Build in Bombay’s AUA with BYOF Studios

Divraj Jain [4:00 PM] 
@rananava: @babo @prateek Thanks for doing this , what are you guy’s working on at BYOF and how did you get started ? (edited)

Raoul Nanavati [4:01 PM] 
Hey @divraj , thanks for having us!

Raoul Nanavati [4:01 PM]4:01
We are focussed on building casual games for the mobile market.. We’ve released Bollywood Emoji Quiz ( on iOS, Android and Facebook and Discover O (

Raoul Nanavati [4:02 PM]
We were working together for 3 years at WOI before starting BYOF — where we built games for a completely different market — the In Flight Entertainment market.

Raoul Nanavati [4:02 PM]
While building there we realized the opportunity to build games for the consumer mobile market and decided to go after it

Raoul Nanavati [4:03 PM]
just FYI — @prateek our CTO who joined us is also here if anyone has any technical questions

Divraj Jain [4:05 PM] 
@rananava: Can you tell us a bit about what you learnt from Selfie vs Selfie the other game you built ?

Raoul Nanavati [4:06 PM] 
Well, Selfie vs. Selfie was our first stab at building a product — It was a multiplayer photo sharing competition where users challenged others to take a better selfie that was based on a phrase.

Raoul Nanavati [4:07 PM]
It turned out that the market wasn’t so into competing with each other over selfies — they just liked taking selfies based on phrases and so we shut it down after testing it for a month in the Philippines

Raoul Nanavati [4:08 PM]
Here’s a link to the full post-mortem — that you guys can read — It details the entire product life from concept to death :simple_smile:

Babo [4:09 PM] 
@divraj: Killing our first product was heartbreaking, but a data centric approach pointed us in the right direction

Varun Goel [4:11 PM] 
How has the transition to building games for the consumer mobile market been? Do you think the app store ecosystem will allow for indie development shops like yourself to stay above water? (edited)

Raoul Nanavati [4:14 PM] 
@goelv: Great question — the transition has been very interesting. The app store ecosystem as built to support indie devs from the get-go except now it has matured to where marketing budgets for games are surpassing Hollywood movie marketing budgets. So the challenge is definitely real, however, if you are smart about the games you make, build an engaged community and trust data to steer in you the right direction I believe any game studio has the chance to keep their head above water until they land on their hit game.

Ria [4:15 PM] 
@rananava: what are some challenges you have faced as CEO in the last year? Any learnings you’d like to share?

Raoul Nanavati [4:16 PM] 
The biggest challenge we faced and continue to face is building a rock solid team — Getting@prateek on board filled a big tech gap for us and now we are focussed on chasing our vision.

Divraj Jain [4:17 PM] 
@goelv: recently shared which outline’s how most of us avoid paying for productivity app’s @rananava you go over same problem’s in gaming here , what can the startup community do to change people’s mindset on paying for games / software ?

The Pickle Theory
Why I Buy “All Those Apps” — The Pickle Theory
Ever since my fascination with technology became known by my colleagues, I’m often asked for my opinion regarding all sorts of quibbles and buying decisions. Most of the time, I’ll do it willingly, as I enjoy talking about this stuff anyway. There’s one type of conversation, though, that usually leaves me a bit… frustrated. “Oh, …
July 1st at 10:02 PM
How do we get Indian players to pay for mobile games?
While India is a land of opportunity with untapped growth, the market is still nascent and its gaming community inexperienced. Across the country, 4G is a rare commodity, while the lack of an onli…
Varun Goel 
[4:17 PM] 
How Angry Birds Started

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die trying :simple_smile:

Raoul Nanavati [4:19 PM] 
@goelv: hell yeah! the market has changed since angry birds but the sentiment remains true.
[4:19 PM]
Commented on Varun Goel’s file How Angry Birds Started
Sounds familiar. We go through tonnes of ideas.

Varun Goel [4:20 PM] 
@babo: to be able to kill your first product is incredible. cheers to that. that takes balls

Raoul Nanavati [4:21 PM] 
@divraj Changing people’s mindsets has got to be the most difficult problem to solve — Look at Elon :simple_smile: he wanted to send a spaceship to mars with mice just to get people thinking about the potential of space..

Raoul Nanavati [4:21 PM]
@divraj but in reality — the startup community just needs to build products that deliver great value — the money will follow.

Varun Goel [4:22 PM] 
I honestly believe games is the only category in the app ecosystem where an indie game shop could make a sustainable profit. i agree with you @rananava

Varun Goel [4:23 PM]
if you have a unique, quirky game which is fun, engaging, it could blow up like flappy bird

Raoul Nanavati [4:24 PM] 
that’s true for sure, but it is my firm belief that it would be easier to win the lottery than make the next flappy bird.

Varun Goel [4:24 PM] 
what’s your team size? and how many games/apps are you working on at now?

Raoul Nanavati [4:24 PM] 
we are 7 strong now

Raoul Nanavati [4:25 PM]
Our next product is a real time multiplayer game focussed on the Indian market. The model we are creating will be replicable for similiar games in different markets. Sorry for the cryptic answer here but we haven’t announced our next product yet :simple_smile:

Babo [4:27 PM] 
@goelv: Flappy bird was a combination of many different stars aligning for that developer. For a new indie studio to attempt to create the next viral sensation like that, it would mean taking on some insurmountable risks and trying to beat impossible odds. So we definitely don’t advise going down that route for anyone else looking to start up in the games market.
Raoul Nanavati 
[4:27 PM] 

245KB JPEG in #ama • 2 comments • Open original 
Raoul Nanavati 
[4:27 PM]
that’s the team
Prateek Gupte 
[4:28 PM]
We multitask a lot

Divraj Jain [4:30 PM] 
Thanks for doing this @rananava @babo @prateek , hope it is was insightful !

Raoul Nanavati [4:31 PM] 
Thanks guys — great questions.. @divraj if anyone is interested in Beta testing our games they can write in to us at with subject line: Add me beta :simple_smile: