Playing Online or Mobile Games – Protecting your Children’s Privacy

The traditional view of safe gaming content for children is having non-violent content without any adult themes. Much like movies, parents should follow the rating guidelines attached to the game. The PEGI (Pan European Game Information) rating system is widely used in Europe and Ireland. As a parent, you should not let your child play a game that is not PEGI rated.

However, PEGI only considers appropriate gaming content. What about your child’s online information? Even without registering an account, most games track your gameplay data. Free-to-play games rely heavily on advertising, so they track as much player data as possible. So how do you protect your child’s online data?

Well to start, you need to make sure that the publisher/developer of the game has an available privacy statement, regarding their content. They need to acknowledge and comply with GDPR and have a nominated Data Protection Official. GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) are the regulations in EU law on data protection and privacy. Essentially GDPR  aims primarily to give control to individuals over their personal data .

Also, parents need to be aware of games that need registered accounts. Children (under 13) should not set up game accounts. They should be setup by the parents. For older children and teenagers, parents should still be aware of any game accounts registered. Even though they may not be commercial accounts, younger players could still be supplying personal information via the account. For many game companies, information in the new currency and players of all ages need to be aware of this.

 The best advice for parents is to stay involved when your child is gaming. Like all online content, it is very important to maintain an open dialogue with your children on their online activities.

Fierce Fun plans to make Irish kids smarter!

Press Release for Mindframe Arena: 16 January 2020

Fierce Fun plans to make Irish kids smarter

It’s time to wean the kids off Fortnite and try a new game developed in Ireland

Who would have thought that video games can help in your child’s development? Well, they can as part of a ‘balanced diet’ of educational content. Irish game developer Fierce Fun has just released their digital board game Mindframe Arena - a ‘Smart and Safe’ game designed for a family-friendly environment.

As games like chess can be off-putting for some children, Mindframe Arena is a great way to introduce children to intellectually stimulating activities such as board and strategy games. Based on classic board games like chess, Mindframe Arena requires skill and strategy to play – yet it is easy and fun to learn. Research has shown that playing board games can help in the development of problem-solving and critical thinking skills.

Peter Lynch from Fierce Fun states “From showing the game at events and conventions in Ireland, we found that 7 to 10-year olds really enjoyed it as did their parents.”

Irish parents can rest assured with the following Smart and Safe game features:

  • No in-game chat or messaging
  • No graphic violence
  • No analytics or tracking
  • Parental purchase & social media locks

Mindframe Arena is available  as a free download on Google Play and the Apple Apps Store.

Apple App Store Page
https://apps.apple.com/us/app/mindframe-arena/id1490433142#?platform=iphone

Google Play Page
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.FF.MindframeArena&hl=en_IE

YouTube Trailer
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wzC3_gNplPM&t=21s

Media Kit URL:
https://1drv.ms/u/s!AvOVpBTawgOGgq1D5tAa1oJpBE7kIQ?e=DL1OfL

 

 

Best practice for Cross-Platform Games – Facebook

We are truly in the era of cross-platform gaming. With the advent of mobile phones as gaming devices, playing games is not restricted to any place or time. Gaming has become THE ubiquitous entertainment activity – everyone (well almost) is a now a gamer.

Whereas before, game developer’s choice of platform was restricted to PC and consoles - now they must consider Web, mobile, VR and other dedicated devices. In addition, gamers tend to play the same title on many devices , depending on their location and environment. For many game developers and publishers, the only choice is to go cross-platform. Despite the extra development effort in doing this, it substancially increases the likelihood of reaching their target gaming audience.

Planning a cross-platform games project needs to start early. To ensure a smoother and consistent player experience across different platforms, we would recommend using the Facebook SDK for certain app features.

Facebook recommends the following:
- Handle notifications, requests and stories consistently
- Synchronize Game State across platforms
- Encourage people to play on other platforms

For more advice on your cross-platform game strategy, check out this Facebook post.

Cross platform games

App Marketing Tips from Amazon

You have just finished your latest game or mobile app and you think it is going to be the next big thing! BUT how is anybody going to find your app. Hundred of apps are released each day and look at the size of your phone screen – how many apps do you scroll though…. 20 or 30… at best. Most users only see a tiny portion of the apps released daily. So, what chance has your app? .... will it be seen by anyone ?

It is difficult but thankfully there is help at hand. Amazon have their own apps store and have published this useful guide to help you get your app visible. In summary, their app marketing tips are:

  • Write compelling product features and descriptions
  • Select good keywords (app store optimization)
  • Link to your product page
  • Choose the right screenshots
  • Invest in video (vitally important)
  • Respond to customer reviews (particularly negative ones)
  • Get featured on the Amazon Appstore
  • Get featured by media pros (blogger, tweeters, influencers, youtubers)

The guide is located here. Well worth a read if you are close to publishing your app. Good luck!

app marketing tips

The State of Computer Games – 2019

Fierce Fun game research

We recently came across an excellent piece of research from GlobalWebIndex on the current state of video gaming.  Some really interesting facts from this research include:

Demographics

  • Gamers are getting older - a quarter of all 45-54s also say they have an interest in gaming.
  • Older players are more likely to be female - more females cite gaming as aninterest (19%) than males (17%) for 55-64s.

Mobile

  • Not surprisingly smartphones are extending their lead as the most popular gaming device.
  • The East is where mobile gamers rule - .ore than 7 in 10 internet users inAPAC and the Middle East and Africa are gaming on their smartphone.

