#DevNightMinsk: mobile development

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November 22 at the Minsk office of Wargaming | Game Stream JLLC hosted the first Belarusian #DevNightMinsk . Until late at night, developers and game designers discussed various aspects of game development. Representatives of Wargaming, Heyworks, Alis Games and Happymagenta shared their own experiences.

DevNightMinsk 2014 in Wargaming Conferece hall

Sergey Galenkin, DevNight’s ideological inspirer, blogger and senior analyst at Wargaming, also noted at the Minsk conference. He opened DevNightMinsk and took an active part in the panel discussion, which took place after the speakers.
The theme of DevNightMinsk was mobile development. Indeed, this particular segment is one of the most developed and in demand in the Belarusian game dev. According to rough estimates, in Belarus there are about 20 studios * engaged in the development of games for mobile platforms and social networks.
Due to the relevance of the issues discussed at DevNightMinsk, an online broadcast on YouTube was organized. Everyone who could not attend the conference in person had the opportunity to watch speeches and ask questions to the speakers in a panel discussion online. And, knowing the love of the Habrachians for useful and practically applicable materials, below we publish recordings of speeches.

DevNightMinsk 2014 Blitz-report Alexey Alekseev Project Manager World of Tanks Blitz, WargamingBlitz-report / Aleksey Alekseev / Project Manager World оf Tanks Blitz, Wargaming
In his report, Aleksey talked about the difficult and thorny path that developers went when moving “big tanks” to mobile platforms. Despite the fact that the history of World of Tanks Blitz has just begun, the game has already earned the love of both experienced tankers and beginners, who first sat down to control the tank.
Due to the nature of the platform, the development team had to tinker with management and greatly simplify game concepts and mechanics. For example, in the mobile version of the game, the crew does not “control” the tank, but the player’s avatar, there is no artillery at all, and in sniper mode there is a reservation highlight.
The upcoming Android release of WoT Blitz, whose Soft Launch recently took place in Italy and the countries of Scandinavia, was very interested in DevNightMinsk participants. According to Alexey, the “soft launch” is successful and in the near future we can expect a full release.
You can see the presentation of Alexei here .

DevNightMinsk 2014 Advanced texturing for mobile devices Daniil Censored_ID Kopytko Leading 3D artist, HeyworksAdvanced texturing for mobile devices / Daniil 'Censored_ID' Kopytko / Leading 3D artist, Heyworks The
computing power of most mobile devices does not reach the power of desktop computers and laptops. Therefore, the creation of “easy” game art for mobile platforms can be a real challenge for the artist. Daniel talked about one of the easiest ways to create beautiful and light textures for mobile applications.
We are talking about Gradient color mapping technology, which was used several years ago in the development of games for PCs and consoles. Valve still successfully applies this technology to create many different characters, simply changing the colors of the original model (for example, zombies in Left4Dead 2).
For his games, Daniel uses light GreyScale textures, which are repainted through additional processing by the shader. Thus, it is possible, without increasing the size of the game, to create a variety of textures and objects.
You can see the presentation of Daniel here .

DevNightMinsk 2014 Adventure of Alis Games on the mobile market Denis Voikhansky Founder and CEO of Alis GamesAdventure of Alis Games on the mobile market / Denis Voikhansky / Founder and director of Alis Games
Denis' performance can not be called a report. Without bills, censorship and video recording, he talked about all the most painful topics for gamedev and answered any questions about the adventures of Alis Games in the mobile market.
Denis told what the mobile games market was before the AppStore and Google Play appeared. Then the developers and operators earned money on games with the help of frankly predatory schemes. Many users did not even realize that in their bills for mobile communications they pay for games that they once downloaded and have long been deleted.
Gradually, Denis began to discuss modern mobile game dev. Now they play on mobile phones a lot and with pleasure, but this segment of gamedev still has quite some unsolved problems.
“Looking for a hero” in her journey through the mobile market stumbled upon many pitfalls with which free-to-play games are so common. So, for example, developing new “boxes” for a game is very expensive for the studio, and the PvP mode, which the developers had so many hopes for, did not justify itself. It might seem that there isn’t much point in developing new content, because less than 1 percent of the users completed the game before the end. But it is in this percentage that most payers are concentrated. And then there is no choice but to spend time creating new and very expensive content.
Denis himself does not consider “I am looking for a hero” a successful project. Denis's reasoning sounded rather depressing, but his speech was very useful, especially for those who find it difficult to return from the heavens of game-dreaming to the earth, where only a few manage to make a really successful game.
There could be a video of Denis’s speech, but, according to his own conviction, some knowledge can and should be transmitted only personally.

