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5 Steps for Building the RIGHT Mobile Game

May 21, 2017 — by Industry Contributions

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By Peter Fodor, founder of AppAgent

Surprisingly, many developers invest enormous amounts of time, effort and resources in developing games or apps that are built on very shallow foundations. It’s great to have a strong product vision, but without understanding the market situation, competition, target group, acquisition costs and performance benchmarks, you are navigating blindly. As a result, it’s highly likely that you will run into trouble – wasting your time and your money in the process.

The cost of producing a mobile game has increased dramatically, and so have the marketing costs associated with getting your game noticed. Big publishers like Kabam work with strong IPs – Marvel in this case – and budgets of around $14M per game. They also have a large user base waiting for new titles. If you’re looking to compete with these industry giants, it’s vital to start the journey by heading in the right direction.

Here are five tips on how to research the market and evaluate the viability of your business prior to commencing development.

Step 1: Check the Business Potential

About a year ago AppAgent worked on the marketing of the game code-named Gods&Guilds. It’s a building strategy game similar to Clash of Clans, but based on Norse mythology.

The first thing to do if you have an idea for a new game is to check Google Trends to understand how similar games are performing. Are they fading in search popularity or still going strong? Rankings in AppAnnie can provide similar insights.

The trend will help you understand whether your new game will be timely or late to the market. Over time, players’ tastes evolve, and with product development taking between 1 to 2 years you don’t want to waste your time developing for an audience that is shrinking. In this case, the popularity of CoC has declined as Clash Royale has grown, demonstrating a shift to more casual and fresh format addressing a larger audience. Of course, it’s entirely up to you if you prefer a more niché, or ‘hard-core’ game genre than a mass-market casual approach, but by studying the trends at least you will know.

Next you should estimate the business potential of each platform. Priori Data or other market intelligence tools provide comparison of downloads and revenues per platform. For Gods&Guilds we identified that, while iOS accounts for 36% of downloads and nearly half of the revenue in strategy games category, Android generates large enough revenues for it to be used as the first platform, enabling us to scale faster and at a lower Cost Per Install, which is an important factor for a multiplayer game.

Also, it’s interesting to analyse the average revenue of games at the 10th rank, 50th rank and 100th rank in the top grossing charts. This helps you to understand the monetary chart curve and see if you can earn enough money, even if you aren’t able to reach the popularity of a game like Clash of Clans.

Newzoo provides great – and totally free – market reports and several paid analysis focusing at specific verticals, regions or aspects such as engagement metrics, monetization metrics, trends or consumer insights.

I also recommend Eric Seufert’s presentation: “Using (Free!) App Annie Data to Optimize Your Next Game” from Casual Connect USA 2016.

Step 2: Identify the Performance of Competitors

Once you feel that the selected genre has potential, it’s time to look at the competition.

You should check:

  1. Stats: rating, downloads and revenue estimate (Priori Data, AppAnnie)
  2. Proposition: what’s the unique selling proposition of your product (App Store/Play Store, ideally using AppAnnie)
  3. Key features: what are the main product benefits
  4. Reviews: pros and cons, the trend of the rating in time (AppAnnie)
  5. Visual style: how the app is presented in the store

For a better understanding of Gods&Guilds we compiled key metrics in a simple table and then visualised main characteristics of the game’s competitors on a matrix chart. Here we can see that Clash of Clans operates in a completely different league. Even other big games have much smaller download velocity and an average ARPU of around $3.50. In terms of visuals and concept there’s a big space for an isolated game play with realistic visuals.

The result of this step is to help you find a unique position and to bring something new to the market. In Gods&Guilds the approach was to build an army of heroes from Norse mythology and focus at multiple game modes, yet the existing stylized visuals conflicted with many other games on the market.

Step 3 – Find Key Audience Insights

Personally, my favorite part is the analysis of the audience because it helps to form a clear player profile. It’s the foundation for the product but also informs the design, the store listing, creating targeted paid ads and creating a compelling advertising message.

The best starting point is Facebook Audience Insights where you can select top games or apps in your segment and analyse audience by gender, age, status and even affinity to other fan pages. Facebook also conducted a segmentation of gamers which can serve as an inspiration how to think about user personas. It’s a little outdated, but it’s still useful: https://insights.fb.com/2014/12/18/the-many-lives-of-gamers/

You should ‘dive deep’ into the details to understand what users like about specific games or apps, if they are social or competitive and if they have a disposable income. The last question can be partly answered using a market intelligence tool where you can divide the revenue by downloads per country/platform/category and get a “Purchase Index”. This value, combined with an estimated CPI and difficulty to reach top charts, helps you to pick markets which you can focus on after the global launch.

critical part of target group research is an estimation of the market size. The trick is in using Facebook Ads Manager to play with overlaps of different groups and understand the audience size and profile, even on a country level. Even if you will use other ad networks such as Adwords or video networks, it’s a good starting point providing a relative comparisons of market sizes. Just be aware of specific countries where Facebook competes with local giants such as VKontakte in Russia.

