May Enhance Updates

FGL is pleased to announce that Enhance™ has been updated to support the following SDKs:

AppNext – Appnext is a leading mobile discovery platform, helping millions of users experience apps at the right moments throughout the day.

AppNext delivers a better, more efficient way to experience smart devices, helping monetize and shape the future of mobile. Now available via Enhance™ on iOS and Android

AerServ – AerServ is a powerful monetization solution for mobile publishers.

AerServ’s mediation platform is a fresh take on a tried and true service: bringing you the highest yielding ad formats, the best ad sources, and innovative technology that ensures you minimize wasted impressions. Enhance™ users now have access to AerServ Ads and Mediation for Android

 

 

Additional Enhance™ support has also been added for the following SDKs:

  • Appsflyer SDK updated to v4.7.6. Analytics and Attribution now available via Enhance™ to iOS and Android users
  • Mixpanel SDK updated to v3.1.4, supporting Analytics and Attribution for iOS and Android
  • InLocoMedia SDK updated to v3.0.7
  • Facebook SDK updated to v4.22.1
  • HyprMediate SDK updated to v2.2
  • OneSignal SDK updated to v3.5.6
  • TapDaq SDK updated to v5.1.0
  • Phunware SDK updated to v2.4.2 on Android and v3.6.2 on iOS
  • Youappi SDK updated to v2.0.1
  • GameAnalytics SDK updated to v.3.4.18
  • Flurry SDK updated to v8.0.2
  • Heyzap SDK updated to v.9.10.1 for both iOS and Android
  • Chartboost SDK updated to v.6.6.3
  • Adscend Media SDK updated to v.2.2.1
  • MoEngage SDK updated to v7.7.01
  • Tenjin SDK updated to v1.7.4
  • IronSource / Supersonic SDK updated to v6.6.0
  • Amplitude SDK updated to v2.13.4
  • BugSnag SDK updated to v3.9.0
  • Adjust SDK updated to v4.11.4

Try out these SDKs and more for free with little-to-no coding required at enhance.fgl.com

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Community Spotlight – Sonny developer Krin Juangbhanich

FGL Community Spotlight – “Sonny” 

 

The Community Spotlight returns to highlight a recent release from a mobile developer in the FGL community.

We asked Krin about his new release “Sonny” and got his thoughts on modern game development.

 

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FGL: Welcome to the Spotlight, Krin! Tell us a little about yourself and how you got started with game development

Krin: My name is Jakrin Juangbhanich, and I first got into game development when I was 13 or 14. I had the thought to turn one of my highschool teachers (someone that wasn’t very popular with the students) into a boss fight. It was a very short game, and once the teacher was defeated, she blew up like a Megaman X boss. From there, I developed games as a hobby. I didn’t have any background in Computer Science, so I had to learn by just ripping apart example projects and copy pasting things a lot.

Between 2004 and 2010, I made a few Flash games that gained popularity on Newgrounds and ArmorGames: Sinjid, Crimson Warfare, Flight, Colony, and Sonny. Flash games were only starting to become big, so I guess there wasn’t that much competition at that time. That’s how my games were able to get so much exposure, and it really encouraged me to do something better than what I had done before. That’s how I grew my skills over the years, and that’s how I met all the amazing people that I’m working with today.

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FGL: We’re very excited you brought your latest project “Sonny” to mobile.  For fans new to the series, tell us about the Sonny franchise

Krin: The first Sonny game was originally a Flash game about a zombie who wakes up tries to find out who he was. The gameplay was a linear turn based combat RPG, with core focus being on the skills and buffs. It was immediately really popular, and to be honest I’m not sure why either. The game is really easy to learn, and I think people enjoy leveling up skills and items in general. Maybe it was the weird environments and story, or the voice acting. The music was incredible too (courtesy of David Orr – thanks mate!), so I guess it was a combination of those things.

What really surprised (and motivated) me was all the people who wrote in the comments or forums who were really into the game. They were talking about strategies, skill builds, and the story. It really made me so happy to know that I was able to create that kind of entertainment and value for other people. That was when I started to seriously consider game development as a career.

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FGL: As a highly successful Flash developer, what was it like making the switch to mobile?

