half of 2014, TalkingData will give you a systematic introduction of the data operation methodology in the Chinese ecosystem and share with you best practices for mobile game operations in China.
Pixelberry Studios succeeded in turning High School Story into a Top 100 game by focusing on the player. They took this focus on players even further by launching a cyberbullying campaign in their game. Learn how their partnership with a non-profit increased acquisition, retention, and monetization, while saving lives.
Over the last several years, the games industry has undergone a massive evolution in almost every aspect. These changes have benefitted some developers and left others in the dust. Any developer can get lucky once or twice but to continue to thrive in this increasingly competitive ecosystem, game companies must be leaders in all of the following areas:
- Cross-Platform: Over the years we've seen a constant evolution in platforms. This change is inevitable and companies looking to build for the long-term must learn to generate revenue from multiple platforms and avoid dependence on one.
- Nimble Product Development: Companies need to quickly hone in on what's working, while pivoting away from what's not. The most successful developers rely on low-cost prototyping, relentless A/B testing, and accessible analytics available to product managers and game designers in real-time.
- Smart Marketing: Accurate cohort-specific marketing data is key to profitable user acquisition. Developers who are "buying blind" will always be at a disadvantage.
In just three years, Toca Boca, a digital play studio for kids, has released 24 apps that have been downloaded 68 million times in over 160 countries. Hear the Swedish company's story from COO Caroline Ingeborn who will discuss the importance of both play and freedom for kids and how companies should be looking at play in the digital world.
The Asian game market will account for 82 percent of the growth within the entire global game industry this year, generating more than $36.8 billion in revenue (45 percent) of the $81.5 billion total in 2014. We will discuss how to take a global approach in product and company strategies as well as M&A opportunities in both East and West markets. These topics will include: choosing local distribution, finding the right user acquisition partners, localization, culturization and game operation strategy in different regions. We will also share our perspectives as a global publisher and what makes a viable mobile product.
Current advances allow wearable devices to monitor and track our activities and actions, and anticipate and react in a variety of ways and situations. But that’s only the tip of the iceberg. Why are we seeing such an explosion of wearable technologies now – what’s fueling this wave? How might the gaming industry leverage these new technologies, and what can we expect when these devices become increasingly connected and context-aware? Heading, pitch, and roll data could register a head nod or shake. Tracked movements could be used in conjunction with mobile controllers to navigate game environments more intuitively. These are just a few examples of how wearables could help create more nuanced gaming experiences. In this session, Corey Rosemond, business development director for Plantronics’ Gaming group, will address the rise of wearable technology – including impacts and opportunities for developers in gaming – as the rise of wearables continues and how it can complement Cloud gaming in general.
The way media is consumed has changed vastly over the past five years. No longer do big media companies need to focus on the big screen or the television--the screens are becoming much smaller, and the way that families consume media has completely changed. With over 75 percent of streaming videos consumed by toddlers and kids occurring on mobile devices, it is time to build products that capitalize on this shift. The new world of ubiquitous mobile devices creates many issues to consider in protecting our children. Join Matt as he addresses these issues head on with actionable advice for building products for children.
By 2017 mobile/online games are anticipated to grow to a $60 billion business and big brands are taking notice. As games dominated global app revenue in 2013 (capturing 72%), new opportunities arise for developers to turn profits. In “Big Brands Need Your Games - The Power Of Partnerships,” Nancy MacIntyre (Fingerprint CEO and former LeapFrog Exec) will share her expertise in navigating partnerships to open monetization and distribution opportunities and will serve-up strategies for growing a successful app dev shop.
Android gaming has come to the living room with the arrival of Android powered devices such as Amazon Fire TV and Ouya! Gamers can now enjoy their favorite mobile game through a console-like experience on the big screen. Before you publish your game there are some important things you will need to consider. What does your game’s 10 foot experience look like, how will your touch controls convert to a controller based experience, how will you sync game progress across all of your players devices, and what are the TV-specific gotchas like overscan. Using Amazon Fire TV as an example, this session will cover the Top 10 things you need to know to get your game running and looking great on TV.
