Archive for the ‘News’ Category

gaming-buzz

Jul 17

How To Create Buzz In The Gaming Community

Let’s say that you are creating a game and you want to build anticipation among the gaming hordes. Furthermore, let’s say you’re not one of the giants, and thus your resources are limited. Regardless, you and your partners have designed this awesome game for the iPhone, and you want to generate excitement about it, which in turn will morph into paying customers, thereby allowing you to continue in your dream job of designing games. How do you go about achieving this dream?

All You Need Is Blog

First and foremost, creating a blog, especially one told from the point of view of the designer, is essential, as in mandatory. Not only does it get your company/product name out there, it gives people a chance to take a peek behind the curtain, and get excited about what they see. If you do in fact create a blog from the perspective of the game designer, people can follow along and see the progress, and anticipation builds as the release date gets nearer. If you can fit in a few sneak previews, screen shots, advance details, then so much the better.

Hooray! A company I never heard of is coming out with a game I know nothing about!

Let’s Be Social

Put together a Facebook page dedicated to the game. This is even easier to do than a blog, and considering the strong gamer community on Facebook, you have an instant audience. Don’t forget Twitter, either. When it comes to financial outlay and time, it doesn’t get any easier than social media.

Conventional Thinking

Okay, now we’re getting into a pricier realm here, but as the old adage goes, you have to spend money in order to make money. If you have an advertising budget set aside, then it’s time to start dipping into it. The thing is to not wait until after the game is released; you need to generate advance buzz. Naturally, in order to do so, you must already have a good idea what the game is about and how it’ll turn out. And you don’t even really have to go all out; get some cheap t-shirts printed up, or colorful information handouts, something that stands a good chance of sticking in gamers’ memories. Booth babes may be out of the question, but hey, there’s always a booth sock puppet. When you stop and think about it that would be pretty memorable, right?

Get a Trailer

No, not one of those that are pulled by your car. Movies generate excitement and interest by showing trailers before the main feature. You know, right before they warn you about smoking, using cell phones during the movie, and where the exits are located. It’s the same with the world of gaming. Put together a good trailer, or even multiple trailers, to show players what all the fuss is about. This idea fits neatly with the idea of blogs, since that’s where the trailers would ultimately reside. See? These things are interrelated.

I’ll Alert The Media

It may seem obvious, but let’s be complete here. Fire off e-mails to periodicals, websites, trade journals, any media source that fits the gaming nice you’re going after, and introduce yourself. If you’re not a known quantity, forget targeting the mainstream media, and focus instead on the smaller outlets that specialize. And while you’re at it, generate some good word of mouth by notifying gaming bloggers. Try to cultivate a rapport with them, and let them help spread the word. But again, make sure that the blogs cover the type of game you’re developing. A blog dedicated to paper and dice gaming will be a bad choice to market your new iPhone game that features steel cage death matches between pieces of sentient produce.

Recruit An Army of Dark Minions

If you find yourself in the position of having both an awesome new game release and a shoestring budget, consider gathering together a dedicated group of gamers that you’ve given a preview of your game and they happen to love it. This loyal army may get paid in merchandise, free copies of your game, or any other benefits you can think of, and in return they spread the word on websites, forums, at conventions, whatever. They are your evangelists. Remember that the most effective, the most trusted advertising is word of mouth!

Final Thoughts

There are so many independent developers out there that it’s easy to get lost in the crowd. You need to stand out, build a rep, and give the people a killer product.

 

Photo Credit: Photos.com

 

Jul 09

Building an App: Dos and Don’ts from Fueled

You have a problem. You create a solution. You want to share it with the world via a mobile app. How the heck do you build one?! No need to fret, your friends at Fueled have compiled a quick reference of some dos and don’ts for the app building process.

DO your research, and have a strategy. Not every app idea has been thought of, but a lot of them have. There is a very good chance that your idea could already exist in some capacity. Search app stores, read tech blogs, find rumor mills; due diligence can save you time that would otherwise be wasted creating something that already exists. If you complete the research and find there is a need for your app, have a strategy for how to proceed. We at Fueled take great pride in our ability to build winning strategies for apps, from concept to launch and beyond. Organizing thoughts, setting deadlines, and paying attention to details will make the app building process flow much more smoothly.

