Want to know how to build an Indie Gaming Studio? Learn from the experts – Jakob and Saiyai

    Indie Gaming Studio

    Last Tuesday we had an amazing chance to host “Games in Asia Meetup in Bangkok” at Playspace @Pocket PlayLab! The event’s main focus was to talk about indie gaming studio in Thailand and most importantly how to build an indie gaming studio. They had two guest speakers, Jakob Lykkegaard and Saiyai Sakawee who shared some insights on building an indie studios. So who are Jakob and Saiyai?! …Read More

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    Last Tuesday we had an amazing chance to host “Games in Asia Meetup in Bangkok” at Playspace @Pocket PlayLab! The event’s main focus was to talk about indie gaming studio in Thailand and most importantly how to build an indie gaming studio. They had two guest speakers, Jakob Lykkegaard and Saiyai Sakawee who shared some insights on building an indie studios.

    jakob_+_saiyai

    So who are Jakob and Saiyai?!

    Jakob Lykkegaard, then an university dropout is now a Co-Founder of Pocket PlayLab, the biggest independent mobile game developer in South East Asia.

    Saiyai Sakawee, a self-proclaimed tech “nerd” (which she definitely is!) is a Co-Founder and CMO of MSeed Asia, Thailand’s first startup accelerator of game.

    They both have lots to share about their experience from how they got into gaming industry to the challenges they had setting up the Indie Gaming Studios.

    Let’s see what they have to say:

    1. How did you get into the game industry?

    Jakob: Before starting Pocket PlayLab I co-founded Pagemodo, the first custom Facebook Page builder based on templates. We learned a lot of tough lessons on culture and business building, but never gave up on the vision and later sold the company close to its peak time, to Webs Inc. and later Vistaprint. After selling my first startup I ended up investing in new startups and ideas in Bangkok and Pocket PlayLab was one of them. As I like to say, “By accident I found a great team that was looking for new opportunities and couldn’t think of anything more fun than games.”

    Saiyai: MSeed is started by a group of people who are not only passionate about the game industry but have many years of experience in the game business from game studio, game publisher, and also Thai Game Association.

    2. What is the indie game community in Thailand like? Is the community important for the growth of your studio?

    Jakob: Yes, the community is very important for us as the best games are usually created by sharing infos and ideas. It also helps get Thailand more into the spotlight of international companies looking for partnerships or investing.

    Saiyai: In the past, a group of Thai game developers would join the forum http://forums.thaigamedevx.com/ which started 10 years ago. This is a place where they exchange idea and how to improve the product. Of course, with Facebook, now the community got stronger online. However, it’s not a strong one community but individual ones – based on friend cycle. Now MSeed is working with a government sector SIPA to create an official community for Thai game developers.

    3. Did you have any challenges setting up indie studios in Thailand?

    Jakob: Some of our main challenges were that not a single member of the original team had ever built any server or mobile game platform to the size and scale we were aiming for. But we overcame the challenges by trial and error. Our entire team has learned so much from that process that they are now among the best in the field and as a gaming company we are now attractive enough to pull in guys that have worked with big scales and games before.

    Saiyai: Language barrier is the key problem for the Thai game industry in general!

    4. What are you doing in terms of marketing for your studio?

    Jakob: We do a whole lot of events and speeches, but I prefer that people find us through the success of our games and not the other way around.

    Saiyai: MSeed is an accelerator program. We help our portfolio teams market their games by providing the commercialization money and partnership. In addition, we also bring in mentors that can help on this part to work with the teams.

    5. How are you financing the studios at this stage? What about investors? Do you think indie game studios should approach investors? What are some common problems indie game studios in TH have when it comes to getting funding?

    Jakob: We finance it fully by the revenue of our games, it took us around 2 years of spending from our own pockets to reach todays stage and never had any investors in!

    Saiyai: It all depends on the studio. What their exit plans are. As for the common problem – what i see right now is that the indie studios don’t have the understanding of how VC or investors work. The knowledge of business planning or even understanding the term paper is still lacking. In addition, some of the studios are very good at making games but not monetization, that makes it hard for them to raise fund or make the company looks appealing for the investors.

    6. What advice would you give to other individuals who are thinking about starting their own indie game studio?

    Jakob:Start with a small team and small game, you will need to fail a few times and your next games become so much better from all your learnings of failed games.

    Saiyai: Be open minded and willing to share. One thing I’ve noticed is that people are scared to let other people try their games – that’s so weird. I mean, they should want to listen to as much feedback as possible before they officially launch the game.

    7. What’s next for…?

    Pocket PlayLab: That’s the question that still keeps me excited. We are once again moving faster and scaling to a bigger scale than anyone of us has ever seen. We are constantly changing to help the company and culture handle longer term vision and now have the opportunity to plan longer than just the next game title. We have started getting a lot of international attention from partners and investors that I have always dreamt about working with. With a strong plan and an awesome team, it can’t happen fast enough.

