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HOW TO CREATE A GREAT MOBILE GAME

Understanding what mobile gamers want.
William Volk
CCO, PlayScreen, LLC

Email: bvolk@...
My background
Started out as a game designer and
programmer. Moved to
management, business
development and then marketing....
My background
Have worked in mobile phone
games since 2001. Co-design of
several mobile games.

Sunday, October 13, 13
Founded in 2010.
Has launched licensed Real Money
games in the UK currently in App
Store
Games are approved by the United
...
How we got here.
✤

Evolution of games (1982 vs 2012)

Sunday, October 13, 13
How we got here.
✤

Computer Screens & Keyboards to Touch Interfaces

Sunday, October 13, 13
Evolution of Mobile
Feature Phones to Smart Phones

Sunday, October 13, 13
How we got here.

The App Store Changed
Everything.
No barrier to entry resulted
in millions of apps.

Sunday, October 13,...
The erosion of value

The game industry used to be a high value market.
Sunday, October 13, 13
The erosion of value

Now we ship megabytes and hope 3% will pay us a few pennies a day.
Sunday, October 13, 13
Evolution of Mobile
No barriers to entry create an extraordinary competitive market

785 Carts
Sunday, October 13, 13

1,2...
Seize The Minute

Play mobile games everywhere, may have a minute or less....

Sunday, October 13, 13
Mobile is challenging

Connectivity is not guaranteed

Sunday, October 13, 13
Design

A complete visualization and description of the product, Don’t
ASSUME anything.

Sunday, October 13, 13
The Design Aesthetic

What are the elements that make a
game great?

Sunday, October 13, 13
The Game Mechanic

A set of rules intended to produce
a game or gameplay

Sunday, October 13, 13
The Game Mechanic

Golf: Hit a ball and reach a
designated spot

Sunday, October 13, 13
The Game Mechanic

Poker: Produce certain numerical
or categorical card combinations

Sunday, October 13, 13
The Game Mechanic

Game Mechanic is not theme

Sunday, October 13, 13
Backstory and theme
Creates a context for the game
Examples:
Pigs steal eggs, Birds angry
Bird dreams of flying
Casino exam...
User Interface principles

Clear, consistent interfaces that are apparent and recognizable to users
Sunday, October 13, 13
User Interface principles

Make simple, common tasks easy, communicating clearly to the user
Sunday, October 13, 13
User Interface principles

All needed options and materials for a given task are visible
Sunday, October 13, 13
User Interface principles

Users informed of actions, changes of state and condition
Sunday, October 13, 13
User Interface principles

Flexible and tolerant, reducing pain of mistakes and misuse
Sunday, October 13, 13
User Interface principles

Reuse components and behaviors, be consistent
Sunday, October 13, 13
That Elusive ‘iPhone-ness’

More than just the touch
interface, a ‘look,’ ‘feel’ and
‘style.’
Hard to describe, but
player...
What Users Want
Simplicity Wins - Case Studies
Draw Something
Tiny Wings
Oregon Lottery

Sunday, October 13, 13
Draw Something

Huge viral success. 5 weeks after its
launch, game was downloaded 20
million times. Company was sold to
Zy...
Draw Something

OMGPOP out of cash = far less features
than competitive titles (Charadium,
Depict)
A designer knows he has...
Draw Something
Players showed off their drawings on social networks, with NO
automatic feature for this functionality.

Su...
Draw Something
Zynga acquired it and then ...
“Draw Something already smartly monetized beyond its $0.99 price by
letting ...
Tiny Wings

A simple one button game, with a real iPhone ‘feel’. A delightful
theme and backstory. With no marketing spend...
Oregon Lottery

A Lottery Game (machines) using Slots, Video Poker themes. Sadly, I
could not find a way of playing the slo...
Decisions, decisions

Hardware Platform Choices
HTML or Native
It’s a WRAP, the hybrid approach to building apps
Gaming an...
Lottery and Real Money Games

Real Money transactions create specific requirements.
Sunday, October 13, 13
Lottery and Real Money Games

Client/Server architecture, audit trails and other requirements
Sunday, October 13, 13
in conclusion

Mobile Gamers have high expectations that must be addressed.
Lottery and Real Money Casino games have uniqu...
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Euro Lottery Games Workshop - Creating a Great Mobile Game

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Transcript of "Euro Lottery Games Workshop - Creating a Great Mobile Game"