Krin: Prior to Sonny, I made another mobile game called Gemini Strike. It was the first mobile game I ever made, and the first game made using Unity. Double whammy! It was so challenging and uncomfortable at first. I chose to do a space shooter game because I always feel that is the best type of game to make when learning a new platform. But the project eventually grew into a space shooter with procedurally generated loot and RPG mechanics and a massive story script. I had a lot of fun on it, and it was a great project. When that game was done, the very same team began to work on the new Sonny game.

Even with the previous exposure to Unity and mobile, there were still many challenges. Not having vector graphics, or a Movieclip animation system like in Flash meant that we couldn’t just clone the game. We had to re-think how a lot of things worked, but also keep it feeling true to the original. The same was true with gameplay. Sonny was very popular back when it was released in 2007, but now it’s 2016 and the players will have higher expectations. The big design challenge for me was to bring in something fresh, but with the same flavour.

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FGL: Do you have any advice for new game developers or developers looking to make the switch from web / browser gamedev to the mobile space?

Krin: Every developer is different and has their own story! But if you’re like me, you are an impatient creator. You get bored if you spend too much time learning or reading and not seeing results. You’d prefer to hack something together and have it work, than spending time to do it the ‘right’ way (bad habit, I know!). We’re like the hares of the fabled race. We’ll burst out the gate sprinting, but then stop dead down the track. Whether it is from laziness, or lack of energy, or willpower, it doesn’t matter.

But eventually to grow, you have to be patient. Learning a new technology or trying something new can take time. It can feel like a step backwards at first. So I think the key is not to give up, but just switch the approach. Stop being the hare for a while, and be the tortoise! Just make slow and steady progress, and bit by bit you’ll get where you want to be. Even if some technologies get obsolete, there are many more skills you’ll gain along the way that will be useful forever.

 

FGL: Where can your fans follow you and get updates on your games?

Krin: I’m in the process of re-creating my blog. In the meantime, my most active channel for updates or conversation is my twitter – @krin_jj! I My shoutouts are to my team (David, Jet, Panit, Akhanan!), to ArmorGames and all the support they’ve given me (Dan, Ferret, Sean, Tass, Dora!) and to all the amazing people I don’t know who create all the free YouTube video tutorials, podcasts, and answers on Stack Overflow. Thanks guys!

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I’d like to thank Krin and Armor Games for answering our questions and sharing these stories with us. You can download “Sonny” now HERE. If you have any other questions for Krin, you can follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/krin_jj or post in the comments below! If you know someone who would be a good candidate for the Community Spotlight, comment below or send us an email at info@fgl.com.

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ZeroCode – Integrate SDKs without writing a single line of code

Enhance is already the best tool for getting 3rd party mobile services into your app quickly, but it just got even better. With ZeroCode, you can inject certain mobile services into your app without needing to add anything to your project, or even write a single line of code! You can literally integrate them in a few simple clicks.

As you go through the normal Enhance process, you’ll notice 2 new ZeroCode options to choose from. Pre-roll ads and persistent banner ads. You can integrate these ad formats into any iOS or Android app within a couple minutes. We encourage you to try them out on one of your apps to see how fast it really is.

 

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The pre-roll ad placement is fully managed by our dedicated ad ops team, who are constantly mediating ad networks to optimize revenue performance. Since this placement is managed by us, you can check your earnings from the income dashboard on Enhance. We pay you directly every 30 days.

The persistent banner placement is managed by you, and currently only supports Admob (this is expanding soon). You’ll be able to enter whether you want the banner fixed to the top or bottom of your app, as well as have the ability to input your banner ID code from Admob, and choose the size of the banner. You can then alter ad type and refresh rate directly from Admob’s dashboard.

 

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These are just two ZeroCode options out of many we’re hard at work building, and they show just how powerful Enhance really is. We’re excited about the future of Enhance and its ZeroCode options, and we hope you are too!

Have you tried Enhance yet? Click here to go to Enhance.

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Enhance™ 2.0 is here!

enhance2The newest version of Enhance™, the world’s fastest way to add SDKs to apps, is now up and running! The revolutionary technology has added many new features that not only give developers a fast way to add and test SDKs, but also gives them more control. Some of the new highlights:

 

iOS and Android supported

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Hello Apple! Yes, now you can use Enhance to rapidly deploy SDKs on iOS as well as Android apps. This was easily our most requested feature so we listened and delivered.

 

Support for more IDEs and languages.