How do industry players succeed when targeting kids & family? This dynamic panel consists of children’s major entertainment studios, publishers, developers, and researchers. Listen to their insights as to what works and what doesn’t from a functional, monetization, and marketing point of view. Jean will delve into a number of questions including what qualifications a developer should have, whether kids & family vary internationally, and trends to be on top of.
Some of America's biggest and most beloved brands are turning to accelerators as a new way to identify emerging technologies and fuel corporate innovation. Execs from Comcast and Turner will weigh in on this new trend. What are the opportunities, how will it change the game, and what does it mean for you?
This talk has two parts: First, the five surprising lessons I learned moving from large AAA productions to mobile development, including the things I had to unlearn from large AAA production experience. Also covered are the five lessons from AAA that will become more important as mobile evolves into bigger teams and higher-quality productions.
The seismic shift from product to service leads directly to the unbundling of game publishing, but requires that publishers and developers with publishing ambitions master the core competencies of Programming, Deployment, Direct Marketing, Monetisation, Analytics, and Operations. The majority of mobile, browser-based, and social game publishers struggle, however, have their games underperform potential revenues by unforced errors in one or more of these keys to digital publishing. This session reviews the most frequent mistakes and missed opportunities in the Brave New Service World, and describes how to benefit from the mistakes others have made (or how to avoid making the same mistake again!) A must-attend for companies that have world-class publishing ambitions, and a should-attend for those who need to be competitive in digital game publishing.
In this talk, Mitch Zamara of FunPlus, will share his experience in designing and launching a cross-platform global mobile game, with development and game design/product management teams based in Beijing and San Francisco, respectively. It will cover his experiences working and living in China (while not speaking the language), working internationally from San Francisco, getting the FunPlus team to adapt to Agile development, and adapting to every obstacle (language, culture, etc.) that could occur along the way.
With teens leading the charge in engagement across gaming and the rapid development of new kinds of commerce experiences across digital and physical goods, the market is evolving. Find out what you need to know about this continuously expanding opportunity, and how it applies to COPPA, CARU, m-commerce, and the next generation of gamers.
See how the latest release of OpenGL® ES brings the power of desktop graphics to the mobile development space. Android devices are shipping with powerful graphics hardware. Many of these devices share the same capabilities as desktop PC systems. We'll give an overview of the latest features of OpenGL® ES 3.0 and OpenGL® ES 3.1 and demonstrate the power of these features with illustrative examples giving developers the tools for delivering the most powerful mobile graphics experience possible.
In the modern era, there has been increasing concern that the rapidly changing and digitally infused nature of life in the 21st Century has resulted in youth becoming increasing disconnected from the classic stories and wisdom of their elders. To help address this challenge E-Line Media and the Cook Inlet Tribal Council, a pioneering Alaska Native social service organization, have partnered to develop a portfolio of games designed to celebrate, share and extend cultures, especially those under-represented in digital games. The first game being released in this genre is called Never Alone (Kisima Initchunna), an atmospheric puzzle platform game for consoles and PC. This panel will explore the unique partnership between leading game designers and indigenous elders and storytellers and social entrepreneurs.
An exploration of how Endemol supercharges a gaming franchise, generating revenue on multiple platforms while also cross-promoting the brand. Learn how social, RMG, land-based, consumer products and live events all play into the mix.
Never in the history of the games industry has "write once, run anywhere” been more possible. But how to make sense of all the different coding languages, platforms, and frameworks? David Fox’s company, Double Coconut, has delivered numerous cross-platform titles using a number of different technologies. He will share some hard-fought, real-world tips for rolling out games across a fractured desktop, handheld, and tablet landscape.
This talk will cover the many lessons learned after raising over $5.6M in angel and VC funding for a mobile gaming startup. It will cover finding and pitching investors, closing the deal, doing due diligence (on your investors!) and managing investor relations after the money is in the bank.
Educational games struggle, and often fail, to provide entertaining experiences while delivering high-quality educational content. Instead of rewarding players with fun for getting an answer right, this talk will explore how to make the learning itself fun.
