Postmortem:
Crafting Your Success in
World Building Games
Sebastien BORGET
COO / Co-Founder at
25 Employees
San Francisco / Buenos Aires
4 co-founders
All french 
Mobile Game Studio Founded in April 2011
Who are we?
...
World Building Games?
The World Builder game category begins in 2010 with Minecraft – a type of game
where players create ...
Our Most Popular Title
The Sandbox is a world-builder simulation game
with touch controls. Craft amazing worlds, create
pi...
Top World Builder Games
Almost only Premium titles, with few exceptions
Some Numbers
Minecraft:
● 7th in App Store Top Grossing during all year 2013
● 33M copies have been sold across all platfo...
Humans Element
Launch on
Google Play
1 Year Anniversary
50,000 Fans on Facebook
Zombies Element
100,000 Fans
Robots Elemen...
What can I share with you?
Simple Facts
- Marketing Team =
• 1 Community Manager
• Myself (not even full-time)
- Average O...
Let’s Get Started!
Multiple Strategies
How-To Craft your Success to the Top!
- Understanding Target Audience
- Community Management
- User-Ge...
The Toolbox (SDKs)
Analytics
Social Media
User Acquisition Tracking
Cross-Promotion
or
or
Going Further
(optional)
or
Vira...
Who are my players?
Geeks and Hardcore players of course!
Still sure about that?
Results of a study conducted on 4,800 Minecraft players:
Over 60% are <= 24
90% Male
Food for thought?
How do I adapt
to my core
audience?
Know your Users Better!
What other (similar) games do they play at?
What are the Demographics of your fan base?
Community Management
Community Management
- Facebook Page with regular updates (banners,
announcements, posts etc.) – 400,000 FANS
- Twitter Fe...
Facebook Page
Be FUN and ORIGINAL!
Facebook Page
Reward players regularly with FREE
contents
Describe the new features…
Make sure players try them!
Ask playe...
Facebook Page
More Tips, courtesy of Facebook 
Fans Fans Fans
It will be Party Time!
(200% guaranteed)
User-Generated Contents
Turn your players into your evangelists!
Let your players take screenshots, brag about their score...
Cross Promotion
Direct Cross-Promotion with other games allows you to:
- Free exchange with other developers
- Ability to ...
Now, it’s time to make friends 
The beginning of a long journey…
App Updates
Updating keep your players engaged.
An app which has not been updated over the last 3 months looks like dead!
App Updates
New Contents
New Features
Bug Fixes
Marketing Features
Various SDKs
Check your priorities but don’t forget:
An...
Multi-Platforms Support
You need to get where the players are 
The more platforms you can be available onto, the better!
for today 
Do you have any questions?
It’s never too late for asking!
Thank you!
Sébastien Borget
seb@pixowl.com
skype: borgetsebastien
www.pixowl.com
Thank you!
http://www.thesandboxgame.com/publishing
We want to share our success and help indie developers!
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GDC 2014 - The Sandbox Postmortem - Crafting your Success in World-Building Games - by Pixowl

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The slides from the talk from Sebastien BORGET (COO & Co-Founder at Pixowl games studio www.pixowl.com) on
The Sandbox Postmortem - Crafting your Success in World-Building Games

Download the game = http://www.thesandboxgame.com/download

Launched in 2012, The Sandbox is a 2D world crafting game with touch controls and access to over 150+ physics elements that received two nominations by Apple in Best Games of 2012 and 2013. With 8.5 million players, 325,000 Facebook fans and over 500,000 creations shared online, the game is considered a reference among "Minecraft-like" titles on mobile. In this session, Sebastien will review the market for world building games on smartphones and cover postmortem topics on his studio's title. This includes how he successfully operated a community-oriented strategy, the importance of cross-platform, the best practices to identify a target audience (and how wrong he was on the first assumption), how he ran users acquisition with a budget of under $10,000 per month, how he learned to focus on key metrics despite limited resources, time and money, and what mistakes he made that should be avoided.

Takeaway
Attendees will gain an understanding of the world building games market on smartphones and tablets: the established leaders, the competition, the market size and the revenues potential - with concrete numbers shared. They will learn the steps necessary to build and maintain a successful virtual worlds crafting game with concrete examples and tips applied to The Sandbox. This will include how to manage a community, grow it and engage with it with social tools, how to remain a creative indie team on the game design process while involving your community, how to acquire users and track their engagement and monetization while still focusing on growing organically, how to maintain a short cycle schedule of updates even when you're an indie team, and how that impacts the growth performance of your game.

