PAX Australia kicked off for me with a great talk from the guys at Halfbrick. If you haven’t heard the name, you’ll no doubt have heard of their games, most notable among them is Fruit Ninja. The guys kicked off their talk giving a bit of information to us about how they go about making and marketing games, sprouting words of wisdom to all the game developers in the room, and based on their own experiences they had some fantastic information to share.
One of the things that I thought was great about what the guys had to say was that the whole time they kept a focus on making sure that you always have fun with what you are doing and letting your personality shine through what you are doing, which were both key factors in a lot of the other points they made around marketing your games and building an audience. The marketing for games like fruit ninja came very early on in the piece, with the marketing guys working very closely with the developers, which was emphasised as something they felt to being important when it came to ensuring success. They spoke of how they made use of things like develop diary videos and commentary from the developers to get the word out there about their games and also to help start building a community through social media to build some hype about the games before they launch.
They also discussed some of the challenges they have faced, staying agile was one of them – the ability to make decisions quickly is important and as your company grows this gets harder so its something they have been dealing with. The guys also highlighted the importance of being able to make the tough decisions when making games, such as when to cut your loses and get out. Halfbrick themselves have had to do this many times so they can focus on the things that work and stay successful.
All of this history and tips was leading up to a big announcement though, the world wide reveal of the companies new game – “Colossatron: Massive World Threat“. The new game has (and I’m quoting them from the presentation) “Explosions – and no fish!”, and it focusses on an all powerful being that has come to destroy mankind – and the great thing here, is that you are that being! The game has a anime-ish looking style to it and looks sort of like a cartoon from the 80’s, and looks to have that addictive gameplay that halfbrick are well known for in that casual gamer space. There aren’t details about platforms yet, but given they have a presence in the Xbox world (both on console with fruit ninja Kinect and in the Windows 8 space) hopefully we’ll see it later this year when it officially launches. Check out the trailer below for a preview of the game.