Game Dev Podcast hosted by Team RisingHigh, a 13 Time Apple Featured Indie Game Studio. Kevin & Jilly discuss everything game development and game making topics. Covering all aspects of creating, designing and marketing mobile and indie games. Actionable, practical Game Dev info squirted up your ears every week, you just bring the biscuits.
Spotlight: Chris Trudeau Interview: Voodoo Games Signing & Publishing Deal - An App Store Success Story
Today I sit down with Academy Member Chris Trudeau of Boston Trudeau Studios, who landed himself a Voodoo publishing deal with his latest game title Twenty48 Solitaire, so huge congrats to Chris, super excited at such an awesome success story. Download: Twenty48 Solitaire In our conversation, we discuss how Chris made the leap from being a professional finish carpenter, dabbling with selling print on demand t-shirts from his 2 Etsy shops as a side hustle, to stumbling across Buildbox and ultimately creating mobile games. Using a deck of cards to brainstorm game ideas, thinking how to twist this classic card game, and grabbing tons of feedback from family and friends, the first versions of twenty48 Solitaire was born. Chris hired someone on Fiverr to create his first prototype ( made in just 12 hours ) in unity. Soon after
16/10/2018 • 40 minutes 21 seconds
027: Podcast Hiatus - New Game Building Focus, Schedule Paused & Time Management Dilemmas.
After our Academy Anniversary month of July, we took some time for a lot of soul searching about what is next on the agenda for us as a Indie Game Studio and the company in general. The fact is, it has been way too many months since the production of our last game, and this has long been an itch that badly needs scratching! We love doing the podcast and it’s been a lot of fun, but it has surprised us at just how long a process it is. We’ve come to the difficult decision to take a short hiatus on the podcast, to enable us to free up some pure focus time to head off and start a new game and concentrate on providing the best advice and service to all Academy Members. We’ll be back to share all our highs and lows on our game dev antics, along with the problems we face and how we solved them ( or not )! Until then, be sure to follow us on our social media accounts
07/08/2018 • 15 minutes 5 seconds
026: Hyper Casual Games - Mobile Publishers, Game Retention and the Domination of Hyper Casual Mobile Games.
Hyper Casual games are dominating the App Store Top Charts. In early in 2017, we saw the rise of Hyper-Casual games going main stream with publishers like Voodoo.io leading the way with their smash hit paper.io. These usually lightweight games, consisting of nothing much more than an addictive core loop on launch, are typically a few steps ahead of a MVP ( minimal viable product ) or prototype. Pushed heavily via social media campaigns ( Snapchat / Instagram / Facebook ) publishers can achieve extremely low CPI's ( cost per install ) and thus propelling these simple small mobile games to the pinnacle of the mobile App Stores with a relatively modest budget. Because if this, they are highly scalable and massively sharable and often go viral pretty fast. Website: <
31/07/2018 • 18 minutes 8 seconds
025: Buildbox 3 - Time for New Games in Buildbox 3D - The K.I.S.S Mobile Game Developer Rule.
To finish up our devlog style episodes for this month, we look ahead to what we’ll be working on for the 2nd half of 2018. With the imminent release of Buildbox 3 ( Beta ) in the coming weeks, we're super pumped to get back into our favourite game creation software and take a look at the next generation of Buildbox. Whilst of course it’s very exciting to have new tools to play with and finally get to play around in 3D, it’s also worth remembering that the Arcade Style Hyper Casual games that are dominating the charts, and the ones we love to build, are always simple in concept. In fact, as we deconstructed a whole ton of these in our Hyper Casual Games course “Seriously Snackable”, the very essence of these games revolve around the core loop an
24/07/2018 • 29 minutes 15 seconds
024: Time Off Apparently - Making Time for R & R, Accountants and Really Bad Quick Maths.
