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 will come to San Francisco for the ninth annual Casual Connect in the United States to listen to lectures from over 300 industry experts. Conference content is programmed by a set of industry advisors.
To email any of the speakers below, click on the email icon next to the speaker's name.
If you would like to speak at a future Casual Connect in Amsterdam, Kyiv, Singapore or San Francisco, please email Tennille Forsberg.
So you made a great game? Good for you. Now the hard work starts. Traditional publishing models are on the wane. The means to distributing and marketing your own games have never been more readily accesible and powerful. Developers must understand and own the entire trajectory of their games -- from inception to distribution to iteration. You don't need massive budgets to find and engage users, or to build your own tools. This talk will outline challenges and solutions on the road to building a durable company in today's gaming ecosystem.
The economics that underpin Free to Play games are non-intuitive yet crucial to understand to truly optimize your game. This deep dive backed by data from Kongregate will look at price elasticity in games and how that affects what items you sell, when you sell them, and how they should be priced.
This session will focus on following one's passion and taking risks in order to build a studio and a product of lasting value.
Pocket Gems only publishes games they love. Free to play games have changed the way publishers and developers need to work together to be successful. Since delighting players long past the launch is the name of the game, developers need to own the game experience and work with publishers for what they do best. If your publishing partner provides strong marketing support, well-evolved tools, broad market awareness and a true commitment to success, then you've found a great match.
What are the keys to winning with kids today (and tomorrow)? We will reveal our "Top 10" list of things you need to know about what kids are doing, what is engaging them, and how we can use these insights to build the "next big things."
This panel presentation, led by GREE's VP of Publishing and Partnerships Jim Ying, will feature members of GREE's publishing and production teams as well as partner developer IUGO to discuss how they have all worked together to ensure the success of the mobile title Knights and Dragons and their working relationship. With a focus on general issues and challenges that publishers and developers have when working together in the mobile space, discussion will include ways they came together to solve problems, issues they had to overcome, and key learnings they now apply to how they work with each other and future partners.
Common monetization tactics for kids apps and how the "new rules" of COPPA (Children's Online Privacy Protection Act) fundamentally change the developer-customer relationship. This talk will look at the before COPPA and after of selling and monetizing kids apps on App Stores. Many developers are currently ignorant of or not compliant with the rules and guidelines surrounding marketing, selling and monetizing content aimed at children.
In today's game industry there is enough "free" content available to satisfy the needs of all but the most prolific players. Standing above the crowd with a unique and powerfully compelling proposition for your players is critical to success. Join Clive Downie, CEO of the Americas and Europe for DeNA, for a look at recent mobile game properties that have built enormous success in a crowded marketplace by taking mobile game players to a new level of play experience.
The nascent nature of the mobile advertising market has led to rapid change, industry fragmentation and new complexities. The challenge of 2013 is how to effectively navigate through an ecosystem which requires marketers to make a multitude of decisions across mobile install tracking, click-thru and view–thru attribution models, look–back windows, programmatic buying, incentivized ad placements and mobile publishers/ad networks. In this presentation, attendees will learn strategies to map the current environment and better prepare for what lies ahead.
With so many major lawsuits pending, COPPA and Children online privacy laws are becoming more and more relevant everyday. Hear about what you need to know when engaging the next generation and how to monetize this unique multibillion dollar youth market safely.
We will include:
* Data on child spending (Engagement Age / Solo Spending / Money Available)
* Main issues around children online (COPPA / CARU / Data Retention, Transactions)
* Industry Specific Issues and any relevant industry data
* Virtual Piggy product - What issues does it address, what can it do?
This session takes a case study approach to exploring the primary lessons learned throughout King’s inception, implementation and launch of its Saga series starting with its first Saga game, Bubble Saga, through to its current flagship game, Candy Crush Saga. The presenter will help attendees discover the fumbles and the lights that went off that led to King’s ultimate free-to-play strategy and process for eliminating risk, while growing its audience in a well calculated, sustained way. Attendees will also get a glimpse into the months and years that culminated into their wildly popular Saga series, while hearing details on the best practices that emerged during their sharpest learning curves.
The future of adaptive marketing and predictive analytics is playing out right now in the mobile and social games industry. The advent of connected devices and data-targeting has turned games into real-time marketing services, where every interaction with a player is a unique opportunity to engage them. In this session, Playnomics CEO Chethan Ramachandran will share how gaming companies leveraging predictive modeling and real-time targeted messaging strategies are able to identify LTV of their top monetizing players early, target the right players with the right messaging at the right time, and increase monetization and loyalty.
The television industry has largely thought of games as a marketing tool, focused on small games lacking in depth. Television executives are finally waking up to the power of games to not only drive tune-in, but also to deepen the television viewing experience and generate revenue. This includes ancillary narrative experiences, mobile, and so-called 2nd screen games that reward players for engaging while watching. Matt Dominianni, Director of the Universal Games Network at NBC Universal gives a roundup of what kinds of games the TV industry is spending money on in 2013 and beyond, drawing from the plans of the many cable channels under NBCU, as well as other television channels and networks.
Over 90% of consumer spending occurs offline and Forrester estimates over half of the $3.5T in retail spend will be influenced by online research and advertising by 2016. See how mobile app and gaming companies are rewarding customers for making everyday purchases in local brick and mortar stores, a concept first coined in this 2010 Techcrunch article. Terry will discuss trends, techniques, what works, what's coming and what innovative marketing teams should be thinking about to earn a share of the trillion dollar retail economy and create a better user experience for their customers.
Animal Jam is an online game world for kids with over 12 million players worldwide. Over the past two years, we've tinkered extensively with our monetization model on our way to profitability, and the lessons the data have taught us have often been surprising. This session will present a few of these lessons through analysis of game metrics and player behavior in response to different membership options and virtual goods pricing experiments. Monetizing kids under 12 in F2P games fairly, ethically, and profitably really is possible!
Real time MMO design taken to mobile scale extremes. During this talk we will cover our journey to create a game that can support hundreds of thousand's of players in a highly social real time MMO. We will focus on social structures and hierarchy, mass scale pvp, community that crosses the globe, harnessing the player as your greatest feature, and creating a experience that actually makes you feel like you rule the world!
As Amazon enters its third year of distributing Android games via Kindle Fire tablets and the Amazon Appstore, they have established a remarkable vantage point for gaining insights into the shifting monetization landscape across a wide range of games. In this session, Jason Chein, Director of Amazon GameCircle, will share specific findings and observations, and present practical advice to help developers make better decisions about how they design, deliver, and operate their games to maximize their monetization opportunities.
Is your App a Superstar? Learn how other App developers have reached that status and find out why Updates are critical to the life of your app and how new App Releases can increase sales and brand development over the long term.
Ken Asakura, General Manager of Adways Interactive, will shed some light on the Asian markets, covering the following topics:
- App opportunities in Asia, namely Japan, Korea, China, India and South East Asia
- Major differences in gaming in Asia and US, including raw data such as ARPU, eCPM
- UA strategies, pricing, major players, do’s and do not’s
In today's digital marketplace, creating an educational and entertaining game is just the beginning. Karen Morgan speaks about designing the entire experience by following the 5 C’s:
One of the biggest problems for games on any platform is getting discovered by the right people. With unique reach across mobile and desktop and users who play a diversity of games, Facebook can help your mobile game find and engage its audience. In this session, you will learn how Facebook provides multiple paths to success for developers by connecting the game experience across platforms, bringing more valuable users to your game, and partnering with smaller game studios.
