How Kwalee is turning simple ideas into super success

Take a scroll through the App Store or Google Play and you’ll find a plethora of relatively simple games that are based on one simple mechanic. They’re often very popular, very addictive and very good!

Myself and the folks here at Kwalee have often found ourselves playing these ‘simple’ games, enjoying them just as much, if not more, than some of the bigger-budget apps out there. So on the back of this, we recently started a new initiative to create our very own simple, elegant game ideas.

The concept is appropriately simple: rather than spending two years developing one game, it’d be better to foster a more flexible creative environment where anybody can come up with ideas. We’ll try to make lots of games and see which ones work and which ones don’t.

A new way of thinking

Creative Wednesdays was therefore born. The full details on the Creative Wednesdays process can be seen in this blog from our Recruitment Manager Veronica. Long story short: any member of our company is free to take Wednesdays out of their usual work to grow their own game ideas and pitch them to the rest of the team at the end of the day.

Games that gain enough approval from the team are greenlit, from which the pitcher must assemble a team and develop the game over the course of the next two Wednesdays. That’s just two days total to produce a fun, engaging game, with the ultimate goal being a good day two retention rate.

Creative cruelty

We might come up with a 1000 ideas, but only develop 100 of them, and the players might only like 5 of them. In reality, we have to be cruel and harsh at each stage, because we haven’t got time to develop 1000 ideas. But it’s good to give people the freedom to come up with any idea, no matter how crazy it might sound.

All in all it’s a tough task, but I’ve been really impressed with the original ideas our team have come up with, and also with the variety. No one’s just copying the same idea, they’re all looking at completely different angles and it’s quite refreshing to see so many ideas from such a small amount of time. I knew we had a creative bunch of people, but I don’t think I realised just how creative they are!

Oh, and if you didn’t notice – that was me in the first image pitching my idea for a new AR mobile game! What do you think of this bold new development initiative? If you’ve got any recommendations or ideas, I’d love to see them in the comments below!

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