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GDC 2014 - The Sandbox Postmortem - Crafting your Success in World-Building Games - by Pixowl

  1. 1. Postmortem: Crafting Your Success in World Building Games Sebastien BORGET COO / Co-Founder at
  2. 2. 25 Employees San Francisco / Buenos Aires 4 co-founders All french  Mobile Game Studio Founded in April 2011 Who are we? 4 Games Released 2 scheduled for 2014 10 Millions Players
  3. 3. World Building Games? The World Builder game category begins in 2010 with Minecraft – a type of game where players create and share their own virtual worlds in pixels. Market Size = 200M players - $500M USD revenues in 2013
  4. 4. Our Most Popular Title The Sandbox is a world-builder simulation game with touch controls. Craft amazing worlds, create pixel art, chiptune music, contraptions, electric circuits or just play with physics. • 10 million downloads • 300,000 players everyday • 550,000 Worlds shared • 400,000 Facebook fans
  5. 5. Top World Builder Games Almost only Premium titles, with few exceptions
  6. 6. Some Numbers Minecraft: ● 7th in App Store Top Grossing during all year 2013 ● 33M copies have been sold across all platforms ● iOS version generated $1M USD on Dec. 25th 2013 Some Stats in US only App Store (mid-Feb 2014 estimates by ThinkGaming) App Name Daily Installs Top Grossing Rank Daily Revenue Minecraft Pocket Edition 21,460 #19 $48,963 Survivalcraft 2,857 #109 $9,875 Terraria 1,677 #121 $8,989 The Sandbox 13,155 #223 $3,829 Eden World Builder 1,497 #223 N/A Junk Jack X 487 #282 $1,701 The Blockheads 12,865 N/A N/A
  7. 7. Humans Element Launch on Google Play 1 Year Anniversary 50,000 Fans on Facebook Zombies Element 100,000 Fans Robots Element 200,000 Fans Alien Life Elements 250,000 Fans > 2M > 4M > 5M > 6M > 7M > 8M Retro Gaming Elements 300,000 Fans 400,000 Fans > 9M
  8. 8. What can I share with you? Simple Facts - Marketing Team = • 1 Community Manager • Myself (not even full-time) - Average Organic to Paid Users ratio = 95% - Monthly Marketing Budget = $10K USD max - Indies don’t have money, but creativity and time!
  9. 9. Let’s Get Started!
  10. 10. Multiple Strategies How-To Craft your Success to the Top! - Understanding Target Audience - Community Management - User-Generated Contents - Cross Promotions - App Updates - Multi-Platforms Support And many more! (that it would need a full day to talk about ) - PR - Core Virality (K-Factor) - Word of Mouth - Paid User Acquisition - Search Engine Optimization (ASO) - Apple/Google Featurings - Etc.
  11. 11. The Toolbox (SDKs) Analytics Social Media User Acquisition Tracking Cross-Promotion or or Going Further (optional) or Virality
  12. 12. Who are my players? Geeks and Hardcore players of course!
  13. 13. Still sure about that? Results of a study conducted on 4,800 Minecraft players: Over 60% are <= 24 90% Male
  14. 14. Food for thought? How do I adapt to my core audience?
  15. 15. Know your Users Better! What other (similar) games do they play at? What are the Demographics of your fan base?
  16. 16. Community Management
  17. 17. Community Management - Facebook Page with regular updates (banners, announcements, posts etc.) – 400,000 FANS - Twitter Feed with fun facts - Official Game Forum to answer questions: http://forum.thesandboxgame.com - Organize regular Contests with Prizes (real or in- game) - YouTube Channel: 160 videos – 1.6M views in total! http://www.youtube.com/user/TheSandboxGame/ - Feature the TOP of your players’ creations (Daily screenshot on FB / TW + Weekly Best Of Video on YouTube) - Answer Support Emails!
  18. 18. Facebook Page Be FUN and ORIGINAL!
  19. 19. Facebook Page Reward players regularly with FREE contents Describe the new features… Make sure players try them! Ask players what they want 
  20. 20. Facebook Page More Tips, courtesy of Facebook 
  21. 21. Fans Fans Fans It will be Party Time! (200% guaranteed)
  22. 22. User-Generated Contents Turn your players into your evangelists! Let your players take screenshots, brag about their scores or achievements on all social networks! IT WORKS EVEN BETTER WITH VIDEO REPLAYS! 2 solutions to consider: or
  23. 23. Cross Promotion Direct Cross-Promotion with other games allows you to: - Free exchange with other developers - Ability to choose where your game is promoted - Control the price you pay for new players Is it too good to be true?
  24. 24. Now, it’s time to make friends 
  25. 25. The beginning of a long journey…
  26. 26. App Updates Updating keep your players engaged. An app which has not been updated over the last 3 months looks like dead!
  27. 27. App Updates New Contents New Features Bug Fixes Marketing Features Various SDKs Check your priorities but don’t forget: Any update should bring value to your players!
  28. 28. Multi-Platforms Support You need to get where the players are  The more platforms you can be available onto, the better!
  29. 29. for today 
  30. 30. Do you have any questions? It’s never too late for asking!
  31. 31. Thank you! Sébastien Borget seb@pixowl.com skype: borgetsebastien www.pixowl.com
  32. 32. Thank you! http://www.thesandboxgame.com/publishing We want to share our success and help indie developers!

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