Based on research spanning more than 50 of the top In-Game stores and interviews with leading game designers, SOOMLA has developed a system for giving users an in-game shopping experience that will keep them engaged with your game and specifically with the store component. This session will focus on practical advice and guidelines for building the perfect store.
Slant Six Games is a studio recognized for mature-themed titles. Our challenge: to create a fun tablet game for young children. We made Max’s Pirate Planet – A Board Game Adventure and along the way discovered that what we considered “fun” and what kids consider “fun” may be two different things. Learn how we embraced, nurtured and re-connected with our inner child to make a compelling game through observation, psychology and the release of inhibitions.
Touch gaming snuck up on us fast, but humans have been touching the world since before they were humans. This talk takes a deep look at the past, present, and future of touch-based gaming, and how it is changing the next generation of gamers.
With all the options available for integrating an ad-based monetization solution into your game service, it's hard to tell which ones are "worth it" and which are red herrings. While the industry is still new enough to be shaking itself out in terms of clear "best practices", it is useful to look at the strategic approaches successful companies are taking and analyzing why these approaches are working. Damon Marshall from Supersonic Ads layout out some proven successful strategies and shares insights as to why these strategies were successful and where they might have been improved further.
Children and family app developers are caught in a crowded, competitive universe where discoverability is critical to financial viability, yet traditional channels of marketing and revenue generation are fraught with troubles. Advertising to children is taboo. One slip of a freemium model and your studio is a villain for life because some child charged a gajillion dollars to his parent's credit card. This session explores methods of marketing your content to maximize reach in a family-friendly way.
Every game has its successes and even successful games, like Fairway Solitaire, have their failures. Fairway Solitaire managed to make a fun game out of combining two incredibly boring pastimes, but is that enough to be successful? What does it take to make a successful game? How do you push innovation and creativity in companies that focus on the almighty "business model"? Pat Wylie, VP of Big Fish Studios and a 17-year game industry veteran, will either succeed or fail at breaking it all down.
Today's highly competitive mobile gaming environment favors developers who delicately balance engagement while maximizing monetization. In this presentation Brian Sapp, Tapjoy's Director of Developer Partnerships, will discuss the next evolution in mobile gaming "Monetization 2.0." Moving beyond the 'paywall and virtual goods sales' of early mobile games, today's monetization requires a higher level of sophistication. From limited time events, to currency sales, to correct virtual good pricing, understanding each facet of a virtual economy is critical to achieving success on mobile.
• Optimal premium currency exchange rates
• Importance of localizing in foreign markets
• Currency sales
• Limited time events "Japanese Secret Sauce"
• Understanding user segmentation
• Understanding all advertising solutions
• Importance of UI on Monetization
Sunstorm Games' design process, focusing on how the company creates games with a broad young audience in mind- in particular, Sunstorm Games' focus on the importance of responding to and incorporating player feedback.
After rapid developments in the fields of mobile and online games distribution in the past few years it’s time to take a step back and have a look at the bigger picture. What is the current state of game marketing? And more importantly, what will the future bring in this ever changing environment? Serial entrepreneur and HitFox Group CEO Jan Beckers will analyze the current state of mobile and online game marketing and user acquisition, then give an outlook on the development in the coming years.
Each day, new ad network partners pop up like daisies in the spring, and sorting out the opportunities is a confusing task. Some product managers have reached “opportunity fatigue,” choosing to focus on optimizing known opportunities, while others are still trying out the latest stuff in an attempt to find a competitive edge or hidden arbitrage angle. Dave Madden, SVP of Global Media Solutions at EA, attempts to bring some clarity to this muddle with a simple compare and contrast of the services and strengths of top companies in the free-to-play games ad services sphere.
True cross-platform development means designing games that live in both the digital and the real world. For all their creativity, many game designers tend to limit themselves to a single medium or platform. A concentrated effort can pay off in a big way when focusing on a single, quickly-growing platform. Setting up a partnership with a platform provider can greatly benefit marketing efforts and quickly put a game in front of a large audience. But to build a long-term, sustainable business, it makes a lot more sense to design and develop with more than a single platform in mind. In this panel we’ll hear from key executives who, each in their own way, wrestle with what it means to develop and publish across platforms. How does a digital property break out of the box and position itself in the physical world? And how does a traditionally physical games company stay relevant as audiences become increasingly tech savvy?
The ongoing and dramatic changes in the games industry have made it difficult to monitor the “total picture”, let alone look ahead to the future of our industry on a global scale. In terms of monetization, what were classified as emerging markets only years ago are now leading Western established markets. Peter Warman, CEO of Newzoo, will share exclusive results of a 12-month research and analysis project which combines worldwide consumer research, transactional data and financial analysis across all consumer screens. Key growth segments and regions will be sized, profiled, projected and placed into a global perspective.
Increasing the conversion rate of your users can be done with a number of different tools. By finding out what your users really need for making payments, you can bring up the ARPU along with increasing user engagement. With games being made available all over the world, it is now more important than ever to understand and acknowledge the different markets by providing your users local and seamless experiences throughout the game--even in the checkouts page.
Glean insights from a game designer/writer who has worked on over 50 games in the social, mobile, console and downloadable arenas- including some of the most well-regarded story-based casual games to date. Covers pre-design to post-production and everything in between.
The collision between the casual games and casino industries has created an entirely new market. A number of interesting and successful products and services have come to market over the past 4 years, but it’s truly just the beginning. There are great opportunities for innovation ahead. Rob Glaser, founder and interim CEO of RealNetworks has been involved in innovation in Games and Digital Media for over 30 years. He will share his thoughts both about what Real’s Gamehouse division has been up to and where the industry is and should be going.
Everyone has an opinion about the viability of HTML5, even those who have never taken the plunge to attempt and actually use the technology. Join Nick as he divulges, from real world experience, the advantages and disadvantages of using HTML5 for games in today’s marketplace. How does native implementation, Adobe Air, or Unity compare to HTML5? Then the fun begins when Nick discusses items that are really important to casino apps such as monetization, distribution, and production values - will HTML5 be able to rise to the challenge? Join Nick to find out.
Sports games are rapidly becoming a darling of the emerging social gaming industry hearled as the biggest opportunity in all of new media. Loyal fans willing to spend on their teams from outside of the typical user acquisition paths are a welcome relief in a world where seven digit user acquisition costs are becoming common. Join Matt for a review of strategies for cost-effective acquisition and tips essential for small developers trying to make a go in the rapidly changing market.
This session discusses the surprising positive impact of player fraud on most online games. Helps product owners distinguish between good fraud from bad. Discusses how to find, minimize and redirect bad behavior.
Gaming today is about providing players with thrilling entertainment experiences, anywhere they want to play, across any devices, anywhere around the world, seamlessly. Robert Melendres, EVP for IGT’s Interactive Group, will discuss long term strategy and vision for social casino gaming.
The dynamics of the real money gaming industry are changing fast with social embracing casino and casino embracing social. With recent movements in new jurisdictions, e.g. Canada, Mexico, Delaware, best practices and locations are in constant flux. But even with all the change there is a clear convergence unfolding before our eyes with a glimpse of what will ultimately win
Alex Kelly of PLAYSINO discusses why innovation in gaming is coming from startups and what everyone from entrepreneurs to established companies can do to harness the creative energy and potential of startups.
Launched in 2007, Zynga Poker has held its spot as the leading cross platform social casino game. With a belief that social and mobile is the future, the Zynga Poker team continues to bring new features to one of the original social games on the web. Join Nicole Opas, executive producer, to learn about the early days of cross platform and the features, technology and production practices that have kept Zynga Poker players engaged for years.