More of a general chit chat this week as we’re on holiday, or at least we were supposed to be. Following an impromptu decision to take some time out as I was approaching burnout, it soon became apparent that our schedule was completely shot and there was no podcast ready, oops. We made a commitment to show up each and every week, and not wanting to break our run so far, we came in, sat down and recorded. As a small business owner, there’s never enough time in the day and there’s always something that needs to be done, it’s a never ending ongoing process. However, there definitely comes a point when R & R needs to take priority and, although slightly broken, we are on a go slow right now and taking days away from the grind. It’s important. We discuss all what this means to us, our a
17/07/2018 • 19 minutes 53 seconds
023: One Year In - Running an Indie Game Studio and Game Dev Training Academy
As July marks the one year Anniversary of our Game Dev Training Academy, we decided it would be nice to sit down and have a chat about our journey so far, and revisit the reasons behind why we decided to set up the Rising High Academy. Website: RisingHighAcademy.com We truly do appreciate you taking time out of your day to listen and hope you got some value. If you enjoyed today’s show, it would go such along way if you hit that Subscribe button. We’d also be forever grateful if you’d consider sparing just a quick minute to Leave us an Honest Rating & Review. We always read each and every one personally and it always makes our day!</s
10/07/2018 • 50 minutes 27 seconds
022: Behind the Scenes - Reasons why as Game Developers, you should revisit your old games.
For all you seasoned game developers out there, when September time rolls around and Apple releases new devices and iOS versions, more often than not we need to update something to ensure our old games still work correctly. Whilst this can be a pain the you know what, it can actually be turned into a positive, and a time to revisit our old games, breathe some life back into them and bring them up to date. Visit us for the Full Show Notes & Links to all the Resources: Website: RisingHighAcademy.com We truly do appreciate you taking time out of your day to listen and hope you got some value. If you enjoyed today’s show, it would go such along way if you hit th
03/07/2018 • 22 minutes 43 seconds
021: Design Constraints - Why designing under constraints will make you a better game designer.
Working under constraints, especially in a creative field, can be a challenging but highly effective way to build up your inventiveness. Often when starting out a project, setting some kind of constraint can force you into action and get your brain thinking in a different way. For instance, it’s time to start a new game project. “Let’s now build a game.” You’re at your workspace.. Cool… erm… yeah… so… yeah… erm… Now, let’s imagine you put some constraints on the project: “Let’s build a game with only 2 colours” or “Let’s build a game in 48 hours” or “Let’s build a game with only Triangles.” <
26/06/2018 • 32 minutes 57 seconds
020: Websites and Press Kits - As Game Developers, is it Essential to have a Website & Press Kit for your Mobile Games?
We had an interesting question come in this week from Podcast listener Stuart, so we decided to have a chat about just how essential having a website and press kit is for your games. Stuart says: “I’m half way through building my game and I’m starting to have a think about marketing. Do I need a website and press kit for my game and is it something worth doing anyway?” Great question! We answer this and more... Visit us for the Full Show Notes & Links to all the Resources: Website: RisingHighAcademy.com We truly do apprec
19/06/2018 • 21 minutes 37 seconds
019: App Store Research - 3 Reasons Why Researching the App Store is Critical for Mobile Indie Game Developers.
Browsing around on the App Store has been part of our daily routine pretty much ever since we first started building our games. The App Store is the playground we play in, and thus it’s super important to keep a keen eye on the market. With the Store refreshing each Thursday, it’s always a bit of a buzz to have a good look around at just who the movers and shakers are, and what’s working right now. Visit us for the Full Show Notes & Links to all the Resources: Website: RisingHighAcademy.com We truly do appreciate you taking time out of your day to listen and hope you got some value. If you enjoyed today’s show, it would go such along way if you hit that Subscr
12/06/2018 • 27 minutes 40 seconds
018: Motivation - 5 Hacks for Game Developers to Stay Motivated When Developing Games
This week we discuss our Top 5 hacks to ensure you stay motivated during your game development cycle. Keeping energised and focussed is critical to meeting those deadlines, however loose they may actually be. We all struggle with motivation from time to time, it's inevitable, however you can definitely influence your own motivation if you can actually figure out what you want, set and commit to your goals and try and push through those difficult phases. Visit us for the Full Show Notes & Links to all the Resources: Website: RisingHighAcademy.com We truly do appreciate you taking time out of your day to listen and hope you got some value. If you enjoye
05/06/2018 • 30 minutes 50 seconds
017: Game Success - As a Game Developer, how do you define success for your Indie Mobile Game?