Indie is not just about a certain visual aesthetic or gameplay experimentation. Indie is also about being economically sustainable and having the means to keep creating independently. Thriving, let alone surviving, as an indie requires an entrepreneurial skill set (and tenacity) not often discussed. This panel will explore the entrepreneurial side of “indieness” as we hear from four different indie studio cofounders and leaders.
Big Viking Games has used HTML5 to create immersive mid-core games whose gameplay is identical to rival native apps. In this session, Albert will talk about the changes in iOS 8 that will finally make HTML5 a massively important technology for the tech and game industry. Join Albert as he talks about what the future holds for HTML5 games and what business and technical barriers need to be overcome and lessons learned in the past three years on the platform.
Developers at the Learning Games Lab at New Mexico State University have developed a series of user testing strategies and approaches that could easily be used by other designers of media for kids and families. Researchers will share their strategies and tools used during testing.
There have always been plenty of great ways to trip up a game, both technical and not. But now that so many games are run as a service, the opportunities to screw them up are truly impressive -- and this talk will showcase some of the most nefarious, including several that we've seen up close and personal. Oh, and of course, what you can do to avoid them...
In this post-mortem session, Laila will share what she and her team have learned from running workshops and summer camps teaching middle and high school girls how to make games. Hear about the Girls Make Games methodology: how they approached both students with no gaming background and those with modding experience (12 year olds who passionately modded Minecraft!) together in the same camp. Learn what parts of their curriculum worked and didn't work with this group. And finally, get a sneak peek into what the future of the video games industry looks like with a more diverse development team.
The investors of Supercell, Kabam, Zynga, Funzio (Gree) and ngmoco (DeNA) will discuss the most exciting opportunities in mobile/online gaming, virtual reality/wearables, gamification, and next-gen distribution platforms.
The easiest way to multiply the earnings from your game is to sell it to the global markets. It’s much easier and more cost effective than porting to other platforms, let alone creating sequels. Most of the time, the same exact game sells equally well, or even better, in another market. Here are the top 10 most effective strategies in getting your game ready for global domination, presented by Jani who has seen it all; from AAA console titles to the top selling mobile apps.
Did you know there’s a cute animal hierarchy? That geek is the new pink? And that the simplest games might have more depth than you ever realized? Leave your adult mindset at the door and enjoy this playful lecture on game design for tween girls. Only if it pleases and sparkles, of course. Are you looking for the key insights on developing for tween girls? We’ll be zooming in on typical game mechanics, lessons learned over the years, the importance of simplicity & complexity, current and emerging trends, character design, which details matter and where to get inspiration.
FarmVille, a franchise that ushered in a new era of free, social gaming on the web recently made its debut on mobile with the launch of FarmVille 2: Country Escape. Join senior game designer Stan Patton and executive producer Jason Everett as they share challenges and key lessons from bringing FarmVille 2: Country Escape to mobile.
COPPA is a U.S. federal law designed to protect the privacy of pre-teens online. Mobile app developers and publishers would be wise not to ignore COPPA – to do so can result in significant fines and just as importantly, can tarnish their brand. The intricacies of COPPA can be complex and nuanced and for many app publishers confronting them is low on their list of priorities. If pre-teens are among your users, you need to understand COPPA!
This presentation will attempt to strip away much of COPPA’s legalese to provide a simple, practical guide for app developers to determine if COPPA applies to them and if so, to clarify their options for achieving compliance.
Armed with behavioral data from over 421 million global mobile users served through Vserv’s platform, Lance Johnson of Vserv.mobi will discuss how game developers can identify mobile first markets and capitalize on global emerging market geos, the fastest smartphone growth markets in the world.
Jill Wilson, SVP of game development for SGN, discusses why being cross platform is core to the SGN strategy and how you too can achieve success going cross platform. Learn the advantages of producing for multiple platforms at once and hear tips on how to handle production for both initial development and maintaining the live game.
Successful and innovative companies are using M&A and inorganic means to drive growth in today’s competitive, fast-paced environment. This talk presents an overview of the industry’s buying trends, investment rounds, what drives value from buyers and predictions for the gaming industry at large.
