May 2021 Update: GCD, Euler Tools and More

This is not an article but rather a quick update of what I am doing this month.
And a sneak peek at what will be coming next on this blog.

As you may have noticed, these last weeks, I’ve been less active on social networks. And since I opened this blog back in July 2020, there has never been a month without an article. Sadly, this will be the exception.

But it’s not because I’m lazing around!
On the contrary, both April and May 2021 are two of the most active months in my entire career. Among what I’m cooking:

#1: I’ll be speaking at the GDC 2021!

In the game dev world as a whole, there’s no more prestigious event than the GDC.
So yeah, I’m shitting my pants right now.

After 10+ years of dealing with game economy design in free-to-play games, I will be sharing my learnings & best practices at the GDC 2021 in a 30 minutes long solo talk called Diagnosing, Fixing, and Preventing Issues in Free-to-Play Economies.

The idea is that it will be a bit of a Monster Manual, which teaches how to detect common problems in a F2P game economy both before the game is launched and once it’s live. And how to fight them.

Of course, me going there wouldn’t have been possible without the help of Tilting Point and Mikael Page, who encouraged me to submit a proposal.
And it wouldn’t have been possible either without the many professionals that both taught me along the way (from Gameloft Game Economy department, Social Point, and more…).
Or without those that helped me believe more in my skills (the UserWise folks, the Game Makers community, and J Kim especially are to blame for this last part).

I’ll do my best, so it’s both instructive and entertaining.

#2: I’ll be at the Level Up 2021 too!

The GDC is not even the only cool-as-hell event I’ll be in the following weeks.
Just a few days ago, ironSource announced they are teaming up with Deconstructor Of Fun on an upcoming conference that will feature the mobile industry’s very best.
Which somehow includes me too.

Check more about the event here.

Therefore, some days ago, I recorded a 30 minutes session on How to price items on F2P games.
An interesting topic because most articles out there are about how to manage offers and discounts. But there’s barely anything on the pricing systems on top of which the deals work.

The talk explains an easy-to-understand and straightforward methodology to generate prices and the keys on how to improve the model progressively, introducing such concepts as the elasticity of demand, hook prices, etc.

This was an article I was planning for the blog but ended up as a conference.
If people are interested in the topic, I plan to eventually release an expanded version here because just in 30 minutes, I feel I wasn’t able to explain EVERYTHING about it.

#3: Tokenomics & Virtual Currencies

Do you think being at two of the top conferences of the game dev world isn’t enough? Okay, how about this?

Euler.Tools lanza herramientas comerciales premium para el comercio de  criptomonedas

This month I also decided to flex my knowledge on virtual economies, and I got into handling the tokenomics & economy design at Euler Tools. This company provides premium dex tools for blockchain traders. I did this both before and after the ICO.

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In just one month, the company token ($EULER) has raised a market cap of +15 million USD… which means that my salary increased value by 20, so I got the money of 1 year in less than 24 hours. Not bad.

What’s even more important is that during this process, I met some of the top traders and specialists in blockchain tech (Binance Smart Chain in particular) and observed the effects of different tokenomics designs.

Interestingly, tokenomics is surprisingly similar to game economy design, being both based on designing and managing virtual economies,
And considering the pace at which blockchain tech & NFTs are blending into the gamesphere, I would advise both designers and product managers to get familiar with this space as soon as possible.

Don’t worry: I plan to write an article soon to explain my learnings and my experience at creating and managing magic money on the internet. 

PS: Any article I write will be focused on designing an ICO & the critical factors on the design and management of a utility token, not tips for investors. I don’t provide financial advice : 3

#4: Game Analytics 101 at UserWise Academy

Last month the folks from UserWise (a great toolset to manage Liveops) kicked off their UserWise Academy.
This is an initiative to teach about mobile game development for free, focusing on product management, analytics, and monetization. The sort of knowledge that companies like to keep for themselves or take thousands of dollars to learn.

I am a true believer in the capacity of games to empower.
This not only means empowering all audiences, using the storytelling capacity of our craft to represent the diversity of our society. But I am also a believer in the ability of games to empower the developers themselves and their communities.

In mobile gaming, in particular, today we see a lot of companies become extremely successful coming from places that several years ago would’ve never been considered as centers for game development:
We see companies hailing from Spain (Genera Games, Social Point…), Brazil (Wildlife Studios…), among many others. And let’s not even start with all the Turkish companies that are taking over the world.

Contrary to AAA development, a business with significant entry requirements, it’s easier for smaller teams and companies to have an idea, make it a reality, and compete in mobile games. As such, mobile gaming is a revolutionary factor.

To contribute to that change, I think it’s vital that an entry barrier of expensive courses doesn’t block knowledge about our craft. This has always been my primary motivation for writing (as well as having fun dealing with topics that I love).

So I’m very proud to say that you can find an introductory course on Game Analytics made by yours truly, where I explain what the KPIs are and some insights on their behavior.

PS. I recorded this course a while ago, and it was my first time doing something on video in English, which is not my native language. It’s also meant as an introductory course. So please don’t be too harsh on it!

#5: Next on jb-dev.net

Meanwhile, I’m working on several things in the shadows.
For starters, I’m planning on rebranding the blog soon, just because jb-dev.net might not necessarily be the most user-friendly name of them all.
The idea would be to team up with other devs so that you can read materials from other folks as well. I’ll keep you posted on this.

I have also found a publisher for my indie games (I can’t say the name yet), and so we may see soon several of my solo dev games get published on PC, Switch, Playstation, and Xbox. I’ll speak more about my experience.

Although they won’t be released this month, I do have several articles in the works, some of which are:

  • An analysis of everything seen so far on Clash Mini.
  • A breakdown of Loot Box mechanics (similar to what I did for IAP packs and currencies), analyzing every distribution method, side mechanic, etc…
  • A deconstruction of Legends of Runeterra.
  • A deconstruction of Top Eleven (one of my favorite mobile games ever).

That stuff is coming, but it takes me several weeks (sometimes months) to finish, and I like writing in a way that it’s fun for me (which is the best motivation), and publish only when I feel confident in its quality. So please be patient.

Anyway, it was great to catch up. Incredible things are coming.
Stay safe on these strange times, folks!

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