• Podcast Labs

#S2E4: Reinforcing your message by putting fun first with Mike Hawkyard

Listen on Spotify

Listen on Apple Podcasts

Listen on Google Podcasts

In today’s market where attention spans are limited and opportunities are numerous, crafting an entertaining experience becomes the key to landing your marketing message. Having made the shrewd jump from web design to game design, Mike Hawkyard found the game format to be a perfect match for this ethos, one which he holds to this day.

Having made waves and developed games that have topped the charts in every country with an app store, Mike discusses how he attracted the attention of giant companies like Lego and Disney, and which game principles can be translated into real life structures.

This episode of 10th Degree covers:

  • Making the leap from website design to game development

  • Marketing to big companies as a small business

  • Mike’s ethos of ‘Fun first, Message second’

  • The nuanced difference between gamification and games

  • Translating game-based, task-reward structures into real life

  • Importance of enthusiastic team members who also challenge your ideas


Mike Hawkyard: https://www.linkedin.com/in/mikehawkyard/

Anthony Story: https://www.linkedin.com/in/anthony-story-4032a63/

Key highlights:

“Out of nowhere my brother turned his computer round and said ‘I’ve made a game’ - and we built this thing that we didn’t know the internet could do!” - 6:35 - Mike Hawkyard

“Saying yes and then figuring out how to do it afterwards played a large part in what we went for, being brave and trying new things.” - 15:05 - Mike Hawkyard

“As a small company, our challenge would always be marketing - how do we get in front of these big companies and get them to see us?” - 17:00 - Mike Hawkyard

“Fun first, message second. You have to figure out how to engage your audience first, and then you can go and do a bit of messaging.” - 22:45 - Mike Hawkyard

“Gamification is taking something that isn’t a game, and adding game elements to it, whereas we make games because why do things by halves?” - 36:20 - Mike Hawkyard

“There’s a game called CSR, and the MD of the company at the time famously said ‘If you bring an idea to my door, make sure if I can play it in the bus queue. I never want to think I never have time to play this game. Ever.’” - 41:30 - Mike Hawkyard

“If you’re not at the edge, if you’re not pushing it as hard as you can, then someone else will do it and you’ll lose out.” - 46:35 - Mike Hawkyard