How do you make an engaging card game that balances betting, skill, chance and speed in order to deliver a potent array of emotions to the player? In this session you will learn about the evolution of a brand new wagering game, which has been constructed by making significant alterations to a casual card game from an enormously popular genre of card games. These alterations were done to create just the right blend of skill and chance, and game speed, and hold important lessons for how to convert evergreen casual games into lucrative wagering style games.
This panel will explore the complexities around getting involved in iGaming from development to distribution to marketing.
When it comes to social casinos, there is a lot of talk around business models, platforms, etc... But let’s talk about the fun — the core ingredients that retains customers and keeps them playing. Big Fish Casino’s Carey DiJulio will discuss the core elements of a social casino that keep players engaged and coming back for more. Where exactly is the fun in social casinos? Is it only in the gameplay? Do social elements and innovation play a part? Learn what is driving and keeping the #1 top-grossing casino app at the top of the charts and how this entertainment base is necessary to build a platform for the future.
Lisa Marino will discuss the transition RockYou has made from an early social game developer to pioneering its Rewards Based Games (RBG) monetization platform, as well as the changes on the media side from delivering display advertising to now focusing primarily on premium video placements
Why do big online and land-based casinos care about social games, of all things? Social games seem like "big business" to those of us in the industry, but compared with the global gambling industry, our whole industry barely covers the cost of one new resort. To understand the answer to this question, you must take a step back and look at what social networking generally means to the big casino operators and then put social gaming in this context. Melissa Blau, Principal for iGaming and Finance Editor for iGaming Business Magazine, works closely with many of those big operators and understands why they see social networking as a huge opportunity. Join Melissa as she explains it to the rest of us!
My talk will cover the following:
The need of major entertainment companies to acquire content to fill their substantial digital distribution pipelines.
The opportunity this circumstance presents to small and medium size developers with respect to the creation of transmedia content.
An examination of the process by which developers can create branded entertainment that extends far beyond a successful mobile experience.
The team: Bringing talent together to build powerful transmedia IP.
Let the next-gen console wars begin! With recent next-gen announcements by the two giants in the industry, Xbox and Playstation, and moves into the space by companies such as Nokia and Valve, mobile platforms such as Android and iOS, new emerging Kickstarter and venture backed companies such as GameStick, Ouya and Green Throttle Games, just to name a few, the space is getting very crowded, very quickly. How does this affect the industry at large, and how can developers benefit and 'cash in' on this boom on consoles?
In this session, Jawfish Games creative director Tadhg Kelly talks about the problems facing a console gaming sector in an age where gamers have become used to apps, free-to-play games and personal technology. He discusses why a new class of gaming machine that he calls the "microconsole" has the potential to disrupt everything we think we know about console gaming and make the world anew. He outlines how app economics, liberalized publishing and a lack of heavy handed gatekeepers could create the next fertile landscape for games, and some of the opportunities that lie within. Will we see a future where innovative game design finally makes its way to the television set, free of old world constraints? Kelly thinks it's inevitable, and would like to show you that future.
Publishers, especially free-to-play ones can see great benefit by using social gambling mechanisms and best practices to improve KPIs such as retention or ARPU. Fortunatly, there is no need in designing an other casino-style video game to apply principles from social gambling and the sometimes off-putting casino-style game play is the last thing some consumers want. Nowadays, only a few games optimize virtual currency betting whereas it is easy to add competition tools and let people battle for in-game currency. With the proper matchmaking system, smartly balanced, people can find an other interest to play and an other reason to spend money in your game.
From the outside looking in, social casino seems like a straight forward extension of a current social, web or mobile offering. In reality social casino is a big jump with decisions, roadblocks and hurdles along the way. The space might not be for everyone, but those who do decide to play in the casino space have the potential to capture a large growth market. Using case studies from Idle Games and Plumbee interpreted with Dan’s extensive knowledge of design and production, Dan will review the current opportunities for entrepreneurs and best practices in game designers and product planners.
The mobile and social gaming industry continues to be a fast-growing market. The key to maximizing revenue and longevity lies in building polished, evergreen titles, cross-deployed across social and mobile platforms. It is essential to understand user behavior utilizing deep analytics and smart media buying. By turning the art of making games into a science, one is able to minimize the hits driven nature of developing games.
Creating the right marketing strategies, cross-promotion tactics and internal analytics to maximize value across your audience. We will explore innovative user acquisition channels and how to build market share in a competitive landscape. After acquiring quality users; leveraging internal analytics and user data for retention strategies to keep users coming back.
Innovation in game design is inherently very risky. Bringing innovation to centuries old casino games has even greater risk. Jeffrey Hyman, the co-founder of Idle Games and the creator of Fresh Deck Poker provides an in-depth and data driven examination of what worked and what didn’t when launching a new mobile & social casino product into a mature market. Jeffrey provides both the story and data behind a wide spectrum of challenging decisions including: seemingly qualitative only decisions like art style to the place of random number generators to the temptation of stacking the deck.
Jose explores the impressive growth of Social Casino into the thriving industry of today and what to expect in the future.
DoubleDown's Director of Mobile shares more around the distribution of social casino games and why Facebook is just one channel.
In recent months, the online social casino space has exploded. VP of Business Development at DoubleDown Casino Charles Harper will walk through 5 common myths for online social casinos. He'll address common myths, including social casino games aren't "real" games; social casino games don't involve any skill; social casino games don't offer the same experience as land-based casinos and more.
The mobile and social gaming industry continues to be a fast-growing market. The key to maximizing revenue and longevity lies in building polished, evergreen titles, cross-deployed across social and mobile platforms. It is essential to understand user behavior utilizing deep analytics and smart media buying. By turning the art of making games into a science, one is able to minimize the hits driven nature of developing games.
As consumers interact with their favorite lottery and gaming organizations and form social communities online, the opportunity for internet gaming is gaining more and more momentum. Are electronic versions of traditional lottery products such as instant and draw games just as exciting on the internet? Or do players prefer to visit the retail store for paper versions of their favorite games? Should bingo reside in the community hall or can the bingo community be effectively replicated on the internet? Is the enjoyment of slot machine games just as dynamic if the player is in their own home? Michael Lightman will draw upon Scientific Games’ 40 years of innovation and Sciplay’s internet sports books, lottery draw games and electronic instant tickets, social games, virtual goods, loyalty and rewards programs, bingo, poker, blackjack, roulette and slots offerings to explore these emerging opportunities.
It is a simple fact: customer acquisition has become too expensive for last year's business models. What are content creators to do? While there are tools to stretch your customer acquisition dollar, these are becoming crowded and are only a temporary fix. Come explore a candid review of this year's new game types, business models and themes to help increase your bottom line.
Real Money Gaming and Social Casino Gaming continue to converge and overlap on many levels. We will take a deep dive into both of these data driven businesses with two execs who have worked in both verticals. The session will be a compare and contrast by looking at the main monetization mechanics as well as the key performances indicators (KPIs) that drive both of these businesses.
In has been a year since Christopher Griffin first spoke at Casual Connect. Since then, real-money gaming has become the most talked about opportunity for the gaming industry. Despite the gaming industry's enthusiasm for real-money gaming, there is a tremendous amount of confusion about how best to enter the race for real money revenues.
Want to know what options are available to developers? Want to know what kinds of real-money gaming deals are available to developers? Want to know what economics developers can expect from these deals and what the pros and cons of each are?
Join Christopher as he talks to the current state of the real-money gaming landscape and sets the record straight about an opportunity that has become muddied by misinformation.
