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Creating Casual Games for Windows 8

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Creating Casual Games for Windows 8

This presentation was broken into two parts. The first part covers various approaches to creating games on mobile platforms with some details specific to Windows 8. The second part covers strategies for creating successful mobile games including promotion and monetization strategies. While this talk was primarily to a Windows 8 developer audience, the talk was largely cross-platform focused, and parts of the second half on mobile strategy can apply to both apps as well as games.

This presentation was broken into two parts. The first part covers various approaches to creating games on mobile platforms with some details specific to Windows 8. The second part covers strategies for creating successful mobile games including promotion and monetization strategies. While this talk was primarily to a Windows 8 developer audience, the talk was largely cross-platform focused, and parts of the second half on mobile strategy can apply to both apps as well as games.

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Creating Casual Games for Windows 8

  1. 1. Presented by Roger Peters Atlanta Windows Apps Meetup February 4th, 2013
  2. 2. Roger Peters (@SmartyP) Independent Mobile Developer AllMobileEverything.com SmartyPantsCoding.com SmartyP.net
  3. 3. You can create games the same way you create apps today. Minesweeper Solitaire Alpha Jax
  4. 4. • XAML, C#, VB, etc. • Visual Studio / Expression Blend • HTML5, EaselJS, jQuery, etc.
  5. 5. More examples Blackjack Metro Krashlander
  6. 6. Pros • Utilize existing app dev knowledge • Leverage platform tools and capabilities (databinding, animation systems, etc.) • Apply learnings from game dev back towards app development Cons • Platform specific investments • Rendering capabilities and limitations (3D rendering, frame rate, shaders) • Performance
  7. 7. Code Share • Game resources and relative parsers (level definitions, image and sound assets) • POCO types, constants, and interfaces • Game logic (via Mono) Platform specific code investment • All view related layouts and definitions (ex: XAML, XIB, XML layouts) • Code-behind layer powering the device- specific view
  8. 8. Create any game you want. Master the art of game creation and coding. I MAED A GAM3 W1TH Z0MBIES 1N IT!!!1 (Xbox Live Arcade)
  9. 9. • Update() / Draw() loop • Allocate all memory up front • Utilize sprite sheets for animation • Factor in elapsed time in game logic ex: move 200px per second: pos_x = pos_x + 200 * Elapsed.Seconds
  10. 10. C++ & DirectX • Cocos2d-x • Box2D • etc. MonoGame [XNA] • C#, VB, etc. • Box2D.XNA • Farseer Physics Engine
  11. 11. Fez, Xbox Live Arcade (XNA)
  12. 12. Meat Boy, Xbox Live Arcade
  13. 13. Pros • Built on basic game concept (update/draw loop) • Great for education • Performance • Large community of platforms and resources (Cocos2d-x, Box2d, Farseer, etc.) • Cross-platform support • Cost Cons • Very limited and low level operations • No integrated physics engine, editors, etc. • Do most things ‘by hand’
  14. 14. Invest in tools that put creating blockbuster titles within reach. Zombieland USA 2 Bad Piggies
  15. 15. Unity
  16. 16. Game Engines • Unity* (C#) • Rapid 2D (C++, uses Box2D) • Game Salad * Coming soon, part of Unity 4.x release timeframe
  17. 17. Pros • Speed of game creation • Performance and optimization • Cross-platform support • Built in physics and animation systems • Mostly abstracted from platform • Very extensible Cons • Licensing costs • Learning curve • Dependent on cross-platform support of engine
  18. 18. • Games which are monetizing the best are using a ‘freemium’ model. Users are cheap, don’t be stingy. • Industry leaders focus on RPI (return-per- install), ASO (app-store-optimization), and large scale user acquisition. • Cross-platform games have a larger potential user base, have their word-of- mouth and social marketing go further, and are less affected by market shifts.
  19. 19. “Success is Where Preparation Meets Opportunity” -Henry Hartman
  20. 20. “Flashlight” earns $1400+/day today on iOS – not because it was revolutionary, but because it was established in the market before it was oversaturated.
  21. 21. Design • Never design for fixed screen sizes • Design for a higher resolution than necessary • Create assets in vector formats when possible (most important for 2D games) • Invest time in your marketplace assets • Don’t reinvent the wheel (utilize Unity Store, and other asset libraries)
  22. 22. Monetization • Get familiar with in app purchases (IAP) • Consumables • Unlockables • Get familiar with IAP methods • Virtual currency • Virtual items • Reward users • Return visits • Leaving reviews • Sharing with friends
  23. 23. Monetization (continued) • Sell, sell, sell • Ads (banner, full-screen interstitial) • Via in-app stores, pause screens, and popups General • Must go-wide for ‘freemium’ to work • Paid apps account for only 10% of downloads • Build an app network for cross-promotion and multiple revenue streams • Don’t annoy your users (limit ad frequency, etc.) • Spend time analyzing marketplace top charts • Read other games’ post-mortems
  24. 24. Jumpers Runners Task-based games
  25. 25. Currently #2 in all free games What’s the Word?
  26. 26. To experiment with game ideas? • Use the practical approach – no big investment, and you get to see your game idea sooner To start a new hobby? To learn something new? Educational purposes? • Use the Hobbyist approach or hardcore approach – learn traditional game coding techniques, and how today’s best game shops create their games To make money? • Building the game is secondary – understanding how to monetize is tantamount. Consider outsourcing, or leveraging existing game engines.
  27. 27. Roger Peters (@SmartyP) Independent Mobile Developer AllMobileEverything.com SmartyPantsCoding.com SmartyP.net

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