Pocket Gamer Connects Seattle 2019 will take place on May 13th to 14th. To give you a taste of what to expect, we'll regularly be publishing interviews with the speakers at the show.
For more details on PGC Seattle and to book a ticket, head to the website here.
Today we're putting the spotlight on David Fox, founder of client-based web and mobile developer Double Coconut.
With a background in executive roles at companies like Digital Chocolate and Telltale Games, Fox is joining us in Seattle to talk hyper-casual. How did the genre get here, how does the business of hyper-casual really work and what does the future hold for this latest mobile trend?
PocketGamer.biz: Tell us a bit about the company.
David Fox: Double Coconut is an experienced group of game devs that have shipped tons of awesome mobile and web titles over our eight years in business, including for some high-profile clients as Microsoft, WB Games, Cartoon Network and BET Networks. We also got to work with cool people/brands such as Ellen Degeneres, Muhammad Ali and Deal or No Deal.
We started off as a group of three guys building an indie title that mixed photo-sharing with social gameplay. To keep the coffers full we began working with all sorts of big and small games publishers who wanted strong casual titles to add to their arsenals.
We loved being guns for hire so much that we moved on to focus mainly on agency work and have had a unique array of clients.
We truly love the variety of work we do. It's a different challenge every day.
What does your role entail?
Trying to recruit the best game developers in the world, guide them to grow their skills and keep them from going insane.
Why did you want to work in the games industry?
It's the reason I learned programming back when I was a tween. It's art that plays you: I mean, how do you beat that?
What advice would you give to anyone looking to get into it?
Game dev is one of the only creative industries where you can build something fully on your own and have millions of people experience it, all without gatekeepers. Of course, it's not easy or even realistic that your first projects will become hits.
But perseverance always yields fruit - you know you're on the right track when you realise how modest your skills are at game design, narrative writing, programming, art, animation and music, compared to the best of breed in each discipline.
What are your thoughts on the industry in the last 12 months?
I plan to cover a lot of this during my talk about hyper-casual! No spoilers!
What major trends do you predict in the next 12 months?
This will also be part of the talk, but here's a sneak prediction: I think we're going to see our first ever hit game completely designed by Artificial Intelligence.
How has the games industry changed since you started?
The same business cycles of over-investing and over-saturating audiences, but always something new and surprising that seems to come out of the blue, which is what keeps me hanging on.
Which part of the Connects event are you most looking forward to and why?
Meeting cool new Seattle people. But honestly, I can't wait to hike Mt. Rainier afterwards!
Find out more about Pocket Gamer Connects Seattle 2019 on the website.