Step 4 – Count the Profitability

In the freemium world, the business stands or falls on the equation of Cost Per Install and Lifetime Value. If the LTV exceeds acquisition costs, you’re able to scale the user base and grow revenues.

The LTV calculation is a topic for a separate article which will follow in a near future as there are different approaches, methodologies and other elements of the model. To begin with you should start by calculating lifetime from expected retention benchmarks and multiply the value by desired Average Revenue Per Daily Active user. This doesn’t include any virality or organic uplift which differs by game genre, platform and country, but at least it gives you a basic understanding of the LTV component. For more about LTV, read Yaniv’s post where there are different calculators.

The part of acquisition costs is easier to estimate. We at AppAgent use two free data sources:

1) Chartboost CPI Index: this index is applicable for games only. With a CPI of $3.48 in the US and Gods&Guilds multiplayer modes requiring a critical mass of active players it’s clear, we will need a big budget for paid acquisition. The solution could be a focus at specific time zones to improve a “local” matchmaking in the game.

2) FB Ads Manager: to start the CPI estimation, select a list of your competitors using Interest targeting, pick a country and platform and check the suggested Cost-Per-Click. If you divide the suggested price by an estimated conversion rate in the store (for paid traffic this could be in average about 45% for iOS and 40% for Android if you don’t have your own historic data) you get a quite good Cost-Per-Install estimate. If some of your fellow devs have a game within your category, ask for Conversion Ratio Benchmarks in the Google Play Consoles under the Acquisition Reports tab. For Gods&Guilds the current estimate for the US male audience using Wi-Fi connection is $3.65 which creates high demand on the user lifetime value to operate profitable campaigns. Yet great mobile acquisition managers can drive the price lower, leveraging new formats, original creatives and smart approach to targeting. Also, big IPs significantly increase the conversion rate and drive the CPI much lower, a situation confirmed by Will Newell, former UA manager at Space Ape Games on Transformers: Earth Wars.

From this point on you can move forward and build your own growth model where you include paid and organic traffic (cross-promotion, word-of-mouth, even featuring if you’re confident to secure it). Once you add retention numbers and ARPDAU values you will get a possible financial outcome. A basic definition of a mobile growth model is described by William Gill at the Mobile Growth Stack web.

Step 5: Test the Most Appealing Theme

Not many developers are aware of testing creative aspects of the game. Will Newell revealed at the AppAgent Academy that at Space Ape Games have tested the name tagline of the Transformers game using Facebook Ads with CPM bidding. With three fan pages the test used the same creatives but different product taglines. The winning name is well known today: Transformers: Earth Wars.

At Geewa, we recently proposed over 100 names for a new game. The final shortlist of four went to the Facebook test, where the main KPI was the Click Through Rate of a mobile ad showing the brand name as an artwork. My favorite Smashing Four reached a CTR of 2.6% where others reached between 1.1% to 1.6%.

Pixel Federation went even further and tested the visual theme of an upcoming match 3 game. “We’ve used FB ads and Splitmetrics to measure both the ads CTR and the store conversion. The winning concept called Button Blast reached 1% better CTR. In terms of conversion rate it won with 25% by far ahead of the second concept Music Match with 17.5% and Yummi Blocks with remaining two below 12%,” said Matej Lancaric, mobile marketing manager.

Conclusion

With high development costs, brutal acquisition prices and fierce competition, it’s necessary to lower the risk of failure and be smart about your business decisions. With the free data and tools available you can find a much more direct route to success.

These are just some of the things that you can do, and it’s likely that there are several other techniques out there that can help you to analyse the market and verify ideas. As a growth fanatic I would love to hear them. Don’t hesitate to reach me via Twitter or by email: peter@appagent.co.


Peter Fodor is the founder of AppAgent, a mobile marketing team jam-packed with experts available for hire. Since 2011, Peter has worked on the launch of nearly 30 apps for all mobile platforms. Today, AppAgent focuses on mobile strategy, data analytics, mobile creative services and user acquisition. Peter and his “agents” serve US based Malwarebytes, Polish based AAA gaming studio CI Games and one of the fastest growing startups in Europe, Kiwi.com.