DON’T forget the execution. You have your idea, done the research, and have a strategy; now what? Proper execution. Even the simplest idea can become a great app, as long as the follow-through of the plan is on point. Instead of imitating another app’s layout, enhance the best qualities and make it better. Focus on developing an intuitive UX and responsive UI. Users want apps that work well and serve their needs the instant it is downloaded. This is also where a well-thought-out strategy can come in handy as it will help create checkpoints throughout the dev process, allowing you to evaluate the progress. Ideas are a dime a dozen, execution is key.

DO focus on building a product that you will use. If you have no interest in or don’t have a use for your own product, you will likely end up with an inferior result. Having a passion for your design and function will show and be important to investors and consumers. Additionally, constantly test any assumptions you have throughout the design and dev process. Updated layouts, additional functions, anything you think will improve the app overall is worth a test because you can always go back to the way it was. This process will ensure that you are building an end product that makes sense and has value to users.

DON’T rush your launch. Everyone is excited about their product and wants to launch as soon as possible. However, here are many reasons why you shouldn’t do this. For starters, it takes time to build a quality app. No matter how simple it may seem, design, development, and testing all take time. Even when the app is completed, work must be done to properly market the product prior to the launch. You will want to build media relationships if you do not already have them, launch a website, and build a buzz around the product. Weeks are not enough. Months of planning, organizing, and action are needed in order to have a successful launch.

DO take the time to test. Simply having a couple of your friends play with the app does not count as testing. Friends and family are not your target market, they will download your app simply because they love you and want to help out. Seek out agencies or other professionals in order to get useful feedback. Outside testers are potential consumers, they should be using your app. The goal is to gather constructive criticism, opinions, and relevant data that will allow you to make little tweaks based on user feedback during beta before your big app store launch.

DON’T think it’s done just because it’s in the App Store. Being in an app store simply means your app is accessible, not that people will be able to easily find it. An app store optimization strategy will be needed to increase visibility. This should be a big part of the strategy. Additionally, the app will likely have some bugs, need to adjust to user complaints, and have new feature introduced at times. Updating too frequently is not necessary, but no app is ever complete at version 1.0.

DO make sure you work with the right partner. Whether it is a friend, a freelancer, or a shop like Fueled. Depending on your goals, it may make sense to partner with different people. Typically for a prototype, working with a freelancer may make sense so you can demonstrate proof of concept before investing in really polished design and high caliber development which will serve as the foundation of your product after its commercial launch.

Written with love by the editorial team at Fueled, a premier Android app design agency in New York City.

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Jul 03

Taking Casual Gaming to the Next Level

For a long time, I never really enjoyed games consoles. I always preferred to play on a PC, where the keyboard and mouse made many games much easier – particularly strategy titles, I thought.

Joypads seemed to get harder and harder to master, with triggers, analogue joysticks, cursor arrow keys, coloured buttons and so on, all of which have to be used in different combinations to achieve different moves.

No, I was a firm PC gamer – at least, that was, until the Nintendo Wii came along, and changed everything.

Redefining Casual Gaming

The Nintendo Wii brought gaming to the masses, not so much eliminating the joypad, but redefining it so that it featured the bare minimum of buttons, coupled with innovative motion-sensitive response that made gaming feel incredibly natural.

I found myself playing games where my opponents were pensioners or toddlers, or both; I’ve seen a baby master one Wii game in which moving the remote rang a bell.

But I always knew, as well, that the cartoonish graphics and fun-for-all-the-family styling of the Wii were not really a fair representation of what console gaming is really like.

So after a couple of years, I took the decision to sell my Nintendo Wii, and get a ‘proper’ games console.

Becoming a Gamer

What surprised me when I bought my PS3 was the extent to which the Wii seems to have influenced the games that have followed for other platforms.

Titles like Little Big Planet incorporate the kind of cooperative gameplay you might expect to see in a Wii game, as well as the light-hearted graphics.

But they present much more fiendish logic problems that must be solved, and this I found to be reminiscent of some of the more obscure puzzles in the Monkey Island games for the PC.

Overall, I’d say some games console titles – although clearly not all of them – are now much closer to the gameplay of PC titles than ever before.

Full Circle

By playing these PS3 games, I found myself reminiscing more and more about the PC games I used to love, from Monkey Island to Theme Park and the original bird’s-eye-view, cartoonish Grand Theft Auto games.

