Andreas Papathanasis' blog

Latest articles

Player Relationship types in Hades’ Star

Social games have an interesting property: The exact same feature can lead to significantly different experiences, depending on the relationship between the participating players.First, let's define three relationship types we'll be using.CLOSE FRIENDS: These players know each other before they start playing, and have a relationship in real life.ONLINE...

Why we will never show ads in our mobile games

In the challenging business around mobile games, ads have emerged as a popular way of making money, especially for smaller independent developers. It’s easy to see why. They pay well, partly thanks to the success of other service-based games (many of which are not themselves ad-supported). They offer a well understood and relatively predictable revenue...

The attempts to bring "AAA quality" games to mobile - and why they are failing

Last year, I wrote about my experiences in what I saw as a tech arms race in AAA PC/console games. To recap: I've gone from playing games because of their impressive use of technology to playing games because they're fun. I've slowly come to discover the obvious: The two are not corellated. I have grown increasingly frustrated by AAA's insistence on...

Announcing Hades' Star

Today, my partner and I are excited to announce Hades’ Star, an original, social, persistent online strategy game designed for mobile devices. The game’s newly launched web site has some initial information, and will be updated with more information over the next several months as development continues.With this announcement post, I wanted to focus...

My recent friction-full experiences with non-mobile games

For reasons explained in more detail on my first blog post, I probably would have stopped playing games completely if it weren’t for mobile games. Sometimes, however, various life events and temptations cause me to try and go back to games on other platforms. Some of my very recent experiences with such games have left a sour taste, wasted my time,...

Approaching the mobile games market as a small team in 2016

These days, I am preparing to launch my own company focused on mobile games. As a result, a lot of the time I have to struggle with agonizing questions. A few of those questions come from other people, but most of them are from hypothetical voices in my head: Isn’t the mobile gold rush long over for small teams? Don’t you need hundreds of thousands...

Subterfuge was my favorite game of 2015, but I never want to play it again

On paper, Subterfuge is the perfect game for me. It’s an excellently balanced strategy game with rules that are simple to understand but hard to master and offer a lot of depth. It’s a mobile game that greatly fits my free time patterns, which its developers understand first hand. In an era where the term “social game” can still be grossly misused,...

Vainglory vs Clash Royale, and the future of “hardcore” games on mobile

A few years ago I came across League of Legends. I thought it was a relatively simple game that was quick to learn but hard to master, with multiple levels of strategic thinking that made for a deep and fun experience. Not only did you have to learn the quirks of your hero and how to deal with specific micro-level situations across the level, but you...

The strange double-standards around F2P ethics discussions

Over the last few years I’ve witnessed and participated in quite a few interesting conversations between developers who, like me, are struggling to understand and adopt to the rapidly changing landscape, especially with respect to mobile.Within this sea of change, we all want to get paid for our work, and most, if not all of us also have ethical concerns...

Data obsession and the politics of facts

The use and abuse of data of all kinds in the games industry is a fascinating topic for me. As developers, we naturally need to consider a wide range of data when working on any project: data on our players, our game, our development process, our industry trends, our competition, and many more. With technology improvements we now have access to more...

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