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New Partnerships, 4YFN & 2 New Websites!

ANDi Games Ltd, ANDi, Wayra UK, Pineapple Dance

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elcome to the new look ANDi Blog – we hope you like it! As well as a new look for the blog, we’ve also redesigned and relaunched www.get-andi.com. If you haven’t already, get on over and take a look. We’d love to hear your feedback on both new sites.

In early 2017, we announced that ANDi Games Ltd had joined Wayra UK. This has been a fantastic boost, and since the 6th of February we’ve been settling in to our new office space in Soho, London. This has also included some activities with other Wayra UK Cohort Founders, including an afternoon at Pineapple Studio in London. 

Catch up with Ben & Sam below as they take you through some of the highlights of these past weeks including Mobile World Congress, 4YFN, dancing, new app features and what’s coming soon. 

 – Ben Woolf, CEO & Co-Founder – 

February was our most exciting month yet!

Back in January we launched an updated ANDi, and since then we’ve been hard at work testing our product with 100’s of new users. On February 6th, we started with Wayra UK and had an intensive week with Telefonica, learning and discussing what the next 10 months will look like. So far, we’ve been blown away with the help, guidance and support provided and we look forward to their assistance over the coming months.

We’ve also officially become members of both TIGA and Ukie. And, we’ve already had the opportunity to attend several events, including one on quality assurance. TIGA also invited us to speak at their ‘Growing A Games Studio’ event held in London. This was a great opportunity to meet and network with members of the UK game industry.

We also entered, and are now successfully in the finals of the ‘Business Concept Of The Year Award’ from my old university of Leeds Beckett. Though I am now alumni it was a pleasure to return to Leeds and pitch ANDi Games Ltd and the work we are doing. I think I may have learnt more from University than I realised!

Between the 27th February and 2nd March, I am in Barcelona for Mobile World Congress and for the first time, 4YFN (4 Years From Now). Mobile World Congress is the largest event held annually in Barcelona, but is also the largest gathering of mobile companies in the entire world. From network operators, to phone, accessory and gadget manufacturers. Everyone involved in the mobile industry is here. Whilst in Barcelona I’ll be meeting and learning from a vast array of companies, new start-ups in IoT, Beacons, VR and mobile.

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The start to 2017 and February is general has been amazing for myself and the team here at ANDi Games Ltd. We are setting the foundations for the future and cannot wait to share it with you.”

– Sam Koch, CTO & Co-Founder –

As with all technology start-ups, we had our fair share of bugs in February. Whilst Ben has been at 4YFN and Kris has been designing and developing our web presence, I’ve been on bug duty! Our Java server (hosted on the Google App Engine) was not playing well with Firebase, another Google service. Firebase was using too many background threads and this meant that we had to translate over 4000 lines of code to a Node.js server (also hosted with App Engine) where there would be no threading issue. It was quite the task, but we resolve the bugs and ANDi is now running as it should.

We’ve also introduced a new backend feature to ANDi. This is the ability to send notifications based on the actions of our users. We can now send push notification to recommend new games, find the best replacement for lesser used games, or even recommend a general app clean up. It’s something we’re really excited to see in people’s hands and hope to expand to offer game discounts, recommendations for the next game in a sequence and multiplayer stuff too.

We’ve got a lot of new and exciting features coming very soon, and we cannot wait to share them with you.”

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ANDi Games Ltd is on the map

ANDi Games Ltd is on the map

Since we started ANDi Games Ltd, one of our (many) key focuses has been developing and cultivating relationships within the UK Games industry. From working with Games Hubs up and down the country, to reaching out to indie developers (see our call to Indie Developers), accessory manufacturers (Freefly VR / Proteus VR Labs) and publishers. We’ve attended some of the UK’s (and Europe’s) biggest conferences and events in our first year, with more to come in 2017 – including Pocket Gamer Connects later this month in London.

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Built by Ukie and Nesta, the UK Games Map is the first interactive, real-time map of the UK games industry. It is the most complete data-set of the geography of the UK games sector ever built, charting the size, scale, and growth of the UK games industry. The tool has been used since its creation by industry veterans, start-ups, investors, journalists, academics, and policy makers. Games developers, publishers and service providers own their data, updated in real-time using an automated big data approach. And now ANDi Games Ltd is listed.

You can learn more about the UK Games Map here.

Don’t forget to download ANDi, our Machine Learning A.I platform built specifically for the mobile gamers;

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As always, we thank everyone that has supported us to date and look forward to working with you all in the future.

