New Mindframe Arena promo video

As we are getting closer to launching the game (we think!), we have produced another Mindframe Arena promotional video showing off some of our cool Tec characters. We created this video as an animation in Adobe Animate, then exported it as an mp4. We were pretty impressed by the quality. Hopefully we should have a fully gameplay video soon showing all the fancy effects and animations. See you soon!

 

Loot Boxes & Game Developer Remuneration

In the free to play gaming market, loot boxes pose a real quandary for game developers. Using the Japanese gacha system they are a popular game mechanic for increasing player engagement. However, the recent controversy with a number of high profile paid games (using loot boxes) is a cause for concern. It appears that core game players don’t like loot boxes. They have already paid for the game and they don’t see the need to have to pay for new content.

With free to play games it is different. Casual game players are used to daily reward mechanisms. A number of countries are now looking at the legality of loot boxes as a form of gambling. Are they a form of gambling? As the in-game currency cannot be used outside of the game, in most cases they have been shown not to be a form of gambling. However, loot boxes in games have now grabbed the attention of legislators in a number of countries.

Game developers need to be very careful in their implementation of a gacha type loot box system. They need to ensure it is property designed to reward players for ongoing play and not give an unfair competitive advantage.

For us we see it as a systematic structural problem in the games market as a result of the prevalence of free to play games. Professional game developers need to be remunerated for creating quality games that provide hours of entertainment - even if they are free to play. Google and Apple are delighted with dominance of free to play games as it effectively gives their customers free content. Yes, there is the freemium business model but it only works for a tiny number of large publishers. Both Google and Apple have a big part to play in correcting the market to so that there is a balance between free content and content creators getting paid. Unless this occurs, the games market will stagnate with no innovation and everyone making the same type…. With lots of loot boxes!

 

Mobile App Tester/QA internship

Our development team is seeking a self-motivated individual with a strong work ethic and a significant attention to detail. This role involves coordinating and testing our mobile game apps on a variety of phone/tablet devices and operating systems.

What You Will Be Doing
– Test each new game build thoroughly and comprehensively
– Report and detail bugs in the tracking database
– Organise Android and IOS testing with other team members
– Ensure our testing device database is up-to-date
– Managing build uploads to Goolge Play and the Apps Store

Fierce Fun is an app development studio specialising in mobile apps & online games, for Apple, Android and HTML5 platforms. We provide a supportive environment for a QA/tester to gain experience in a games app development company.

Ideal requirements:
– 3rd level qualification (preferably technical)
– Patience and focus required for mobile app testing
– Significant attention to detail and problem-solving skills.
– Excellent communication & documentation skills.
– Experience with Android and iPhone/iPad phones and tablets

Terms:
Duration      3 months
Days              1 to 1.5 days per week
Hours           Flexible
Location      Remote work

Mindframe Arena website live

Our new Mindframe Arena website is now live

mindframearena.com

There you find the last game updates and release information. We will be releasing the game in 2017 so the publishing news will be posted there first. We would also encourage you to follow us on social media... .it is just easier, isn't it !

We'd love to hear your opinions on the game so keep tuned for Mindframe Arena beta programme where you can play the game before anyone else.

Chinese Game Publishers visit Fierce Fun

Fierce Fun was recently visited by a number of Chinese game publishers, as part of a worldwide tour. During their visit, we presented an overview of the European game publishing market and some of the advantages to publishing games from Ireland. We also discussed publishing games in China and there was considerable interest in our new game Mindframe Arena.

The visiting attendees were:

Pictured:
Ms. Mavis Yao--- Vice secretary-general of China National Center for Developing Animation, Cartoon and Game Industry
General Manager of Tangxi Culture (executive company of Shanghai Online Game Association)
Ms. Guanhua JIAO---Co-founder of Uzone games
Ms. July LI --- Secretary-General Government Public Relationship of Uzone games
Ms. Sherry HU --- CFO of Lilith games
Mr. Crespo SUN --- Vice President of Europe and America Business of Gamemoon
Ms. Lauren LU --- Overseas Department Project Executive of Tangxi Culture
Peter Lynch – Fierce Fun
Mark Reid – Fierce Fun

Fierce Fun at DIT State of Play 2017

Fierce Fun showcased an early demo version of Mindframe Arena at the DIT State of Play games exhibition. State of Play 2017 was held in the Dublin Institute of Technology Aungier Street campus. SOP brings together some of commercial and academic players in the Irish games industry. In addition to the games exhibition, there was a series of talks from game development professionals, both Irish and international.

Fierce Fun used the exhibition to get some feedback on the Mindframe Arena gameplay mechanics and concepts. Mindframe Arena is what we call a ‘card board’ game, mixing elements of card trading games and classic board games. Generally, we received a positive reception to the game. Obviously, it was a very early version that we were showing but it proved a very useful overall exercise.

SOP is a great event to showcase Irish indie and student gaming talent – long may it continue!

DIT State of Play
http://www.stateofplay.ie/

Fierce Fun at UCC Digitopia

Digitopia is the annual digital humanities institute held by Digital Humanities department in University College Cork. The conference was organised by the MA class in Digital Arts and Humanities and took place in April 2017. The conference themes included a variety of topics such as digital history, archiving and gaming.