How do you optimize a PC title for the tablet audience effectively? DropForge Games shares insights and lessons learned as they bring the award winning free-to-play PC game, Card Hunter to mobile. From redesigning the UI/UX to rethinking in-game monetization, porting a game to mobile is often a tough but worthwhile challenge. Jaremy will share the studio's thought process and learnings from planning to execution.
As the mobile gaming market matures there is an increased need for using market classification to inform game green light and development. EEDAR’s head mobile analyst, Patrick Walker, will show how EEDAR uses its mobile genre system to guide client strategy through principles such as increasing attainable market, implementing genre hybridization, and practicing demographic-informed business model optimization. Segmented data from EEDAR’s annual syndicated consumer survey on gamer demographics and gameplay patterns will be shared as part of the presentation.
In this session Ian will speak about the way that cloud computing is offering game designers powerful new tools and creative opportunities. Ian will discuss the key lessons learned during development, while showing examples from upcoming Amazon Game Studios titles and explore the tech suite that could impact creative minds.
Designing a game for people who have some level of familiarity of games is simple, but there is a challenge to make a game-like experience for people who rarely, if ever, "play video games". Kelly wishes to share what he learned, what he thinks makes "games" different from "art" and how to develop for this small but developing market of "interactive storytelling" using the tools and skills from the gaming industry.
M2 Research has conducted in-depth research on development trends of game developers. Wanda Meloni's presentation will highlight some of the issues confronting game developers as well as look at where the growth opportunities are and the make up of the games community in 2014.
Roadhouse Interactive set out to bring the classic, core IP Warhammer® 40,000™ to both enthusiast and casual audiences on mobile devices. In May 2014, Warhammer® 40,000™: Carnage launched globally as an action arcade, side scrolling mobile game. See how Roadhouse adapted the gameplay style for more mainstream audiences, and improved game control functionality for players of all skill levels. Hear how Roadhouse also designed and translated the title to engage core enthusiast gamers and fans of the globally-recognized Warhammer brand.
Concept Art House has delivered art into 15 of the all time top 30 social and mobile games. In this talk, James Zhang, CEO of Concept Art House and a leading videogame art director, will explain how art can directly impact user acquisition, user retention and monetization. Specific before and after examples will be used to show how games were taken to a higher level of monetization by selective improvement in art assets, UI and by improvements to the overall look and feel of well known games. A must for any developer who has a game that could be reinvigorated, reskinned or relaunched.
Give your loyal and creative users something to do! Let them build and drive your game. In this session you will learn why it is so important that your game's super fans create content. You will also learn how to customize the experience for your genre and how to reward, retain and monetize a creative user.
Communication to facilitate human connection is a fundamental human need. Passionate gamers find ways to connect, talk, share, and play together -- whether a developer provides those channels or not. What once took the form of BBSs, chat rooms, and IRC is now complex in-game chat, connectedness through messaging apps like Line and Whatsapp, and creation of new content and community in Twitch Chat. Rich platform-agnostic communication can extend a game’s reach and depth of experience. Learn from great use cases how to put your users and content at the center of the conversation.
I call myself an art generalist at my own risk. During my years in the gaming industry, I’ve heard many myths and opinions about generalists, specialists, T-People, and other shapes of people from my mentors, recruiters, and peers. This session will be a reflection on theories surrounding the generalist role, how my experience on projects and in art teams compares, and the pros and cons of being a creative generalist. Most importantly, the discussion will focus on how the generalist isn’t just about production flexibility, but how generalists play a crucial role in your creative team’s collaborative culture.
With the strides that the Android market has made recently, mobile game developers who want to make money need to have a cross-platform strategy in place. For many devs, this means catching up on the state of the Android market, and fast! Omar Siddiqui co-founded Kiwi, Inc. with a focus on successful Android game development, and he will discuss how developers should approach Android game design as well as how those development methodologies can make developers more successful overall.
Nick Fortugno looks at the ways that games have been used by narrative properties for brand extension. Nick looks at some notable examples of games used for cable shows and movies to discuss what the design intent and strategies are used to take the story of a property and bring it to another medium. Given these successes, Nick offers a vision of other ways games could be used to explore narrative and initiate brands rather than derive from them.