Defining success for any mobile game can come in many forms. You may be just starting out in the business, and, by the very fact that you have built a game and released it on the App Store, can be in of itself defined as a great success. Visit us for the Full Show Notes & Links to all the Resources: Website: RisingHighAcademy.com We truly do appreciate you taking time out of your day to listen and hope you got some value. If you enjoyed today’s show, it would go such along way if you hit that Subscribe button. We’d also be forever grateful if you’d consider sparing just a quick minute to Leave us an Honest Rating & Re
29/05/2018 • 25 minutes 57 seconds
016: Finish Your Damn Game - 5 Common Developer Pitfalls that can stop you getting to Launch Day.
As game developers, shipping your finished game, whether you’re a hobbyist or part of a professional studio team, the goal you should always be heading for is to finish. We all know that at times, life just gets in the way, but there are a certain number of pitfalls you can fall into very easily, and often unknowingly, and this can hinder you releasing your game and often stop dead your project dead in its tracks. Visit us for the Full Show Notes & Links to all the Resources: Website: RisingHighAcademy.com We truly do appreciate you taking time out of your day to listen and hope you got some value.
22/05/2018 • 46 minutes 19 seconds
015: Game Polish – The 5 Major Aspects of Game Polishing All Game Developers Should Pay Attention To.
So what exactly is game polish? It’s all in the details, details, details. It’s all about mastering the art of fine tuning and learning to be slightly obsessive. Mix this with a sprinkle of OCD thrown in for good measure and you’re on your way to becoming a polishing Jedi. The truth is, polishing your game could in theory go on forever, and the urge to tweak details over and over can seriously impact on you actually releasing your game. So, as game designers / game developers, just when do we know that we’ve done just the right amount of polish? We’ve put together some of the most important tweaks for you to hone in on during your game polish process. For us, these are the solid bedrock of polishing stages that we do on every game we release and ones we recommend you do too. Visit us for the Full Show Notes & Links to all the Resources: Website: <a href='https:/
15/05/2018 • 47 minutes 18 seconds
014: Game Monetisation - Our Best 5 Ways to Make Money with Games and the best way to Monetise Your Mobile Game.
So you’ve built your game, spent countless hours crafting each and every pixel, polished it to the end degree and now you’re ready to launch it to the world! But, just how are you going to make money from your brand new mobile game? You should be thinking about monetising your mobile game from the moment you start to build, and this can have a big effect on how you actually end up constructing your projects. As game designers and builders, it would be absolutely fantastic to serve up our games with no ads, but as small indies, we need to earn money! Ads are a necessity in our world unfortunately, but if done with the least amount of intrusiveness and a little thought towards our players, we can still monetise well. Let’s go over some of the popular monetisation methods open to us indie game developers today and ones we’ve used ourselves in our hyper casual / snackable games. Simple eCPM Equation eCPM = ( Cost Per Mile Historically ) H
08/05/2018 • 42 minutes 13 seconds
013: Icon Design - 6 Golden Rules & Principles for Effective Game Icon Design that Every Game Developer Should Know.