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Our Drag & Drop Library can be used with: Unity, Android (Java), iOS (Obj-C), OpenFL and Adobe AIR. Just drag the library into your project then add Enhance codes for interstitial, rewarded video or analytics (usually one line of copy&paste code per instance) and you’re done.

 

FGL or user managed ad-mediation.

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Have your ads managed by FGL and take advantage of our on-staff ad team. This means you don’t have to sign-up for any ad networks at all and mediation is changed daily to reflect the best paying ads! Also, FGL pays out net 30, so no more waiting for 6 moths to get paid.

Already signed-up for dozens of ad networks, have a crack team of ad specialists to optimize your revenue and don’t mind waiting for payment? No problem! You can use whatever networks you like and use our great mediation tool to optimize the way you want to.

 

Improved dashboard

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Cleaner, easier to read with more information just a click away. Check out app performance, manage your Enhanced apps, get paid and more. Less time and less hassle means more money for you.

 

Improved crash reporting

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If your app is crashing, users are going to be uninstalling your app. Chasing down crash problems can be stressful, slow and will lose you money. With our crash reporting, you can find the issue quickly, remove the offending SDK, and be back up. In minutes.

 

More rewarded video and interstitial ad networks.

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We’ve partnered with even more ad networks to make sure your revenue keeps flowing. Add your favorite third party ad networks, analytics and more. We’re also adding providers at a constant pace, so your choices will only grow!

 

Check it out!

Rewarded video, interstitials, banners, analytics, crash reporting, mediation. In minutes. Go to enhance.fgl.com to upload your apk or ipa and see for yourself how easy and fast it is! Enhance™ is, as always, free for developers.

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Mobile Success Story – Zombidle by Berzerk Studio

“One of the best idle games ever!”

It’s made by Berzerk Studio so what do you expect… the game is awesome”

“It’s pure fun because… well… zombies. It’s good to be bad!”

 

A few short months ago, the runaway indie mobile hit ‘Zombidle’ took everyone’s phones by storm.  Hundreds of thousands of downloads, a feature by Google Play and a sparkling 4.4 / 5 rating propelled Zombidle to critical and commercial success.

Now, a recent update has Zombidle poised to once again have users pillaging, looting and tapping their way through Hell.  FGL secured an exclusive interview with Zombidle creator Simon Lachance of Berzerk Studio to get his thoughts on mobile success, the game development process and more:

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FGL: Thanks for taking the time to chat with us.  Let’s start by having you introduce yourself to the people at home.

Berzerk: I’m Simon Lachance, also known as “Lachhh” online.  I’m the co-founder of Berzerk Studio, a indie team making games on web, mobile and soon consoles for the past 8 years.  We made games like Sands of Coliseum, Berzerk Ball, Peacekeeper, SkyQuest.  We recently launched Zombidle on web and mobile hoping to fund the development of our first console games : Infernax and Just Shapes and Beats.

FGL: Now you’re a mobile game rockstar but you were one of the top web game earners on FGL as well.  What are your impressions of Mobile and Console development, coming from a Web game background?

Berzerk: Mobile looks a lot like Web games.  We saw the same trends of super quick gameplay fix on mobile.  People played web games when they were bored and had 1-2 minutes of free time.  So the games evolved in that direction.  The same happened on mobile.  Coming from a Flash background, it was easier to adapt to that audience.

It’s a completely new world. You’ve got to show your game to events like PAX,  meet people, brag about your game and get new contacts.  With Flash games you would just put your stuff on the internet and bam,  millions of people play it.  Now, you can’t do that.  You’ll end up with 2 years of development on something that you’re very proud of, but nobody hears about it so they don’t play it.

 

Enhance™ 2.0 is out! It’s simply the fastest way to integrate ads, analytics, reporting and more into your Android or iOS app! Check it out at enhance.fgl.com
FGL: So how did you utilize FGL’s services in ‘Zombidle’?
Berzerk:  We used FGL’s Enhance™ for our mobile ads.  It helped with monetization, tracking data from the game and analyzing it, educating me on the many, many, MANY ad networks out there,  and gave me contacts that finally ended up in a feature on Google Play.
  

FGL:  Any fun stories about the experience of getting featured on Google Play?

Berzerk: I have to thank you guys (FGL) for that actually.  You helped us get that feature and it got us 200k downloads in a matter of week,  thanks a lot!

