Author profile

Sarah Impey

Content Creator at GameAnalytics
10 min read
#Interviews

How to build successful VR games as a solo developer

Building video games has never been a simple task. You can have a brilliant idea for a game, but without the right skills, tools and resources, it can be near-impossible to tackle by yourself. Especially if we consider something as complicated and new as virtual reality. Not that this stopped Sergio Hidalgo. Being a one-man studio, Sergio managed to produce, release, and publish two successful VR titles. His first title, Dreadhalls, sold up to 250,000 units worldwide, and hit over 60,000 concurrent viewers on Twitch. (For comparison, Team Fortress 2’s highest was around 80,000.) While Cosmodread has had approximately 25,000 players on Steam alone. So to get his advice and learn his secrets, we sat down to hear his story and journey as a solo-game developer. Here’s what he had to say. 1. You don’t have to have it all...
Splitting Point cover image
6 min read
#Interviews

Splitting Point: how Field Trip Z got 45M players on Roblox this year

We recently spoke with Janzen Madsen, founder at Splitting Point Studios, to get his perspective on how to develop a hit on Roblox. Splitting Point has created multiple experiences, including Field Trip Z which this year alone saw more than 45M unique players. Janzen is intimately familiar with what makes a Roblox experience a success. Roblox is an absolutely massive platform, with over 32 million experiences and 52 million active users. But making a game there is unlike making a game anywhere else. It’s much faster paced, the audience is much younger, and it’s much more tricky to design. The typical principles you might expect are quite different. 1. Don’t make it like a mobile game “Often, developers coming from the mobile gaming industry will assume that they can replicate their success by rebuilding their games on Roblox. This just...
Gamification in apps cover
7 min read
#Commentary

Top gamification examples in mobile apps

We learn by playing. When we enter the world, we’re full of curiosity, and play has always been at the centre of how we satisfy that curiosity. Sadly, it’s beaten out of us when we go to school, and taking tests suddenly becomes a chore. But it doesn’t have to be. It’s possible to learn while having fun. In fact, that’s exactly what some apps are doing. And it’s working. Games are the most popular genre on the app store. They’re masters in the art of keeping users engaged and happy. So how can we learn from them? What is gamification? You’ve probably heard the term ‘gamification’ before. But if you haven’t, it’s the act of taking gaming elements and mechanics and applying them to your non-gaming app. Often to ramp up retention and engagement. And it works. If we...
Redcliffe Games cover image
6 min read
#Interviews

Reaching a +40M playerbase: advice from Trihex Studios

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last few years, you’ve probably heard of Roblox. It’s a gaming platform with over 30 million games – which they call experiences – 52 million daily active users (DAU) and 12 million creators at the time of writing. One of the keys to its success is that it makes it exceptionally easy to create and release games on its platform. We spoke with Tae Kim and Eric Park, co-founders of Trihex Studios and the minds behind Redcliff City – one of the most popular titles on Roblox which has, this year alone, amassed a community of more than 40 million unique players. During our conversation, we asked them what mobile developers could learn from Roblox and how they could make the move over to the platform. Here’s their advice. First up,...
Six examples of hybrid casual games
7 min read
#Spotlights

6 games that successfully layer in meta mechanics

As we’ve mentioned before, the hyper-casual market is being forced to change. With more competition, higher CPIs and tightening margins, developers need to increase their retention if they’re going to continue making money, now more than ever. And to do that, they must layer more mechanics and elements into their games. We’ve explored how and why developers can – and should – shift from hyper-casual to hybrid-casual. But if you’re still struggling to see how that might be possible, let’s look at a few games that have used meta mechanics to make their game more engaging. Here are six games that have a short, simple and satisfying core loop, but have layered in meta features to increase their retention. Let’s dive in. 1. Archero: How to add progression systems well Developed by Habby, released 24th March 2019. This was one...
6 min read
#Commentary

Developers Assemble – How to Find and Hire a Game Dev Team

Think of your potential team like the Avengers, but with less spandex (although that’s completely up to you). You need a mix of specific skills and people who get on well as you’re likely to be working together very closely, for some time. And you’re also going to be paying them, so you need to make sure they understand your vision and how you want to deliver it. Don’t worry, help is at hand – here’s our advice on how to find the very best game development superheroes. Before you start recruiting The first thing you’ll need to think about is the type of game you’re building. Ask yourself the following four questions: 1. What technology does my game need? This will give you an idea of what you need to look for when it comes to technical expertise in...
7 min read
#Commentary

