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Bottle Rocket Gets in the VR Game Early with a New Original Game for Samsung’s Gear VR

Rocketeers from our Thruster gaming division are set to provide a sneak peek of its under-development virtual reality game Saturday, September 6 at the 2nd Annual Big(D)esign Conference in Addison. 

To be called Nyx, the fast-paced arcade shooter was designed from the ground up for the new mobile VR platform, the Samsung Gear VR, which was jointly introduced by Samsung and Oculus earlier this week at IFA in Berlin, the show often described as “a virtual cornucopia of consumer tech.”  The Thruster team worked closely with Samsung and Oculus on early prototypes of the device, code-named “Project Moonlight,” to explore optimizations for the game.

Bottle Rocket Virtual Reality Game Nyx

Nyx utilizes the new mobility-driven platform to take players on a shoot-em-up thrill ride, which includes targeting via head mounted motion controls that give the game a very natural feel.

“The real joy in these types of games is to move past just surviving and start trying to achieve bigger and better scores” said Brian Cope, who is leading the game design for Nyx. “Learning patterns and finding techniques to incrementally ratchet up your score has been a core aspect of the arcade shooter genre.” 

Matt Johnson, EVP & GM of Thruster, said “Nyx has been an exciting opportunity for us to demonstrate the power of VR immersion to our customers.  We have been working on VR approaches with several large brands that are looking to teach and inform their customers in exciting new ways.  The Samsung Gear VR has been instrumental in helping us achieve this goal." Thruster titled its conference session, “The New Normal of Virtual Reality.”

The Gear VR’s initial release is an ‘Innovator Edition’. It’s an early-access, beta-version of the device for developers and enthusiasts (like Bottle Rocket).  You can learn more about the Gear VR Innovator Edition here

For information about Big (D)esign visit:    


How To Come Out On Top When Dealing With Negative Reviews

App developers have a love/hate relationship with reviews. From one perspective, a pack of great reviews on a widely searched site like Yelp, Amazon, or the App Store can drive revenue increases for your app.

However, bad reviews can weigh you down and make users wary to spend money or time on your app.

Often we’ll want to shrink away or fight back against bad reviews, but that can be counterproductive and even more damaging – rather, taking a proactive approach to the review system and getting to know your users is the more solid approach.

Consider this:

  • 60% of users consider reviews important
  • 80% of users say reviews impact their decision to purchase
  • Only 7% of users never look at reviews
  • A single star of improvement on Yelp can lead to a 5-9% revenue increase

Clearly the benefits to reap are massive.

Keeping the goal of helping the user in mind can mean the difference between a stellar review profile and a list of complaints that drive away new business.

The three key steps in keeping your reviews in check are:

  • Monitor
  • Invite
  • Respond

You should monitor the app store and social media, invite your users to offer feedback and receive support, and lastly, respond to complaints with iterative fixes and attentive customer service.

Further, bad reviews aren't the final say on your app. The App Store shows reviews for the latest version of your app by default, so updates and new releases provide you with a shot at redemption. 

Keeping an eye out on your reviews will allow you to build a deeper connection with your users and provide better releases.

Sources: Google, Jakob Nielsen, Mike Smith,, eMarketer, Chris Thompson, Apptweak, Apptentive


Rocketeers to speak during Big (D)esign Conference 2014 at the Addison Crowne Plaza Hotel

We're a week away from The Big (D)esign Conference in Addison! For the last six years, designers, gamers, filmmakers, and industry leaders have come together to talk shop, exchange advice, and share insights into the world of design.

From September 4-6, there will be four keynote talks and 70 presentations by experts in User Experience, Social Marketing, Development, Gaming, and more.

Rocketeers Adam Polansky, Matt Johnson, and Brian Cope will also provide their expertise during the three-day conference at the Addison Crowne Plaza Hotel.

Polansky, UX strategist and conference cofounder, will deliver a keynote address at 5:00 p.m. on September 5 in the Trinity Ballroom.

Matt Johnson – the EVP of Bottle Rocket and GM of Thruster, our gaming division – and Thruster Project Manager Brian Cope will discuss “The New Normal of Virtual Reality” at 11:00 a.m. on September 6 in the Addison Lecture Hall.

Other notable speakers include Phil Tippett – an Academy Award winning visual effects artist best known for his work on films such as Star Wars and Jurassic Park.

Thursday is dedicated to two all-day workshops. Jo Anne Wright of SRA International will lead a workshop on Prototyping while Cory Lesbon of Lesbontech LLC will lead a workshop on Usability.

Tickets to The Big (D)esign conference are still available, with special deals for groups and students. Use the discount code "addison" for 25% off the entire conference. 


TV Everywhere and Video Delivery on mobile discussed at a recent Digital Video Forum

Rocketeer JT White recently spoke at the Cynopsis Digital Video Forum representing our Video Everywhere, TV Everywhere solution, AWE.  The summit, held at StumbleUpon HQ, focused on the future of digital video, content development and measurement. In attendance were executives from ComScoreTubular LabsDiscovery Digital Networks, Adobe, CBS Interactive and more.  

White (pictured second from the left above) tackled the explosion of digital content on mobile devices.  He explained to the audience that it is important to “reach the people who count, don’t count the people you reach.” 

Here are a few great quotes from the forum: 

“Content owners feel they can deliver a premium experience on the tablet and mobile…as good as on a TV,”  - Ooyala Sr. Director of Product Management Sudhir Kaushik 

“Audience engagement is quickly becoming one of the most valuable metrics for TV networks.”  Watchwith VP of Business Development Geoff Katz 

“Sharing is the new marketing,” Tom Lofthouse, Discovery Digital

“The average revenue per user is much higher off of YouTube then on it, and distributing content on YouTube makes you a “needle in a sea of needles.”  Erick Opeka, EVP Cinedigm

For more information on our TV Everywhere solution or our approach to delivering content on mobile, contact us


Rocketeer Charity: Spondylitis Association of America

For our latest charity drawing, Rocketeers are support the Spondylitis Association of America - a nonprofit dedicated to searching for a cure to ankylosing spondylitis and related diseases. 

Ankylosing spondylitis is a disease that affects the joints in the spine and other joints - causing inflammation, severe pain, and other serious side effects.

Rocketeer LB Herbert entered the SAA into our charity drawing. 

"The Spondylitis Association is a tremendous resource to those with Ankylosing Spondylitis and related diseases, from providing support groups to supporting research to find a cure for AS.  SAA has not only helped to increase awareness of AS, their efforts have helped to educate patients, care-givers and healthcare professionals about the disease and importance of early diagnosis and treatment," Herbert said. 



Recent News

Judy Johnson, director of product innovation for Dallas-based app developer Bottle Rocket, thinks a lot of people are approaching the idea of the second screen completely wrong.

“Up until now, [second screen] has been mobile,” she said Oct. 20, speaking during a second screen panel at the Digital Hollywood conference. “Now, we’re seeing any screen can be the second screen.”

Read More