What can online/mobile social casino developers learn from Las Vegas casino VIP/loyalty programs? Join Stephanie Leifer, a VIP Manager at Product Madness, as part of a discussion at Casual Connect USA for some valuable insight. In reference to the question, can whales be made, Stephanie responded, “We really believe that whales are born, not made. People have a propensity and a willingness to want to get involved in a game or they don’t and there is nothing I could do, or honestly want to do to push that”.
Chia Jinlence is lead programmer for Jump Smash 15, released by Mediasoft Entertainment in April. In this postmortem, he details his work on Jump Smash, as well as his transition from indie developer to a programmer at Mediasoft, one of the largest developers in Malaysia.
For the last three years that I’ve been at Mediasoft Entertainment I’ve quickly seen it grow from a studio of five to almost 70. Our first game, “Ninja One Shot,” was ranked one of the Top 100 mobile puzzle games in four countries. Encouraged by our success, we pumped out a slew of about 40 casual games in the next two years. Not all the games ended up doing as well as our first did, and in retrospect it all was a learning platform that led to the development of Jump Smash.
Kabam‘s President of Studios and Live Service, Aaron Loeb, explored how the meaning of “good” games in the free-to-play industry has evolved over the years in his lecture at Casual Connect USA. He also spoke about how game makers make great games now. Using examples from Kabam’s hit game Marvel Contest of Champions, Aaron discussed how Kabam marries AAA game production with highly iterative data-driven designs when making great games with mass appeal for a global audience. To do this, Aaron says, “Your designers have had to learn business. Now your product managers have to learn design.”
In his talk, delivered at Casual Connect USA, Jon Radoff discussed how the landscape for mass-market games has evolved in recent years and how the intersection of social, mobile and community has impacted our industry. Disruptor Beam has found that success can come from recognizing the power of people, communities and fandom. Jon spoke on both Game of Thrones Ascent and Star Trek Timelines and how other game companies can also harness the power of community to succeed, as well as how to grow and enhance these communities through connected game experiences. In reference to rentention, Jon pointed out, “Are your users really sticking around? In my view, returning only 24 hours later is not retention. That’s a misnomer. Real retention is a week, two weeks, a month, even a year later.”
Henrik Johansson, co-founder of Mediocre, took a look back at five years of game development and shared what his studio has learned in his recent speech at Casual Connect Asia. “I love the creative freedom of working in a small studio,” he says. “We can just work on the ideas we believe in.” For his insights on design and the development process through games like Smash Hit and Does Not Commute, see the video below.
Carlos Molina del Rio is a Madrid-based games developer and founder of independent studio 89bits. After years of working at Telefonica creating mobile infrastructure for one of Spain’s most important telecom companies, he decided to start his own games and entertainment company to combine gaming and live sporting events with the mobile experience. Read about his experience in launching a new entertainment category in fantasy sports management.
Today, there is an unanswered question many mobile gaming developers are struggling to answer.
What makes a successful game?
When trying to feed the equation for a successful game, many developers and analysts simply accept the disparity between success and failure. We see, therefore it is – some games are just more popular than others and you don’t know what works until you test it.
Oliver Clark examined the benefits of using ID-based mobile data to find the right users during his Casual Connect Asia 2015 lecture. Oliver advises developers to “capture information that can lead you to make sensible decisions about targeting. Targeting is key.” For more, see the video below.
As big gamedev events are becoming quite rare in Kyiv, Ukraine, game developers themselves are organizing informal gatherings to still share experience and discuss their ongoing and/or fresh games. As for gamejams, Ukrainian devs have already got the taste of these, and just-for-fun projects become award-winning hits — think of Party Hard, for instance, who won the Critics’ Choice award at Casual Connect Europe 2015 Indie Showcase.
So the CEO of a Kyiv-based studio of Gestalt Games, Andriy Tykhonchuk, and his wife Olena decided to organize a 48-hours gamedev challenge of INDIE|48 that took place in April 2015 at the G13 project studio.
Seven Summits Studio is an award-winning independent game development company based out of Hyderabad, India. The studio was founded in 2013 by a group of passionate individuals who strive to create impactful experiences through video games.
Petite is an ambient experience that narrates a woman’s story while focusing on key incidents that happen in her life. Every level is a new situation, and each memory you unlock is a unique one, depending on the emotions you choose.
It is being designed by Asar Dhandala, who worked on Petite together with the writer of the story, Vishesh Chopra, and the programmer, P.V. Sanjeev Kumar. The development cycle of the game is being mentored by Shailesh Prabhu and Nawaz Dhandala. Asar shares the story of their freshly released creation.