Our Showcase At White Nights 2019 Moscow: Justforward Team

Timur Taepov
Oct 21, 2019 · 4 min read

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Recently we’ve participated in White Nights Conference. This is a leading B2B event for the game industry in Europe. The conference was held in Moscow and lasted two days on October 16 and 17. There were hundreds of people from all over the world. The speakers and experts were from companies like Voodoo, TikTok, Playgendary and others. Taking all that in mind, most of the dialogs were in English.

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from left to right: Timur Taepov (Justforward), Daniel Taepov (Justforward)

Publishers from France and China were dominating at the conference. There were people from Voodoo and TapNation. TapNation is very active fresh French publisher, all founders attended the conference and talked to developers.

Also, we talked to Voodoo. Kenjy from Voodoo told us that they are launching a kind of middle program. It means they will publish not only hit games, but middle projects with 35–40% RRD1 as well. This is for sure great news, because there are tons of well-done projects on the market which are not hit games, but still can generate some profit.

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Talking to TapNation :)))

Another interesting thing was KaiOS. We were surprised to know that phones with buttons are still popular and its sales are growing. It happens due to Third World countries. And now it is a great opportunity for game developers to port their games to HTML5 and then upload to KaiOS store.

A short presentation by KaiOS representative (RU language)

Due to showcasing, we visited very few presentations. We visited Voodoo’s and Gismart’s speeches. Voodoo’s presentation was about their values and Gismart provided some cases. On both presentations I asked the same question. The question was about Retention Rate Day 1 (RRD1). How it is important to balance levels and provide enough content for a good RRD1? Alex from Voodoo answered that they fully rely on the core mechanics when testing RRD1. The example is Roller Splat game which had only seven looped levels on testing and showed amazing RRD1 results. Andrey from Gismart answered that they are focusing on level balancing and content as well when testing RRD1. He said that they had a case of increasing the retention from 24% to 40% using this approach. Well, for sure it’s better to have both things, amazing core mechanics and well-done levels balancing with much content. But if a single core mechanics with little content shows a high RRD1 then it’s definitely gonna be a hit game.

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Alex Willink is talking about Voodoo’s values

We set two key goals for the conference:

  • to test the latest build of our game which we improved after Gamedev.House Conference;
  • to find developers for a publishing collaboration, we are looking into an opportunity to become a medium-sized hyper-casual publisher.

The game we showcased is Traffic Way. It is available on Google Play. We showcased this game earlier at Gamedev.House Conference on September 22. Check the report by this link.

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The things we prepared for the showcase:

  • a rollup with our branding;
  • a banner with our game artwork;
  • a PC with looped video of the core gameplay;
  • the latest game build on two devices;
  • business cards;
  • a notepad for feedback;
  • and many snacks for our visitors as usual.
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What we’ve implemented between the conferences:

  • released the progress system we tested at the first conference;
  • reduced straight forward scenes and fully focused on the satisfying action, which is “slip through” the cross roads;
  • implemented game design solutions to provide better intuitiveness;
  • balanced the levels;
  • increased the dynamics of the game by increasing the speed settings;
  • added light effects for the cars;
  • improved level indicators.

Most of testers really enjoyed the game and really liked it. There are still some elements which are not intuitive enough. And also there is a lack of the gameplay diversity. What we found is that a player catches the flow feeling and then even a tiny unintuitive obstacle breaks this feeling.

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Further steps regarding the game:

  • significantly improve the intuitiveness;
  • improve the levels balancing;
  • add more content.

We are going to conduct hyper-casual meet-ups very soon. Stay tuned!

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