Your icon is arguably one of your most important assets when it comes to your App Store presence. It is usually the first opportunity to impress potential customers and therefore makes it critical to your overall branding. When speaking about icons, there is without a doubt some best practices that should not be ignored. Often when we think of icon design, less is usually more. However, the icons main purpose is to fully encompass and capture the very essence of your game. Ideally, this should be achieved with as few elements and colours as possible. The best rule of thumb, and at the very core of great icon design, is that you should try and head for a single element that is clearly visible when viewed on the device itself. From personal experience, and as you’ll begin to notice as you delve deeper into your research tasks, the vast majority of featured games in any given week, will all have an extremely strong and clearly defined icon. <
01/05/2018 • 41 minutes 39 seconds
012: Fun In Games - 5 Factors of Fun you’ll find in Every Game You’ll Play and Game Developers Need to Know
Defining Fun is certainly and tricky one for sure. What is fun for me, could quite possibly not be particularly fun for you. So how do we define fun when it comes to Game Development and in our games? Rather than thinking of the word "Fun" in the traditional sense, we should be thinking about our Games as being an experience, to which fun is an aspect. For instance, let's say we have built a Horror themed game where there's spooky moments, creepy music and scare jumps a plenty. Whilst there may not be too many "fun" aspects, it's still completely enjoyable. When we boil everything down, each and every game we'll ever play will consist of training us in some aspect. We'll learn mechanics and gameplay systems, master timing and "hand to eye" co-ordination. The achievement
24/04/2018 • 34 minutes 24 seconds
011: Mood Boards - 5 Reasons why creating mood boards are an essential starting point for game development.
Creating a Mood Board is an essential starting point when you're starting out on any new game / project. What is a Mood Board? Simply put, a Mood Board is a collection of images that you find inspirational, aspirational and aesthetically pleasing all collated into 1 central document that you can refer back to throughout your game development. Using keywords or phrases into google images, other search engines are available, start to cherry pick images that you like the look of, like the colour of, like the shape or form of or give you some kind of enhanced emotion. It could be the way the mist sits eerily over the grass tops, the shadows that a candle makes when it flickers, anything that you'd love to encapsulate in whatever type of game you're building. Of course, that all sounds super fancy, but what about my "Snackable" / "Hyper Casual" mobile game I'm building?
17/04/2018 • 30 minutes 2 seconds
010: Screenshots - 10 Tips and Tricks for Creating Killer Converting App Store Screenshots.
With just a few precious seconds to grab players attention, your screenshots need to pack a punch and convince them to hit that get button. As the old adage goes, " A picture is worth a thousand words" and for your App Store screenshots, this is most certainly true. This week we discuss how to create enticing, informative and exciting screenshots so you can master the art of how to fully show off your games potential. Our Top 10 best practices for designing your killer visuals will guide you through all the do's and don'ts when it comes to creating App Store screenshots. Whether it's including Marketing Strap lines, highlighting key aspects and features or even creating a mini tutorial, our Top 10 Tips and Tricks for creating awesome App Store screenshots will boost your conversion rates and get you more people downloading your fresh new mobile game. Highlights, Quick Wins & Takeaways.</s
10/04/2018 • 39 minutes 23 seconds
009: Mobile Game Publishers - 5 reasons why your goal should be to sign a mobile publishing deal with the first 10 games you build.
This week we discuss the plans and goals any Indie Game Developer should follow when making games for the mobile platforms. Be it the Apple App Store, GooglePlay or Amazon, our advice is always the same whether you're an absolute beginner or have been making games for a while, head for that Publishing Deal. There's a multitude of benefits for teaming up with an established mobile game publisher when launching your titles, the most arguably is traffic. Without a solid User Acquisition ( UA ) strategy in place it's going to be a struggle to drive downloads to your game and to get noticed. Any Publisher worth their salt already have a vast, daily active network of players within their existing portfolio to cross promote and market your game to, this is vital especially on launch day. They'll also have solid connections within the industry especially with the platforms themselves. They can get your game
03/04/2018 • 29 minutes 16 seconds
008: Game Trailers - 7 reasons why every Game Developer should add a preview video to your Appstore page – and the one reason you probably shouldn’t.
In today's show, we answered Podcast listener Brad's question on should we add a Game Trailer to our Appstore product page. With this in mind, we put together our Top 7 reasons for adding an App Preview on the Appstore and the 1 reason why you shouldn't. Generally speaking, adding a game trailer, or App Preview Video, to your Appstore Store pages is a positive move. Although screenshots allow you to showcase your games best moments, there's really no substitute for seeing the game in action and watching a demo first hand. Motion is hard to convey in the static of the screenshots, and for this reason alone it's worth it. Your Appstore page is essentially your shop window and what all your hard work has been about. You've spent weeks or months creating your masterpiece, so don't fall at the last hurdle, grit through the final stages and put that video together. If your game deserves more than 1 video, then it's certainly worth doing we'd da
27/03/2018 • 38 minutes 16 seconds
007: Surprise and Wonder - 10 ways Game Developers can add Surprise and Wonder to your games.