Fierce Fun’s Peter Lynch was invited as a guest speaker to discuss digital gaming. His talk focused on independent (indie) games development and rise of self-publishing. A link to his talk is available here:
https://www.slideshare.net/plynchire/indie-games-and-the-role-of-self-publishing

University College Cork Digitopia
http://www.digitopia-institute.com/

Virtual Reality Gaming. Has it Arrived?

Virtual Reality was new to the market in 2016. But now has it come of age in 2017?

Virtual Reality, VR, AR, Headset, Tech, Games, Gaming,

At GDC in 2016, one, Patrick Walker peeped into the future to predict what is now occurring, see link below. He indicated the huge investment in VR of over a billion dollars in 2015/16 and this got a lot of game developers interested. But is it possible to prise the market away from the big boys? Probably not? Just look at the 2017 best selling VR games with games from Rockstar, Epic, Impulse Gear and Capcom all with big titles and new iterations of popular franchises in VR.

2016 VR hype shifts to reality thanks in no small measure to PSVR. It’s got good immersion and is now accessible widely and buy to entry is cheaper than rivals. PSVR has at the moment first to market advantage and will be an entry point for early adopters of VR.
All the big players want in and interesting to see the situation today as a gold rush. Suffice to say you need deep pockets to enter this market. Walker provides insightful market analysis on the non-VR gamers and their expectancy on the price of entry with just about 50% unwilling to pay over $350 for the kit. So unit price must drop to attract a critical mass.

Price is everything

He points to the price problem of upgrading your hardware to handle the VR. Understandably if PSVR can do this without it using a unique console it makes sense. So it transpires the players need deep pockets as well. What’s new?
He outlines the product providers with marketing stats research reviewing their ability to compete and how they are seen. These stats are from the time of his talk but are still very pertinent today.

Let’s look at a few VR providers.  HTC Vive (Steam VR) – Thought of as expensive with average content availability. Oculus Rift Considered expensive with not too many games. PSVR is cheaper with a good bank of content. Viewing the VR game charts of today ( Feb 2017) the game content for all platforms has increased considerably as developers are trying for first to market advantage, with whichever system prevails. So there is more choice on all systems.

In Nov 2016 the Walker said the market was saturated but predicted more of the same with new entrants waiting for VR to become financially viable for their brand. Again it’s a balancing act between console or PC with consoles being preferable. A disadvantage for non-console VR is that the system requirements for VR are expensive because VR requires high refresh rates pushed to two displays, it’s going to be fairly demanding.

Below are the recommended system requirements for the Oculus Rift, which are likely fairly similar to what you’ll need to support Steam VR. — NVIDIA GTX 970 / AMD 290 equivalent or greater— Intel i5-4590 equivalent or greater— 8GB+ RAM— Compatible HDMI 1.3 video output— 2x USB 3.0 ports— Windows 7 SP1 or newer.

What the players think

Reviewing VR games by existing or potential customers seem to highlight that gamers value user review as opposed to price, unlike mobile games. Logical really as the entry point into VR is so high that gamers expect to pay a premium price for a premium experience.
Other stats that were interesting is the correlation between VR user score and minutes playing which is not indicative of popularity, unlike other platforms, maybe because of the sea sick syndrome? However, retention is a good indicator and it is marked by players returning again and again. So varied metrics for VR games should be used to assess their popularity.

Walker gave some predictions regarding new entrants to the race, some of which has come to pass. He is also predicting Facebook and Apple entering the market and the technology advancing rapidly. He also sees Microsoft having an interest specifically in Augmented Reality or AR, seeing it as the preferable experience in the future.       But judging by todays parameters, he thinks mobile and social VR seem to provide the biggest potential for future growth. Walker provided a good overview of the market which is still in flux as we speak but consolidating by the day. As a marketer of games, I found it very informative and advise you to watch the virtual space.

VR talk VR focus Nov 2016 Watch it here
Patrick Walker EEDARTrack / Format Games & Entertainment Overview
http://www.gdcvault.com/play/1023900/Data-and-Insights-in-the

Responsive Games – Digital Marketing Opportunities

Most progressive marketers are aware of the value of gaming content as part of their digital marketing portfolio. With games like Candy Crush and Angry Birds, game playing is now a mass market entertainment activity, enjoyed equally by both male and female players. Generation Y and millennials have all grown up with games – they love them, especially the free ones!

However, with a proliferation of digital devices available to consumers, it can require considerable effort and cost to get your game and brand out to the mass market. Responsive games offer a solution to this problem. Using a HTML5 platform, Fierce Fun have developed a responsive gaming system that ensures your game can be played on almost any device.

We developed the game I C Words as a demonstration of the cross-platform capabilities of our system. Play it on your PC, Mac, laptop, iPhone, iPad, Android phone or tablet…anything with a Web browser.

Fierce Fun responsive games

Play I C Words here

For more information on the digital marketing potential of responsive games, please drop us a line …. we love to talk!

Ogie – Ireland’s Digital Sports Pundit

Ogie was inspired by the legendary local GAA commentator Eddie Moroney. During the 90s, the videotape of “Effin Eddie” was widely circulated throughout Ireland - this was before Facebook and YouTube. He is a brilliant passionate sports commentator with a great turn of phrase, as you will hear. It’s also no holds barred stuff, for real sports fans!  I licensed a sample of his audio to create a demo for our digital sports pundit Ogie.

If you are interested in exclusively licensing Ogie for brand or marketing purposes, drop us a line and tell us your story.