I dug out some of those old installation discs and gave those old games a fresh play through (GTA is particularly fun if you switch off the frame-rate limiter, as modern-day graphics cards can run it at a blistering pace).

Ultimately, it was the realisation that I was able to do this that brought me back around to my original love of the PC as a gaming platform.

How many games consoles (aside from the unique example of the PS2) are still in popular usage, and are capable of playing titles that were first released 15 years ago or more?

Only the PS2 can fit that description – and even then only thanks to being backwards-compatible with PS1 games – and with the news that Sony have ceased production of the PS2, the PC seems set to once again reclaim its position as the best long-term gaming platform.

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Jul 01

Seven Deadly Sinners: The Sexiest Girls In Video Games

The abundant cleavage in modern video games is as controversial as graphic violence. The industry has come a long way, however, since the winsome Princess Daphne of Dragon’s Lair back in 1983. Playboy magazine might have inspired animator Don Bluth to make us the first female video game blonde bombshell but our modern pixelated ladies don’t idly sit by waiting for a prince to rescue them. The typical female video game character is as ruthless as she is beautiful and that makes her all the more enjoyable. Here is a list of some of the most notable and deadly ladies to flash across a console screen.

1. Christie Monteiro (Tekken)

Capoeira is a Brazilian martial art based on speed and complex acrobatic moves. Christie Monterio is a the granddaughter of the legendary Capoeria master Ho Chi Myong and trained in capoeira by his protege Eddy Gordo. Beautiful, loyal Christie becomes a core character midway through the Tekken game series and she’s irresistibly pleasurable to watch.

2. Tifa Lockheart (Final Fantasy VII)

Tifa is adored by fans of FFVII and one only has to take one look to know why. The vivacious, busty heroine is a playable character in the core game and appears in its sequels and spin-offs. Tiffa wears a number of eye-catching outfits that show off her 36-24-35 figure in very satisfying ways.

3. Aya (Oneechanbara)

What is there not to like about a leggy, dual sword-wielding assassin wearing a little red bikini and thigh high boots. Add in the straw cowboy style hat and “baneful blood” that curses Aya with berserk frenzies. While Oneechanbara gets criticized as campy and exploitative, it’s also a great deal of fun and Aya is one of its best features.

4. Kaileena (Prince of Persia)

As first enemy and later love interest of The Prince, Kaileena is unforgettably attractive. The dark and mysterious Empress of Time is more femme fatale than warrior but hardly helpless. Kaileena created the Sands of Time which can destroy anyone in their path except those who possess the four objects that she crafted to control them.

5. Sylvia Christel (No More Heroes)

Sylvia’s exact role in the United Assassins Association is not clear. She manipulates the sadistic but honor-bound Travis Touchdown brilliantly, convincing him she’ll sleep with him if he proves himself to be the best assassin in the land. Smaller breasted than the other ladies on this list, Sylvia has captivating sex appeal and plenty of nude (or nearly nude) scenes to earn her high marks.

6. Mai Shiranui (Fatal Fury)

Mai is a female ninja in the Fatal Fury franchise who’s sex appeal is undeniable. Her fighting style includes intentional “jiggling” of her enormous breasts to distract her opponents while she closes in for the kill with deadly steel butterfly fans. She is also a pyrokinetic and her distinctive costume includes a waistband with kitsune-like tails.

7. Varla Gunns (House Of The Dead OVERKILL)

The voluptuous Varla works as a stripper in a Bayou City club who becomes a grim zombie-killer and vigilante determined to avenge her beloved brother Jasper. She was modeled after sexy Vikki Blows and is one of the most appealing characters in this game.

This post comes from CentreFold Strippers in Sydney. Go to their page to check out Sydney’s hottest strippers.

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Jun 21

The Junos Security Specialist Certification Exam from Juniper Networks

If you’ve already achieve your Junos JNCIA certification, which is the Juniper Networks Certified Internet Associate (JNCIA-Junos) credential, then you may be ready to further your professional development in the internet security discipline by achieving specialist level certification through Juniper Networks.

If you haven’t already earned your JNCIA-Junos certification, you’ll need to do so before proceeding on to the specialist level exam, which is the JN0-332. The associate level credential is a prerequisite for testing at the specialist level and above.