Working with outsourcers allows for an almost instant expansion of resources while reducing costs, but quick starting a team can bring its own set of problems and risks. How can you decrease the risk associated with working with outsourcers? What are the best practices when onboarding a whole team of content creators and how do you direct a decentralized team towards a single target?
In this talk, Zach and Ben will go through some of the most common issues they have run into over the last decade of art outsourcing and the solutions they have implemented to mitigate this risk and allow for smooth production.
HTML5 is a hot topic in game development right now, but how can a developer make money with an HTML5 game? This session will cover the general state of the HTML5 game market as well as the different ways a developer can make money with an HTML5 game now and in the future.
This course will focus on practices and strategies to help developers find inspiration for game design concepts in all areas of life. The components of game design will be examined from an academic point of view, and correlated to real-life activities and experiences that provide similar cognitive and emotional stimuli to their users. The course will look at how reality and games influence each other, and how developers can pull fresh ideas from examining this symbiotic relationship. The course will culminate with a list of ideas to help developers break out of habitual input patterns, forcing them to adapt to new stimuli and naturally develop new ideas as a result.
Games are at the forefront of how to monetize users, yet focus on user retention. The new economy for mobile games has a faster growing potential audience - more than any other sector in games. As titles have found resonance with players, monetization models have emerged for games including charging consumers directly, running ads within the game, and instigating the consumption of virtual goods or other in-app purchases. Discovery models have also evolved as developers are focused on finding valuable users so they can continue to test and find the balance of monetization and user experience. This panel will be an in-depth, detailed discussion on how Big Fish Games, PikPok and Execution Labs interpret this competitive outlook on the marketplace of the new app economy, providing first-hand experience on the advantages and disadvantages of various models and monetization methods.
Brandon Badger of Google’s Niantic Labs will discuss how powerful mobile devices are enabling developers to create interactive entertainment experiences like never before – and not just in the virtual world. Location-based technologies are allowing games to bridge the gap between the real and virtual worlds and opening up the door for an entirely new genre of games and how people interact with them. Brandon will address the evolution of mobile and location-based games, the dawn of a new age of real world games and players have changed the way they connect, interact and socialize through findings from their first project, Ingress.
There are more women playing games today than ever before and yet there seems to be a lack of new and interesting content on emerging platforms designed with them in mind. In this lecture, we will use science and mythology to explore the three distinct age bands when women's lives and bodies change dramatically. We will discuss how this important market research may translate into design choices that could widen a games appeal more broadly, therefore increasing monetization.
Many game composers and sound designers are missing some links in their fence of knowledge: music theory and ear training. Noobs or experts alike, this session aims to teach and remind you of concepts and ideas you can utilize in your game music creation. Educated and creative composition techniques make your work faster, elevate our art form, and foster a better game experience with interesting, memorable tunes. Curious developers who like music can also benefit from this session.
A panel of top-notch developers and executives from around the mobile world! Innovative gameplay, clever visuals, strategic licensing and a smart business backbone are all key components to building and sustaining your mobile brand. Come learn how some of our clients and friends have made, or are making, the transition from startup to established brand and what you can do to set your company up for long-term success.
Since 2009, Crowdstar has been designing and publishing female-focused games. As the gaming market grows, so has the market for women, with research showing that gaming is the #1 activity for women on mobile. Jeffrey Tseng, co-founder and CEO of Crowdstar, will discuss his philosophy on game design and how emotional attachment outweighs the prototypical philosophy around gaming mechanics and monetization. Find out how Crowdstar takes a laser focus around understanding their audience to drive all decisions on game design and how the process can be applied to any game.
This talk will take a close look at the uses, rules, complications, and upkeep of your trademark and brand. We will also discuss how audio can be used under trademark law, the differences between copyrights and trademarks and the benefits/uses of both in game audio, and other practical points of interest concerning this often murky area of the law. Some international concerns will also be taken into consideration.
Does your live game need exponentially more content every month? Does your release schedule look like a lego wall? GET OFF THE TREADMILL. Once we understand the relationship between novelty and attention, we can explore ways to retain players beyond content updates. We'll discuss designs that get devs off the content treadmill - or at least let someone else run on it.