Console/PC

  • The decline is console game has stabilized. Consoles now serve as a household media hub, as well as a gaming device.
  • PC gaming is still very important - just under 1 in 2 internet users are gaming via PCs/laptops

Spectator Gaming

  • Spectator gaming continues to grow - with over a third having watched a live gaming stream in the past month, and over a quarter having watched an esports tournament.
  • A quarter of console gamers visited Twitch in the past month

VR

  • VR is still only for early adopters. Of those who play games on any other device, only 5% own a virtual reality headset

Mindframe Arena – A ‘Smart & Safe’ game for all the family

We have just published the full version of Mindframe Arena on Google Play. This version is compatible with most modern Android phones and tablets… and best of all, it is free to play. The game comes with the entry-level characters called Tecs. You can play the full game with these. If you want more powerful advanced Tecs, you can purchase them within the app.

Mindframe Arena - A family friendly game

Mindframe Arena is a digital board game when you control a group of characters called Tecs. The goal of the game is to get your Tecs to the end of the Alpha worlds. To do this, you battle other players on a V-shaped game board. Each Tec can move a certain distance and has a spell specific to them. They can cast both attack and health spells. As you progress in the game and collect more Tecs, you need to figure out the best set of Tecs for each battle.

So why do we call Mindframe a smart and safe game? After some initial playtesting, we found the game was very popular with 7 to 12-year-old children. We also noticed that many of the parents liked the game as well and could play with their children. This non-violent game was designed to stimulate a player’s mind and not just their hand-eye coordination. It is based on classic board games like chess and requires skill and strategy to play. Even though it is a strategic game, it is fun to play and the game’s colourful graphics make it appealing to younger players.

Research has shown that playing challenging board games helps in brain development. With these types of games, a player will only progress through skilful planning, mathematical reasoning and critical thinking…. all while having fun!

 From an online safety perspective, the game has the following features included

  • No in-game chat or messaging
    • No graphic violence
    • No analytics or tracking
    • Parental purchase locks
    • Parent ad/social media locks

Download it now for free here on your Android phone or tablet – or search for Mindframe Arena on your device.  Players can play on their own or they can play against another player on the same device. Try it and let us know how you get on !

World Cup Rugby Rampage

PLAY IT NOW!

 

World Cup Rugby Rampage is a new mobile and Web game currently under development by Fierce Fun. Being rugby fans and know that the team needs all the support it can get, we decided to develop a game in honour of the Irish team. Ok, so you can pick other teams as well as the Irish team but it really is a tribute to them. In the game, you play as a rampaging No. 7 and your job is to constantly break the gain line.... just keep going forward. The odds will be against you with crazy numbers of opposing players. How do you beat them? Rampage Mode. When you are rampaging, you are invincible and unstoppable. However it only lasts a short while.

One single solitary Irish player versus 500 English defenders. Who will win????

You decide. World Cup Rugby Rampage will be released in 2 weeks.......or we are in trouble

Spread the word

 

 

Mindframe Arena at Dublin Comic Con

We were delighted to be able to show Mindframe Arena at the recent Dublin Comic Con. As always it is a fantastic fun event - hot and hectic as it should be. Great crowds and energy make it a must-see event for all scifi, fantasy, comic, cosplay and game fans. The Comic Con brochure had a really nice tribute to the legend that was Stan Lee - such a positive creative role model for everyone in the comic and games world.

Stan Lee

As you can see below, we had a lot of interest in the game. We got great feedback over the 2 days so thanks to everyone for dropping by and saying hello.

Don't forget, you can now download the Android version of Mindframe Arena on Google Play

Social Media Internship (part time)

This Social Media internship role is an opportunity for hands-on experience in social media and digital marketing. Fierce Fun is a mobile app startup company, focusing on games and entertainment apps. The company publishes its games on the Google Play and Apple App Stores. This role is suited to someone who loves mobile apps and is a social media monster 😊

This internship role has the ability to learn mobile marketing and app store optimisation from the development and marketing team. Some the duties will include:

Content Sourcing & Creation:

  • Working with the Project Manager to produce effective content for the company’s social media channels (Facebook, Twitter and others).
  • Writing blog posts, social media posts and other communication materials for social media;
  • Researching mobile app and game market trends

Ideal Qualifications:   

  • Strong interest in communications, social media marketing and/or creative writing
  • 3rd level qualification (or studying for one)
  • Good skills in Microsoft Excel, Word and PowerPoint
  • Strong skills in Facebook, Twitter and/or blog software
  • Very comfortable using Android or Apple phones and tablets
  • Good attention to detail and an ability to produce quality written content each week

Terms:

Duration          3 months
Hours              10 to 18 hours per week
Times              Flexible and based on a candidate's schedule
Location          Remote work (mainly) - Trinity College Dublin  (team meeting and reviews)

Expenses will be paid to cover travel and lunch allowances

WebGL Full Screen Demo

Open the WebGL DEMO

If you want your Web browser graphics to have a bit of power and oomph, you might consider using WebGL. WebGL is a JavaScript API for real-time rendering of 3D and 2D graphics within a browser. It’s based on OpenGL ES – the software API used on embedded systems such as smartphones and tablets.

Traditionally, web browsers used the CPU to render content, but in recent years browsers have adopted support for hardware acceleration, which means developers can use a device’s GPU (Graphical Processing Unit) to allow for rendering of complex graphics.

We put together a little WebGL demo with some of our characters. They are at the beach, having a great time. It takes a few seconds to load so enjoy!

At Fierce Fun, one of our core areas of expertise is in browser games and interactive Web apps. If you would like to know more about WebGL and how it could enhance your website, drop us a line!