Dylan Collins is a passionate advocate for video games. After learning in college that, despite rumors to the contrary, the video game industry really does exist, Collins has spent over 10 years in the online gaming sector. As Chairman of Fight My Monster, he works to provide great games, especially for boys.
Learning to Listen and Lose to Boys
As the fastest growing online game for boys in Europe, Fight My Monster is well-known far and wide, with almost 1.5 million players. Collins describes the Fight My Monster experience as a “Pixar meets Pokémon F2P online trading card game” that can be played on multiple browsers. “Our aim is to entertain boys across the world across all platforms,” says Collins. To meet this goal, Collins has had to learn a very useful skill: “the ability to repeatedly get beaten at almost every single game by 10-year-olds while still maintaining composure.”
Kids Are Smart
Key to the success of most any game today is a super-refined game mechanic and amazing user interface—Collins cites Cut the Rope as an example. Even so, there are no hard and fast rules. “Probably the biggest mistake is thinking that everything that works for social game design will translate,” says Collins. “Kids are much smarter than people give them credit for—they need exploration opportunities, not a set of rails.” To avoid this mistake, he suggests focus-testing with kids but also testing with kids left on their own.
The Big Prize
Collins seems excited by the future of children’s entertainment, as he has already seen brands being built from games. “The brands are moving from games into apparel, toys, cards and TV,” says Collins. “However, I think the biggest prize awaits the company which can provide both content and maker tools to their generation.” As for Fight My Monster, it is working towards reaching its second million in half the time it took to reach its first million. To help it achieve that goal, the company has signed a partnership with the same licensing agencies who worked on Angry Birds. Boys everywhere should be delighted.