In this episode, we compiled our Top 10 ways to add Surprise and Wonder moments into your games to create emotional reactions from your players. We all want our players to fall in love with our games, but what elements are you actually creating within your game to delight them? Are you making them smile? Are you making them jump out of their skin? Are you creating instances of "Wow?". Here's our Top 10 key elements you can think about implementing to really hook them in and secure your games icon stays front and centre on their devices. Highlights, Quick Wins & Takeaways: 1. Scale of Environment. 2. Secret places / Bonus Levels. 3. Unexpected Rewards / End of level celebrations. 4. Special and or Secret Characters or Worlds. 5. Change in Game Mechanics. 6. Invoking Emotions including - Panic / Joy / Anticipation / Excitement. 7. Adding the Wow Factor - Creating Awe and adding Character Reactions. 8. Change in Music and Sounds ( Atmosphere ). 9. Introducing Power u
20/03/2018 • 38 minutes 1 second
Spotlight: Trey Smith Interview – Buildbox Founder with 65 Million Downloads.
In this special Spotlight episode, Kevin sits down with Buildbox CEO and Founder, Trey Smith. Trey began his game building journey back in 2011 with the launch of Kolo’s Journey where he met and hired now Buildbox CTO Nik Rudenko. This was the beginning of the hugely popular Game Building company that is now Buildbox, along with a wildly successful Mobile Gaming business which has now amassed well over 65 Million downloads. Securing multiple publishing deals with the Giant Publisher Ketchapp. Trey talks openly about the struggles of setting up both companies, the systems set up to ensure the company runs as smoothly as po
13/03/2018 • 1 hour 16 minutes 9 seconds
006: Developer Mistakes - Top 16 mistakes that most new Game Devs make and how to avoid them..
In this episode, we compiled our Top 16 mistakes that we see many new game developers make when first starting out. We break down each part we identified and discuss what to look out for and how avoid these common game development pitfalls when you’re learning how to build, design and structure your games. Highlights, Quick Wins & Takeaways: Cloning existing games way too closely Buying stock and mix and matching artwork / styles Making your game too big & too complicated Creating your game characters too big / Over Scaled Aiming for ultimate perfection and getting lost in the small stuff Your Game speed is either too slow, or too fast Project surfing – Shiny Object syndrome Making your game way too difficult / too easy Getting feedback, show people
06/03/2018 • 45 minutes 40 seconds
005: Game Naming - How to come up with the perfect name for your next Indie Mobile Game.
Naming your game can be super tricky! Coming up with that all encompassing killer title can waste hours and have you scratching your head trying to settle on that perfect branding. This episode covers the importance of coming up with a name that truly reflects the nature and tone of your game. Your game title should completely set your potential players expectations before they even download it, and how a mismatch here can lead to disappointment. Using some online tools to aid in your research along with some things to consider for ASO purposes. Highlights, Quick Wins & Takeaways: Your game name should match the theme and tone of the gameplay Start with the motion, goals or mechanics of your game 2 Word “Rhyming” titles are usually best for “Fun / Silly / Arcade” games Misspelling or adding punctuation marks can get you close if your name has been taken Use online Thesaurus sites like WordHippo.com for ideas and inspiration Reserve your name inside iTunesConnect to ensure you’ve
27/02/2018 • 19 minutes 42 seconds
004: Game Design - Tips, Tricks & Ideas for Game Developers to create Awesome Game & Level Design and Overcoming creative block.
