User acquisition tricks are all the rage. And why not? In order to grow a business in the game development market, growing a large user base is a must. However, there are many other priorities that are just as, if not more, important. The presentation, Left at the Altar Why Focusing Too Much on UA Is a Mistake, was given at Casual Connect USA by Joe Tartaglia. Joe is the VP of Sales and Business Development for Perk.com. Join Joe for a deep-dive session about the growing mobile loyalty space and some case studies of apps that are effectively using rewards in order to retain users. Rewarding your consumers for returning to your app has a stigma to it. Joe countered that, “Loyalty programs have become an every day part of life . . . when you think of simple every day habit like drinking coffee have some sort of reward. It’s just the way it is now.”
Eforb was founded almost two years ago and started as a small team… Today there are around 50 people on board including freelancers.
Everyone recalls the time when Eforb just appeared in the world with smiles on their faces. What made them a self-sufficient startup with a clear vision of the roadmap and the products that they’re proud of? The team’s product manager Nika Paramonova shares the story of their new and cute game Let The Cat In, that turned into a social action project.
Most of us have at least heard of SimCity by EA. It has maintained a position among the top 50 grossing games since its launch. Leonard analyzed why it works, what it does well and where it could perhaps improve from an external perspective. “Adaptive promotions turn playing users into paying users. Offer players promotions based on gameplay achievements,” expressed Leonard Frankel during his talk at Casual Connect USA.
It Begins with Kudos
It starts with the concept of a strawberry, which represents kudos on our site. Kudos, according to Merriam-Webster, is defined as “praise or respect that you get because of something you have done or achieved.” The question is then: how do we make a game that teaches kids to grab kudos in life? I went straight to the primary source – kids themselves. Interviewing my nephew, he suggested a gameplay where Jack, a hippo, would jump from platform to platform to reach for the strawberry kudos!
With recent funding, hardware, aquisitions and content development initiatives, the Virtual Reality space is heating up. In a session delivered at Casual Connect USA, Carl-Arvid Ewerbring, Co-Founder and Developer at Resolution Games impressed, “We believe VR has a place in every home.” He explored how more casual, 2D reminiscent games may have a more welcome home in VR than anticipated. He discussed how more lighthearted titles could be the familiar face that makes VR less intimidating to the non-early-adopter and makes the early stages of VR relevant for all family members. The feeling of presence VR delivers is a magical thing for anyone. After all, “Presence is the fairy dust of VR”.
Fundraising is incredibly nuanced & stressful. In his candid talk given at Casual Connect USA, learn how to manage the process of fundraising (and your psychology) at the seed/series A level. The CEO of MediaSpike, Blake Commagere, said, “I jokingly point out that with fundraising you are leveraging not sales skills, you are more leveraging the skills that you used in high school to get your fist date . . . You have to convince people that you are this amazing, wonderful, great investment”
One of the Roundtables at Casual Connect USA called Communication In Your Studio covered questions like: How Do We Get Better? Should We Share More? Whether you are an Indie or a full sized studio, communication is the cornerstone of your business, but how much information should you share? Should you openly share your financials with your staff? Does this information help out or stress out your team? How do you tackle 1 on 1s? One of the leaders of this open discussion was Dan Chao, CEO and Co-Founder of Mastermind Studios. The roundtable also covered tools/methods used to improve in-office communication, getting to the heart of the toughest topics.
With the likes of King and Supercell dominating today’s mobile games market, together spending an unprecedented $1 billion on marketing to maintain control of half of today’s top grossing apps – how do small developers compete? Combined with skyrocketing player acquisition costs, today’s ‘mobile first’ attitude may not be the best route for indie game developers. Join Derrick Morton, former mobile GM at RealNetworks and current CEO of FlowPlay, at Casual Connect USA as he explored why looking to the same online/web-based environments that launched the casual games industry and taking a ‘mobile last’ approach might be the best solution for small studios. “The desktop is not dead. There is still plenty of money to be made,” Derrick emphasized.
During a lecture given during the Casual Connect USA by Ehren J. Brav, we had the chance to hear about the wearable haptice devices which he views as the next frontier in virtual and augmented reality. As we have already seen, PCs and consoles as well as the newest VR gear already fully engage our eyes and our ears, but our sense of touch is almost totally ignored. Haptic feedback provides users a whole new level of immersion – it provides a ‘sixth sense’ within the game that we could only dream of having in real life. As the founder of OmniWear Haptics, Ehren shared, “It gives you a situational awareness just so far beyond what you’d otherwise have in the game. And haptics allow you to create entirely new senses as well, like if another player is looking at you – these are sensory inputs we can only dream of having in real life!”
The story of Divey Jones: Bitey Shark (and, more specifically, the entire line of Divey Jones games) stems from one of those circumstances where you really don’t know you’re making a game until it’s almost done. You think you’re just prototyping an idea, you think you’re just tinkering and learning new tools and skills…and suddenly you have a viable product. You look at your teammates and say, “Hey, with a little push, this could be a shippable game!” – Zygobot founders and developers Roy Papp and John Amos thought. John tells what happened next.