    Mseed Asia: As for MSeed, we want to make this first batch of the accelerator successful. That will prove that the Thai game indies can compete in the world level.

    About Mseed Asia

    The MSeed team has more than 10 years of experience as managers of world-class online gaming businesses, game developers, academics and marketers. They make dreams come alive for the younger generation who are passionate about gaming, and to make sure that the name of the Thai game startup is recognized on a global level. For more information, please visit: www.mseed.asia/

    About Pocket PlayLab

    Pocket PlayLab is a leading developer of the world’s most popular casual games with over 22 million downloads. Founded in January 2012 and located in the heart of Bangkok, Thailand, Pocket PlayLab is the home of hits like Juice Cubes, Jungle Cubes and more hit games in the pipe! Completely free-to-play, they are available on mobile devices via Apple Store, Google Play, Amazon or Facebook.  For more information, please visit: www.pocketplaylab.com

    Enchelon Ignite: Startups pitching at Playspace @Pocket PlayLab

    Enchelon Ignite is doing what it does best - giving startups chance to present their creative business ideas! Today startups are pitching for funding and international media exposure. This is the 2nd stage in the 4 stage process. The judges will select the most promising startups to exhibit and pitch during the Echelon Thailand on September 18! Find more information about Enchelon Thailand 2014 …Read More

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    Enchelon Ignite is doing what it does best – giving startups chance to present their creative business ideas!

    Today startups are pitching for funding and international media exposure. This is the 2nd stage in the 4 stage process. The judges will select the most promising startups to exhibit and pitch during the Echelon Thailand on September 18!

    Find more information about Enchelon Thailand 2014 HERE

    About Pocket PlayLab

    Pocket PlayLab is a leading developer of the world’s most popular casual games with over 21 million downloads. Founded in January 2012 and located in the heart of Bangkok, Thailand, Pocket PlayLab is the home of hits like Lost Cubes, Juice Cubes and more hit games in the pipe! Completely free-to-play, they are available on mobile devices via Apple Store, Google Play, Amazon or Facebook.  For more information, please visit: www.pocketplaylab.com

    Meet Juice Cube’s Producer: Mikael Lee

    Juice Cubes have more than 800,000 fans in Facebook, 22 millions downloads with 22 millions users. But haven’t you wondered what goes on behind the scenes??? (watch video above) We are bringing to you an interview with the producer of your most loved games Juice Cubes. Meet Mikael Lee, the Juice Cubes producer at Pocket PlayLab: 1. How long have you been in the mobile gaming industry and ho …Read More

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    Juice Cubes have more than 800,000 fans in Facebook, 22 millions downloads with 22 millions users.

    But haven’t you wondered what goes on behind the scenes??? (watch video above)

    We are bringing to you an interview with the producer of your most loved games Juice Cubes. Meet Mikael Lee, the Juice Cubes producer at Pocket PlayLab:

    Juice Cube Producer

    1. How long have you been in the mobile gaming industry and how do you think it has evolved?

    It has been about 8 years. When I first started, mobile gaming was still on embryo stage; games were mainly made for consoles, bigger production, higher investment and not necessarily great return. Then the whole market shifted with the rise of the app stores. At the time just making a good game was enough, nowadays, due to saturated market and visibility issues, a good game is only a quarter of the roadmap, the rest is all about data-driven analysis, marketing campaigns, user acquisition, controlling traffic and so on. The cream is now on top of the funnel rather than on prod side.

    2. What other memorable games or projects have you worked on in the past?

    I have been working on a wide variety of genres for different platforms. Amongst others, 3D horse riding games with large open worlds and deep storyline, quiz games with databases of thousands of questions, cooking games which were very trendy for girls demographic back in the days, casual twin-stick shooters appealing to a masculine audience, and more recently Capcom Interactive IP’s such as Ghostbusters, Shrek, Smurfs, Zombie Café.

    3. What do you like in these projects?

    All projects, even though they require lot of commitment and hard work, are fun and one thing that I love about working in video games is that you always learn something new. To give some example, I never did horse riding before and yet learned a lot regarding horse breeds, provenance and how to train them. I am not going to say I never cooked before, but yes, let’s say I learned a few good tricks while developing our cooking game, like, do you know how to fast peel an onion? ☺ The great thing is you always get to research about new things when you are creating games.