Join Lea Gulino, a versatile voice actor who has worked on projects of all shapes and sizes, as she dispels the mystery and eases the stress of finding, hiring and working with voice talent. Learn how to get the best reads possible, how to bottle creative energy and how to squeeze the most out of your voice actors even after the session is over.
Connecting with your community is crucial to your game’s success. Establishing a personal connection through community turns players into fans. Day 1 fans will play more, provide valuable content and support for your game. It is like any other business in the world, great service equals happier, repeat customers.
TV-series and film are mass-entertainment formats. Games have become just that over the past few years driven by mobile- and social platforms. There have been a number of attempts to merge TV-/film-type experiences with gaming. Quite frankly, this has led to more failure than success. Nonetheless, with Suburbia we have been taking a shot at merging storytelling and episodic content with a gaming experience. For many people merging TV and games is the next holy grail. We believe the same and will talk about how we fuse the two, and learnings we had in the process.
It’s getting close to the end of a game development cycle, the release date is fast approaching and all the major work is done. Your sound effects are completed, the in-game music is composed, and the stingers ready to sting. It’s all getting implemented and playable. Now, it’s time to add some final polish! During this panel discussion, Jesse will discuss the idea of "audio polish," as well as a variety of production tips, implementation methods, and special industry tricks and tools that he and some of his contemporaries use to put the finishing touches on sound effects, music and voice-overs in a game to make them award-winning material.
Why do some games convert 50 percent of their users to Facebook Connect while others only get 2 percent? What tricks do games use in order to get thousands of ratings and what's the perfect timing to ask users to share and rate? Based on research spanning games from both sides of the spectrum, SOOMLA's CEO and co-founder, Yaniv Nizan, is able to provide a clear recipe for increasing your game's viral installs.
In the last decade, while technology was throwing us audio creators 5.1, 7.1, and 10.1 sound systems to play with, the rest of the entire globe collectively yelled “Let’s get small!” - and mobile became king. Portability and convenience has trumped all other aspects of audio and video on tablets and phones – trampling resolution and clarity underfoot like so much Sonic Godzilla detritus. But don’t let the Low Res era of external mono speakers get you down – fight back! Freelance sound designer and composer, Korby Sears will show you how to get the most out of mobile audio, addressing frequency range considerations, composition choices, clever concatenation schemes, and mono AM transistor radio tricks from Phil Spector’s 1960s “Wall of Sound” era that are surprisingly now relevant again.
Performance marketing is a relatively mysterious activity for most startups as it has become increasingly more difficult to compete with the big guys. Dots recently launched their new title TwoDots which drove over 10 million installs in the first month and hit #1 in over 50 countries. Join this session with Dots head of user acquisition, Christian Calderon, to discover how startups can be more effective in their performance marketing.
How to see your interactive experience as system of mechanisms for driving engagement, mitigating the negative consequences of repetition, and leading users to become self motivating creative participants in your service.
Join us for a deep dive into the world of audio production at Kabam. Using a central service model, Kabam's San Francisco-based audio team handles the audio for game teams in Beijing, Vancouver and San Francisco. Audio director Greg Rahn has a lot to share about designing audio for games, the production process and the engineering challenges his team faces while creating enriched audioscapes for Kabam's portfolio.
Age of Zombies is one of Halfbrick's older titles. We rebooted it to test our games as a service strategy and try insane ideas. Come hear about how today's marketplace made it possible to resurrect our zombie game.
Creating a game with a large team has always been a tough challenge for game designers, how do you focus the conversation, capture good ideas and create a working design with a room full of people? Our panel will discuss their experiences designing with large teams and how they made it work. To show the process in action, during the panel our team will work with the entire audience to help design a new game from scratch.
After an afternoon being bombarded by ideas and thoughts from industry experts, no doubt there are some unsolved mysteries. Or perhaps you had some questions and topics all along that we have not covered. Here is your opportunity to ask the gathered professionals your burning game audio questions. We will cover music, sound design, voice over, administration, navigating developer relationships, current events such as the case of Austin Wintory and unions, HTML 5, and more! We want to help you succeed, and continue to raise awareness, respect and importance of game audio in the industry.
