Why do some games turn into blockbusters and some not? Well, here is a treat for all fellow game designers that are struggling to build and launch games. Jens Begemann from Wooga and Tommy Palm from King.com shared their views on what works for them and of the gaming future at the Casual Connect conference in Hamburg.
Make sure to build a game for a specific game controller
The evolution of games is tightly integrated with the type of device the game is played on. Games like Mario Bros in the 80’s are great to play with a game pad controller, but new controllers have emerged since then which requires a different mindset. We all remember the lightgun used in Duck Hunt, the introduction of keyboard games like the Kings Quest and the revolution of the point and click adventures that came with the computer mouse.
The latest addition is of course the touch devices that are bringing a new genre of games where we are closer to the game than ever before. Make sure you build a game that support this behavior and does not try to mimic some kind of invisible virtual game pad controller, Begemann explains.
How to build for touch?
Use swipe, zoom and multi touch gestures and the accelerometer. Temple run is a great example of this. Also recognize the limitations of touch screens. Your fingers are not invisible for example and you can’t support anything similar to “mouse over”. Also remember that fingers are clumsy and it’s hard to design a game with tactile feedback.
Tablets will be more cutting edge than PC’s
We replace our tablets and our phones more often than we buy a new PC. New devices mean new capabilities that will eventually give PC gaming quite a match according to Begemann.
Adopt games for new Platforms
King.com has kind of a different approach than Wooga and adapts games for different platforms as they grow. They have tons of games that are being deployed on the King.com website and their success data is closely monitored. When a game catches on it gets adopted for Facebook and some even to mobile platforms according to Tommy Palm. There is a clear process for driving a game from the web to Facebook and other platforms. According to Palm you need 150 000 downloads per day to get in the top list of games in the US Appstore so you better bet on the right horse.
Build loyalty through Facebook
King.com has more loyal players if they connect to Facebook than if they don’t. Why? Because every game is more fun to play with your friends. It works really well to promote your ios game in your Facebook game too, according to Palm.
Candy crush Saga is localized for 14 different markets. It’s crucial to getting the spread you need for your game and it’s a great revenue driver.
There you go. Go build an awesome game!