 

ContributionsPR & Marketing

How Trivia Crack Kingdoms got 10,000 New Users in Targeted Countries with Zero Money Invested

May 17, 2017 — by Industry Contributions

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By Ignasi Prat – CMO of Tappx

No matter how big or small your studio is, one fact remains true: paying for users is expensive. Paying for good users is even more expensive. And being able to retain them is the philosopher’s stone that every publisher desires in order to succeed in the mobile ecosystem.

This article is not a diatribe against companies offering user acquisition services or against publishers who decide to use a paid strategy to increase their user base. With good performance and proper management of costs and life cycle, paid acquisition can be very beneficial and a great way to accelerate traction for your games.

This article aims to show there’s life beyond paid advertising. We are going to demonstrate how we succeed in increasing our user base by using alternative strategies and tactics that required no investment.

ContributionsResearch

Predictive Analytics in Games

May 12, 2017 — by Industry Contributions

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By devtodev analysts, Vera Karpova and Vasiliy Sabirov

Currently, product analytics reached a sufficiently high level of development. Many analytical systems are equipped with a variety of tools that will tell in detail how users behave in the application: when they buy, where they live, how much they cost for the company and how they leave.

These tools have become a part of daily life, regular monitoring; assistants in the decision-making process – now it is a must-have for any project.

Funnels and segments don’t surprise anybody anymore, and as in any other business, having reached the top of one reveals a will to go further and improve.

In this regard, the sphere of analytics is no exception, and in the past few years a new kind of data analysis – predictive analytics – began to develop.

You’ll also have an idea of predictive analytics, if you monitor the metrics on a daily or even hourly basis.

For example, you know that usually at 12 a.m. there are about 20,000 users in your game, and today this indicator is much lower. It equals 15,000 users. You understand that there is a trend for decline, which means that it is necessary to find the cause as soon as possible and improve the situation before the indicator falls even more.

ContributionsIndustry

Let’s Play: What it Means for the Gaming Industry

May 5, 2017 — by Industry Contributions

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By Sara Parker, Writer and Editor

Gaming has become much more social and communal in recent years. Instead of being limited by your physical location and the number of controllers you have for a gaming console, you can connect and play with other gamers around the world. With this type of connection, new gaming platforms and types of interactions have emerged, such as Let’s Play. But what does this mean for the gaming industry?

What is Let’s Play?

Let’s Play is a style of videos that gamers make of themselves playing video, computer and mobile games. You can watch these videos on platforms like YouTube and Twitch. There also are different styles of Let’s Play. For example, Rooster Teeth has a whole series devoted to them playing video games badly. Twitch, on the other hand, usually shows off some of the most skilled players you can learn from and admire. Let’s Play videos are easy to watch from your computer at home or while you’re on the go with streaming options for smartphones like the Samsung Galaxy S8 plus. If you pre-ordered the device from T-Mobile, you can get the Gear VR, controller and Oculus bonus content for free. Plus, with VR becoming more popular for smartphones, you may also be able to watch Let’s Play videos on VR headsets in the near future.

It’s Entertaining

Gamers love watching Let’s Play videos because they are a good source of entertainment. There are brands, podcasters and YouTube stars, such as PewDiePie, that put out these videos as part of their media and entertainment series. Many of these people became popular because they are funny, witty or sarcastic.

You also may be interested in these videos because many of the players are truly amazing. This is how Twitch exploded onto the scene. You can learn tips and tricks from these players, or you can just see how professionals play some of your favorite games.

It Encourages New Game Play

One of the main benefits for Let’s Play videos is that it gives you a way to find new games you want to play. Many Let’s Play streamers try to hit a wide variety of games that fall under different genres and styles of game play. For example, they may upload videos for several horror games one week and then focus on fantasy games the next week.

If you’re looking for something new to play, this is a great way to preview games. If you like the look of the video game world or the game-play style, then you’re more likely to feel confident about spending money on the game.

It Could Affect Sales

Many people within the gaming industry are against Let’s Play videos, though. Their argument is that you may get your fill of the game by watching someone else play it, or you may see how the story line plays out and not want to play it yourself. This would then mean that you wouldn’t spend money to buy the game, which affects game developers’ bottom lines. The result in the industry could be that developers produce fewer games.