KANO/APPS is a Canadian based indie social and mobile gaming company. Bootstrapped in 2008, KANO/APPS was an early success on Facebook. Fast-forward to 2014, the company continues to be profitable and has released four successful mid-core RPGs. In a world of high CPIs, learn how KANO/APPS focuses on value-add F2P gaming experiences, developer accessibility and player support to stand out from its competitors, grow its community and retain its players.
The evolution of endless runners is another snapshot of how quickly and dramatically just about every business assumption changes in free-to-play mobile games. Our assumptions regarding user acquisition, ARPDAU, retention, customer demographic and sources of monetization are substantially different now, after having launched and operated our endless runner for 12 months, than when we first scoped out the project. Join me for an exploration of that journey.
A lack of local competition between indies relative to global markets disrupts typical models of scarcity and supply and demand. The benefits of helping peers dominate any cost in competition. Indies form cliques that help each other and tribal economics take over. Theresa Duringer explores the resources, challenges, and rewards of participating in the indie favor economy.
The growth in our computational resources has far outpaced the evolution of the creative ideas that we build on top of them. In this session, we consider the case that our hardware and infrastructure are more than adequate for the emergence of entirely new game genres limited only by our imaginations. Let's peek into the future and be inspired by technologies with untapped potential.
The principles of lean startups have been exemplified in consumer tech companies, where tiny startup teams test and pivot their products early and often to a live userbase until they gain traction. How can we apply and customize the lean startup principles for mobile game development? Altitude Games' CEO Gabby Dizon shares his company's experience of using the lean startup approach for the development of their first game, Super V.
Starting with a team of a few passionate friends and a tortoise, David founded the indie game studio Night Light Interactive as a way to channel passion into great games. That core group gradually grew to a team of 30, releasing the studio's debut game, Whispering Willows, which garnered multiple awards prior to it’s release on OUYA & Steam. With a worldwide fan base, Night Light is already hard at work on its next title.
So you’re about to launch your game, or perhaps you are already live and need to gain users. Listen to a mobile games marketing expert cover effective, low cost tools and general principles of app promotion. Some of the topics included will be creating assets for app stores, preparing marketing materials, tackling app discovery and developing PR strategies.
Phantom Compass' creative director Dave Evans will talk about how narrative has been expressed through game design in the company’s RPG/Pinball mash-up, Rollers of the Realm. Storytelling need not be relegated to cinemas and exposition, it can be embedded in every aspect of a game.
Most people have no idea where to start learning about coding games themselves, and those that do know may not have the time to learn it. However, everyone that wants to make games should be able to do so whether they have coding knowledge or not. Join two 4-year App Developers, James Prucey (Owner of Canned Bananas) and Gary Carr (Owner of Toneaphone, LLC) as they explore the many facets of Game Development for non-coders. With almost 30 applications produced between them both, this discussion will cover everything from project management and talent acquisition to effective budgeting practices and finally learning how to code and publish an app yourself. As a case study, this session will explore the hit iOS game Lock N Roll Deluxe.
Unable to match the large acquisition budgets of legacy companies and big publishers, small studios must innovate to survive. Finding viable new market segments and designing for niche target groups can be an effective strategy for indie developers to remain competitive in today's market.
In this session the founders of Team Signal, Scott Chen and Brian Lee, will share their experience and lessons learned developing Hyper Square, an award-winning premium game available on the AppStore.
Experiences from a multi-year rollercoaster of passion and pain to improve the design of your games. Since 2010, I've independently launched over a dozen titles to widely varying levels of success, and tasted both opulence and desperation. In 2014, I've found relative stability in life and gamedev, and have reflected and analyzed my few years as a professional indie - and improved my skills as a designer in the process.
Recent marketing and monetization data is difficult for small game developers to find. Execution Labs collects and analyzes this data from our indie studios, and we make a point of sharing it with others. Sample data includes ad dollars spent on user acquisition, CPI's in various regions, retention metrics, revenues, and chart positions. We have launched five high quality games for Android, iOS, Kindle, and Steam within the last year, so our data is fresh and actionable. We will also share best practices in marketing that we have implemented after extensive trial and plenty of error!
