Alexey Alexeev explained how Wargaming squeezed World of Tanks from PC into mobile, and the challenges they faced, at his Casual Connect Europe lecture. “Millions of people enjoyed tank battles on PC, and mobile was like a new passport,” he said. “A lot of companies moved there, and a lot of successful titles earned a lot of money.” For a walkthrough of the game’s journey to mobile, see the video below.
Imagine not being able to see a 3D movie or having little to no depth perception. In his session. James Blaha CEO of Vivid Vision is familiar with ambliyopia (lazy eye) and is working to treat it. In his session during Casual Connect USA, Perceptual Learning Games in Virtual Reality, James shares the leaps and bounds that his company is conducting on VR treating lazy eye. Rather than patching the good eye when you are young and “willfully blinding yourself”, Vivid Vision applies the techniques to treat lazy eye using virtual reality. In one of their games, “the bricks outside the arena are shown brighter to the weak eye and dimmer to the strong eye so this helps overcome the suppression of the weak eye . . .. [To paly this game], we are basically requiring that you have to use both eyes together and they have to be fused on the same image.” It is with this technology that James has seen vast improvement in his own vision.
The mobile industry is full of challenges, especially in monetization. At Casual Connect Europe, Itay Rokni, CMO of StartApp, gave a presentation called Advertising Strategies and Trends for 2015. Itay conveyed, “Art and science has to go together. You can’t have one without the other in order to succeed in the mobile games and mobile advertizing”. He shared insights on combining business models, building and maintaining sustainable mobile businesses, utilizing and maximizing value while keeping user experience intact and app performance optimization.
In his talk: How to Birth New Games Without Cloning, at Casual Connect USA, Greg Costikyan discussed four different ways of devising truly novel games. Greg stressed how we can use these methods to improve designs even when you’re working under tight design constraints. “We are not truly agile in the games industry. We are a waterfall with agile frosting.”
The explosion of Tinder with its social aspects has ushered in a wave of dating apps, each with their own unique twist. Jason Loia, COO of Unravel, gave a lecture entitled How Dating App Design Can Enhance Your Mobile Game at Casual Connect USA. This included analytical insights which Unravel, a mobile dating and social discovery app built by a team of seasoned gamers, has amassed over almost a year of in-market data. While designing a game, Jason advices, “Attack your biggest funnel leaks first”.
Most entrepreneurs see the process of selling their company as a “black box”, and as a result are not ready for what will likely to be the most important business deal of their life. This can be disastrous rather than an opportunity. In Daniel Bernstein’s talk at Casual Connect USA, the focus is on de-mystifying the M&A process. As the vice president at Corum Group, Daniel demonstrates how important it is to be ready, “Get your projections ready. What does that mean: [have] three years historic and three years future . . . Really build out bottom up projections of what your business is going to look like when you actually fully execute on it”. Daniel broke down eight steps to follow in this process, whether you plan to sell or not in his session How to Sell Your Company.
What do you do when you have a new company but little success? You shift gears. At Casual Connect USA, George Zaloom, led a candid and fun conversation with the CEO of China’s leading social casino gaming studio, Le Xu. After experiencing little success in casual games six years ago, Le started to search for something his new company Topgame could do that would keep them in business. In his search, Le Xu discovered casino games. He played many games, a lot successful and some not so successful. With each one, he asked himself what made made it so they were or were not successful? “Each game had a special thing, [for one] you need to love your game”, he explains. From there, he was able to see the good in each game and make it better in his own work.
Even if you possess the most stunning design, genius developers, a super-engaging idea and a well-developed strategy, a game for a celebrity can still fall flat on its face. Find out Kuulu Interactive Entertainment AG’s secret with Jendrik Pösche at Casual Connect Europe 2015. In his presentation, he advised, “Treat the project as the soul of the company, meaning that everyone has to know what the game is about, has to play the game, has to like the game”. He offered many other key points in making any game, especially when working with celebrities.
Marco DeMiroz moderated a panel on mobile game market investments at Casual Connect Europe. “Really, for a game company starting — getting the funding, getting the user-acquisition model fine-tuned, and also, the main objective is to come up with an awesome game — it’s a huge challenge,” he said. For several perspectives on mobile game investments, see the video below.