Let’s Play videos have been around in various forms for some time and don’t look like they’ll be going away any time soon. The gaming industry needs to keep this trend in mind when they’re developing games and find ways to use them to their advantage. In the meantime, enjoy watching your favorite personalities show off their skills (or lack thereof)!


Sara started her writing and editing career in the world of technology and gaming. She has written numerous articles about the tech world and knows more about the cloud than she ever thought she would. She’s an Android enthusiast and is always looking to learn about the next big thing in tech. She is an experienced writer and editor who’s always up for a good Oxford comma debate.

ContributionsDevelopment

How I Get Stuff Done

May 4, 2017 — by Industry Contributions

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By Chris Natsuume, Co-Founder and Creative Director, Boomzap Entertainment

I’m a busy guy. I run a game studio that has made over 45 premium casual games in the last decade. I podcast and livestream. In the last year, I’ve traveled to about 20 different cities, spoke at a major game conference about every other month, and found time to climb Mt. Fuji, go trekking in Nepal for 2 weeks, and a bunch of other cool stuff. All of that while being a father, a husband, and having a quality sit-down dinner with my family almost every night. People ask how I find the time. It’s actually pretty simple. I’ll share.

Chris Natsuume is Co-Founder and Creative Director of Boomzap Entertainment

I work from home. This alone saves me 10-20 hours a week. I am not wasting time commuting and all of my breaks are shorter and more meaningful. Lunch? The kitchen is just 20 feet away. I’m done eating in half an hour and most days I get to share lunch with my wife. Want to take a break and read? The couch is right there. And all of the little stuff that needs to be dealt with every week: dentist’s appointments, paying bills, PTA meetings, etc., I fit that in between work tasks and can build the most efficient schedule for it because I never run into the “but I have to go home to do this” problem – I am already there.

I have a really nice workspace. I spend most of my waking life sitting at a desk working so I made sure that the chair I sit in is a good one. My desk is large enough to let me spread out papers, have room to swing a mouse around, and have a couple of monitors to spread out the digital content I need to be putting together. My space has a door. When the world outside intrudes, the door closes, the headphones go on, and I get stuff done. This, of course, is based on your tolerance for distraction. Some people in our company can tolerate a lot more distraction, and smaller working spaces. Some even prefer to work in cafes. This is something you have to test and see. That being said, most people generally benefit from reducing distractions, ensuring they are comfortable, and minimizing the number of outside influences while they work. Incredibly, working at home, even in a very busy home with children, parents, etc. can’t touch an open-office floor plan for creating distractions and annoyances. When I consider how much of the world is forced to work in brutally open floor plans, surrounded by aggressively distracting coworkers breaking their chain of thought… the mind shudders.

Chris in his workspace

Similarly, I minimize digital distractions. Nothing on my computer makes noise. No application has popup notifications turned on. I take regular short breaks between tasks to check internal company chat groups, Facebook, Reddit, etc., but I never let these programs notify me or pull me away from my current task unless someone specifically summons me by name. Any decent internal chat program will let you set up notifications this way, and it’s critical. Even my phone has the ringer turned off, and it’s in another room. When I am working, that time is mine, and short of some major emergency, I don’t allow interruptions.

I schedule ruthlessly. If you want a meeting with me, it gets scheduled. Want to exercise regularly? Schedule. Time with the family? Schedule. I do “date night” once a week with my wife. That’s on the schedule. I go to guitar lessons with my daughter. That’s on the schedule. Think of your schedule like armor protecting you from the people who want to take time from you. You want to talk to me for 2 hours? Sorry, I only have 30 minutes for you in my schedule. Talk faster. You’d be amazed at how much someone can cram into 10 minutes when you only give them 10 minutes.

I avoid “regular meetings” like the plague. If you schedule a regular meeting, you will likely have to make up things to fill it with. Screw that. Treat meetings as evil necromantic spells: every minute you give to them is sucked from your soul. When they are absolutely necessary, I bring a list of what I want to achieve and I only bring the people who need to be there. It’s rare you really need more than 3 people in a meeting – better to have smaller meetings, write notes, and disperse them to the people who just need the info and aren’t actively contributing to the content. Forget big collaboration meetings. The science is clear: collaboration breeds mediocrity. Divy up the work, let people go do, and save the meetings for figuring out how it all works together and what to do next. This is how creative people thrive.

Treat meetings as evil necromantic spells: every minute you give to them is sucked from your soul.