    4. How were you involved in the creation and development of Juice Cubes?

    I was only involved in the maintenance of the Title. Juice Cubes is a great title created by the initial team of Pocket PlayLab a year ago. Names are Charlie, Gla, Ton, Mai, Prair, Peng, Pruch, Sky, Tanin Ben and Jay. They are the ones who developed this great gameplay and fantastic graphics. They are at the origin of Pocket PlayLab’s success and thanks to their great work, we are here today working in one of the best game studios in Thailand.

    5. What, in your opinion, is the most fun feature of the game? Do you have any tips or tricks for players?

    We always care about making fun puzzle levels, besides, compared to other match-3 games on the market, Juice cubes gives the player more control over his actions and strategy so the game is very accessible and yet has great depth for players who wish to – figuratively and literally speaking – take it to the next level! A good trick is simply to learn how to make different kind of bombs, as it should allow players to target the exact fruits he or she will need to smash to complete levels successfully.

    6. Juice Cubes involves island hopping in a sunny tropical paradise to connect multiple juice cubes to create spectacular fruit explosions. Where in the game’s island do you want to visit most?

    Well due to the nature of my work I have to “visit” all places possible as many times as I can, that includes the first levels tutorials until the latest levels created. We are reaching 400 levels now and with new types of blockers and other features, our puzzles become very challenging. However I wish to tell our players that if they like solving puzzles and are or become good at it, they should be able to succeed all of them, even the insanely difficult ones, as we make sure our level designer, QA and young testers passed them all before we decide to release them. Naturally, this goes with practice and a certain dose of wit!

     7. What is next for Juice Cubes?

    I can’t reveal much about it yet but we have a lot of good surprises coming along so stay tuned!

    Juice Cubes is available worldwide:

    For Mobile & Tablet

    iPhone & ipad, App Store: http://bit.ly/JuiceCubesiOS

    Android, Google Play: http://bit.ly/JuiceCubesAndroid

    Kindle Fire, Amazon: http://bit.ly/JuiceCubesAmazon

    For Desktop

    Facebook: http://on.fb.me/1tZQTzX

    About Pocket PlayLab

    Pocket PlayLab is a leading developer of the world’s most popular casual games with over 21 million downloads. Founded in January 2012 and located in the heart of Bangkok, Thailand, Pocket PlayLab is the home of hits like Lost Cubes, Juice Cubes and more hit games in the pipe! Completely free-to-play, they are available on mobile devices via Apple Store, Google Play, Amazon or Facebook.  For more information, please visit: www.pocketplaylab.com

    Pocket PlayLab announces acquisition of Anino Games

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    Furthering its goal of producing more casual games on all platforms, Pocket PlayLab is now acquiring Anino Games, the leading game developer in the Philippines. With more than 60+ games tucked in its belt, Anino Games has established itself as the top gaming developer in the Philippines.  By bringing Anino Games in under the PlayLab Brand we will gain advanced technology and expertise.  Truly …Read More

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    Furthering its goal of producing more casual games on all platforms, Pocket PlayLab is now acquiring Anino Games, the leading game developer in the Philippines.

    With more than 60+ games tucked in its belt, Anino Games has established itself as the top gaming developer in the Philippines.  By bringing Anino Games in under the PlayLab Brand we will gain advanced technology and expertise.  Truly something that will prove beneficial to both parties.

    “Anino Games will not only help us in reaching our regional expansion plans faster, their experienced team will also be an incredible asset to our future growth and assist in our positioning as SEA’s most prominent Mobile Game Developer.” said Thomas Andreasen, Co-Founder of Pocket PlayLab

    “Being part of Pocket PlayLab means that from developing games for other companies, we will be able to focus instead on creating new original properties which we hope will become the hits of the future. Definitely an exciting time for our studio!” adds Niel Dagondon, CEO of Anino Games.

    About Pocket PlayLab

    Pocket PlayLab is a leading developer of the world’s most popular casual games with over 21 million downloads. Founded in January 2012 and located in the heart of Bangkok, Thailand, Pocket PlayLab is the home of hits like Lost Cubes, Juice Cubes and more hit games in the pipe! Completely free-to-play, they are available on mobile devices via Apple Store, Google Play, Amazon or Facebook.  For more information, please visit www.pocketplaylab.com.

    About Anino Games

    Anino Games Inc. is a third-party game developer specializing in end-to-end game development for Desktop (PC and Mac), Mobiles and Tablets (iOS, Android and Window 8) and Web (HTML 5 and Flash) Platforms.  They are the pioneer and the most experienced game development studio in the Philippines being around since 2002.  AGI’s original games have been winning awards since their release, such as in the Independent Games Festival (2004), International Mobile Game Awards (2006 and 2007), and Indie Games Showcase (2007).  Anino Games is the home of hits like Grave Mania Undead Fever, Delicious 6, 7 and 8, Cake Mania and more in the works as of this writing.  For more information, please visit www.aninogames.com.