During the feature,  I was in Thailand for a family trip.  I still worked 40 hours a week, but around Asia with my laptop.  On March 1st,  my wife got sick and we ended up in the Hospital (she’s fine, it was minor).  So I was alone with my three kids. In the middle of nowhere.  The day after, I received a mail saying “LACHHH YOU HAVE TO RELEASE ZOMBIDLE NOW KKTNXLOLBYE“.  I had to release the game we worked on for the past year that day, while having three kids running around.  We finally launched the game, and the day just after that, my accountant told me “Hey, you know about that money thing? Well there’s none left in the bank now.  Have fun”.
So! Wife sick, alone with three kids, in the middle of nowhere, rushing a release, while having zero money in the bank.   That’s how it went.
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We’re good now though!  Zombidle is a success, and it’s looking very good to expand the team to work on JSB and Infernax.
 
“How to present the option of watching an ads to the player is super important.”
FGL:  One of the best features of Zombidle from a user standpoint is that you’re constantly getting free boosts and gameplay rewards just for watching a single 30-second video ad.  What’s your opinion on the Rewarded Video ads that are so crucial to Zombidle’s gameplay? 
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Berzerk:  At first we didn’t think about rewarded videos. But we saw that it was becoming a good source of revenue for mobile games.  Since 90% of players never buy any InApp,  rewarded video is a good alternative to fund your game.

Now the key, (and I can’t stress this enough) is to make it enjoyable for the player.  Make it look like it’s part of the game.  Too often I saw mobile game with a simple “movie clapper” icon, with the text “+300 coins” aside.  It works,  but it hurt immersion.  I even saw time where it cuts the game in the middle of nowhere and go straight to an ad.  It pisses me off everytime.
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We wanted to have something that was embedded to the game’s universe. At that point I remembered an interview with Jason Rohrer.
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The guy made a game where you actually NEED to spend money to play one session.  Kinda like poker,  you have to bet a certain amount of money to even starts.  Now what he did is brilliant.  He changed the theme of its game to be “satanic”,  like an underground illegal evil game you should not be playing if you want to keep your soul. By setting that theme, it explain to the player that it’s normal that you have to pay,  the game’s a freaking pact with the devil. The player knows what he’s getting into, and accepts the challenge.
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So my point is, rewarded videos is the same. How to present the option of watching an ads to the player is super important.  It CAN be part of the game, and not hurt the immersion.  That’s how we ended up with “Devil’s deal”.  It’s popular knowledge that you are losing something when you do a deal with the devil,  so the player already know what he’s getting into.
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Second, it’s always optional.  If you don’t want it, don’t do it.  You won’t be penalized if you don’t do it.
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FGL:  Thanks so much for taking the time to chat with us today.  Do you have anyone you want to thank, shout-outs, or any projects to promote before we wrap up?
 
Berzerk: FGL of course! Thanks for helping us with Zombidle. It’s making us one step closer to making console games like we always dreamed of!

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You can download Zombidle and play the new update now on Google Play and the App Store:

Get it on Google Play

Get it on the App Store

 

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FGL Community Spotlight – Talking Mobile with Rolltower Studios

The Community Spotlight returns this week, and we’ve got a very special guest.  We caught up with Patrick Goncalvez from Rolltower Studios to discuss their recent success in the mobile space
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Q: Welcome to the Spotlight, Patrick!  Let’s start with a quick introduction for those who may not know about you or your studio yet

Patrick at Rolltower: I’m Patrick and I run Rolltower Studios, a development studio primarily creating “freemium” Hidden Object games.  I’m currently the only full-time employee and contract out certain other parts of the business ( like artwork ) as needed.

Q: What made you decide to become a full-time game developer?  Did you start with mobile gaming or other formats?

Rolltower: Long ago when I was in grade school I got into programming because I like video games and wanted to make them on my own. I decided to study programming and work in the field later on, but didn’t really expect to end up working in the industry. But my first job out of college ended up being at a social gaming startup called Playdom, which made Facebook games. They were later acquired by Disney and I continued to work there for another year or two.

I always wanted to run my own business and felt I had a good understanding of the gaming industry and knew how the business worked, so I took a shot at running a small development studio and it’s worked out! This was about two years ago now, and the primary focus has always been mobile gaming as I see that as a huge, growing field.

