January and February were busy months for Homa and our community of developers. In the span of two weeks, hundreds of game creators from all over the world grouped together to design Hypercasual games. Next, Homa Games and Facebook Audience Network, official partner and sponsor, tested 50+ of their high-quality submissions.
A game jam is a sprint-like innovation event where content creators are challenged to develop a game from scratch. This virtual event provides informal opportunities for developers interested in Hypercasual game development to become comfortable using industry-standard technologies like Unity and Facebook to leverage their games. For some weeks, HomaJam became a virtual place where developers joined forces with our in-house Hypercasual experts to create high quality games.
This time we had a $165k prize pool and, even though the Grand Prix of $50k remained unfilled, HomaJam finished with seven amazing winners for the different categories and a lot of learning for all of us. With this very positive balance, we’ll certainly be organizing more jams in a near future.
At Homa, we’re always in the quest for the best games and talent around.Not only we want to find the most gifted game creators, but we also want to give them the tools to level-up and succeed in the Hypercasual space.
With events like the HomaJam, we want to support our developers community and to diversify it, by creating an entry point with minimum requirements and maximum opportunities. In this occasion, for example, participants were provided with resources like gift assets so they could focus on developing their game’s mechanics and gameplay, with minimal UI. All the games had to be made with Unity and our in-house built meta-SDK HomaBelly integrated.
This last HomaJam also had an important educational component, with masterclasses for beginners and seasoned participants as well. Homa’s in-house experts covered different topics like Hypercasual game development, UA strategies, or game design.
We gathered a line-up of top industry experts sharing relevant knowledge to help participants increase their chances of success. Such speakers included Celia Hodent, former UX director on battle royale giant Fortnite; Eric Seufert, who runs Mobile Dev Memo; and Seran Cavdar and Facundo Romano, from our partner Facebook Audience Network.
Our jams also aim to foster game devs communities, so we encouraged participants to form teams and to join forces from each one’s own expertise. We provided channels for participants to interact with each other and with Homa, and also hosted some entertaining opening and closing ceremonies to bring positive energy to the community and to promote healthy competition.
As we start thinking of hosting more events, we gathered some takeaways to build on for our next jam.
It is normal to wonder why none of the participants left with the $50k Grand Prix. In this occasion, none of the submissions reached the CPI, RRD1, and playtime needed to hit the jackpot. These proposed metrics are carefully calculated based on industry standards to be fair for all parties involved, especially developers, and communicated to participants beforehand. Submissions are tested through our automated platform HomaLab and Audience Network by Facebook, and the results were fetched by Facebook Analytics.
At Homa, we always hope one game will reach these metrics—a win-win situation, but when it doesn’t happen, we still want to reward outstanding submissions. For this reason, we organized different categories to guarantee the possibility to win a share of the big prize pool, which could not be left vacant.
A game jam has to be fun and engaging. With this in mind, we decide to propose a theme for the jam: Reunite and stay in touch. 2020 had most of us apart and locked in our houses, and 2021 has to be the year to reunite with our beloved ones.
Participants were asked to represent what we missed the most in 2020 and look forward to in 2021 through main mechanics, level objectives, or both. The purpose was to fulfil the sense of connection through game development (and later, gameplay) in the times of isolation and confinement. And the results were surprising.
In line with the event’s theme, it is important to open channels to stay connected over the competition. We’re proud to say we interacted with a community of 1k+ game creators in our main channels on Discord and YouTube. During submission time, we tried our best to provide 7-days/week support for different topics like ideation, masterclasses follow up, and tech support.
“We strongly believe that game jams make a lot of sense in Hypercasual—both of them are spaces of stimulating creativity and passion for games!” says Lola Suleimanova, Lead Marketing and Communication at Homa Games. “We are addicted to building and nurturing communities and promoting peer support among them, and HomaJam proved that game jams are capable of doing exactly that.”
In a nutshell, HomaJam represented:
We’d like to thank all the participants for their involvement, and a big shout out to our partner and sponsor Facebook Audience Network for an amazing collaboration.
With a more than positive balance, we'll surely be hosting more jams this year. Stay tuned to know the next dates and don’t hesitate to contact us if you want to know more.
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