David Wang will discuss what Bitcoins are, how they started, where the industry is heading and what it means to your business.
By taking a local approach to a global audience, Akamon has been able to achieve success in the fast-growing regions of Latin America and Southern Europe which are experiencing some of the strongest growth globally. Vicenç will discuss the rapidly growing market and how emerging markets are key to Akamon’s success.
Guilds and clans have always been a very important feature in more hard core games to drive engagement and pay rate. Such design is not commonly leveraged in casual social games, ESP, social casino. Hoolai, experienced in mid core web games, added a club system in their social poker game. We will share how this feature changed the social game statistics.
Slot machine design evolution is in fast-forward! Mega-multi-line "penny" slots are replacing "dollar" slots. High-res, multi-layer video screens create realistic 3D "reels" that aren't. "2nd story" bonus games and multi-screen formats add drops, cut scenes, and brand-licensing opportunities. Al Thomas, President and Founder of Bluehare Studios, shares experiences in the thick of the ongoing radical technical and design innovations around real-world slots and how to use these principles in creating social/mobile slots.
Bingo Bash has been a app on both iOS and Android for about an year now. Using real data from Bingo Bash, Sumit will share his perspective on how the combination of crossplatform strategy and powerful casino game mechanics provided the recipe for success; what metrics mattered and what didn’t; and look at the challenges of measuring metrics on user acquisition, retention and monetization.
Join Ashley Lang, veteran gaming industry executive and Founder & CEO of Odobo, the new HTML5 game development platform and content marketplace for the regulated real-money gambling market, for a highly informative presentation covering game development and monetization strategies for developers, brands and operators interested in claiming their share of the multi-billion dollar regulated gaming space.
Millions of games are online, from the web to mobile devices to platforms like Facebook, yet few become runaway success stories. In this high-energy, entertaining and practical session learn how thinking small can help your game audience grow big. Learn how to use data to uncover granular insights, how to determine the metrics that matter (vs. those that will destroy you), and how to employ real-time bidding and rapid testing to help you get the most users for your game.
It's rough out there for developers, especially if you're independent and small. But luckily you don't have to go it alone. Learn the easy way what to look for and what to avoid when seeking, negotiating and managing a publishing deal.
Story and mobile gaming are not mutually exclusive. However, the narrative structure of a AAA console game is not necessarily appropriate for devices meant to be played in "stolen moments." So how do you draw players into a story in just a few seconds? And can you even tell a meaningful story in the sliver of time in which a mobile game is played? Through the smart use of subtle emotional hooks, thinly sliced narratives, and tricks as old as visual media itself, developers can establish a rich story that pulls gamers into their worlds and create engaging experiences in as little as fifteen seconds.
Free or paid? iOS or Android? U.S. or international? Those are the questions publishers must ask when developing and deploying games in the global app ecosystem.
Bertrand Schmitt, CEO of App Annie, will share insights into monetization trends from over 190,000 apps across iOS and Google Play. He will discuss three main questions you should ask in order to implement a successful go-to-market and monetization strategy:
•Do Google Play’s rising download and revenue numbers justify an Android-first strategy?
•Which monetization strategies — beyond simply freemium or premium — provide the greatest return?
•How can publishers capitalize on surging international markets such as APAC and EMEA?
The Supernauts is the inaugural game from Finnish iOS developer Grand Cru. In this presentation, Grand Cru CMO Thorbjörn Warin will talk about the game, the company, their approach to marketing and the most asked question: “Why are so many successful gaming companies coming from Finland?”
Analytics may help find the margins that can make or break features for your games. We will look at the evolution of TinyCo’s business intelligence systems as a backdrop to highlight what we learned while crafting a world class analytics system. We will discuss things like balancing significance, event-tracking and sampling. We will also focus on execution as well, so you can learn to use analytics to create a truly data-driven culture and not just one that scratches at the surface.
Founded in 2009, Storm8 is one of the first companies to bring social games to smartphones. Over the last four years, Storm8 grew its social gaming network to more than 200 million devices and remained profitable without outside venture funding. In this talk, Storm8’s CEO will discuss how mobile social gaming has evolved and offer a peek into how Storm8 built its network from zero to more than 10 million DAU. Using personal anecdotes, he will also share knowledge on how to tackle the next phase of mobile gaming.
Design Considerations for Mobile Platforms: Acquisition. Retention. Conversion. Everybody is talking about it, but how do you actually DO it? Mobile game design is a highly iterative and speculative art. The audience will learn techniques for breaking down classic design components and rebuilding them for an emerging user base and platform. Gary Gattis will share the experience of the last 8 years in transforming his company from developing PC MMOs to award winning mobile multiplayer titles with over 20 million downloads.
This session will discuss how to resolve the common pitfalls of the developer community, from overcoming SDK fatigue to prioritizing developer resources. Then, we address some of the challenges that developers face when going to work directly with an OEM or mobile carrier (i.e. lack of value, time to market, etc.). In addition, this session will highlight the importance of picking the right advertising solution (brand advertising vs. CPI ads) and how it truly works. Finally, we will wrap up by discussing how to stay up-to-speed with the changing times and new operating systems, and how to ensure success in an ever growing mobile marketplace where discoverability and revenue are a huge obstacle.
As game developers transition to creating mobile games, it requires an entirely different mindset on acquiring and retaining users. The old principles that applied for games played on a desktop, console or the Facebook platform no longer apply. The mobile ecosystem is still young and new rules are being written for all aspects from platforms to content to users. On this panel, you will hear from gaming companies on new ways to acquire mobile users for your games, platforms to gain early traction, methods to engage with users over the long term and a host of topics for you to have a strong chance of getting your game to reach millions of mobile users everyday.
The popularity of Candy Crush Saga has broken down many stereotypes when it comes to defining the typical casual social gamer. It’s not just moms anymore, it's…well, everyone. We’ve heard from developers about their theories on the game’s success, but it’s time we heard from the gamers themselves. In this diverse panel of avid, highly addicted Candy Crushers, we aim to explore what makes the most popular social and mobile game so appealing to users from all walks of life. We’ll enlist men, women, grandmas, and nephews of all demographics to see not only what it is about Candy Crush Saga that intrigued them in the first place, but what is it that keeps them coming back for more, time and time again.
This focus group-style panel will aim to answer questions like: When, where, for how long and why do they play the game? What makes Candy Crush Saga different? What do they like or dislike about it? What role does it fill in their lives? Are they spending money on virtual goods? Are they inviting friends? Do they play more on Facebook or on mobile? We’ll also open the floor for attendees to ask their own questions to this valuable group of gamers so please do come with questions in mind.
Android Publishing - how simple games can win out over big-budget blockbusters. Our biggest title has over 80M players on Google Play and 10-20M on 3rd-party stores without a single dollar spent on user acquisition. This session will talk about how an indie with no money can do this even now (Hill Climb example). Then maybe expand into what happens next and the kind of problems and choices a tiny team with a successful product faces (brand development vs. diversification, copycats, converting traffic into revenue, etc).
With The Walking Dead, Telltale Games gave players an interactive experience that puts them in the center of a meaningful story. But when an episode’s closing credits roll, what then?
If you haven't noticed, app stores feel a bit like a Tokyo subway car during rush hour. If you want to stand out from the crowd you need to step your marketing game up. I'll be using real world examples of successful non-conventional strategies while giving you a checklist on how you can create your own guerrilla campaign.