Access All Areas: How to Make Your Game More Accessible

As developers, accessibility is often one of the last things we think about – that’s if we think about it at all. Which is a shame, because we could be alienating a huge group of players. The good news is that making a mobile game more accessible really isn’t difficult. Hang on – what’s accessibility? Before we get into the details, let’s talk about what accessibility actually means for developers. It’s about designing apps that all people can easily use, regardless of whether or not they have a disability. So that’s things like including subtitles for the deaf or hard of hearing, or adding options for people who are visually or cognitively impaired (among other things). Simple, right? And when you look at it like this, it’s a bit of a no-brainer. Why wouldn’t you want the widest range of people...
3 min read
#Commentary

New Report by Adjust and Facebook Reveals Opportunities for Developers

This month, Adjust has teamed up with Facebook to analyze the mobile app market and produce The Mobile App Growth Report. The report digs into the top trends across the industry, focusing on where there has been the most growth, and highlighting trends in emerging markets. And it looks like good news for game developers. Games keep going strong Growing like skeletons out of a mob spawner, games are the top-ranking industry this year. It looks like the surge of activity we’ve seen the last few years is showing no sign of slowing down and that there are more and more people turning to games for entertainment. Hyper-casual games push the industry forward It’s worth noting that Adjust believes that a big part of this growth is due to the hyper-casual genre, which makes sense. We’ve seen that over lockdown...
5 min read
#Commentary

The Metrics Behind Successful Tower Defense Games

Get ready to plan your layout, as you’ve got waves upon waves of metrics coming at you. We’ve been taking a gander at Tower Defense games in our latest report, so let’s look at what the perfect set up is when developing yours. If you’d like to jump straight into the stats, download the full report. And, if you’re a keen strategist, you can dive even deeper with Benchmarks+. What’s a Tower Defense game? It’s a strategic genre where the player needs to defend their territory from increasingly large waves of enemies. Usually, the waves of mobs swarm down a path and the player must line it with traps and attacks, usually towers. The key is that the player doesn’t typically control these towers themselves. They automatically fire when an enemy approaches. Why are they popular? Tower Defense combines elements...
8 min read
#Interviews

Masters of Blockchain: Lessons from Axie Infinity

I spoke with Jeff Zirlin, Growth Lead at Sky Mavis (the developers behind Axie Infinity), to learn how they became the leaders in Blockchain, and their predictions for this new sub-genre of gaming. 1. Hey Jeff, thanks for chatting with us today. So tell me a little bit about Axie Infinity and your game Sure, would love to. Axie Infinity is a virtual world full of fierce, adorable pets called Axies. These pets can be battled, collected, and even used to earn cryptocurrencies with real value. On the surface, Axie might seem similar to Pokemon, Tamagotchi, or even animal crossing. And you’re not wrong to think that. But the big difference is that the markets for in-game resources are open and controlled by players. We reckon games with real, player-owned economies will become our digital homes; places where a new...
6 min read
#Commentary

How to Create a Press Kit for Your Mobile Game (and Why You Really Should)

If you’re a mobile game developer, you want the press to talk about your game. It’s free advertising, and who wouldn’t want that? Creating a press kit is how you make it easy for the press to talk about your game, and to show it in its most positive light. If you previously thought ‘press kit’ was something you asked your dry cleaners to do after a football game, this blog’s for you. Here’s a quick introduction to press kits – how to create them and put them to use. What is a press kit? It’s a collection of text and visuals that gives a journalist or website everything they need to write about your game. You’re basically saying to them: “Oh, you want a game to write about? Well, you won’t need any research to write about my game...
8 min read
#Commentary

Best Trivia Games of Lockdown 2020 – Part three

In the last two parts of this series, we’ve explored which casual games sauntered to the top charts and how social games united people across platforms. Now, which other genre could possibly give these a run for their money? If you guessed trivia – the headline was probably a giveaway – you win a brand-new, all-inclusive holiday to the Isle of Analysis. On your left, you’ll see the tiny village of Facts and Figures, while on the right we’ve got three titans, battling for the summit of Mt Saint Quiz. All aboard, it’s time to learn some trivia. How did lockdown affect trivia games? People seem to love filling time with trivia games. While it might be short bursts of eight minutes, they log on often. Just over 5 sessions a day on average, working out to about half an...
8 min read
#Spotlights

Best Social Games of Lockdown 2020 – Part Two

As people have been trapped at home, unable to visit friends, it’s unsurprising that social games dominated the charts and headlines. But it’s not just direct interaction that’s made these games popular. Multiplayer games that are as satisfying to watch as they are to play have been the real successes this year. It’s a positive feedback loop. People play multiplayer games to hang out with their friends. This makes the game more popular, so streamers jump onto it. Those seeking community in times of loneliness watch the streamers and chat with one another. They then start playing the game, too. The game becomes more popular, and so on and so forth. And when the game is playable from any device? Well, this cycle is even more likely. How did lockdown affect multiplayer games? We can see the success in the...

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