Hot Five

Supercell called out at F2P conference, the making of Monument Valley, and does Family Guy deserve your cash?

Supercell called out at F2P conference, the making of Monument Valley, and does Family Guy deserve your cash?

Welcome to PocketGamer.biz's weekly rundown of the stories clocking up the hits, picking up the click-throughs and generally keeping the advertisers happy by serving up page views.

Or, if you'd prefer, the top five stories currently dominating our readers' attention.

Each week, we'll be counting down the biggest news from the previous seven days, giving just a glimpse of the industry's big issues, from five to one.

Handy for you, each headline in the list also allows you to click through to the article in full, so you can make sure you've not missed out on any of last week's big stories.


Click here to view the list »
  • 5 Why Aeria Games ditched PC to reboot as F2P mobile publisher PlayNext

    Why Aeria Games ditched PC to reboot as F2P mobile publisher PlayNext logo

    So far, one of the biggest corporate moves of 2014 was Aeria Game's decision to sell off its PC and legacy mobile division.

    At the time, Aeria Games, which has since been rebranded as PlayNext, explained that it wished to wipe the slate clean and focus on brand new F2P titles.

    In order to shed some light on that decision, PocketGamer.biz editor-at-large Jon Jordan recently sat down with PlayNext CEO, Lan Hoang, to find out more about the F2P shift.

    "While we were able to build a strong presence for ourselves in PC gaming, the market is no longer growing as briskly as it once was," explained Hoang.

    "We thought it best for our long-term success to focus on the fastest and most cutting-edge segment of gaming. Mobile gaming evolves rapidly, and requires a more nimble company to react and thrive.

    "Our skillset and experience with PC helps us tremendously in the mobile market."


  • 4 Player to player economies: Why mobile needs to do it, and how Hay Day did it badly

    Player to player economies: Why mobile needs to do it, and how Hay Day did it badly logo

    Last week, Vili Lehdonvirta of the University of Oxford did the unimaginable in daring to suggest that mobile extraordinaire Supercell had made a mistake within one of its games.

    During his talk at a recent F2P summit in London, Lehdonvirta suggested that developers should look to include a player to player economy in their games, before pointing to Supercell's HayDay as an example of how not to implement the system.

    "In Hay Day, you have a road side shop where you can sell your produce to other players," explained Lehdonvirta.

    "But what's happened is, because the UI doesn't facilitate exchanging goods for goods directly, unofficial trading forums have sprung up where people request goods, friend each other, and then use a strange signalling system.

    "This is how not to do it."


  • 3 Six simple steps to productive and effective games PR

    Six simple steps to productive and effective games PR logo

    What do you call an article that makes it into the Hot Five two weeks running?

    The answer, of course, is damn good.

    The fact that Natalie Griffith's article, which explains how developers can forge an effective and productive relationship with their PR partner, is back for a second time means that it's undoubtedly a 'must read'.

    "If you're devoting time and money to PR, it's vital to understand how to work with agencies to get the most out of your relationship," claims Griffith.

    "While it's certainly not an easy process to find the right partner, there are some rules you can follow that will make the whole affair far more straightforward."


  • 2 Stairway to heaven: The making of Monument Valley

    Stairway to heaven: The making of Monument Valley logo

    There is more to ustwo, the developer behind the incomparably beautiful puzzler Monument Valley, than meets the eye.

    The self-styled "global digital product studio" specialises in user interface design, and has previously designed apps for companies such as Barclays, Tesco, and Google.

    So, you might not be surprised to hear that when ustwo finally got around to making one of the most celebrated mobile games of 2014, its team decided to approach things a little differently.

    "If there was any secret, [behind Monument Valley] I guess it was 'elegance'," said Dan Gray, executive producer at ustwo. 

    "Every screen in Monument Valley needs to work in three different ways - as a puzzle, as an architectural structure, and as a piece of graphic composition.

    "If any one of these wasn't working, the play experience just didn't feel right."


  • 1 Family Guy: The Quest for Stuff... and fighting the desire to spend $430

    Family Guy: The Quest for Stuff... and fighting the desire to spend $430 logo

    Last week PocketGamer.biz US Correspondent and professional In-App Purchase Inspector, Matthew Diener, put TinyCo's F2P city builder, Family Guy: The Quest for Stuff, through its paces to find out whether or not the game deserves your hard earned cash.

    Will it be an IAP saint, or an IAP sinner? 

    "Right out of the gate, Quest for Stuff positively exudes the trademark Family Guy humour which is - obviously - the major selling point of this title," explained Diener.

    "After the novelty of the jokes wears off, however, you're faced with a fairly standard city builder that gates progress with wait timers as players try to amass familiar locations and characters from the show.

    "In theory, there's no end to the fun you can have with Family Guy: The Quest for Stuff - but you'll need a substantial amount of patience or piles of disposable income to get anywhere."


Tags:

What do you call someone who has an unhealthy obsession with video games and Sean Bean? That'd be a 'Chris Kerr'. Chris is one of those deluded souls who actually believes that one day Sean Bean will survive a movie. Poor guy.

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