I hire competent people and let them do their jobs. Nothing is a bigger waste of time than hiring someone to do a thing, and then doing it for them. This is a critical management skill, and it takes an adjustment of the mind to do well. Specifically, you have to change your thinking from “Is this what I wanted?” to “Is this good?” The reason you hire experts is because they are better at things than you are. So assume that they will give you something different, and probably better, than your expectation. Back off, look at it objectively, and if it does the job, pull your ego out of the equation and let it be. If you find that you can’t do that because you don’t trust or believe in the work someone is doing, replace them.

Good enough is good enough. I’ve been called “relentlessly Pareto”. I take that as a compliment. I only polish when it matters. The rest I let be. If you see me chatting with the team, my text is full of typos. They know what I mean. This isn’t getting published. I let it be. Our design documents are loose, rough, and produced fast. Our prototypes are ugly. When I give feedback, I take screenshots and scribble on them with the pen in the Windows Snipping Tool. It’s ugly, but the team gets it. Better they get the info ugly now than pretty tomorrow. If it’s not going in front of a customer, it’s only as pretty as it needs to be to be understood.

Screenshot of upcoming game Last Regiment with feedback from Chris

I don’t do email. Email is where information goes to die. If you are writing emails that require more than a few sentences to notify someone of something, you’re doing it wrong. That information needs to be put in a living document somewhere and shared. If I need to talk, I set up a quick call, we talk, I make notes, post them where they can be easily referenced later (we use Basecamp) and that’s referenced on our chat system (we use HipChat). If you need to say something more than a few sentences, document it, text, or call.

I do one thing completely before I do the next. Half of any serious creative task is just figuring out what you need to do, unpacking the details, and then banging them all together into something. If you are constantly shifting from task to task, you’re constantly redoing all of that preparation work, over and over. Stop that. Pick a thing. Do it. Bang on it till it’s done. Then put it out of your mind and move on. Half-done tasks pull at your attention and energy and make everything else you do more irritating and stressful. Clear your mind of these distractions by doing, completing, and moving on.

Pick a thing. Do it. Bang on it till it’s done. Then put it out of your mind and move on.

Sometimes, all of this breaks down, and I am seriously unproductive. It happens. When it does, I get up and walk away. Take a walk. Go to the gym and swim. Take a bike ride. Read a book. There are no bonus points for the number of hours you spend at a desk. If you find that you’ve been at a desk for 30 minutes or more, and have achieved nothing, step away. Recombobulate. Come back fresh. If you don’t, you’re going to just screw around looking at Facebook or YouTube or doing easy busywork anyway. Once you start down that road, you’re gone for an hour or more. Own that time. Make it yours. Shove something else you want or need to do into it.

I have one last, super specific tip: Every night, my last task is to write down the three things I will do tomorrow. I do this on a piece of scrap paper, and lay it on my keyboard. When I wake up and start in the morning, it’s there. Waiting for me. I don’t check email. I don’t do Facebook. I start with item one on the list and start my day. Until that list is done, my day is not over. When it’s done and my scheduled meetings are complete, I can call the day a success, and move on to stuff that I want to do – be that work related or not. This creates a sense of purpose that starts me every day, completion that helps me feel good at the end of the day, and excitement for what I am going to do tomorrow.

That’s largely it. Of course, I don’t keep to these rules 100%. Some days I keep closer to my regimen than others. But I have found that the closer that I keep to this life plan, the happier I am, the more I get done, and the better I feel about myself. Hope it helps.

ContributionsDevelopmentIndie

Mushroom Wars 2: Concept to Release

May 3, 2017 — by Industry Contributions

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We are proud to introduce our best mobile game finalist Mushroom Wars 2 made by Zillion Whales! As a winner at the GTP Indie Cup event, Zillion Whales has been given the opportunity to compete at Indie Prize Singapore at Casual Connect Asia 2017. The winter season 2017 of GTP Indie Cup has received more submissions than ever. Our jury board was excited about growing professional level of games from CIS indie developers and Mushroom Wars just proved this growth.

This year at GTP, we continue gathering best talents at our event and the summer season will be more helpful for developers not only by a variety of nominations and prizes but also with new Critic’s Choice award from CIS game press critics and journalists. We hope this story about our finalist will encourage you to take a part in the next Cup.


By Ksenia Shneyveys,  Marketing Communications Manager at Zillion Whales

Mushroom Wars 2 is the newest game of a popular RTS series with a rich history.
Back in 2009, inspired by good old Galcon, the original Mushroom Wars was released. We polished this gameplay mechanics to a luster, added signature fungal setting, introduced morale notion and different types of buildings for greater depth.