The JN0-332 exam is administered by Pearson VUE and 90 minutes in total are allotted for completion of the test. There are 70 multiple choice questions on the exam, which means you’ll need to have a mastery of the materials to progress through the exam at the appropriate speed and to achieve a passing score.

Exam preparation is the key to success on the JN0-332 exam, or any other professional certification test for that matter. Prep activities recommended by Juniper Networks include formal course, like Junos for Security Platforms and Junos Unified Threat Management, as well as self study, attainment of hands on experience in internet Security utilizing Junos, and the use of practice exams, like those offered by providers like TestsHead.com, for example.

Juniper Networks also offers a practice exam for the JN0-332, though it doesn’t offer the dynamic learning experience as is found with test engines, like those found with TestsHead.com and other online exam prep services.

Once you’ve passed your JN0-332 and earned your associated Security Specialist (JNCIS) certification, you’ll want to keep your credential valid by undergoing recertification every two years. To achieve recertification at the end of the credential cycle, you simply need to retake and pass the JN0-332 in its most recent release version.

Jun 20

6 Video Games My Kids Are Addicted Too

My children love to play games. When I need them to sit still for a while (and stay out of trouble) or if we have exhausted playtime I often suggest they play games. Finding the perfect video games for children can be tough. There are some games that look OK for children but aren’t appropriate. You can’t always tell by the picture on the case whether or not the game is suitable for those under 10 years of age. Sometimes, kids under 10 aren’t going to want to play war games or understand what they mean!

We currently have a PlayStation and some of the more popular games in our house are:

Little Big Planet

This is a fantastic game because it allows our child to create their very own levels from scratch. They can create anything and make their own world so that they can truly enjoy playing the game and letting their creative ideas flow.

Lego Star Wars Complete Saga

Everyone knows Star Wars but this game really makes it look appealing to everyone. This incorporates all characters throughout the entire Star Wars franchise and allows children to come up with fun and challenging puzzles as well. It may have shooting but as this is balanced with slapstick which makes the kids laugh.

Formula One Championship Edition

I was surprised to see this on as often as it is. It is a great choice for children who love racing cars. Also, it is a game that can be played by all of the family so with the cooperative mode on, everyone we can play along.

Ratatouille

The film, along with a slew of other Disney movies are very popular in our house. There are puzzles to solve as well as different levels and skills to play through. The skill level starts off low and works its way up to be quite a challenge towards the end.

Monopoly

This is a great family game that I loved as a girl so was eager to play it with my kids. This is great for children to learn about money at the same time as having a bit of fun with their friends and family alike. It can drag on after a while but great fun for family night.

Sonic Unleashed

Everyone loves Sonic, but I was a bit skeptical about this one, after all, Sonic turns into a ‘Were-Hedgehog’. Ultimately though, he is a great character and gamers can choose different players. Plus all the damage he does is to robots and not animals or people.

There are so many amazing games to play and even if your child has a little trouble understanding or using a game or even the play station console, there is plenty of PlayStation support on offer. Use it because it really will allow your child to enjoy their gaming experience. Remember, games can be fun and they can be educational also.

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Jun 12

Few great games you can play without losing your job

We all know about hardlywork.in, the website that turns Facebook into a spreadsheet so you can social media your corporate butt off. Now, here are some games you can play for free, from the comfort of your browser, without installing anything on the computer. Hey, at least if you get caught, you didn’t violate the IT policy in the process.

Icebreaker

Icebreaker is a Viking-themed physics game, in which you try to rescue Vikings that have been trapped in ice by strategically cutting the ice and dropping them into a boat. Sounds realistic, right? It’s fun regardless.

Realm of the Mad God

Realm of the Mad God is an arcade-style, shooter by Wild Shadow Studios. You are transported into a fantasy world dominated by evil minions and bosses sent by the dark lord Oryx.  The game features online co-op gameplay in a huge “live world”, thousands of enemies, real-time action combat, leveling, loot, equipment and magic. There are no downloads, installs, patches or registration required. Click the link; pick a class, type a name and go!

Hello Worlds!

Each Hello Worlds! Level is split into two, three or four parallel worlds on the screen at the same time, and when you move, you move your character on the screen at the same time in each world. Hello Worlds does away with many of the frustrations present in other games, such as constantly dying or having to run like mad. If you like to combine running and jumping with thinking, this free game deserves at least one try.

