Comment & Opinion

Pocket Gamer Connects Digital #1: Eight of the best sessions you shouldn't miss

PGBiz editor Ric Cowley highlights the sessions he won't be missing next week

Pocket Gamer Connects Digital #1: Eight of the best sessions you shouldn't miss

With Pocket Gamer Connects Digital #1 only a matter of days away, attendees are already sure to be sorting out their schedules so they can attend the right sessions for them.

And we have a whole heap of them - not as many as we'd usually have at a physical event, but by gum, we've tried our best to get the numbers up there.

So, which ones should you attend? Obviously that largely depends on your professional interests, but as editor of it falls on me to pick out a handful that I consider unmissable, and you'll for sure catch me in the audience of.

To remain fair, I've picked out one session from each of the tracks, and tried to include a mix of sessions from earlier and later in the day, so everyone has a chance to check them out. And if you can't make it, don't worry! There's so many more great sessions to check out in their place - just check the full schedule.

If these aren't in your planners, get them jotted down right this second. And if you've not got your ticket to PG Connects Digital #1, then there's still time! Grab yours right here, quickly!

AR Game Design 101 - The Developer Toolkit - Monday 6th

Augmented reality, no matter what you say, is really cool, and Niantic have made it work in games like Pokemon GO and Harry Potter: Wizards Unite. So when two members of the Niantic team are willing to share some lessons in AR game design, you better pay attention.

Laura Warner and Kirsten Koa will be doing exactly that as part of the Developer Toolkit track. Even if you're not actively developing an AR experience, this is definitely worth checking out.

Smart Use of Data to Optimise Performance - The Growth Track - Monday 6th

Ever wanted to watch a panel of experts talk about data and how to use it smartly in your operations? Wow, do we have a session for you!

Led by Sensor Tower's Craig Chapple (former editor of PGBiz, fun fact) moderates a panel that includes Rovio's Michail Katkoff, ironSource's Yuval Lotan, and Fyber's Itai Cohen, which is about of experienced as it gets really. Expect some fascinating, data-filled insights from this group.

From Hypercasual to Midcore & Back Again: What can Midcore Games tell us About the Future of Hypercasual Games? - Global Trends - Tuesday 7th

If there's a developer who knows about shifting between genres, it's BoomBit. As the title of this session implies, it's gone from hypercasual to midcore, and recently shifted back to hypercasual after the success of Ramp Car Jumping.

So, what does all this genre-switching teach a company? Join Jon Hook as he explains what the company has learned and how it applies to the future of hypercasual.

Storytelling & Design – How to Create a Healthy Balance Between Soul & Systems - Game Maker Insights - Tuesday 7th

Maybe it's because I'm a writer, but I love a good narrative in a game. And I also love it when narratives and systems work together to create a cohesive experience. Hence why I'm excited for this talk.

Tara Mustapha and Latoya Peterson of Glow Up Games will be talking about storytelling and design, and creating a healthy balance between the two. I know as much as you do about what that means in terms of content, but I also know this - you absolutely should not miss it.

Supercell’s Battle Pass: A Tale of Two Cities - Monetiser - Tuesday 7th

Remember when Supercell added a Battle Pass to Clash of Clans? And then the game started making a bunch of money? Those were good times, right?

The title of this talk is super interesting, as is the fact that it's two non-Supercell folks analysing it. But I trust that Giovanni Ducati and Tiazu's Joseph Kim are going to do the topic justice. After all, if you're going after the big boys, you better have some big guns of your own. Or something. It's going to be good, that's for sure.

Audience-led Decision Making - Live Ops Landscape - Wednesday 8th

I could - and have - listen to Oscar Clark talk about literally anything he's interested in for any period of time, so good is his gift of the gab. And he also happens to be an expert in live ops, wouldn't you know.

So you absolutely should not miss his talk in the Live Ops Landscape track on the topic of audience-led decision making, which will likely be witty, informative, and deftly presented.

Games to Fight Pandemics - Big Screen Gaming - Wednesday 8th

You may have already noticed, but it's a pretty wild world out there right now. So when you've got a title that features the words "fight" and "pandemic" right next to each other, it's a safe bet you'll find someone intriguing within.

The Inspiracy's Noah Falstein is leading the way with this talk, and I'm very interested to see what direction it takes. You should be too!

A 2020 Vision for XR: is this the Year AR & VR Break Through? - Roundtable - Thursday 9th

It feels like AR and VR have been on the verge of taking off for years now - could 2020 be that year? That's what this roundtable will set out to discuss.

Taking part in the discussion are Magic Leap's Josh Naylor, Thoughtfish's Christina Barleben, Resolution Games' Tommy Palm, and SO REAL's Kelly Vero, all of whom have experience across the board in XR.

And who's that moderating? Oh, right, that's me. I definitely won't be missing this one.


Ric is the Editor of, having started out as a Staff Writer on the site back in 2015. He received an honourable mention in both the MCV and Develop 30 Under 30 lists in 2016 and refuses to let anyone forget about it.