    Rovio Stars launches Juice Cubes, a fun and fruity free-to-play puzzle game

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      Rovio’s newest title by Pocket PlayLab is the third title from Rovio’s publishing initiative Rovio Stars.   Espoo, Finland – October 31, 2013 – Today Rovio Entertainment launched the third Rovio Stars title, Juice Cubes by Thailand-based developer Pocket PlayLab. The fun and fruity puzzle game features rows of colorful cubes that fans can connect to create massive combos and …Read More

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    Rovio’s newest title by Pocket PlayLab is the third title from Rovio’s publishing initiative Rovio Stars.

     

    Espoo, Finland October 31, 2013 Today Rovio Entertainment launched the third Rovio Stars title, Juice Cubes by Thailand-based developer Pocket PlayLab. The fun and fruity puzzle game features rows of colorful cubes that fans can connect to create massive combos and explosions, beat challenges and compete with their friends. The game is free-to-play and available now on iOS and Android, with a Facebook version to follow soon.

    “When we first saw Juice Cubes, it was clear it had the hallmarks of a great Rovio Stars game: it combines smooth and engaging gameplay, great characters and a fun atmosphere, which makes it a perfect game for people of all ages”, said Kalle Kaivola, SVP Product & Publishing in Rovio Entertainment. “We were happy to sign up Juice Cubes under Rovio Stars and help bring it to fans all around the world.”

    “After rejecting several big publishers and determined to do it ourselves, Rovio came knocking on the door and we very quickly found a perfect match in terms of our combined teams and fans,” said Jakob Lykkegaard, Co-Founder of Pocket Playlab. “Working together on the release has shown that this was a great decision and we are looking forward to working with Rovio for many years to come.”

    Check out the Juice Cubes gameplay trailer here: http://youtu.be/n33gWKcFeNs

    Download Juice Cubes: http://rov.io/juicecubes

    Rovio Stars is Rovio Entertainment’s publishing initiative that brings out the best in mobile gaming. The first two Rovio Stars games, Icebreaker: A Viking Voyage and Tiny Thief, were released in the summer of 2013 to fan and critical acclaim. Developers interested in Rovio Stars can find more information at http://www.rovio.com/developers/

    About Rovio Entertainment
 Ltd.

    Rovio Entertainment Ltd is a global industry-changing entertainment media company headquartered in Finland, and the creator of the globally successful Angry Birds™ characters franchise. Angry Birds, a casual puzzle game, became an international phenomenon within a few months of its release. Angry Birds has expanded rapidly into multifaceted entertainment, publishing, and licensing to become a beloved international brand. Rovio’s animated Angry Birds feature film is slated for July 1, 2016. www.rovio.com

    About Pocket PlayLab Ltd.

    Pocket PlayLab is a globally operating developer and publisher of mobile social games headquartered in Hong Kong, with main production in Bangkok, Thailand.

    The company brings together a highly motivated team from around the world of people with many years of experience in the industry that is passionate for gaming.

    Pocket PlayLab strives to become the biggest casual mobile developer in Asia.

    www.PocketPlayLab.com

     

     

    Server Issues 27th of September

    serverIssues

    To all users who have had problems with sending and receiving requests since last Friday 27th of September, we've just uploaded a fix to our server which clears out the problems. All you have to do is complete a new level (while connected to the internet) or improve your score on an existing level or send a request to a few friends. Then restart Juice Cubes App And you should be able to s …Read More

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    To all users who have had problems with sending and receiving requests since last Friday 27th of September, we’ve just uploaded a fix to our server which clears out the problems.

    All you have to do is complete a new level (while connected to the internet) or improve your score on an existing level or send a request to a few friends.

    Then restart Juice Cubes App

    And you should be able to send and receive requests as normal.

    Best
    The Juice Cubes

    Print – Cut – Fold and Share

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    Dear Juice Cubes Fans! Sky, one of our creative art folks here at Pocket PlayLab, created this printout for sharing some fun around the office, we thought it would be cool to share with all of our fans :) So here it is, Download and print it and feel free to share the result on our facebook page! Print and see it now!  Have a Juicy day! Best The Juice Cubes …Read More

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    Dear Juice Cubes Fans!

    Sky, one of our creative art folks here at Pocket PlayLab, created this printout for sharing some fun around the office, we thought it would be cool to share with all of our fans :)

    So here it is, Download and print it and feel free to share the result on our facebook page!

    Print and see it now! 

    Have a Juicy day!

    Best
    The Juice Cubes

    Youtube Trailer for Lost Cubes

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    Pocket PlayLab – Trailer for Lost Cubes! Download on AppStore here: Lost Cubes

    The Cubes are lost and need your desperate attention to help them connect their planets! Start Connecting the Cubes!