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SG&VGF 2013: Wooga's Sebastian Kriese on how to pivot from social to mobile development

#mgf2013 Five pointers from the pros
SG&VGF 2013: Wooga's Sebastian Kriese on how to pivot from social to mobile development
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In a session at the Social Games & Virtual Goods Forum 2103 in London, Wooga's Sebastian Kriese has explained how the company handled its pivot from social to mobile games development.

The core of his presentation was a five-point list of best practices for those looking to make a move onto mobile.

Top of the list was the importance of attaining a "native feel" in any mobile game.

Wooga has flirted with HTML5 for previous releases, but Kriese claimed that the web technology doesn't currently allow the developer to attain that all-important feel.

Access all areas

Kriese's next piece of advice was that developers should make it easy to access their games. A player should be able to start a session with just one tap, ideally, and studios should ruthlessly cut out unnecessary obstacles to play.

Point three was the importance of social play. Diamond Dash makes use of Facebook Connect, and Kriese explained that 64 percent of users log in in this way.

These players are eight times more likely to spend in-game and have an average session length that's twice that of regular players.

In all, 1.9 million players come to Diamond Dash from Facebook each month. So although the majority of Wooga staff now work on mobile development, the Social Network remains deeply important to the company.

Build a bunch of times

Kriese also advised that developers optimise their games for tablets. "It's not develop once, distribute anywhere," he stressed. "That just doesn't work."

Instead, Wooga's approach to carefully tailor its games for the platform. Diamond Dash, for instance, has a web version, a smartphone version, and two different tablet versions one for seven-inch tablets, and one for larger slates.

Finally, Kriese emphasised the importance of treating games as a service, particularly on mobile.

This continued focus on launched products is great for players, but it has palpable benefits to developers too. For instance, post-launch monetisation tweaks have significantly improved Diamond Dash's revenue.