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Postmortem: "Spellcreepers"

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Florian Brich von der Nürnberger NeoBird GmbH & Co. KG zeichnet in diesem Postmortem den Weg des F2P-Spieles “Spellcreepers” von der Idee bis zum Release auf Spielaffe nach. Ziel des Ausflugs ist es, euch darüber zu informieren, welche Ansätze funktioniert haben, wo umgearbeitet werden musste und welche Lehren für künftige Projekte daraus gezogen wurden. Einblicke in die Themenfelder Spielgestaltung, Test-Rollouts, Seeding, Affiliate-Partnerschaften, sowie Monetarisierung und Marketing werden im Zusammenhang dargestellt. Denn: Je früher ihr bestimmte Anforderungen beachtet, desto weniger Eier legt ihr euch ins Nest.

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Postmortem: "Spellcreepers"

  1. 1. NeoBird GmbH & Co. KG Cross-Plattform Game Development Postmortem: Spellcreepers Confidential: Any form of reproduction, dissemination, copying, disclosure, modification, distribution and or publication of this presentation is strictly prohibited. 13.09.13
  2. 2. Content Overview - Introduction NeoBird Company & Spellcreepers game. - Spellcreepers on www.spielaffe.de - How did we get it there? - Dramatis personae: Portal owners, App-Stores, Publishers, Media & the like. - Spellcreepers on the move and changing – Timeline from March to August. - Spellcreepers close combat: Finalizing the release. - Overview: Feedbacks & changes, Affiliate-topics - Learnings & Checklist 13.09.13 IndieOutpost Presentation 2/18
  3. 3. About NeoBird NeoBird was founded in Dec. 2012 by Martin Schiele, former CEO of qforge GmbH. - qforge GmbH spearheaded the development of F2P-multiplayer-games for Spil Games B.V. Check games at www.qplaygames.de (property of Spil Games B.V.). - qforge GmbH built 40 casual multiplayer games, SPIL still distributes these to more than 150 million monthly Unique Visitors. - NeoBird´s team consists of eight specialists in interaction design, coding and project management. Visit us at: www.neobird.de Company is based in Nuremberg, Germany. More NeoBird: www.facebook.com/NeoBirdSoft www.facebook.com/NeoBirdGames www.twitter.com/NeoBirdSoft 13.09.13 IndieOutpost Presentation 3/15
  4. 4. About Spellcreepers 1 . - Experience exciting puzzle battles with Spellcreepers on web and mobile devices. - Features: Strategic gameplay, single player mode and cross-platform PvP battles. - Check the current version at: www.spellcreepers.com - 13.09.13 IndieOutpost Presentation 4/15
  5. 5. About Spellcreepers 2 . - Monetization features: Unlockable creatures, buy bonus keys to gain additional gold & XP. - Adaptability: Fast customization to specific affiliate requirements (e.g. API, tracking, payment). - Update-strategy: Concept for additional content / enhanced monetization available. - 13.09.13 IndieOutpost Presentation 5/15
  6. 6. The question: How did we get here? 13.09.13 IndieOutpost Presentation 6/18
  7. 7. Prelude: Dramatis personae 1 - Short overview and characterization of entities you will come across while setting out to bring your game to the players – no matter if it is for fame, money or both. - Online gaming portals (also referred to as „Affiliates“) - These come in roughly two versions: 1. Aggregators: Rapid fire, fast submission procedure, virtually no rev-share, zero bargaining 2. Premiums: proprietary API/SDK, selective submission procedure, rev-share-models, open for bargaining, face-to-face contact required. - Publishers: Get them! Benefits: marketing invest, rev-shares, (recoupable) advance payment, tracking & payment-solutions, good market overview & insights. Needed: endurance for prolonged bargaining procedures, being prepared for adaptation and update-requests. - Media: Engage them! Go for the smaller ones first. Generally swamped, many „pay to promote“-schemes, small success rate but worthy feedback and basic noise. 13.09.13 - IndieOutpost Presentation 7/18
  8. 8. Prelude: Dramatis personae 2 - Short overview and characterization of entities you will come across while setting out to bring your game to the players – no matter if it is for fame, money or both. - AppStores: make yourself aquainted early on, check potential publishers influence. - (other) Developers: Befriend them and exchange! Too many of them in all size and shapes. Major ones and runners-up turn into publishers currently. - Traffic boosters: Lot´s of pay-per-traffic-models, heavily connected. - Agents: Possible door-openers for foreign markets (LATAM, SEA, MENA) - The Big Ones: MS/Ouya/Yahoo etc. - Storm them at resonable intervals. 13.09.13 IndieOutpost Presentation 8/18
  9. 9. Prelude: Dramatis personae conclusion - Short overview and characterization of entities you will come across while setting out to bring your game to the players – no matter if it is for fame, money or both. - Conclusion: Get aquainted with all players in the f2p-ecosystem. Analyze LinkedIn & Co. Lookout for contests, funding, Appstore data. Get at least a daily newsletter (e.g.Newsslash) - General advice: → Who dares wins → Act professionally → Setbacks are a part of it → This is an everchanging environment (reg. People, reach, strategies) 13.09.13 IndieOutpost Presentation 9/18
