Visual Arts in Game Design: It Pays to Be Flexible

Mike Hawkins, Senior Marketing Manager at Europe Kabam


Developing a successful social game takes more than just superior playing mechanics – art plays its own crucial role. Whether it’s immersing a player in a film noir mafia empire-building world or an otherworldly realm where dragons rule, this discussion will share tips on encouraging successful visual art development. Case studies will illustrate the equally important need to stay flexible throughout the game’s lifecycle - a new approach to games visualization can pay off boosting player retention and satisfaction.

Intended audience and prerequisites:

This session is designed for anyone in game design, visual arts, or game team management. It will be high-level approach to the subject, covering themes and important lessons that can be applied across differing game companies. No technical knowledge is necessary, besides a general familiarity with social gaming and the online space.

Session takeaway:

- Hiring the best visual art talent is as important as finding the best coders.
- Creating a unique and compelling visual style is critical to help a company’s games stand out from the crowd.
- Even with the first two, game teams need to be bold and risk a complete reworking of their game’s visual style


December, 7th. From 3pm to 3.50pm + Workshop (50 minutes)




Mike Hawkins has been active in the online space since 2001. Initially he started working in the marketing and development of online education courses for the semiconductor industry. Mike moved into the online advertising world working for, running the marketing activities concerning traffic monetization as Director of European Marketing for the Internet Advertisting Division. Now at Kabam, Mike is currently Senior Marketing Manager for Kabam Europe, covering business development, PR and brand marketing.

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