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ANDi is blogging

ANDi is blogging! Since we started working on ANDi, we get a lot of questions about our day to day activities. Although we base ourselves in London, we have staff working from the surrounding areas of London, as well as Essex and Bournemouth, Dorset. Our business partners and connections as well as friends and family, regularly ask us how we manage this. What tools do we use? How do we make important business decisions? How do we keep in contact (hint: we are heavy Slack users), and surprising quite common are questions about what we eat and what we listen too. In a series of ANDi blogs we aim to open the door and shed some light on how ANDi Games Ltd operates as startup, provide an insight to our daily work patterns and provide an opportunity for you to get to know the team.

In first of these blogs, we are speaking to Samuel Koch, ANDi’s Chief Technology Officer. We find out what tools Sam uses to keep in touch with his founding partner, Ben Woolf. What Sam and Babak, our Lead Back End Developer, are working on and what we can expect from the next big update to our Android BETA app.

ANDi Games Ltd, Get ANDi, ANDi, Game Discovery, Game Recommendation, Mobile Games, AI, Machine Learning

How hard has it been as a startup working remotely, and what has helped collaboration from the outset?

Sam Koch: From the very start my business partner Ben has lived and worked in Essex and I live in the very north of London which meant we either arranged to meet up in central London and working from a public space, which takes up time traveling when we could be working, and when you’re setting up a startup alongside your current job, is very difficult. So often we would end up working remotely, but on the same stuff. We had to create a business plan, email decks, pitch decks, financial forecasts and other legal documents. The way to do that was by creating a company domain on Google and using Google Drive, then we can really collaborate over these very important documents and view and edit each other’s work. The only problem which others we’ve spoken to seem to agree on is the lack of consistently fast internet connection across the whole of London, which makes things difficult when you have to be online the whole time.

ANDi Games Ltd, Get ANDi, ANDi, Game Discovery, Game Recommendation, Mobile Games, AI, Machine Learning

Are there any specific tools you’ve discovered that have helped running a startup?

We already use quite a few tools to get things done. LivePlan handles our Business Plan and Financials, CharlieHR handles all our basic HR needs, Trello for all task management and Github for safely developing code into our platform simultaneously. We even have FounderSuite for tracking the hundreds of investors we are in constant communication with and posting updates to the investors we already have on board. There is pretty much a tool for everything. I haven’t even mentioned our design tool (which is constantly changing), WordPress for our website and plenty of other tech tools we use to build features into our platform. I actually don’t think there is anything else we need right now unless someone can develop a tool to get us in front of more investors without all the hassle or paying a company like Seedrs 8% of the money we raise?

Have there been any moments of miscommunication which could have ended in catastrophe?

One big issue we’ve had from the beginning has actually been with our decks. We have reached out to investors all over the world meaning we’ve had to keep multiple versions of both the email and pitch decks for all the different currencies (USD/GBP/EUR). There’s actually no tool to help with this yet – (please prove me wrong if you know of one)! This created some consistency issues. When we updated one slide, we had to make sure to update all the different versions which didn’t always happen. So we’ve almost sent incomplete/incorrect decks to potential investors, and when you only get one chance to make a good impression with people who see tens of decks every day, we could have lost out big time.

V13 of the ANDi BETA app – What’s been changed and fixed?

V13 of the app fixed a big bug with offline capabilities. Initially, Google’s Firebase platform (which we use as our core setup) kept on crashing when initialising. We hope that bug has been fixed now and we’re monitoring it closely in case it happens again.

What’s coming up in the next big update?

V14 is going to have a big design revamp. There’s going to be an easily accessible game search bar, which will slowly learn from our customers about which games people actually want when searching and which not-so-good games to leave out. The swiping to discover page is going to have screenshots of the game to provide a better idea of what the game consists of, but also make the experience more media rich.

ANDi Games Ltd, Get ANDi, ANDi, Game Discovery, Game Recommendation, Mobile Games, AI, Machine Learning

Our Featured Games section will grow and expand. We’ve got people talking about their favourite games from the smallest to biggest Game Developers, bloggers and vloggers and people working in the ANDi team too. We’ll also be featuring new projects from Indie Developers we support and follow. Indie Developers can also reach out to us to be considered here.

We all love listening to music whilst we work, what’s your favourite background music for working?

I used to listen to Radio1 all day every day so I didn’t have to decide what music to listen to because they play all of the music I enjoy. However, they have such great interviews and games which easily distract me so I have recently switched to Spotify playlists depending on what mood I’m in. This month I’ve probably listened to a lot of mellow pop and rock to keep my calm and helping me focus on all the work we have to do.

 

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