Crash Planning

In this little gem from the website cantyouseeimbusy.com, swap colored planning blocks to make three or more combinations. When you make a combination you gain points and time – and time is what this game is all about! Keep a good eye on your timeline at the bottom of the planning sheet, if you run out then the game has ended and your score will be added to the leader board. Why is that so awesome? Because it looks like a spreadsheet, so that if someone sees over your shoulder, they will think nothing of it!

Breakdown

Yet another “looks like work” game from cantyouseeimbusy.com, the game will open in what appears to be a word document. The scrollbar at the bottom will be your racket, which is controlled by your mouse. The aim is to keep the ball in the air and remove text until you have a blank page, The text in bold and italic need to be hit twice in order to remove it. When trying this game out, I found myself killing time playing it.

Entanglement

This browser based game comes in Chrome, (but you can play it in other browsers). Your goal is to create a long, twisted path, using the tiles of Entanglement’s geometric game board. The board itself is shaped like a hexagon, and features 36 playing tiles. Your path begins from the center of the board; you weave and maneuver your way around–attempting to avoid any walls and lines created by other players–by rotating and swapping tiles. You line up a game piece, and then click to see where your scarlet-hued line ends up. It’s quite surprising how fast you will get addicted to this game, but it doesn’t take a long time to play.

Achievement Unlocked 2

You are a small blue elephant, with a penchant for running, jumping, and earning achievements. Even though this game sounds sort of generic, achievement unlocked 2 keeps the graphics simple. There are no color gradients, and there are very few shapes other than rectangles. Regardless, you will have fun while you kill a little time at work.

No matter which game you decide to go with (and there are several others), you can play just about anything on a flash game.

 

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May 29

Smartphone games – where to start

So you finally got rid of your Nokia 3210 (which was on a cheap contract), let your Sony Ericsson meet its maker (that had a great camera on) and joined the 21st century by getting a smartphone. Welcome to the gaming revolution!

Today, you don’t need to have a computer or a video game console to enjoy great gaming entertainment. If you have a smartphone, there are tons of game apps that you can download and enjoy. At your convenience and on the go, you can play a wide range of topnotch mobile games that are incredibly fun and exciting. So where do you start when choosing your first games? Two of the most popular games that are easy to play, are free, and are hugely addictive are Angry Birds and Temple Run. Both games are available for Android, iOS, and Windows Phone operating systems.

Start with the classics

Angry Birds and Temple Run have been very successful and popular since their initial releases. This has not only lead to sequels and spinoffs for both game franchises, but also combined license games, such as Angry Birds Rio, which is based on “Rio”, the animated film from 20th Century Fox, and Angry Birds Star Wars, which focuses on the original Star Wars trilogy. Likewise, Temple Run also has its popular combined license spinoffs including Temple Run: Brave, based on the Disney movie “Brave”, and Temple Run: OZ, which is based on another Disney movie “Oz: The Great and Powerful”.

In addition to these two popular game series, other fun games for smart-phones include: Doodle Jump, Fruit Ninja, Bejeweled 2, Words with Friends, Tiny Tower, Bubble Shooter, Slice It, Mega Jump, Cut the Rope, Tetris, and several other new and classic games.

Take it further

So now you have taken those tentative steps into mobile gaming, why not join the indie gaming revolution too and create your own games? If you are interesting in game development and monitizing those games you may find that appnext mobile web development ad tools can help grow your user base, allowing you to make your app successful without you having to spend a fortune on your advertising campaign. Smart targeting and other unique promotion tools make it easy for application developers to find success with their smartphone mobile game apps.

May 24

The Wow Factor on the World of Warcraft

World of Warcraft was the most played online game. It’s suffering from recession for now so it’s currently sitting in the number 2 spot. Playing this is like having a romantic relationship. First of all, there’s the seduction. It offers free registration so the new players can experience the epic world of magic, mystery, and limitless adventure beyond the real world that we’re used to. The user-friendly interface, the fancy characters, the unique spells and abilities, the arenas, and friends you meet along the way hooks you up right away –like going steady in a relationship. Then you get bored, you become a swinger and move to another MMO. Then you miss all the fun on WoW, you beg to go back and it forgave your betrayal and accepted you with open arms. Finally, you complete the game, you once again lose interest, getting sick and tired of everything and about to quit what you’ve worked hard for. But all of a sudden, an expansion is released and before you know it, you’re happily playing the game again, holding hands while walking giddily. Wow, what a feeling in WoW, better than the real world. As your lover might ask, “There are lots of options out there, why me among the others?

Optimized Codes

The coding of WoW is optimized so it can be played on older machines. It can play as fast as 60 frames per second in an old laptop. Other MMOs are too heavy. It takes ages to log in and can’t even select a character because it’s all frozen up or just crashes. Loading time on WoW is just 5 seconds or less than that on an ultrafast computer. 200 people can play in one arena without a hitch. It’s very smooth despite the human traffic. Imagine the famous Shinjuku in Japan where people cross the street smoothly.

Massive Realm

As this role-playing game promotes, it’s indeed correct for it to have limitless adventure. It’s truly another world created by the game gods. If you are a traveler and constantly seeks adventure, no need to bring out a big backpack, the adventure is right at your fingertips –literally. Other MMOs would require teleportation or portals from point A to B. But unlike them, this entire enormous continent is connected. A lot of places to go to: from forests to mountains to deserts to underwater –it’s not just made for the heck of it, it’s actually beautiful.

Skill Above Time

According to surveys, the active players of WoW decreased. It’s not that people became weary of playing, it’s just WoW doesn’t encourage the players to spend time playing for days on end. It’s about the skill. Well, players that are in the battle grounds for one whole day gets new gears before the others who spends less time. On the other hand, he can’t get the best gears –the person who is more skillful will get them. It’s about playing well not playing like the Chinese guy for 7 straight days. Nobody wants to end up twitching in front of the computer and slipping down on the monitor.

Human Connection

Playing with people on a server frequently would make you feel that you know them, get attached, build friendship and community. Who says there’s no human connection on cyberspace? WoW has Blizz Con almost every year where you meet real people in the real world. You can give them a real handshake and a real hug. Friends, Community and Guilds are all real.

Arenas

Arenas are the best thing in MMO world. My heart is jumping out just talking about it. Pounding the keyboard and the mouse and as the same time the heart pounds. This is music to the gamers. I’ll stop right here, I’m gonna get a heart attack.

Bottom Line

If you haven’t played the game yet, you’re missing out on lots of things. Sign up for free and let a romantic or platonic relationship flourish.

This guest post is brought to you by Max Royale of loopport.com, a site that offers savings and current information on free sound effects.

May 15

Tips for Video Game Developers

If you’re a creative games developer who is keen to enhance their skills then you have come to the right place because we are going to show you a few handy tips for you to bare in mind when you make your next game.

Keep creative

Firstly do not fall into the trap of letting the software determine the outcome of your game. Ensure you keep your creative juices flowing and keep the control in your hands. You’ll want to concentrate while you build your game as this will reduce your chances of making any silly mistakes and having to correct them later on. Draw inspiration from successful games. Apart from the creative web design and well programmed casino games, the site also features gaming options that increases its functionality. Promotions for topping up the first time, referral programs and “How to Play” links for every game make it a popular choice for first time players and long time gamers as well. Studying the features and functions that make games successful is one of the simplest ways to ensure that your game will appeal and entice your target customers. More than brilliant programming, you will need to make sure that your work will appeal to a wide range of users and not just a specific set of people.

Note your ideas down on paper

Sometimes it’s easier to convey your ideas in sketches, drawings or even in spider diagrams. Keep a notebook at hand so when you spontaneously think of a brilliant idea, you can write it down. In addition , it’s good to analyse other people’s games so you can get some inspiration and a few ideas which you can then apply to your game.

Mood and ambience

Besides the excitement of fighting enemies and unearthing treasures, a good game should also have a good atmosphere. Think about what you want the overall mood and tone of your game to be and use the background music to better portray this.

Rewarding the players

It’s much more effective to have lots of small rewards rather than one big prize at the end of a level. The players will be constantly seeking the next small reward to add to their pot which will keep them interested in the game. A player is more likely to give up if they have not received any prizes and have to complete a whole level to get one. Interest is quickly lost when there are no rewards which is why keeping your players interested and motivated with small prizes as they go along is a more effective method.