DevNightMinsk 2014 Development of cross-platform network games.  Tips & tricks Alexander DemyanenkoDevelopment of cross-platform network games. Tips & tricks / Alexander Demyanenko / Ex Team Leader at Nexters
Alexander worked for two years on the cross-platform network game Throne Rush. In his report, he shared his experiences on authorization, deployment and configuration of games.
The worst version of authorization on mobile devices is the "classic" registration, with the login and password. Other methods, unfortunately, also have their drawbacks: security holes and the inability to authenticate through a request to the server. Therefore, Alexander recommends using auto-registration with the ability to save data to iCloud and synchronize the game with Facebook.
Alexander also recalled that when deploying and updating on multiple platforms, it is always necessary to follow the correct procedure. This ensures that your users at some point will not be left without a favorite game for a day due to out of sync updates.

DevNightMinsk 2014 A simple game by Artem Gluschenya Multi-station designer, HappymagentaSimple game / Artem Glushenya / Multi-station designer, Happymagenta
Artem spoke about the main aspects that you should pay attention to when creating "simple" games. Such games do not require a lot of content, but at the same time deliver to the user no less than the fan.
Orbitum is just such a game, on the example of which Artem has shown the main elements that make it possible to achieve success: simplicity, game stream, rhythm, random, “honesty” and animation.
The Orbitum game released this year fell into the section of The Best New Games in the USA, Canada and China, and the number of its installations exceeded 600 thousand. In Orbitum, you play as a particle that moves along continuously narrowing orbits. The main task is extremely simple - to survive as long as possible by collecting positive objects and avoiding negative ones.
You can see the presentation of Artem here .

Roman Buoy at DevNightMinsk World of Tanks Blitz Marketing Manager, WargamingRandom marketing or how we released World of Tanks Blitz / Roman Bui / Marketing Manager,
Roman Wargaming began his report with the regret that among marketers it is not customary to share information and best practices. Most reports on mobile marketing are devoted to obvious things that are largely not related to the work of the marketing department itself. This is much more often what the company as a whole has done. As a result, many young teams are forced to repeat the mistakes of previous generations.
According to Roman, sharing is necessary and important for everyone that does not fall under the NDA. Therefore, in his report, he spoke in sufficient detail about the launch of WoT Blitz and gave a lot of practical advice that can be used by both large companies and small studios to promote their applications.
You can watch the presentation of the novel here .

Panel discussion
At the end of the conference, a special panel discussion was organized at which speakers and specialists answered questions from the conference room and video broadcast chat. The panel discussion was attended by Sergey Galenkin, Dmitry Minsky, Roman Bui, Alexander Demyanenko, Artem Glushenya, Nikolai Armonik and Svyatoslav Pankratov. Questions related to the prospects and directions of gamedev development, ways to promote games on Kickstarter, interaction with players, etc.

Thanks to everyone who came to #DevNightMinsk and watched the online broadcast!
This was our first DevNight conference. But not the last. In 2015, the next #DevNightMinsk will be held.
If you want to make a presentation, write to us at meetup@wargaming.net.

Thanks for attention. And see you at #DevNightMinsk!

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