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About the Episode
How does a former Pandora engineer build a mobile game with his 15-year-old son that has over 1.4 million downloads? Well today’s guest talks about leaving Pandora and how his teenage son raised $50,000 with just a prototype of their hit game, Paper Chase. Also, listen to the one monetization tip that you need to know if you are building freemium games.
Leaving Pandora and Making A Hit Game
Brian was a Senior Engineer at Pandora for 5 years before the company went public and had made good money from stocks but made his exit when the team started growing to find a new ‘small thing’ with his son. The idea for Paper Chase surfaced when they were both brainstorming on what to work on and after he challenged his son to do it, his son went ahead with the wire frames and after two years, they had a prototype. After that, his son did a great job in pitching to investors as they were able to raise $50,000 and fast forward to 4 months, they now have over 1.4 million downloads.
Monetization in Freemium
You need to make people pay to have fun, this is what Brian learned from his mentor, and so they built in app currencies in Paper Chase after taking inspiration from the game, Hungry Shark. To keep the users hungry for more, they set the game up where players will need to collect coins to stay afloat. To monetize, they provided a route for you to get more currencies through in app purchases. You can do it the hard way but if you want to have fun quicker, you have the option to pay for it.
What advice would you give to anyone looking to build a mobile app?
Don’t take something and just build it right away. Draw it on paper to help you think through your entire idea and after that, you’ll have the foundation for a good app.