The GDC 2014 in San Francisco happened one month ago and I am going to bring you a post every day like a diary for the next few days =)
This was my first GDC in the States and I took some pictures and wrote a lot of notes about my daily stuff, the talks / lectures and what I have experienced.
I woke up at about 6 am after 4 short hours in the dreamworld… damn you jet lag!
Finally I was able to enjoy one of these fabulous american breakfast things with bacon and pancakes and more bacon and…. wait… what…
Seriously, the Stratfort is a great hotel for the convention but the breakfast is a joke, super bad coffee nearly nothing to eat, a bit of toast and some yogurt, meh.
I decided to skip the breakfast there and grab something somewhere else after getting my GDC batch and it happened that “somewhere” was an Irish pub.
Getting the batches was super fast and well organized. You can’t compare it to the GDC Europe where you have to wait for about 20 minutes or more.
I walked through the convention center and started to visit my first lectures (there is a overview of lectures I attended to at the end of the post).
We were at the same Irish pub for lunch, it was super fun due to St. Patricks day ;)
For the rest of the day I visited some talks, saw the Nintendo Museum in the North hall and attended to an Bavarian event in the evening.
We tried to catch up to a St. Patricks parade later but it was already over that’s why we decided to go to the clifts bar, no pictures of that, it was late and we were drunk, you know ;)
Sessionlist + Notes:
I’ll link all sessions to the GDC-Vault, if possible to the free stuff.
All notes are my private quick notes, ask me if i need to clarify them.
- The year in F2P games
- Higher costs = less innovation by big companies due to the high risk
- Farm, harvest and building games = don’t do it unless you have a lot of money or already an established IP
- Puzzle games = allow mistakes, serve little achievements
- Base defender = re-skins not working that good, adding new story lines and stuff helps a lot
- Casinogames = big in the top grossing games, a lot like real casinos but there are more and more differences by becoming more like social games
- CCG (Card game) = 2.8 Billion $ industry, there are client, browser and mobile ccgs, browser based ccgs are way simple and fast, mobile ones are even faster and simpler and often based on upgrading the cards, young male target group and fantasy / SF setting, pvp leads to monetization, high arppu (~31$), 1,3 billion $, metagame matters
- Teaching games with games
- First rule of game education is make games!
- Explaining games by exchanging story or character (how is the game skinned) and thinking outside the box or putting stuff to the edge
- Monaco, interpreting feedback and maintaining your vision
- Read the true reason behind early feedback and make changes which support you game, not the feedback giver
- The goal is to get the idea into the players head
- You have to change the game so that the player understands it
- Monaco is no stealth game, dieing is half the fun!
- First you need the player to understand what your game is about and then you can change things on what the player expects
- Core games, real numbers
- Tried out to release a app for android where you can play games (but apple was not allowing) and also Google shut it down cause of the possibility of the app being a competing app store
- Mobile games need to be native!
- CPI range vary widely by game 2$ – 8$
- Word of mouth is important
- App store features are key
- Most games popular on web will be popular on mobile
- They even monetize similar
- 10 – 15% lower revenue on playstore compared to apple app store, arpdau in us is pretty the same in Russia ios is much higher (androids are cracked)
- Device matters more than platform
- Google developer tools are great
- Transaction APIs are not (slow and not all info are available)
- Receipt verification is the worst
- Analytics are harder on mobile than on web
- Start low with analytics and then start adding needed stuff instead of tracking everything from start
- Don’t waste ur test markets, launch in test markets as soon as your tracking works fine