Q: That’s great.  So how did you wind up working with Tamalaki for your most recent projects like Hidden Object Blackstone?

Rolltower: Blackstone was about a six month-long project of mine that I eventually released to several markets including Android. As its success started to pick up on some smaller markets like BlackBerry 10 and Windows Phone 8, i noticed the Google and Amazon versions were just sitting there, pretty stagnant. Android is of course a huge market and I decided it made a lot of sense to find a publisher who could help me distribute a game that had been proven to be a success on other markets. I looked around at similar games in the Google Play store for publishers and came across Tamalaki that way around June or so of last year.

I introduced myself over email to Martine Spaans over at Tamalaki and explained my situation and it really seemed like a perfect publisher/developer fit. We met up in person at Casual Connect and moved forward with publishing plans from there, making some tweaks to the gameplay model for the Amazon and Google markets. Blackstone released through Tamalaki soon after that and has done quite well, and it’s been great working with Tamalaki. 🙂 Since Blackstone did so well, I doubled down on the Hidden Objects genre with Mystery Society, also with Tamalaki and FGL on the android platforms.

Q: Like you said, it has done really well!  What was the original montization plan for Blackstone, and how did you have to adjust it to reach this level of success?

Rolltower: Blackstone’s original monetization plan revolved around selling in-game coins and gems through in app purchases. Those coins and gems could then be used to purchase hints, collection items, access to more levels, etc. that could otherwise also be earned by playing the game and collecting them over time.

That worked okay, but FGL and Tamalaki had a lot of success with the ad-based revenue model, around which users view and interact with advertisements to earn in game rewards.  Since Blackstone has a flexible economy, these offers could be easily added to the existing game as an additional way for users to acquire coins and gems faster than grinding and without making an in app purchase.

Q: And from the reviews, it seems like your players really appreciate that option

Rolltower: That’s right! Since some types of players prefer to pay a premium for an ad free experience while others prefer viewing advertisements for in game rewards, Blackstone’s monetization plan now involves both options. Users do seem to enjoy this option and it also increases revenue for the developer. Our overall revenue per user increased 2-3x!

Q: So, what’s next for Rolltower?  Any new projects, or are you going to continue updating Blackstone with more new content?

Rolltower: Blackstone and Mystery Society are going to continue receiving new content and features throughout the year. Mystery Society is playing a little bit of “catch-up” as a new game without as many scenes and collections, so it’s getting most of the attention right now. But the goal is to set up a regular set of content updates between the two, so long term players don’t run out of things to do.

There are definitely going to be new games this year, too. I haven’t quite decided on the next set of plans yet, but I do like to add some big improvements with each new game. There will probably be a new Hidden Object game in next few months with some new gameplay aspects that really make it stand out.

Also, we’re in the process of translating Mystery Society into a few different languages. We think its a game with fantastic potential international appeal, and we’d really like to increase the game’s audience that way.

Q: Those sound like great additions.  You’re really keeping busy!  We usually like to wrap up these spotlights by asking for some advice you can give new devs.  Are there any tips you can give a new Mobile game developer about developing in the mobile space?

Rolltower: The main thing that really comes to mind is to take a look at what successful games are doing. You’ll find a lot of very different games are doing a lot of the same things, whether it comes to the core gameplay loops or monetization or icon design, etc. When I worked for larger companies in the game dev industry, we called a lot of these things “best practices” – game design techniques that many developers have come to realize after a lot of trial and error work better than others. Some simple examples are in-app purchase pricing points, in-game sales, gameplay session length (for games with energy or lives that come back over time) , and features like achievements and leaderboards.

I think sometimes as an indie developer there is a tendency to want to innovate on every part of the game in order to stand out. But as a newcomer to the field you have an opportunity to learn from the experience of a lot of other developers, and save yourself a lot of time and headaches.

So really take a pause and analyze what successful games are doing and try to emulate them while you add your own innovation on top of that. Your game will still stand out on its own appeal, and you wont make the same mistakes thousands of developers have already made before you.

Most of these things are usually learnt through experience and a lot of trial and error, and I did my fair share of that too. But if there’s any shortcut to learning from your own mistakes it’s to learn from other peoples’ mistakes.

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We’d like to thank Patrick and Rolltower for taking the time to share their experiences with us.  Be sure to follow Rolltower on Twitter at https://twitter.com/rolltower and comment below with your questions!

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