Game Development 2.0:
Moving from boxed product
 to a service-based model
       Justin Quimby




       Justin@QuimbyHea...
Need assistance in building a service?
• You are looking at a copy of the slides I used in
  my 2009 GDC presentation
• Pl...
Obligatory Background Slide
• Asheron’s Call
• Asheron’s Call 2
• Lord of the Rings Online
• Dungeons and Dragons Online
•...
Services Beat Boxed Products




         Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com   4
Boxed Product




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Service




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A Service is not a Franchise




Service                          Franchise


        Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com    ...
Services Beat Boxed Products




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Services Beat Boxed Products




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Services Beat Boxed Products




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Services Beat Boxed Products




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Services Beat Boxed Products




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Services Beat Boxed Products




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Services Beat Boxed Products




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Services Beat Boxed Products




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Services Beat Boxed Products




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Services Beat Boxed Products




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Differing Mindsets
Boxed Products                          Services
• Do whatever it takes to ship          • Design for c...
We are …




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We are …




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We are Hunters




  Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com   21
See the target




  Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com   22
Gather weapons




  Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com   23
Go on the Hunt




  Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com   24
Avoid injury




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Collect the spoils




   Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com   26
Rewards can be very high




       Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com   27
Risks are very high




    Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com   28
Rest




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We need to move beyond hunting




          Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com   30
We need to move beyond hunting




          Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com   31
We need to move beyond hunting




          Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com   32
Evolving our Mindset




     Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com   34
Company Culture

The culture of the boxed product can
  be the culture of company failure



           Justin@QuimbyHeavy...
Culture can sabotage everything




          Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com   36
Who do you reward and praise?




         Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com   37
Firefighters?




 Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com   38
Firefighting is Hunting




      Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com   39
Who wants to live here?




      Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com   40
Users leave burning neighborhoods




           Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com   41
Hunting Culture Warning Signs
• Team feels they are done when the product goes gold
• Corporate focus on shipping rather t...
Hunting Culture Fixes
• Build a culture focused on post-ship
• Build career paths around supporting a service
  – Titles
 ...
Plan like a Farmer




   Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com   44
Plan like a Farmer

                                                Preproduction
         1
                  4
    2
   ...
Scheduling is Critical




     Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com   46
Scheduling is Critical




     Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com   47
Passion Crunch




  Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com   48
Schedule Crunch




   Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com   49
ANY type of crunch leads to burnout




            Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com   50
Management




 Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com   51
Staff




Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com   52
Planning for Schedule Crunch is
  Planning to Fail your Service




          Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com   53
Death Marching is not necessary

• D&D Online shipped with only 6
  weeks of crunch in a 2.5 year
  development cycle




...
You build your own path




      Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com   55
Plan well for launch
• A smooth service
  launch needs
  every aspect of
  the launch to be
  rehearsed
• Intentionally fa...
Plan well for launch
• Escalation pipelines
• On-call personnel procedures
• Community management tools
• Telemetry and ot...
Patching




Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com   58
Patching




Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com   59
Patching




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Patch Process




 Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com   61
Patch Process
• Who decides what goes in a patch?
• How long does QA need to review the patch?
• Does QA need to formally ...
Branch Process
• Keep it as simple as possible
• Ensure all departments follow it
• Pre-launch and post-launch branches fo...
Build Process




 Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com   64
Build Process




 Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com   65
Build Process

• Make an automated build system
• Have a clear owner who kicks off
  the official build
• Have a simple bu...
Deployment




Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com   67
Deployment
• How does the handoff of the build to
  Network Operations work?
• How much time do they need?
• What last-min...
Player Communication




     Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com   69
Player Communication

• How do the players know about
  upcoming downtime?
• What information is provided to
  them during...
Crisis Management




    Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com   71
Information is Power




     Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com   72
Perception is Reality




     Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com   73
DRM




Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com   74
DRM




Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com   75
DRM




Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com   76
Community Management
• Never promise something you cannot deliver
• Always respect the intelligence of your players
• As m...
Hire proven experience




      Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com   78
Customer Service is everyone’s job
                     Executive
                       Team


             Project      ...
Team composition




   Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com   80
Evolving teams
100%
 90%
 80%
 70%
 60%
 50%
 40%
 30%
 20%
 10%
  0%
   Prepro   Dev        First              Alpha     ...
Best Practices for Building Services




            Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com   82
Patch Notes for Every Build




        Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com   83
Patch Notes for Everyone




       Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com   84
Peer Review for Everyone




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Physical Proximity




   Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com   86
Spore
            Gameplay                                    Editor
            Engineers                                ...
Woo-hoo!




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Services Beat Boxed Products




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The work is not done




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The work is not done




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Post-Launch Work


                          Gameplay
                             and
                           Content
...
Post-Launch Work




   Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com   93
Provide Joy




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No Joy becomes No Team




      Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com   95
Automate, Automate, Automate




         Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com   96
Services Require Flexibility




        Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com   97
Boxed Products requires a Fixed Goal




            Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com   98
Flexibility or death




    Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com   99
Types of users




  Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com   100
Types of users




  Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com   101
Types of users




  Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com   102
Spore riding creatures




      Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com   103
Sporn




Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com   104
Crafting in D&D Online




  No!                           Yes!


      Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com   105
Evolving Services need Evolving Teams




                                                Year 2
                   Year 1...
Single Points of Failure




      Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com   107
Single Points of Failure




      Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com   108
Single Points of Failure




      Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com   109
Single Points of Failure




      Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com   110
Humanity




Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com   111
Humanity




Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com   112
Recognize unique talent




      Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com   113
Duplicate it




Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com   114
Keep the team happy




     Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com   115
Never be this guy




   Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com   116
Services are the Future




      Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com   117
Happy Farming!




  Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com   118
Need assistance in building a service?
• You are looking at a copy of the slides I used in
  my 2009 GDC presentation
• Pl...
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Game Development 2 Dot 0

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Moving from a boxed-product game development model to a service-based development path.

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Transcript of "Game Development 2 Dot 0"

  1. 1. Game Development 2.0: Moving from boxed product to a service-based model Justin Quimby Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 1
  2. 2. Need assistance in building a service? • You are looking at a copy of the slides I used in my 2009 GDC presentation • Please contact me if you have any questions or I could be of assistance to you and your organization • Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 2
  3. 3. Obligatory Background Slide • Asheron’s Call • Asheron’s Call 2 • Lord of the Rings Online • Dungeons and Dragons Online • Spore Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 3
  4. 4. Services Beat Boxed Products Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 4
  5. 5. Boxed Product Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 5
  6. 6. Service Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 6
  7. 7. A Service is not a Franchise Service Franchise Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 7
  8. 8. Services Beat Boxed Products Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 8
  9. 9. Services Beat Boxed Products Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 9
  10. 10. Services Beat Boxed Products Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 10
  11. 11. Services Beat Boxed Products Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 11
  12. 12. Services Beat Boxed Products Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 12
  13. 13. Services Beat Boxed Products Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 13
  14. 14. Services Beat Boxed Products Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 14
  15. 15. Services Beat Boxed Products Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 15
  16. 16. Services Beat Boxed Products Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 16
  17. 17. Services Beat Boxed Products Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 17
  18. 18. Differing Mindsets Boxed Products Services • Do whatever it takes to ship • Design for continuous revenue • Obsess over launch date • Practice sustainable competition and marketing development • Throw bodies at problems • Invest in automation and • Build and plan for one tools release • Listen to customers • Rest when the game is done • Evolve the product continuously Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 18
  19. 19. We are … Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 19
  20. 20. We are … Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 20
  21. 21. We are Hunters Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 21
  22. 22. See the target Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 22
  23. 23. Gather weapons Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 23
  24. 24. Go on the Hunt Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 24
  25. 25. Avoid injury Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 25
  26. 26. Collect the spoils Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 26
  27. 27. Rewards can be very high Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 27
  28. 28. Risks are very high Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 28
  29. 29. Rest Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 29
  30. 30. We need to move beyond hunting Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 30
  31. 31. We need to move beyond hunting Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 31
  32. 32. We need to move beyond hunting Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 32
  33. 33. Evolving our Mindset Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 34
  34. 34. Company Culture The culture of the boxed product can be the culture of company failure Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 35
  35. 35. Culture can sabotage everything Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 36
  36. 36. Who do you reward and praise? Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 37
  37. 37. Firefighters? Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 38
  38. 38. Firefighting is Hunting Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 39
  39. 39. Who wants to live here? Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 40
  40. 40. Users leave burning neighborhoods Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 41
  41. 41. Hunting Culture Warning Signs • Team feels they are done when the product goes gold • Corporate focus on shipping rather than shipping then supporting the product • Formal review and compensation process does not place value on a service-oriented mindset • Service support is not seen as sexy • No clear path for service-based career growth • No financial incentives for building a sustainable service • Superstars go on to new projects • Mediocre employees get dumped on the live team Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 42
  42. 42. Hunting Culture Fixes • Build a culture focused on post-ship • Build career paths around supporting a service – Titles – Financial rewards • Make planning sexy – Reward proactive problem solvers – Track promises and results Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 43
  43. 43. Plan like a Farmer Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 44
  44. 44. Plan like a Farmer Preproduction 1 4 2 Gameplay and Core Technology 3 Gameplay testing and iteration Patch and Release testing Final Approval and Ship 4 Process 10 Slop time Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 45
  45. 45. Scheduling is Critical Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 46
  46. 46. Scheduling is Critical Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 47
  47. 47. Passion Crunch Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 48
  48. 48. Schedule Crunch Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 49
  49. 49. ANY type of crunch leads to burnout Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 50
  50. 50. Management Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 51
  51. 51. Staff Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 52
  52. 52. Planning for Schedule Crunch is Planning to Fail your Service Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 53
  53. 53. Death Marching is not necessary • D&D Online shipped with only 6 weeks of crunch in a 2.5 year development cycle Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 54
  54. 54. You build your own path Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 55
  55. 55. Plan well for launch • A smooth service launch needs every aspect of the launch to be rehearsed • Intentionally fail internally before you fail externally Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 56
  56. 56. Plan well for launch • Escalation pipelines • On-call personnel procedures • Community management tools • Telemetry and other mechanisms to measure customer usage • Patch process and tools Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 57
  57. 57. Patching Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 58
  58. 58. Patching Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 59
  59. 59. Patching Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 60
  60. 60. Patch Process Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 61
  61. 61. