“Shuffling cards with big brands”- Phase 10.
April 25, 2018

This time Omega - R got reached by a well - known Canadian Game publisher - Magmic, a premiere publisher of mobile social games and partner of global brands like Rubik's Cube, Skip - Bo, and Phase 10 by Mattel. The offer was very exciting at the same time - Omega - R’s team was to update a famous game called Phase 10!

This legend card game by Mattel might sound familiar to you, we all remember the Rummy card game. The tangible version of Phase 10 was sold over 32 million times across the globe.

Task: Magmic initiated working with us in order to create something extraordinary over an existing version as it was time for an update. The client needed to improve app engagement, monetization and rebrand it to the modern look. Previous features requested by Players had to be added back: Facebook support, leaderboard and Multiplayer mode. The work load separated into two stages.

The first stage we were to do the followings:

  • Changes in navigation to improve usability

  • Update design and creating assets for applications (iOS and Android)

  • Port windows 8.1 code to iOS

  • Turn-Based multiplayer (Game Centre)  

  • Game Analytics  and Ad Networks integration

  • Integration of ‘More Fun’ feature (closs links to the other games by Magmic)

  • Adapt Cocos 2dx code to Android Platform

The purpose of the second stage was to create the update for both iOS and Android platforms, Paid and Free versions. This update included both an update to the multiplayer game mode (changing it from turn based to real time), and an update, which introduced facebook integration into the application:

  • Redesign some screens basing on the users’ feedback

  • Updating Multiplayer

  • Facebook integration

  • Facebook Leaderboards

The scope of work was quite impressive and challenging, just what we love at Omega - Games.

Coding: In Phase 10 the client wanted to keep on with Cocos2d-x. Using cross - platform engine is not that simple as it may seem on the surface. Sometimes it is very tricky and has a lot of hidden details that are crucial for a final result. You have to keep in mind that a lot of hours will be spent on adapting it to various platforms and screen sizes, integrating platform - dependable libraries and many other nuances. We had to go through all of it with Cocos2d-x during the Phase 10 project.

The main hurdle​s were to overcome and we faced them in the process of building a multiplayer mode. While developing the real time mode through Google Play Games and Game Centre, we noticed that it wasn’t working properly due to unstable connection between the players.  Unable to reconnect to the library, this function unfortunately didn’t see the light. But this issue didn't stop us and we solved it by using a turn based multiplayer instead which instantly became popular among the players.

Design: The design task was to update the Phase 10 app to a new modern Phase 10 look according to the given description. The client presented us with a thick file of Mattel’s design guidelines and technical specifications for developers that we had to follow.

These guidelines took our skills to the next level as we needed to quickly adapt to the requirements but as the industry experts, success was the only way for us. Recreating a popular game turned out to be not a “walk in the park”. This means that fans and brand - owner have certain expectations for how mobile version of their favourite card game should look like.

Hurdles: Even though the game is well - known across the world, not many members of our team knew Phase 10 rules. To have a real user experience and gain a greater understanding of the game we bought a few packs of Phase 10 cards and played time & again during the first few weeks. We mastered the game and were ready for a Phase 10 world - cup competition, if it would ever exist. 

Lesson learned: When working on a project for a TOP game publishing brand like our client, you have to be extremely precise with the the guidelines submitted by a client. Those are the requirements you cannot break and linking these designs with big functionality is not easy.

The creative team of Omega - R experts paid maximum attention to every detail of the game guidelines. Game designers and artists had quite a few sleepless nights drawing new sketches and playing the card game to understand the rules so the app is more intuitive.

Long - awaited Results: Finally, the first release of our Phase 10 version saw the light of a day. And it was only natural that:

  • The game showed 100% growth in revenue within a year after the update.

  • “2 stars” reviews were left in the past and “4 stars” ratings came along, straight after our revamp. It was an indicator that we were moving in the right direction.

  • Phase 10 has 1 000 000+ downloads on Google Play.

  •  Phase 10 on Google Play

  • Phase 10 on App Store.

Try it for yourself (it is absolutely free) and tell the world what you think!

Stay tuned for more!

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