Home / Uncategorized / PGC Digital: Adding “real multiplayer” to Hypercasual games | Pocket Gamer.biz

PGC Digital: Adding “real multiplayer” to Hypercasual games | Pocket Gamer.biz

At Pocket Gamer Connects Digital NEXT, Mark Val, Head of Growth at Photon Engine, spoke about developing a hypercasual multiplayer game.

Val took us back to the “origins” of hypercasual games and cited Don Nguyen’s Flappy Bird as the earliest hypercasual game.

Commenting on his meeting with Nguyen, Val said: “His goal was to create a game that would put a smile on people’s faces and that would be fun for everyone, but at the same time be super easy to play”.

Val said that Nguyen’s vision for Flappy Bird was that someone could play freely on a bus with one hand on the rail and the other hand.

Next, Val discussed the starting point of hypercasual multiplayer games like Agar.io or Slither.io. Agar.io was the second most searched game of 2015 and Slither.io was the most searched game in 2016.

Val explains that because of the unprecedented success of these two games, many ‘.io’ have been released. The problem with these games, however, is that the majority of the games were “fake” multiplayer games and used bots instead of real players.

Your goal is to bring players together, either physically, virtually, or through a metaverse

Mark Val

Val stated that studios often feel that the process of creating a Hypercasual multiplayer title is either too expensive to run, too time consuming, or doesn’t work on phones worldwide.

.io madness

Val then thought about the history of the Photon Engine and how it had never developed a game in its 15 year history.

Photon Engine wanted to experiment to see how they could create a visually great hypercasual multiplayer game on mobile to address the issues they hear a lot.

Within six weeks, Photon Engine developed through a collaboration with Kitka Games Stumble Guys.

Since its inception, Stumble Guys has reached 800,000 DAUs without spending on user acquisition and only needs one percent of sales to run.

Val stated that the majority of Stumble Guys users are from areas with poor latency, but the game still plays well in those regions and that it is entirely possible for others to do the same.

Val then went on to describe some of the steps developers should take in creating a hyper-casual multiplayer title.

First, developers should allow players to play with friends rather than random matchmaking. In addition to this option, there should be voice chats and lobbies to facilitate this interaction.

“Your goal is to bring the players together either physically, virtually or through a metaverse, but the point is to bring them together,” said Val.

“Agglomeration operations create value because the players have an intrinsic value to the game, that they are all equal and can talk to one another. Typically 80 percent of the players are within 20 percent of the margin.”

By using multiple hubs, multiple modes, and creating a community around the game, players are drawn to it as “groups attract players”.

Typically 80% of the players are within 20% of the room

Mark Val

However, players must also be able to report others as players who “troll” can ruin the experience for the rest of the players.

Despite the bot problem mentioned earlier, Val advocated using bots as part of the onboarding process. For example, when players start playing a game, bots can be used in training, or players can play against bots in co-op sessions.

Bots can also be used to replace players who are down due to a bad connection or to help fill rooms that are not being filled.

Developers also need to take steps to ensure that the game is properly balanced in-game, which means that teams are balanced or that spawn rates are properly managed.

Val concluded that an important phase that is often overlooked is fraud prevention and hacking. Val offered various anti-fraud techniques such as DDoS protection, server-side monitoring, full server authority and deterministic simulation; especially if the game is popular.

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