User acquisition and monetization continue to provide great opportunities, but they require a laser-sharp focus in a rapidly evolving social and mobile landscape. Take a look into the future of 2013 and beyond as AdColony debuts insights from a recent survey of Top 100 grossing developers. What marketing channels do developers find most effective? Where are they directing their budgets in coming months? Bryan Buskas, VP of Sales & Marketing, will present the Top 10 trends and insights to plan against in 2013 and what to expect in 2014.
Mobile browsers have evolved to the point where they can support commercial quality mobile web games. And mobile web games have closed the gap on native games in terms of performance and far surpass them in portability. At this session you will learn about the state of mobile web gaming from a business, technology and distribution standpoint, and find out how and why the world's largest mobile carriers, media companies, online retailers, Fortune 500 brands, Flash game portals, and, yes, even native game studios, are taking advantage of the mobile web as a massive new game distribution platform.
Free-to-play has arrived as the dominant business model in gaming – embrace it or die trying. However making your game free does not make you successful. Developers who embrace the free-to-play model are baking it into how they build their game, tightly linking their business strategy with their game design. User retention, acquisition and monetization need to evolve to make the free-to-play model succeed. This session will share best from the early leaders in the free-to-play space and discuss where the industry is headed going forward.
Featured for the first time, this quick-paced format will discuss a diversity of conflicts between game design and game marketing. If you're seeking to gain insights into practical design and marketing approaches, pique your curiosity with new ideas and to challenge yourself to look at your work in new ways - this is a must-attend session. The debated topics will include: Which Should Lead the Way - Marketing or Design, Should Game Marketers Care About Design, Does Game Marketing Corrupt Games and more. Join Eyal Rabinovich (PlayScape) and Tom Hess (ngmoco\DeNA) as they passionately debate their different points of view. The session will be led by Brian Sapp from Tapjoy.
Does it pay out to increase complexity of backend and frontend in favor of a cross platform approach? Do users really use their browser and their smartphone, an iPhone and a Kindle Fire when playing our games? Have we measured any advantage in the promotion of launching our Android version through a message to our iOS users? Why not reach a critical mass of users on any platform separately? What is the best ratio of ARPU and marketing costs? Do all channels have the same quality and how can we benefit from the potential competition of different markets? Learn how Xyrality found its way as a bootstrapped startup to the top 50 of mobile developers based on a multiplatform approach for sustainable growth.
Royal Revolt was the No. 1 free game in six countries and the No. 1 role-playing game on the iPhone in 82 countries so far. Which marketing activities worked and which didn't? How did TV advertising work out? What have we learned with Royal Revolt and which learnings are set in the next Royal Revolt?
What about the art and science of social games is applicable to make story-based games into even better experiences?
Halfbrick's approach to launching of new titles. How do you reach your fans and new audiences? What it takes to monetize and create a buzz around a newly launched game.
This session will cover a unique angle of DeNA’s game design – the company’s raid boss events structure. These events are an extremely important aspect of why DeNA has become so successful as a mobile game developer/publisher in Japan.
Some key technical points that we will dive into include:
- It is significantly faster to reassign functions rather than use inheritance.
- How you can use C-pre processor to create macros within the source.
- The importance of profiling and the need to not assume anything.
- How to create automated test cases.
- How to optimize for garbage collection environment.
- Technical details around CSS vs. the Canvas Tag.
- To write efficient code for nodeJS, you need to optimize for v8 - for example Monomorphic call sites.
- The need to optimize for the environment your code will ultimately be running in - specifically the browser interpreter - and not your specific development environment.
And some technical challenges that will be discussed:
- Performance Optimization
- Automated Testing
- Using wrappers and building plug-ins for mobile app stores
Wireless carriers are making major commitments to take a leadership role in mobile gaming and are ready to impact how games are distributed, discovered and monetized. In order to win mindshare, loyalty and ultimately repeat customers, game platforms and developers alike must raise the bar when designing for the mobile customer because encouraging viral recommendations is key to success.
PlayPhone’s Chief Product Officer and 20-year UI veteran Bhaskar Roy will discuss the fundamentals of digital design for the mobile user experience, with a focus on how to translate behavioral and aesthetic research into intuitive, efficient and simple UIs for the next generation of mobile social gaming.
The gaming industry is in a renaissance period. Advancements in technology have created powerful platforms that allow for sophisticated experiences that push the boundaries of graphical quality, storytelling techniques, user input, and more. At the same time, a new demographic is discovering the world of videogames via casual games on their smart phones and tablets. While these games might serve as a brief distraction, our research shows that these gamers still crave more satisfying experiences not typically found in these experiences. This talk will cover ways that console companies can bring quality gaming experiences to mobile platforms, taking into consideration the innate features of these devices.
New or small studios can benefit from sophisticated development methodologies and tracking tools. This session, targeted to leads and production, will include a high-level overview of Agile, Scrum and Waterfall methods, how to combine them throughout production, and they solve common problems for teams. I will also review several tracking and collaborative tools. The session will end with an examination of the results of integration of these methods into a small studio (35 people).
Social gaming has been growing at an exponential rate and the nature of engagement and retention required for mobile makes engineering a game for this level of scale a particularly challenging proposition. In this presentation, I will discuss the aspects of Social Gaming 2.0 that present new challenges for massive scalability at real-time speed. I will also describe the core architectural components and design principles that Machine Zone has used to address these challenges and support hundreds of thousands of concurrent players in a single world instance. In addition, I will discuss emerging technologies that offer new opportunities for building cost-effective high real-time performance infrastructure.
The media usage is changing globally. If brands want to reach the consumers they need to be on mobile. Mobile Advertisement is more than Banners! How will the future look like? Are or will mobile advertisement be a real revenue stream?
This talk will explore the challenge game designers face when trying to incorporate story-telling and characters into games, and the particular challenges that differentiate a designer working in the world of free-to-play. Kenny will explore successful (and less successful) character highlights from the last two years, as well as a comparative core games example or two—and will offer a set of tools for game designers to facilitate authentic incorporation of characters into casual gameplay.
This session will help app developers navigate the maze of regulations successfully. You will leave this session armed with 10 clear, practical suggestions for improving your own apps and staying out of expensive legal trouble.
Marco DeMiroz, CEO of PlayFirst, will share his three big Ideas on how to succeed in mobile gaming. Based on PlayFirst's experience building global hit franchises such as Diner Dash, DeMiroz will provide insights to help developers reach their own successes. Marco will expand on the following keys to winning in mobile: maximizing revenue through metrics-based games-as-a-service, operating an in-game network for cross-promotion and managing cost per install, and delighting game players through storytelling and character.
A casual connection to the gamer just isn't tenable any more. It's the hardcore connection that's kept gamers engaged for decades. The speakers head up similar but distinct paths to delivering hardcore games to tablet audiences this fall. Their talk demonstrates the hardcore evolution in progress, highlighting the push toward quality, the rise of depth, and the importance of community. Note: the opinions of the speakers may not in fact completely agree with each other.
Julia will speak about the challenges and opportunities of publishing and monetizing free-to-play games on mobile platforms and will share best practices based on G5′s experience.
• Launch Timeline: How to prepare for launching a game.
• App Store Optimization: How to maximize free traffic.
• The 3 Waves in Paid User Acquisition: How to buy traffic that really pays off.
• All About Quality: How to get only the best gamers.
With freemium game apps producing the majority of the mobile industry's app revenue, in-game monetization is more important than ever. Hear how these leading game developers plan and execute a successful monetization strategy, while balancing user experience. They’ll share their views on a number of monetization tactics including in-app purchases, rewards, and in-app advertising – particularly the extraordinary opportunity that exists with mobile video ads. Brand advertisers are following consumer interest in mobile video, but are these developers following the mobile video advertising dollars? Find out the answer to this question and many more as Heather Hromoho, Senior Director of Platform Business Operations at Millennial Media leads an insightful discussion with this panel of seasoned monetization experts.
