Karsten Strauss of Forbes reporting on Supercell, the creators of the insanely popular iOS game, Clash of Clans:
Most game studios have an autocratic executive producer green-lighting the work of designers and programmers. Supercell’s developers work in autonomous groups of five to seven people. Each cell comes up with its own game ideas. They run their ideas by Paananen (he can’t remember ever nixing a proposal), then develop those into a game. If the team likes it, the rest of the employees get to play. If they like it, the game gets tested in Canada‘s iTunes App store. If it’s a hit there it will be deemed ready for global release. This staged approach has killed off four games so far, with each dead project a cause for celebration. Employees crack open champagne to toast their failure. “We really want to celebrate maybe not the failure itself but the learning that comes out of the failure,” says Paananen.
I like everything about this, and especially the toasting to (the learning from) failure.
7-Year-Old Zora Ball Is the World’s Youngest Game Programmer
The youngest person to create a full version of a mobile application video game. A first grader at Philadelphia’s Harambee Institute of Science and Technology Charter School, she’s already more accomplished than everyone you know.
Ball built the app in the Bootstrap programming language, and unveiled her game at FATE’s “Bootstrap Expo” at the University of Pennsylvania.
Apparently some grumpy olds were suspicious that her older brother was really the mastermind behind the program, but Zora showed them. When asked to reconfigure the app on the spot, Ball showed naysayers what was up when she executed the request perfectly.
“We expect great things from Zora, as her older brother, Trace Ball, is a past STEM Scholar of the Year,” said Harambee Science Teacher Tariq Al-Nasir. No pressure, baby geniuses, but there’s an entire world for you to save. Please hurry.
The maker of Angry Birds is #1 for making apps the new source for big entertainment franchises.
2. Tencent Games
For leveraging its online distribution network and moving into content.
For elevating physical and digital play with its Skylanders series. Spyro’s Adventure and its sequel, Giants, feature dozens of chip-embedded action figures that interact with whatever happens on the screen, whether it’s a TV, computer, or handheld.
For revolutionizing home entertainment. Microsoft has assembled a digital living room. The system connects Windows, Xbox, and Kinect via SmartGlass, a free app that debuted last fall, which turns a portable device into a remote control and second screen.
For making the controller just as crucial to the gaming experience as the console and the Wii U.
For electrifying gamers with a hackable console that features both a compelling design and an affordable device.
7. Telltale Games
For creating affordable appointment gaming. With The Walking Dead, Telltale has given gamers a way to play that’s amenable to busy schedules and with minimal upfront buy-in.
For pushing gaming into the hands of everyone. In 2012, it released its Source Filmmaker moviemaking tool to gamers for free, enabling just about anybody to produce Pixar-quality animation.
9. Imangi Studios
For pivoting into a freemium phenomenon. When sales started to slump (it was originally a 99-cent download), they made the game free to play and reaped about five times as much revenue.
For turning hardcore gamers into a gold mine. Kabam puts out games that are long, complex, and appeal to players who are willing to devote lots of time to them…
[Image: Flickr user WastedButReady]
Rad geek finds!
LOVE these Galaga leggings!
Very cool Mario converse sneaks
Sweet soap! Very realistic looking Pokemon soap
Angry Birds gets its Joanie Loves Chachi with a spin-off starring the malevolent swine.
JUST IN TIME FOR BACK TO (OLD) SCHOOL
otlgaming: Blackbird & Peacock have a ton of new moleskine designs they’ve debuted just in time for back to school. Too many to post here in fact but if you’re looking to get your geek on with your school supplies this year head over to their Etsy. You won’t be disappointed.
If you’re at all interested in electronic music, I’m sure that by now, you’re aware that the real revolution in music software is not happening on traditional desktop computers but on the iPad. When the first iPad was released, there was a feeling of skepticism that it could be used for content creation. However, interesting music apps with lots of potential quickly followed. The release of the iPad 2 a year later brought me to a sudden conclusion that surprised even me: this is going to be the next big thing. It’s not so much about the variety of sounds — in many cases, desktop plug-ins are still far more powerful — but more about the way that we interact with music.
“Klip CEO Brian Wong is 21. He looks about 14. His brain, however, operates like a 28-year-old with an MBA.”
For anyone who wonders what the future of advertising looks like, read this piece from Business Insider.
According to the story, Wong has built an ad network that could “turn the world of mobile advertising on its head,” by offering up points and rewards for the mobile game you’re playing — but only if you do what you usually avoid like the plague: click on the ads. Already on 30 million devices, with 50 million users, if Wong’s prediction is correct, “you will never use an app or use a game unless it’s enabled with Kiip.”