PocketGamer.biz MasterClasses

Develop your existing skills and learn new ones from the finest games industry experts in an in-depth learning environment

PocketGamer.biz MasterClasses

PocketGamer.biz MasterClasses are designed to help enhance your skills and knowledge, by providing a practical deep-dive into specific subjects. We’ve worked with the finest industry experts to create professional, half-day activities featuring tutorials, lectures and breakout groups, all accessible from the comfort of your home office.

The workshops are run every quarter throughout the year, all delivered through Zoom, with learning support tools like Miro, Mural and Google docs for collaborative activities. You can expect to explore a range of key games design topics from economy design and optimisation, to core design fundamentals and product management, to live operations and everything in between.

Unlike the standard “listen and learn” lectures (such as those at our PG Connects conferences); MasterClass tickets are deliberately limited to keep groups smaller and focused, meaning you will have plenty of opportunity to interact with the presenter and your fellow attendees throughout the session. Workshops are designed to be collaborative, practical experiences so be ready to engage with the subject matter individually as well as through group activities, feedback and wider discussion.

MasterClasses will return in 2022!

Keep your eyes peeled for future announcements on upcoming MasterClasses in 2022. In the meantime, if you'd like more information on how to become a PocketGamer.biz MasterClass tutor, please complete this form - we'd love to hear from you.

If you have a topic suggestion for a future class, or perhaps there is a particular person you would like to learn from, you can submit your recommendation here.



Lessons with a Growth Hacker: Successfully Scale a Living Game

Oliver Kern Chief Commercial Officer Lockwood Publishing

This Masterclass is about the product management, strategy and marketing side of managing games and game portfolio. We will be diving into business principles and how product strategy can align with company strategy (or not). We will be focussing on the big decisions, how and when to make them and what the fundamental leavers a games business has to impact the lifecycle of its product(s). When to scale and when to scale back plus what tactics can be applied at what stage.

NB. This is a previous MasterClass and is no longer open for registrations.

Save Your Game From Disaster: Playtesting Secrets From a Former Ubisoft Expert

Pascal Luban Creative Director

Pascal Luban is a game designer and creative director. With over 25 years of experience, he has led design teams on both triple-A console games (Splinter Cell - Pandora Tomorrow and Chaos Theory, Alone In the Dark - The New Nightmare, Wanted - Weapons of Fate, etc.) and mobile titles (Wars and Battle, The One Hope).

He set up and managed the playtest facility at the Ubisoft studio in Annecy where the multiplayer mode of Splinter Cell games was developed.

Playtesting is the quality insurance of its gameplay, but why do so many studios fail to use them effectively? What are the pitfalls to avoid? How to make them cost-effective?

In a nutshell, how to run them?

This masterclass will cover the pros and cons of the different ways to playtest your game. It will focus on how to set up your own in-house playtest structure and how to run a playtest campaign while remaining affordable, even for very small studios.

NB. This is a previous MasterClass and is no longer open for registrations.

The Right Balance: Connect Gameplay & Monetisation Effectively

Glyn Fairweather Games Design Analyst Fundamentally Games

This MasterClass is about exploring and understanding the fundamental elements of game balance and game economies. Through clear examples and exercises, you will equip yourself with language and tools to deliver design and monetisation solutions that delight your players, whilst protecting the things that make your game special.

NB. This is a previous MasterClass and is no longer open for registrations.

Get Your Shit Together with Player Behaviour

Kelly Vero CEO and CTO NAK3D

This MasterClass is about designing games with the player as the beating heart of everything we create.

We will be embarking on a journey of discovery, where we can investigate consumer behaviours at large for a variety of games and transmedia products by questioning what success looks like for the games we know and love.

This MasterClass is design-centred and therefore takes a deep dive into elements of player psychology, UX design basics, gamification and good old-fashioned debate!

NB. This is a previous MasterClass and is no longer open for registrations.

Game Design: How to Benchmark, Create & Measure Fun

Javier Barnes Head of Game Design Pixel Noire Games

Javier Barnes is the head of game design at Pixel Noire Games.

Previously, he was lead game designer of Monster Legends, as well as game economy and systems designer for top grossing mobile hits such as Despicable Me: Minion Rush and Asphalt 8: Airborne, among many others.

Thousands of games are released every year, and most of them won’t become a hit. The key thing that separates a successful game from one that flops is its ability to be fun and engaging to the audience. In other words, game design.

In the past, developers would create something they thought was fun and then pray for the audience to enjoy it.

Today there are a range of techniques to help us validate design decisions, understand who our audience is, what they will enjoy, plus speed up the development process by avoiding creative dead ends and detecting earlier what does work.

This MasterClass will provide you with a series of good practices and tools to set up a solid game design, and teach you how to use a data-oriented methodology to validate it and improve it.

It’s intended to be useful both for those working on new games and for those running live games that want to improve their player experience.

NB. This is a previous MasterClass and is no longer open for registrations.

Building an Audience: Marketing, UA, & Creative Production

David Nixon CEO Mobile Game Doctor

David Nixon is the CEO of MGD. He is a 30+ year industry veteran with experience in game design, project management, strategic operations, publishing, portfolio management, and live ops.

He was one of the founding team members for Real Arcade, and helped establish the Casual Games industry heading Global Publishing for Real Arcade and then Oberon Media.

David produced nineteen of the launch products for the original Xbox Live Arcade service, which kicked-started digital distribution of consoles games.

He recently served as Principal Product Manager and then VP of Publishing for Wooga GmbH, and Chief Operations Officer for Lockwood Publishing.

James DiMento Senior User Acquisition Manager Mobile Game Doctor

James DiMento has been working in mobile user acquisition and growth since 2014. He's had experience working on a wide range of both gaming and non-gaming products, including well-known brands Zillow and Rosetta Stone.

James was the first member of Disruptor Beam's user acquisition team, and helped grow it's portfolio of licensed games based on properties including Game of Thrones, Star Trek, and The Walking Dead.

He recently joined Game Taco to lead user acquisition for their recently-acquired, skill-gaming product, WorldWinner.

Mike Kanarek Head of Marketing Mobile Game Doctor

Mike Kanarek is MGD’s Head of Marketing. Mike has been working in product marketing for online, console, and mobile games for more than 10 years. He has a Masters of Business Administration from Babson College with a specialty in marketing.

Mike has built teams for multi-million dollar projects and worked as a one man team to bring indie games to delighted audiences.

Some of the work he’s most proud of includes Rock Band 3, Dance Central 2, Dungeons and Dragons Online, The Walking Dead: March to War, and Flippfly’s Race The Sun.

Mike’s focus is on connecting the creative and branding aspects of marketing with data driven decision making.

This three hour MasterClass from the marketing team at Mobile Game Doctor goes over how to think about, organise, and manage a user acquisition program including setting and understanding goals, organising a user acquisition campaign, and creating and overseeing creative production and optimisation.

NB. This is a previous MasterClass and is no longer open for registrations.