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      Game Culture

      Loop It Live: The Best Way to Show Off Your Game Online?

      Loop It Live: The Best Way to Show Off Your Game Online?

      The rich, vibrant world of your video game deserves so much more than a simple, static image. That’s not to put down the many still images that will come to represent your game, of course. Posters, box art, screenshots are all important, of course, but when it comes to your game’s official site, what better way to instantly show off your game’s world, tone, and mechanics than a live video that greets players and the press?

      While remodeling our own site, we at Mega Cat realized that while gameplay GIFs are wonderfully quick and shareable, and trailers can be stuffed full of detail, we needed something in between - say hello to looping video.

      By using these looping videos where we might have formerly employed GIFs, we’ve discovered that we not only modernize the look and feel of our landing pages, but we also raise engagement and reduce bandwidth costs. It’s an all-around win. Here’s a rundown of what you’ll need to use looping videos on your own game’s website.

      A Good Clip

      This part might seem obvious, but a surprising number of folks disregard how important it is to decide on what to show off with their website’s looping videos. You have to decide what the purpose of your video will be - are you showing off your gameplay, or just setting a mood on your site? If you’re going down the gameplay route, perhaps consider capturing a clip that shows off your game’s mechanics in a short amount of time. Your clip shouldn’t be particularly lengthy - you’re not trying to build a trailer here - you’re just demonstrating a mechanic!

      The clip should be an MP4. This format offers higher quality and doubles the bandwidth efficiency of GIFs. Trying to use GIFs for this purpose could be disastrous for users on mobile devices.

      The WebM format is another option for your footage. It offers similar advantages to MP4 while being open source and supported by a wide variety of browsers. The main advantage of WebM, however, is that while it’s on its way to being universally supported, it’s not quite where MP4 is now. It does, however, offer smaller file sizes and the majority of modern web browsers do support WebM playback.

      Getting Artsy?

      If you’re looking to use a looping video to set a vibe on your site rather than to show off gameplay, you’re going to need a video that’s a little bit more akin to a poster than a trailer. Chances are, you don’t want a lot of fast or big motion, but something gentler and slower that fits well into your website’s overall design.

      What you want here is a cinemagraph; we recommend taking a look at this tutorial for guidance on how to go about creating one. While it’s focused on creating cinemagraphs using live-action video, the same principles apply to your game.

      Code It In

      When it comes to integrating the footage into your website’s code, you’ll either want to forward your footage to your web designer or get to work on it yourself, testing to make sure the video looks good both on desktop as well as mobile platforms. When it comes to the necessary code, we recommend taking a look at this resource on Stack Overflow for how to best integrate the video while hiding the player functions.

      Have you integrated looping video into your site, and if so, are there any practices you recommend? Let us know in the comments below.

      Setting the Region of Your Switch

      Setting the Region of Your Switch

      If you’re familiar with console gaming, you may have heard of the practice of “Region Locking”, which is a form of DRM that prevents media from one region of the world from working on devices from another. There are several reasons for region locking. Sometimes, it’s done as a form of censorship, to prevent media that’s considered distasteful in one area from being available in another. Other times, it’s done for business reasons - if a game is being sold for $60 on one continent and $40 on another, region locking discourages third parties from buying the $40 copies and reselling them for $50.

      For gamers, region locking has long been a nuisance- there are many legitimate reasons to want to play a game from another region; perhaps a foreign edition of a game has features that weren’t included in their localized version of the game, or perhaps they purchased their console in a region where games don’t come with support for their mother tongue.

      On the Nintendo Switch, region locking is a thing of the past. Nintendo’s latest console is not region-locked, meaning games from around the world can be played in any region. However, to play games from other regions on your Switch, it is necessary to change your region. This can be done without warranty-voiding hardware modification or sketchy software hacks.

      Step One

      From the Switch’s main menu, go to Settings.

      Step Two

      Scroll down to the bottom of the settings menu and select System.

      Step Three

      From the system, choose Region and select your preferred region; it will then be necessary to accept a new EULA, and your console will then need to restart. When it boots back up, it’ll run games from the region you’ve chosen. Using that region’s eShop will require a new user profile and eShop account that’s registered in said region.

      And that’s all there is to it - changing regions on your Switch is fast, easy, and safe.

      Guidelines for Video Game Trailers

      Guidelines for Video Game Trailers
      For many people, the trailer will be their first encounter with the game. Using these guidelines, you can be sure to leave a favorable and lasting impression.

      Read more

      Let's Talk: A Couch Co-op Work Space

      Let's Talk: A Couch Co-op Work Space

      I was reading through one of my favorite start-up culture evangelists, Pat Riley of GAN, and he brought up something I’ve seen trending more and more the past year: no cell phone zones in offices.

      As someone who’s holistically connected to their devices more often than I should be, it resonated with me, and I had to move forward with it.

      Check out this photo that Pat was so willing to share from HATCH in Bergen, Norway. No Phone Zones are for refreshing your mind, switching gears, and keeping it analog.