Great casual gameplay creates strong emotions
that AB testing and traditional marketing methods
can't measure. Other methods can and developers
that access player emotions early in game
development can innovate with much less risk.
Beyond level packs and ammo, players crave specific emotions in exchange for their hard earned cash. Come find out how games such as Candy Crush Saga, Bejewled Blitz, and My Singing Monsters go beyond emotions like fiero and schadenfreude to motivate players to play.
Largely adopted (and adapted) from more general web/tech efforts like Y-Combinator and TechStars, incubators and accelerators to suit the particular needs of game development and commercialization are being established across the globe. While each program is set up differently, they often provide much-needed resources like seed funding, dev machines, shared working space, and, most importantly, mentorship and coaching. This session will provide an overview of available programs, discuss how to evaluate if you should apply or not, and what to watch out for.
You’ve nailed it – your gaming company has finally broken through the sound barrier. Where do you go next? Do you continue building more great games or is the time right to explore the right strategic partnership? This talk will provide a 10,000 foot view of the market trends, movers and shakers in Gaming M&A, and predictions going forward.
In the last decade the games industry has come a long way moving from one platform to another. Hypes have come and gone but with the move along platforms came many innovations in product quality, technology and business models. Michael Kalkowski shows how the champions of our industry were able to drive growth during ever-changing times and delivers a strategic view on the key business aspects for the next 12 months.
The investors of Supercell, ngmoco (DeNA), Kixeye, Playdom (Disney), Playfish (EA) and Ouya will discuss opportunities in mobile/online gaming, gamification, real-money gaming and next-gen consoles.
One billion smartphones. Are you ready? There is no denying the mobile opportunity is upon us. With Chris’ help, indies have been able to distribute their Flash games quickly and painlessly on the web, but what about mobile? Come hear Chris’ take on the indie’s place in the mobile market.
Gaming has moved from that box in your living room to the screen that you carry with you in your pocket wherever you go. And more and more, that screen is an Android one -- with over 900 million Android devices activated around the world to date. Come explore the exciting opportunities where mobile and gaming interact, and the opportunities that Google Play and Android can unlock.
So you are an indie developer with aspirations of making the next big hit. Yes, you are considered a start-up! Before your hit game brings you the millions of dollars, your number one priority is survival. This session talks about how BlueBat Games survived its first years as a start-up and as an indie studio. The pivots it made, the business lessons learned, and the production process paradigm shifts. Finally, BlueBat will share how they got funded as a studio in an industry that is very hard for investors to fund due to its hit-based nature.
Games are mobile, they’re social, and they’re an important part of Google Play. Join us as we explore Google Play game services, a core part of building a gaming platform for the next generation of games, with services to make your games more social, like achievements, leaderboards, and multiplayer, as well as more powerful, storing game saves and settings in the cloud. By building on Google’s strengths in mobile and cloud services, you can focus on what you’re good at as game developers: creating great gaming experiences for your users.
The sale of your gaming company has the potential to be the most important transaction of your life—don’t launch this final level without a walkthrough from the experts. Hear the tips, hints and proven processes you need to sell your company—and the negotiation pitfalls and deal disasters that can vaporize value. Built from the largest body of technology mergers and acquisitions work in history, this presentation will help you prepare for battle when considering selling in the next three years.
In depth talk about how to grow a company, or maintain one while cultivating the best culture possible. Topics include spending as much time ramping down as hiring, hiring from within, cultivating game ideas from your team, retention, why having hack days are important and how free lunches are not always a great thing.
Our speakers will dig deep and share what works in their studios and what they stay away from. Bring your questions!
BlackBerry recently launched its next generation BlackBerry 10 mobile computing platform and smartphones to wide acclaim.
With over 100k apps, targeting BlackBerry 10 makes more sense than ever before! Learn why it is profitable to build for BlackBerry 10. We’ll be joined by an independent developer that will briefly describe their experience with BlackBerry 10.
We’ll also provide a quick technical demonstration on porting an app to BlackBerry 10 using Unity and other professional game engines. It’s so easy that we only need part of a session to show you how to do this.
And, we'll show you how stunning these games look on the BlackBerry Z10.
CEOs and Founders of recently sold companies share their war stories and challenges from taking their gaming companies through the most important transactions of their lives. Don’t miss their unique insights on what to expect, and especially the unexpected they encountered! Highly recommended for founders and CEOs who want the inside perspective on selling their company.
Find out what the industry’s top buyers are looking for in partner companies, and get the inside scoop on how they evaluate gaming companies for an acquisition. How about after the transaction closes? How will your company be integrated into mother ship? The panel gets you deep inside what the buyers are thinking when buying companies.
In the games business, "indies" and "innovation" go hand in hand. In an industry where you're only as good as your next game, established developers often have too much to lose to risk pushing the innovation envelope. Indies, though, build games often fueled by passion alone. These raw, sometimes flawed gems of creativity can provide "proof of concept" that fuel new product direction for years to come. Join Steve Felter, CEO of Gamesalad, in a discussion about what the industry gains from the combination of accessible tools, digital distribution, and a global marketplace that has resulted in a global storm of micro-indie games creativity -- and even a few top 10 hits.
With an abundant landscape of design, programming, acquisition, monetization, and analytics providers to arm your game development and marketing arsenal, the question still remains - what do developers really need from the market to launch mobile games and build long-term growth, and which tools and platforms are developers currently using with measurable success? Applifier's Mickey Maher leads this panel with some of the leading mobile game developers for an inside look at the tools and the platforms that are working, lacking and really needed for game publishing success in the market today.
Who said Year One was easy? This isn’t just any post-mortem, it’s a survival guide. Come join 4gency’s founder as he outlines one vision, two games, twelve months and $25,000 nobody will ever see again. Learn the five dangerous myths that nearly sunk a new mobile games studio, and walk away with a map of landmines you can avoid on your way to fame and fortune.
The title pretty much says it all. India's immensely populous consumer culture, with already ubiquitous feature phone usage, is flipping to Android smartphones fast. The growth numbers are fascinating. Companies like Google and Facebook are literally subsidizing hardware and data plans, and localizing their products - paving the way for a billion-user ecosystem of mobile content to pop into existence practically overnight. But of course, there's a catch…join Rakesh Raju, games entrepreneur, to find out what it is.
Slant Six Games recently made the transition from AAA console developer to indie mobile publisher. This is the story of how we made that transition, the learning process we went through and the strategies the studio is taking to manage the change; including design re-training, team structure, production issues and wrestling with analytics and monetization issues.
Boost your game designer/developer asset creation workflow and safe hours. Learn tips & tricks to extract data from Photoshop and Illustrator effectively and fast to use them within the code. Understand how to get GPU-ready 2D skeletal animations for games from Flash Pro timeline animations. Bring your graphical assets quickly to major platforms including HTML5/PhoneGap, ActionScript/Flash and Obj-C/Cocos2D and deploy on various devices.
The Asia-Pacific region is predicted to foster impressive growth in games and social apps over the next few years. This is particularly true of the mobile markets in China, South Korea and Japan that have established themselves as hotbeds of opportunity.
Each of these countries, however, has its specificities and challenges for developers. All studies and reports from Asian publishers reveal that gamer demographics, gaming preferences and spending behavior can vary greatly between these countries.
How can Western developers best approach these markets? What are the best practices and existing local ecosystems to take into account? What metrics should be used as benchmarks? This roundtable, featuring leaders in the space, will discuss the nuances of these markets and answer your questions.