Making a game can be hard. Making a game backwards can be even harder. When Megafuzz set out to make Spoiler Alert - a platformer going left instead of right - it was with the intention of using years of ingrained platformer clichés against the player. But they would soon come to learn that this also proved a challenge to themselves. Hear about the unique design challenges in making a game that does everything backwards.
All the must-do's to survive as a mobile game developer. Best SDKs to improve your chance of success. Analytics, monetization, UA, virality and retention. Leveraging free or low-cost 3rd party services to maximize profit margin.
A review of Avocoder's first year in mobile gaming. The founder will discuss current market conditions relating to user acquisition and monetization, and how these conditions affected Kelso’s Quest. Additionally, he will look at the design process of Kelso’s Quest, and talk about what paths Indie Developers might want to take when entering the mobile game market.
You spent the past two years meticulously designing an awesome game. Great work! Now, it’s time to tell the world about it. At this panel, you’ll learn how to get press attention from the editor in chief of Siliconera.
This session will discuss how Boomzap has grown from a 3-man team to a 90-developer studio with over a dozen project teams and how it is able to maintain 100% independence and still remain profitable.
3D printing and video games were born around the same time. While video games have now become part of our everyday life, 3D printing is still restricted to people who can meet its demanding technical requirements. In the near future, new services will build a bridge between the users and the technology, so that ordering the physical counterpart of any digital character will be easier than placing an order on Amazon.
Ty Taylor recaps the three-year development cycle of his Steam and XBLA game The Bridge, an award-winning and critically-acclaimed independent puzzle game set in an M. C. Escher world. Ty discusses what went right and what went wrong during the design, development, and launch of the game, in addition to giving key take-aways to keep in mind when starting and developing an independent title.
The F2P model has been used in several ways throughout the industry. Some of these methods are frowned upon, and are often labeled as "pay-to-win". Find out how you can monetize a game without upsetting your players.
Hear about the top 5 things we learned while publishing our game Solitaire Arena across all major platforms: Facebook, Android and iOS. There will be key insights regarding engagement and magnetisation on these platforms. Solitaire Arena has reached close to 1.000.000 daily active users across all platforms, in less than a year. I will also be sharing some cool tips on what worked well for them.
Mobile devices and wearables are ripe with untapped possibilities for games. We’ll explore how game jam methodologies such as rapid prototyping and taking bigger risks in short sprints can drive innovation. Indie developers are using these principles to take a deeper look at the unique capabilities of these platforms, leveraging sensors, data and indie ingenuity to create entirely new gaming experiences.
After years of searching and testing, Arseny, the co-founder of Signus Labs, claims he has finally found a definition of fun that perfectly relates to games. This session applies the results of a multi year study on human happiness to several top grossing mobile games. Following these seven points a game designer can predict the appeal of any game mechanic, and we will see how well the points align to the goals of successful active titles.
Many games these days are born in game jams, but it's tough to profit with a rough prototype. Here are some lessons learned taking a week-long version of Pig Eat Ball, and polishing it for a retail release over the course of a year and a half. Also the how's and why's for making one-of-a-kind butt-rumbling controllers.
Everybody in the game industry is familiar with crunch. It doesn’t matter if you’ve been working for six months or six years. It doesn’t matter if you’re a developer, producer, artist, or studio head. You’ve likely heard the war stories. Crunch doesn’t discriminate. Do we need it given how hyper competitive the industry has become? Can we afford it given how precious quality talent is? Crunch effects everyone involved and ultimately the quality of the game you ship. We’re gonna debate the sh*t outta this one.
After months of tireless effort, developers often end up disappointed after release. This session follows Chicken Boy, released in November 2013 with wide praise and numerous appstore features, whose initial results didn't meet expectations. Expect to hear which actions Funtomic took to drive engagement, virality and monetization through new features, making decisions based on data, promotion through targeted marketing and team motivation. Chicken Boy now has millions of installs, a big increase in ARPU, and is always adding more features highlighting the benefits of not giving up on a high potential title.
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