      I couldn’t resist but to collaborate with some like-minded champions who want to turn their no-cell phone zone couches into couch co-op zones.

      • Simple to learn accessible controls, whether you had a Nintendo when they were new, or are just playing it for the first time.

      • Game design that borrows the best from the past while looking forward to the future.

      • Fun for Fun’s sake to feed your creative side

      Any startup accelerators, co-work spaces or offices looking for some retro indulgence to support your team, we’re eager to help. We’re selling a bundle at a cost that has everything you need to get at it:

      • A console of your choice, at cost.

      • Two controllers

      • A game of your choice, at cost.

      Let’s support one another through a medium we can all relate to. Want to chat about it or share photos of your Mega Cat infused office? Let’s talk!

      Better Branding with Games

      Better Branding with Games

      Importance of Having Brand Games

      Branded games give your audience an extra way of interacting with your brand. Games are the only form of media that you have to actively engage in to utilize. While music and movies can be enjoyed by an engaged audience, most of that audience is consuming the media passively, with something else on their mind. Video games require active participation to continue the experience, which leads to higher consumer levels of engagement. Increased engagement with a brand will help keep customer retention and drive consumer promotion via word of mouth, which is some of the most effective forms of customer acquisition.

      Branded games can increase purchases of your product or services. Due to increased engagement, customers not only feel more connected to the brand, but they also find themselves thinking about it more, and the often someone thinks about something, the more likely they are to buy that product, service, or the more likely they are to recommend it to a friend. These purchases can provide rewards in the game, giving positive reinforcement which will only add to customer engagement, which then leads to more purchases, and the cycle continues.

      The game can act as an avenue for sales and promotions. The use of the game as a platform to give out coupons and promote sales gives you a way to utilize the gaming market to further enhance engagement that will lead to the cycle of greater engagement and purchases.

      Games can be used as a tool rather than just for fun. Gamifying aspects of anything in daily life will enhance the user experience, so even if your brand game is for your internal sales department, the added level of entertainment can be used to drive performance and otherwise increase the value of your company.

      Games provide avenues of social sharing. Having a game that is addicting and fun to play can encourage players to share it with their friends. If that game then has a high score feature, the players may feel a need to one-up their friends leading to more game time and more engagement with the product, leading to greater brand engagement, bringing more customers in the engagement cycle for your business. If people can share their high scores to a wider audience, like on social media, not only will that share your name with a wide network of people, but it will be in an unexpected way. Unexpected advertising can gain customer attention in greater ways as they are less prone to tuning it out in the way that it happens when ads are in places people know, thus they cannot passively ignore them.

      Giving your app a theme, and releasing it at a key time can not only give you a way to engage with consumers at multiple times throughout the year but can also help build your reputation. For example, apps related to Soccer/Football around the time of the World Cup explode in popularity in the months leading up to the championship game. An app like this for your business can reach a wider audience then you may normally reach because it takes advantage of other events editing that will cross-promote your app, which means that any world cup promotion is in some way promotion for all World cup apps. This same ideology can be applied to events such as the Summer/Winter Olympics, the SuperBowl, the Stanley Cup, or any other large event. These events can provide large seasonal promotions for your business that can be used to keep your business feeling fresh and connected to the people.

      Overall, giving your brand a game will utilize the gaming medium to leverage enhanced consumer engagement, and using this as a tool to create deeper engagement and customer retention. Using a game as a way to enhance consumer connections can be doubled as an extra avenue of communication and ways to keep connected, which is important as a way to find new ways to remain connected in a world of endless advertisements and information.

      How Mega Cat Studios Can Help:

      Mega Cat Studios has been committed to making apps and games for businesses as well as for ourselves. We are focused on the consumer and want to ensure that we are always providing the best experience possible rather than creating a product for a quick sell. We have worked for companies to make apps for the Winter Olympics, for Woodstock, and apps that are used year-round. Our apps are used to increase branding for different companies across a wide variety of sectors, and we have worked on products for food companies, entertainment companies, public sectors, and more.

      Our headquarters is in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, but our team is distributed across the globe. Our team works to make sure that you’ll have the best game or platform to engage with your consumer base and keep them captivated with your brand, business, or company.

      Our company has been able to take the technical lead on products across all forms of media, giving us a diverse skill set that we can bring together to complete any project you have in mind. We can take the technical leadership on any upcoming or existing projects and lead you to a product that you’ll be ready to ship out to bring in new consumers as well as strengthening connections with your current consumer base.

      Mega Cat Studios has streamlined our communication system in the house, letting us focus more time on you, and giving you the ability to communicate with us at every facet of production, ensuring that your product is exactly how you envisioned it.

      All-in-all, Mega Cat Studios is a group of dedicated gamers who are looking to share their love of gaming by making engaging products that will keep audiences entertained and continually engaging with your brand to keep consumers excited about your brand.