So you're an Indie and one of your new games has turned into a minor hit. Congrats! So how do you make the most of all the downloads and build a thriving and profitable community of players?
One key answer is Live Ops. Live ops covers all ongoing time and community based content that is enjoyed within the game well after launch, for example contests and events. Live ops are increasingly used by both big and small players to increase retention, monetization and can make mobile games "last" for months and even years. This talk will be covering the ins and outs of live ops:
• Why live ops in your game?
• Compare and contrast different techniques
• Case studies including one from the speaker's game
• How to support live ops within a small team
• Trends and opportunities
Meet Fredrik. He is a developer who has built his entire business on Flash. This was all great until Steve Jobs decided to kill Flash. So, what's next for Fredrik? HTML5! Everybody loves HTML5, but there is one big problem with HTML5: it's not smooth and performant... Or?
Introducing WebGL and the Goo Engine, the worlds leading platform for advanced graphics on HTML5. With WebGL Fredrik can now get native performance on his apps, in the browser, using no plugins. This means that his business is saved and he can make the transition to HTML5 and develop all the cool stuff he loves for the web!
Getting useful marketing and monetization help is nearly impossible for mobile indies these days. Most mobile developers and publishers guard their tips and tricks because they give them a competitive advantage over smaller devs. In this session, Keith will share the real-life marketing and monetization strategies for games launching this summer on iOS and Google Play.
The cost of acquiring mobile customers is skyrocketing and competition for high value users is becoming cut-throat. Developers are forced to navigate a maze of low-value ad networks and deep-pocketed publishers as they bring their games to market. Understanding how multiple devices, platforms and channels impact user acquisition ROI is critical. In this session you'll learn how to unlock the viral potential of your user base and diversify your acquisition strategy without breaking the bank.
Eric will introduce how the landscape of mobile games changed after the emergence of Kakao Game Platform and will suggest what foreign game companies can do to penetrate Korea’s mobile game market successfully.
This talk takes attendees through the entire process of developing and releasing games on consoles and Steam. Getting licensed, getting games approved, porting, implementing platform requirements, submission and certification, production, store assets and marketing, with a post launch breakdown of the time, cost and revenue of each platform. Attendees will gain an overview of the differences between each platform, a road map to accurately plan ahead and jump in headfirst.
To date, the China mobile game market has been a disappointment for most Western game developers and publishers. The presenter will discuss the current challenges in the China mobile game market and the future evolution of the market that will make it imperative for every game developer and publisher to make their way to China and compete for an audience in the world's largest and fastest growing, and eventually most lucrative, mobile game market.
ahead, give your mobile game away free for a day. But you’ll get a huge pile of
bottom-feeding, no-spenders who will rate you poorly, bury your support and
move on! In this session you’ll learn about:
Inversion: how more users can equal less revenue.
Conversion: how more DAU’s drive lasting income.
Aversion: what a bad promo really costs you.
What do the numbers look like? How else do you get discovered without spending millions of dollars you don’t have? Are zombies real? Join this session to learn more.
As more users find themselves playing games on multiple devices, they increasingly expect their purchases and progress to follow them, no matter which device they happen to be using at the moment. The cloud makes it easy to keep this game data synchronized, but there are some special situations to be considered. This session will explore common scenarios, identify problematic use cases, and present strategies for achieving the desired behavior when saving and restoring data in the cloud.
Join Jerry Vuong, VP of International Operations of FL Mobile, as he presents four critical factors that Western developers must consider in order to find success in the exploding mobile market in China. Using their game, Little Ninja, Jerry will illustrate how FL Mobile found success by mastering these four areas: distribution, community, culturalization, and monetization.
You’re a game developer and you’ve decided to go indie. You have an office wall covered with ramen noodle packets, and enough cash to pay rent and utilities for a few months. You are going to make the next great game, or so you think. But how will you promote it? If the game fails, what next?
Wouldn't it be nice to be able to put these questions to people who have managed to stay afloat, regardless of the circumstances? In this panel, Juan Gril of Joju Games has invited a group of very successful indie game developers to talk. “Success” is defined here as being able to feed yourself and your team for more than a few years in a row solely by making games. We will cover topics such as promoting your studio, self-publishing vs. working with publishers or distributors, how to best plan your projects, and general survival skills. Come with your questions, and we'll do our best to answer them.
Gamers around the world are flocking to online communities to create and collaborate around original content. These “super fans” are not only leading conversations, but their influence is extending to brands and video game publishers alike. With social fandom getting more popular by the second, brands are looking for new ways to engage and address these communities, and learning in the process, the unique value super fans can bring to the table. Wikia’s Nick Williams and Jennifer Betka will shed light as to how gaming brands are currently addressing the Wikia Gaming communities and engaging with fans while also providing data around the fans themselves – what they like, what they are most passionate about, and what keeps them coming back.
With a projected smartphone and tablet audience larger than in the US, China’s mobile gaming revenues are predicted to grow more than 50% every year between 2013 and 2015. This potential presents numerous opportunities for publishers but also several challenges, including extreme fragmentation in platforms/devices as well as localization issues. How can Western developers best approach this huge market? How crucial is it to find local partners for cultural adaptation and a more localized approach? This panel, featuring leaders in the space, will discuss the nuances of this ostensibly intimidating market and answer your questions.
Discovery is a huge challenge for mobile games, especially Indie games that have a limited marketing budget. Dragon Up launched on iOS and had good launch numbers but needed more organic players. Since we were Facebook developers first, we decided to add our iOS game to Facebook. This was no small task for coding, design and art. Learn how we tried to fail fast, what worked, what tools we used and what we learned.
The Sandbox is a world crafting game
in pixel art, first launched in May 2012 on iOS.
Just over 1 year later, the title has been played by over 5M people worldwide, is now available on iOS, Android, Amazon and BB10, reached the 13-24 mainstream audience and was crowned by a nomination by Apple in its iTunes Best Of Games 2012!
How did we operate our community management? Our cross-platform strategy? How much did we spent in Users Acquisition and How? What are our other secrets?
Setting goals for your mix session helps you keep your focus on the big picture and not get bogged down in the details. Learn the four goals of a great mix and how to achieve these goals quickly and under deadline. Understand common mix mistakes and how to avoid them--muddy mixes, lack of energy and excitement, harshness, and choosing the wrong effects--and why you'll get more work if you improve your mix skills. Get expert tips and resources to make your mixes crisper, wider and more exhilarating and help them stand up next to the pros!
Join Kevin Regamey, Creative Director at Power Up Audio, to explore how and why some Indie games sound so darn good. Yeah yeah, "Get audio involved early", right? Sure, but once audio is involved, what can you do to help deliver an immersive and memorable experience to the player? This talk will cover what's to be gained by looking to your sound and music as more than a simple paint job.
Howard Tsao, Team Lead of Muse Games, offers tips and lessons from building and managing the Guns of Icarus Online Community.
From green light through sketches, composing with sampled orchestra, prepping and handing off MIDI files for orchestration and score review, contracting and scheduling instrumentalists and choir, soloists, recording sessions, printing more parts, overdubs, missed email memo, feeding the orchestra, running out of time, overtime and video documentation.
Indies have an advantage when it comes to designing games. Without the need for exhaustive design documents and project tracking, we can focus instead on prototyping and iteration. Ian will talk about his move from AAA to indie, his methods for designing the Soulcaster and Escape Goat (neither of which had proper design docs), and the pros and cons of this approach.
How can you
sell a game nobody wants? Sounds like a great challenge!
