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Stories Behind the Apps

Stories Behind the Apps: Elemental Kingdoms

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Please tell us about Elemental KingdomsElemental Kingdoms is a CCG which has the user to go through the story mode to fight monsters, discover a captivating story line, and earn gold and gems to buy cards and runes in order to create powerful decks that they can use in limited time events that happen every week.  Limited time events also allow the user more opportunities to win great prizes!

Who is on the team and what are the roles? Jooyoung Chung and Jason Liu are the product managers, Tasha Kim handles strategic partnerships, Bob Colner, Corina Soto, and Nathan Dihn handle user acquisition and analytics, Bogna Davis takes care of our users as community manager, and Jonathan Cordero makes sure everything with the game runs smoothly as QA lead.

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How is Elemental Kingdoms different from similar apps or competitors?  Elemental Kingdoms is a CCG which relies more on deck building strategies rather than just owning the best cards and hoping to steam roll through your opponents.  A player with all 5 star cards can still lose to another player with 3, 4, and 5 star cards and the right combination of runes.  Strategy is key and not just relying on pay to win.

Could you talk a bit about the app UI and icon? The user interface was designed with a fantasy theme in mind so all elements in the game are specifically designed to keep players in the world of Elemental Kingdoms during their time in the game.  The deck building menu specifically was designed with players of other CCG’s in mind to keep the process of switching out cards and swapping decks as seamless as possible.  We’ve got great feedback from our users and continue to work to create the best possible experience.

Elemental-KingdomsThe app icon was designed based on multiple iterations from earlier releases of the game into market.  Based on our data as well as experience from previous mobile companies, we know that icons which include characters from the game, need to have their face prominently displayed in the icon.  Bold colors and making sure there is contrasting colors will help to improve your impressions, click, and installs, if the icon is used in marketing art.

What tools and/or communities assisted you in creating the app? We used Adobe Air to actually create the app which was because the majority of our team came from developing web games. As far as development communities go we tend to get help from the developers posting on the unity3d.com forums and stacked overflow.

The build transitioned to Unity recently and this has helped streamline the process for development of the game itself.  This has been great because it speeds up development for both our Android and iOS teams. For analytics, we rely heavily on Upsight, Mixpanel and internal tools.

Our community on Facebook is also a great source of feedback.  Although we can’t satisfy all of our users, we take a combination of user feedback and business goals to design new features and game content which we know users will love as well as meet our business goals.

What lessons did you learn in the process? The major take away from our transition to Unity 3D is something everyone in the industry knows, but all too often 'forget: When your game (or App) is 'finished', you are only 70% complete. We've now gone through this process twice now so this lesson in particular has become very very clear. The time and resources spent integrating SDK's and debugging a complete game both significant and easy to overlook when you're planning your product time line.

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What went right and wrong with the app release? On the plus side, our partnership with iFreeStudio was great and we got them night in and out ready to help. On the wrong side, I will say that we wished we had more events and content from the get go. Our gamers are awesome but play 2-3 hours.

What was the team doing before Elemental Kingdoms?A lot of our team comes from different mobile gaming companies before : DeNA, Gamevil, Gameview, Zynga mobile and more. But a lot have roots in console/PC gaming too: Ubisoft, Namco, Gala Net, Aeria Games. So a lot of gaming for gamers!

What are some of your favorite apps? In terms of game design, any TCG fan will mention Magic the Gathering. And in term of quality bar, Blizzard and Runic are two great studios. We are lucky to work with the Runic guys who are part of the Perfect World family but worked as well Diablo 1 and Diablo 2.

Head over to the App Store or Google Play to download Elemental Kingdoms.

Hey you app devs!  Wanna be featured like our friends at Elemental Kingdoms? Be sure to check out https://www.powerslyde.com/get-discovered.

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