Mushroom Wars 2 preserved the features that made Mushroom Wars so enjoyable and supplemented them with MOBA elements such as hero characters with unique sets of skills and co-op 2 vs 2 mode. The game is out on iOS and Apple TV. It is coming to Android, Steam, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One next year.

ContributionsDevelopmentIndie

Downward: A Journey into the Post-Apocalyptic Medieval Past

May 1, 2017 — by Industry Contributions

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Codemotion is one of the biggest tech conferences for software developers in Europe with an international network of 40,000 developers and 1,500 speakers. It offers a unique opportunity to all visitors to gather new inspirations, energy, and knowledge in combination with the chance to network and chat with fellow visitors passionate about coding. Last year, Codemotion launched new Game(), a new brand dedicated to Game Development, which aims to become a reference point in Italy and Europe, and to give to the GameDev movement all the importance it deserves.

Codemotion is partnered with Indie Prize. We would like to introduce the winner at Codemotion Rome 2017: Caracal for their game Downward. As the winner, Caracal has the opportunity to attend and compete at Indie Prize Singapore at Casual Connect Asia 2017. The following is a first-hand article written by Alex Angelini, one of the founders of Caracal, about this three man team and tips for indie development.


By Alex Angelini, One of the Founders of Caracal Games Studio

Today we are going to share with you some information about our team Caracal Games Studio and our video game Downward, a first-person open-world parkour adventure set in the medieval ruins of a post-apocalyptic world. In the game, you must seek out the mysterious artifacts that could have a role in explaining a cataclysmic environmental event that brought you to the “End of the Earth”, embarking on a daunting journey through beautiful but treacherous terrains of past civilizations.

ContributionsIndiePostmortem

Rangi: the Making of Funsoft’s VR Debut Title

April 27, 2017 — by Industry Contributions

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Rangi is a game developed by Funsoft. This studio recently won Digital Games Conference in Dubai (DGC). The DGC is an Indie Prize nomination partner. As winner, Funsoft has the opportunity to compete at Indie Prize Seattle at Casual Connect USA 2017. The following is a postmortem of Rangi and the journey in to VR behind it.

By Hatim Bensaid, CEO and Founder of Funsoft

Funsoft is based in Casablanca, one of the largest cities in Africa bordering Morocco’s Atlantic Ocean coast. The team is composed of several ex-Ubisoft employees who have contributed to titles such as Rayman Legends, Rayman Origins, Prince of Persia, Raving Rabbids, and CSI Hidden Crime.

It all started when Funsoft’s current creative director prototyped a VR demo during his spare time with a couple of colleagues. They presented the idea to the studio. The reaction was good, and so the adventure began. Initially intended to be a small game, the enthusiasm around it gradually grew with time, this urged to expand the ambitions and the team on the project, which led to a memorable journey.

ContributionsIndustry

5 Years of Social Monopoly: The Games That Excel Online

April 20, 2017 — by Industry Contributions

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By Peter Williams, Journalist

Online gaming has exploded in popularity over the last decade, thanks in no small part to improving technology and the drive to be more social online. While traditional gambling games and online casinos have long since thrived in the online environment, the advent of social gaming, particularly on social networks, has sent the market for this type of entertainment skywards.

One of the most popular games of all time, as far as traditional board games are concerned, is Monopoly. The popular Monopoly has unsurprisingly transitioned into the online sphere, and players login in their legions daily to play a variety of different Monopoly and Monopoly-themed games. Social Monopoly first hit Facebook back in 2011, and has become one of the most popular social games of its genre.

ContributionsDevelopment

A “Real” How-to for Unreal Engine

April 12, 2017 — by Industry Contributions

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By: Chris Murphy, Unreal Engine Evangelist and Director of Pub Games

Darkness surrounds you, black as night for what seems like light years away. You’ve seen 16 sunrises and sunsets in the past 24-hours. Suddenly, a lightning flash strikes through the quiet. Your head whips around, searching for more under the spotlight. The flash is reflecting off the shiny solar arrays of the space station, and back to the camera. The gravity (and the lack thereof) of the moment hits you: you’re in a 460-ton platform hurtling toward Earth at about 17,150 miles per hour, and you’re a long way from home….or are you?

Virtual Reality

To prepare and train their astronauts for the surreal experience of living on the International Space Station (ISS), NASA uses a perfect replica of ISS developed in Unreal Engine. The fabricated, three-dimensional environment incorporates many of the tasks and challenges that astronauts will face while in the $150-billion ISS, orbiting 240 miles above Earth. This training is critical to their success and ability to explore space.

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