SteamyBalls is a game about a penguin and a handful of balls.
Such a project would be doomed from the start, but Yoeri explains how to turn a wreck into a success.
This session will be filled to the brim with valuable creative, administrative, organizational, educational, sanity-saving, enriching and interpersonal nuggets straight from the mouths and hearts of experienced game audio professionals. Appropriate and useful for both up-and-coming freelance musicians and full-fledged composers and sound designers. Focused on success as a contractor / external solution rather than internal game audio positions.
When is a failure good enough? When is a failure not really a failure? What happens when the learning curve and the curve of the long tail cross in the middle? Can 1 + 1 ever be greater than 2? With a detailed analysis comparing and contrasting the release of Clutter with it's sequel Clutter II: He Said, She Said, Puzzles By Joe creator, Joe Cassavaugh, will explore the ups and downs and the unexpected results of doing a sequel.
Life, like game development, is full of obstacles, breakthroughs, stalemates, triumphs, and failures. What separates those who do from those who don't? Jon shares his story, complete with mild successes and fantastic failures, focusing primarily on his recent app release BLIZZ Words in the hope that sharing true-life hard knocks will help smooth the road for and motivate current and would-be developers.
HTML5 offers a very exciting alternative to Flash for browser and mobile gaming. But, doubts still remain as to when HTML5 will become a truly viable platform, especially with regard to its performance on mobile. How can Indies know when’s the right time to start developing and publishing HTML5 games?
In this session, Sandy Duncan, Chief Executive Officer at YoYo Games, will discuss the challenges associated with HTML5 games development and how Indies can catch the HTML5 wave of the future without having to place big bets now.
A post mortem on bringing the popular Flash game series The Several Journeys of Reemus from the free flash portals to the paid commercial game market.
a game that's also a successful business is hard, but it feels so good when you
get it right. Our panel of indie game developers will reflect on the top 3
challenges, learnings and successes they've faced with their mobile games from
development, content, user acquisition and monetization.
They will also tackle key issues and trends in the mobile gaming industry and shed light on new ideas for tools they wish existed to make the business of games even better.
As you likely know, Casino Games have largely taken over the casual, mobile and social space. But this genre of game requires very special audio, which industry pros will discuss and be available for questions.
8BitMMO is an award-winning indie construction sandbox game built entirely by a single developer. Want to know how? This session will cover lessons learned on everything from building a scalable game to zero-budget indie marketing.
As you know, the market is overcrowded with games of every shape and kind. They fight for the players' attention every day, but only a few are successful. What can you do to get players to pay attention to YOUR game?
Actually, this is where the sound guys come in - they can drive a game with a special blend of humor, charm and production. The importance of creative game audio is often overlooked by developers and even audio professionals, but a game's success depends greatly on the sound designer's audio skills and creativity, so don't miss opportunities for success. Dmitry Kuzmenko of Strategic Music will share some of his experiences that came from working on several notable iOS and PC games, with the hope of teaching the ability to add that special sparkle.
The Hero's Journey applied to designers, especially independents, because interactive entertainment is barely explored. A 25-year veteran calls you to your own adventure. The classic steps translate into a journey of challenge, confidence building, self-examination, and personal leveling-up design skills. It is a meta-method for finding your path. The lecturer's intimate, possibly embarrassing, examples will be provided.
Let’s make money together--besides making a game that is actually fun to play, Indies must also battle discoverability and customer acquisition costs. But what if you found an accessible audience that not only had millions of passionate fans but also offered you the opportunity to cross promote and monetize physical goods? Here you will hear the experiences of one indie game developer working with major brands like Garfield, Dilbert and a major dog food company ---- and how you can do it too.
This session covers the development of Capital j Media’s Starbase Gunship, an indie mobile game created by Jedrzej Jonasz. Jedrzej will discuss how he approached finding and managing talent to outsource elements of the game’s production so that he could focus on his strengths and the game’s overall design.
As indie developers specialized in one of the most densely populated genres, we've come across a pivotal question: Is the standard freemium-sphere saturated beyond reasonable profitability? If so, what kind of business model should smaller scale studios consider migrating to? In this brief presentation, we´ll discuss our views on the evolution of our apps as times keep changing.
We'll begin with a history of audio for interactive media and then move into how "hooks" have always been the foundation for audio that stands the test of time. From arcade, to console, to casual games, the industry has seen enormous shifts in consumer tastes and behavior, but some things remain constant: writing great hooks into your music, filling the right niche as well as taking advantage of the impact of interactive media audio. Make the most of your skills while developing strategies to help you move to the next level in the music business through a deeper understanding of the history of interactive media from a global perspective, spanning territories as diverse as Japan, India and North America.
This presentation will highlight the process in which Phyken Media came into existence, the struggles of building a studio, hiring a team, building IP and somehow, against all odds, building a large global game like Wizard Ops Tactics with limited resources. He'll highlight the mistakes, what they did right, their tools and tricks of the trade as well as their present and future challenges of developing a game as a service.
underdogs choose not to play by Goliath’s rules, they win, even when everything
we think we know about power says they shouldn’t." - quote
"Speedboat" developers can succeed against lumbering "Supertanker" publishers by applying unconventional strategies and exploiting available technologies. You can beat the Goliaths as long as you don't try to act like a Goliath. Know your weaknesses & play to your strengths.
With the rise of smaller studios, iOS/Android and Unity developers alike are hiring more freelance audio contractors than in recent years past. We're witnessing some confusion from both audio contractors and from many new game producers about the process of setting up a healthy working relationship with freelance audio contractors.
The panel will discuss several successful methods used to establish a healthy, frictionless pipeline between the studio and audio contractor. Topics will include: the hiring process, negotiation/agreements, asset tracking, milestone payments, rates, focus on key points in the revision process, use of language in the revision process, and to greet the process as one of the really fun parts of game development. We will be taking formal polls from game audio professionals (through organizations such as GANG) to collect recent information on rates, turnarounds, revision process, agreements etc, so we will be providing a large cross section of useful information that will be incredibly up to date.
Tips, tools, and reminders on getting the word out. This session will give lists, information, and downloads that will help people, everything from press release templates to where to find the calendar of gaming events online. It will also sell sheets, web design, email capture, social media tips, community management, and of course, PR and how to get the best review possible.
Do you miss the days when game soundtracks could be "legendary"? Do you often find yourself outsourcing the music to your games right at the end of your development process? If so, come and drop by our talk! We'll discuss our "music first" approach to game development, and introduce Mosaique, our humble puzzler that got into Apple's WWDC Keynote.
This session is about the difficulties of making a browser based, synchronous realtime multiplayer game and trying to think outside the box in a free-to-play world. It's also about the importance of nourishing a strong community, lead by hardcore users as officers.
New developers are entering this market every day, and in many cases attention to the quality of game audio is not approached properly, or the game designers/producers don't have a good sense of how to produce content for the platform. While we know that audio is one of the best ways to communicate emotion, tension, user feedback, as well as brand identity, the audio experience is threatened by the omnipresent mute switch! Mobile games are unique and demand special consideration to encourage players to experience the audio, rather than completely eliminate it from their game. It only takes one bad sound, music cue, or a poorly mixed soundtrack to cause players to flip the mute switch. So, if you're a game producer, game designer, programmer, or audio professional working in or interested in social/mobile games, come join me as I pass forward tips, techniques, and strategies to raise the bar on social/mobile game audio and fight back against the mute button.
Learn how to make retro-style game music that isn't totally annoying. Discover the science behind synthesized sound in the process, and see how its concepts can be applied in ways you might not expect.