  1. 1. HOW TO CREATE A GREAT MOBILE GAME Understanding what mobile gamers want. William Volk CCO, PlayScreen, LLC Email: bvolk@playscreen.com Twitter: William_Volk Sunday, October 13, 13
  2. 2. My background Started out as a game designer and programmer. Moved to management, business development and then marketing. Sunday, October 13, 13
  3. 3. My background Have worked in mobile phone games since 2001. Co-design of several mobile games. Sunday, October 13, 13
  4. 4. Founded in 2010. Has launched licensed Real Money games in the UK currently in App Store Games are approved by the United Kingdom Gambling Commission and Apple. Sunday, October 13, 13
  5. 5. How we got here. ✤ Evolution of games (1982 vs 2012) Sunday, October 13, 13
  6. 6. How we got here. ✤ Computer Screens & Keyboards to Touch Interfaces Sunday, October 13, 13
  7. 7. Evolution of Mobile Feature Phones to Smart Phones Sunday, October 13, 13
  8. 8. How we got here. The App Store Changed Everything. No barrier to entry resulted in millions of apps. Sunday, October 13, 13
  9. 9. The erosion of value The game industry used to be a high value market. Sunday, October 13, 13
  10. 10. The erosion of value Now we ship megabytes and hope 3% will pay us a few pennies a day. Sunday, October 13, 13
  11. 11. Evolution of Mobile No barriers to entry create an extraordinary competitive market 785 Carts Sunday, October 13, 13 1,257,119 Apps
  12. 12. Seize The Minute Play mobile games everywhere, may have a minute or less.... Sunday, October 13, 13
  13. 13. Mobile is challenging Connectivity is not guaranteed Sunday, October 13, 13
  14. 14. Design A complete visualization and description of the product, Don’t ASSUME anything. Sunday, October 13, 13
  15. 15. The Design Aesthetic What are the elements that make a game great? Sunday, October 13, 13
  16. 16. The Game Mechanic A set of rules intended to produce a game or gameplay Sunday, October 13, 13
  17. 17. The Game Mechanic Golf: Hit a ball and reach a designated spot Sunday, October 13, 13
  18. 18. The Game Mechanic Poker: Produce certain numerical or categorical card combinations Sunday, October 13, 13
  19. 19. The Game Mechanic Game Mechanic is not theme Sunday, October 13, 13
  20. 20. Backstory and theme Creates a context for the game Examples: Pigs steal eggs, Birds angry Bird dreams of flying Casino examples of themes: Slots games, Scratchers, Video Poker. Sunday, October 13, 13
  21. 21. User Interface principles Clear, consistent interfaces that are apparent and recognizable to users Sunday, October 13, 13
  22. 22. User Interface principles Make simple, common tasks easy, communicating clearly to the user Sunday, October 13, 13
  23. 23. User Interface principles All needed options and materials for a given task are visible Sunday, October 13, 13
  24. 24. User Interface principles Users informed of actions, changes of state and condition Sunday, October 13, 13
  25. 25. User Interface principles Flexible and tolerant, reducing pain of mistakes and misuse Sunday, October 13, 13
  26. 26. User Interface principles Reuse components and behaviors, be consistent Sunday, October 13, 13
  27. 27. That Elusive ‘iPhone-ness’ More than just the touch interface, a ‘look,’ ‘feel’ and ‘style.’ Hard to describe, but players know it when they see it. Sunday, October 13, 13
  28. 28. What Users Want Simplicity Wins - Case Studies Draw Something Tiny Wings Oregon Lottery Sunday, October 13, 13
  29. 29. Draw Something Huge viral success. 5 weeks after its launch, game was downloaded 20 million times. Company was sold to Zynga for $180m Sunday, October 13, 13
  30. 30. Draw Something OMGPOP out of cash = far less features than competitive titles (Charadium, Depict) A designer knows he has achieved perfection not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away. - Antoine de Saint-Exupery Sunday, October 13, 13
  31. 31. Draw Something Players showed off their drawings on social networks, with NO automatic feature for this functionality. Sunday, October 13, 13
  32. 32. Draw Something Zynga acquired it and then ... “Draw Something already smartly monetized beyond its $0.99 price by letting players pay to replace words or make guessing easier. Forcing players to also purchase colors feels excessive and engenders unnecessary negativity towards the entire experience.” “The never-ending structure that made Draw Something brilliant to begin with also lead to the app's downfall. With no graceful end point, it is easy for your piled-up drawings to begin to feel more like an obligation, rather than a pile of fun to dig into. Especially if the pile is full of repeat words.” Lesson: Engage Users, Learn and Act. Sunday, October 13, 13
  33. 33. Tiny Wings A simple one button game, with a real iPhone ‘feel’. A delightful theme and backstory. With no marketing spend, an instant hit ... 6.5m paid sales. Sunday, October 13, 13
  34. 34. Oregon Lottery A Lottery Game (machines) using Slots, Video Poker themes. Sadly, I could not find a way of playing the slots game. Needs massive improvement of user interface Sunday, October 13, 13
  35. 35. Decisions, decisions Hardware Platform Choices HTML or Native It’s a WRAP, the hybrid approach to building apps Gaming and Lottery App specific requirements Sunday, October 13, 13
  36. 36. Lottery and Real Money Games Real Money transactions create specific requirements. Sunday, October 13, 13
  37. 37. Lottery and Real Money Games Client/Server architecture, audit trails and other requirements Sunday, October 13, 13
  38. 38. in conclusion Mobile Gamers have high expectations that must be addressed. Lottery and Real Money Casino games have unique requirements. Real innovation will create a boom in mobile lottery games. Sunday, October 13, 13
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