What happens when you’re all out of ideas when designing levels in your game? I’ve done the platform that moves left to right, I’ve done the platform going up and down, now what can I do? What can I do to overcome my creative block? In this episode, we sit down and go through some of our techniques, along with some resources that we use to pull from when the creative juices just aren’t flowing. Using a combination of all these tactics should mean you’ll never get stuck again. Highlights, Quick Wins & Takeaways: Take time away from the project, fresh eyes and a break often does wonders Browse Youtube for similar games in your genre and watch a “Let’s Play” stream Watching gameplay rather than playing enables you to see things differently Look at the classics in your genre, borrow from the masters – Do NOT copy! Introduce a new mechanic / enemy / character / world into your game Go play some games! Get feedback from your networks / social media. Make sure you state you’re looking
20/02/2018 • 23 minutes
003: Game Building - How long does it take to develop and make a mobile indie game?
How long is a piece of string when it comes to figuring out how much time you need to put aside to make, develop and actually ship your new indie game? In this episode, we reveal our process for setting internal deadlines and timescales when we start to make one of our "snackable" casual mobile games. It will always depend on the overall size and scope of the game you're building, which is something to consider in the very early planning stages, and can really influence the overall games content. Will you make a level based game or an endless random game? Will you have characters to collect? If so, how many is the least amount you could actually launch with? These core decisions early on can be the difference between 6 weeks and 6 months. Highlights, Quick Wins & Takeaways: Setting deadlines is crucial to actually complete your game We head for a 6 week turnaround time Set aside dedicated, focussed time to work on your project Allow 4-6 weeks to pitch the Appstore
13/02/2018 • 26 minutes 58 seconds
002: Game Graphics - What style to Choose, Where to buy game art packs & the 4 pillars of style for Indie Mobile Game Developers.
Your game needs graphics, well yeah, go figure! But what style do you choose for your game and what happens if you're no digital Picasso? In this episode, we chat about ensuring the art direction of your game matches the mood and feel correctly. Where to go online if you're looking to purchase game art, backgrounds and game packs. What are the 4 most tried and tested art styles that consistently get featured by Apple in "New Game We Love" and why if you choose one of these, you're more likely to get noticed. Thinking outside the norm when it comes to outsourcing and where to go if you're looking for a freelancer. Regardless if it's a one-off commission or perhaps you're looking to take on a full-time game artist, finding someone to create ongoing bespoke art can be tricky. Highlights, Quick Wins & Takeaways: Why you must be in love with whatever style you choose Look at the Appstore for Trends and Featured Games Voxel, Flat, Polygon and Pi
29/01/2018 • 26 minutes 18 seconds
001: Game Prototyping - Effective Prototyping Tips & why as Game Dev's you should be documenting your process.
How do you start prototyping your fresh new game idea. Having that awesome vision in your head is all well and good, but you need to start making it a reality, it needs to come alive! We discuss all the ways that we set about prototyping our games and, although probably somewhat unconventional, why we want to get this stage moving as fast as possible. Almost exclusively starting with our trusty pencils and sketchbooks, we try and roughly draw something iconic from our minds eye, be it a general look of a level or perhaps even a character, just something to visualise before heading straight into our development tool, Buildbox. Highlights, Quick Wins & Takeaways: Create a mood board as a reference point for the whole project Use pen and paper to quickly draw a level or character Get into your development software / tool as fast as possible Use existing graphics to get you started, don't be fancy Focus on the feel of the mechanics Embrace the "Happy Accidents" that m
28/01/2018 • 29 minutes 7 seconds
000: Game Ideas - Podcast Introduction, Finding Inspiration and coming up with new game ideas.
So you want to make a game, but what sort of game should you make and how do you come up with new game ideas? In this our pilot episode of the podcast, we answer this, by far the most common question we get asked. After a brief introduction of who we are here at RisingHigh, we dive straight in and start breaking down how we go about getting our new game ideas, where we draw inspiration from and our roundabout process on how our concepts come to life. It's a very organic process, but through various sources we can merge genres, fuse ideas and create something we can put our own unique spin on. Highlights, Quick Wins & Takeaways: Using the Appstore to see what is hot in the current market, Top 100 Free Games Data mine reviews for customer insights Browse Game Jam Sites for unusual Game Ideas Look at art installations and architecture Be present in your environment, get out and about and be open to the world around you The Featured Games that Apple showcases each week Online g