  10. 10. Spellcreepers Timeline February-April What happened when? Which changes were applied? Timeline: - February / March: Initial gameplay & setting idea, production, name-finding - Mid of April: Initial contact with Kaisergames (portal owner spielaffe.de) - End of April: Silent rollout to small German f2p-portals ( www.spielesite.com ) Reachout to various other German and international f2p portals Spellcreepers Status: → Barebone version / Embedding Code only (as server-connection is multiplayer-requirement) 13.09.13 IndieOutpost Presentation 10/18
  11. 11. Spellcreepers Timeline May-June What happened when? Which changes were applied? Timeline: - Beginning of May: Decision for singleplayer-Seeder, first round of improvements. Kaisergames declines SC Multiplayer due to fb-login-requirement - May to June: Rollout of Spellcreepers-Singleplayer to various portals ( Kongregate, Mochimedia etc.) - Beginning of June: Kaisergames declines Spellcreepers Singleplayer as too promotional. Spellcreepers Status: → Spellcreepers single-player-mode, interweaving of characters, ingame tutorial added. → preparation of Spellcreepers-Singleplayer mobile versions (iOS/Android) 13.09.13 IndieOutpost Presentation 11/18
  12. 12. Spellcreepers Timeline July-August What happened when? Which changes were applied? Timeline: - Beginning of July: Release of Spellcreepers Singleplayer to GooglePlay / AppStore. Press-release and submission for review to various int. Media-sites. - Mid of July: New approach to Kaisergames (single-mode, updates & API-Integration) Detailed overview → next slide - Mid of August: Release of improved & adopted Spellcreepers on www.spielaffe.de Spellcreepers Status: → Major overhaul: Merging of SP & MP-mode, Spellcreepers-levels & character screen, RageAttack-Feature, Exhaust-Feature, Switch from energy-system to bonus-treasure-system. → API-adaptation, switch to PayPal (from fb-coins) 13.09.13 IndieOutpost Presentation 12/18
  13. 13. Spellcreepers Release finalization (detailed) This one should be easy – shouldn´t it? Timeline: - 11. Juli: Integration for spielaffe.de begins ( terms of deal / remove chat / whitelist site ) - 22. Juli: Standard SSO-connection / friends features completed / Paypal integrated Request for Spellcreepers implementation of spielaffe-dev-server. - 23. Juli: Kaisergames Gameteam feedback – bloodless „vs“ needed - 29. Juli: Spellcreepers implemented on spielaffe-dev-server. - 6. August: Topic – Play as guest (unregistered / no progress safe); play registered (+progress) - 7. August: Kaisergames tec-dept. confirms successful implementation - 13. August: Still waiting for final test-round on behalf of Kaisergames... Last minute change request (remove fb-Spike-link) - 14. August: Release on spielaffe.de → Impossible to play as guest :-( - 15. August: Change to intended guest or registered setting (on the fly). 13.09.13 IndieOutpost Presentation 13/18
  14. 14. Examples: How feedback results in changes Feedback is crucial. Take it from everywhere, weigh it against your vision and act accordingly. Examples: „We played endlessly“ (Kaisergames feedback) Result: Changes to random distribution, playfield size. „What are the coins for?“ (Kongregate feedback on Singleplayer version / Web) „No real ending“ „Eager to play the multiplayer“ (Touchmyapps feedback on Singleplayer version / Mobile) „Gold is useless“ Result: Changes as seen in current multiplayer version. „How does this energy thing work?“ (various sources, player comments and team members) Result: Switch to keys & treasure-chest system. 13.09.13 IndieOutpost Presentation 14/18
  15. 15. Overview: Likely topics with Affiliates If you negotiate with an potential affiliate these are some of the more likely topics: → Embedding code vs. Swf → Your Login/payment-method vs. Their login/payment methods → Gamescreen size & MB-size of swf-file. → Revenue share model ( reg. Preroll-ads, midroll-ads, ingame-ads, ingame monetization) & promotion and positioning General advice: Be open – Listen & learn – Adopt. No-go: „There will be no iOS-version, because I hate Apple“ 13.09.13 IndieOutpost Presentation 15/18
  16. 16. Overview: Learnings & Checklist Learnings: → Define targets (platform, genre, audience) early and focus. → Keep your game scalable (e.g. for updates) → Take feedback seriously Checklist: → In the beginning: Define platform(s), gameplay, USPs – be able to answer all of this: http://www.makethegame.de/gfx/download/checkliste.pdf → Pitching publishers: - Core-Gameplay-Demo - UI-Demo (photoshopped) - Graphics style (Target Mock-ups) → Rollout-Material: Key visual, thumbs, video, descriptions (for business, player, press etc.) 13.09.13 IndieOutpost Presentation 16/18
  17. 17. Thanks for your attention! Go for it! 13.09.13 IndieOutpost Presentation 17/18
  18. 18. Contact Florian Brich Director Business Development Direct: +49 (0)911 309 209-8 Email: florian.brich@neobird.de Skype: florian.brich Florian on LinkedIn NeoBird GmbH & Co. KG Südwestpark 37-41 90449 Nürnberg GERMANY Office: +49 (0)911 309 209-7 Website, Facebook, Twitter Please contact us for prices, service fees, terms and conditions or any other question. 13.09.13 IndieOutpost Presentation 18/18