A secret Easter Egg, where users could start a simple basketball game by sending a basketball emoji, got everything rolling.

Inspired by the success that Messenger apps in Japan and China have seen as platforms for games and other applications, Facebook finally made games a fixed feature of Messenger. This resulted in a new games market that now has hundreds of millions of users – the Facebook Instant Messenger Games.

Apps in Apps

As apps within the Facebook Messenger, the Instant Games offer a still unfamiliar experience in this country. The HTML5-based games can be started directly in the Messenger app, where they start practically without loading time thanks to strict rules on memory sizes.

Accessibility and social usage

While the platform offers an exciting environment for developers due to its accessibility, it also makes it more difficult to keep users in their own game. However, a variety of social mechanisms offered by Messenger can help developers overcome this challenge. While with native apps about half of the users often drop out during the registration process, in Messenger they not only already have an account, but usually also a large network of friends who can be activated to play together.

To avoid the game prompts feeling like spam during the Farmville times of Facebook games, Facebook has imposed some restrictions on developers. However, there are still many features that allow viral growth.

From native development to the web platform

At Lotum, we were one of the first 50 developers worldwide to have the chance to enter the Facebook Messenger market, as we had already established a good partnership with Facebook through our game 4 Bilder 1 Wort in the past. So 4 Bilder 1 Wort was the first game we developed for the platform. With The Test and Quiz Planet two more hits followed, which have meanwhile attracted users in the tens of millions.

The change from native development to a web platform was done by our developers on their own responsibility and with great fun. After an initial sceptical attitude towards JavaScript, many of our developers have now become fans of TypeScript and the diverse range of JavaScript libraries and engines.

Fast, Faster, Web Game Development

We particularly appreciate the fast learning opportunities offered by the combination of web technologies and the Facebook Messenger platform. Although we have previously used A/B testing to further develop our products, technology change has made A/B testing an integral part of our way of working. Especially the successes of The Test and Quiz Planet have been influenced by this approach.

We are looking forward to the future of Messenger Apps as a platform. Using this exciting new technology has been very enriching for us in many ways. If you’d like to learn more about this topic, check out episode 7 of our podcast “mobilfunk”. It offers a deeper insight into the development and special features of Facebook Instant Games.

Games – PC gaming has an incredible future

PC gaming has an incredible future – says Chris Roberts, the inventor of space combat simulations. At a panel discussion at PAX East 2014, other video game veterans discussed PC gaming as it has evolved and will evolve over the years.

Palmer Lucky, trial of ascension, Matt Higby, Chris Roberts and Tom Petersen have one thing in common: they have played a major role in shaping and shaping PC gaming to this day. Lucky is the founder of Oculus VR, Higby led the development of PlanetSide 2, Roberts created a new genre in the early years of video game history, and Petersen represents Nvidia externally.

In the afternoon in Boston, in Germany last night, these four gaming experts dealt with a topic that has been declared dead in recent years and is strangely still alive: PC gaming. To anticipate the end: PC gaming is no longer a big deal – it’s the biggest of them all.

Even though everyone agreed that you don’t have to write off the PC – the mobile games weren’t even mentioned – there were still different opinions about the future. This is not astonishing at all, because there were several generations of players sitting at the same table.

What will shape PC gaming in the future

If cloud gaming will significantly strengthen the PC in the future, the moderator, editor-in-chief of the US magazine “PC Gamer” asked Evan Lahti. Tom Petersen of Nvidia answered with a very clear yes, after all, the graphics card manufacturer is working on its own cloud gaming technology.

Chris Roberts, on the other hand, sees the future not in cloud gaming, but in remote streaming. He has been working in the PC gaming industry since the 1980s and still develops games for the platform today; it is currently Star Citizen. Soon the annoying latency, which makes remote streaming unusable for games, will have dropped to a pleasant level.

About pirate copies and hardware optimizations – the downsides of PC gaming.

The biggest problem in the development of PC games is also the biggest advantage of the PC: the almost infinite possibilities to assemble the system with hardware and software. PlanetSide 2 maker Matt Higby answered the question, what are the dark sides of PC gaming? To arrange a game in such a way that everyone has the best experience, that is it.

He also addresses another topic that is used by many studios and publishers as a killer argument in this context: the piracy scene. The more crowdfunding projects and easy ways to buy a game digitally there are, the less is pirated, says Higby. You have to understand that nowadays.

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