Tonight I was at GWC event MobiTalk to listen to Fruit Ninja CEO, Shainiel Deo, shares insights on Fruit Ninja success and advices to mobile Games developers.
It was a very interesting talk, Shainiel is a very good public speaker, very clear and easy to follow and a tall handsome Indian Australian young man^^.
I learnt that Fruit Ninja company – Halfbrick – is from Brisbane, Australia and it seems to be a very confortable city to live at.
The average age of the company is 25 years (should be pretty fun), the company is 10 year old, have 45 employees and only 1 woman!
He gave very precise advices on how to make a game interesting and addictive (reduce time to re-try, insert some luck factor, make it visual, no text explaination, make losing being fun..)
But for me the most interesting part was when he talked about the creative process in Halfbrick. They have “Halfbrick Friday” which is the equivalent of “Google 20% free time”, but with a specific format:
– Employees who have an project idea pitch and convince their colleagues to join their team.
– Created team are max 5 people. Between 10-15 projects are selected.
– Team prototype their project every Friday for ~3 weeks
– The 4th week they demo in front of the company to see which project has the most potential
– Trophees are remitted to the most innovative team, the best pitch team…Even if your project is stopped at that point you dont feel like you lost.
Remind you something…? iWeekend!! It is like a iWeekend but instead of the 3 days being in a row, they are split on several week, with Demo Day and final selection!
It was very rewarding for me to see that this format is implemented and successful in gaming company. that is actually how Fruit Ninja is born! The advantage do to it in-house is that people who each other already so can get to work much faster but I clearly see the potential of iWeekend-type event: creativity, motivation.
As Shainiel said, the way to success is also to try as many idea as possible, try, fail, learn and try again. Halfbrick is 10 year old after old, and never knew such a success as Fruit Ninja before. But they always believe in themselves because their focus is Quality.
During the Q&A he reveal his Fruit Ninja score: 1200 points – I dont play Fruit Ninja enough to know what it means but people seemed impressed and that’s when he said with a smile “yes I am a Ninja!”.
Very inspiring talk from a Ninja…
was a very interesting workshop indeed.i also like the part where he talk about the marketing & promotion effort being 30% to 40% of the total effort of making the game. And it’ll keep increasing as they’ll do more and more merchandising.
True! They should start merchandising Ninja and Fruit costumes for Halloween! Would be awesome^^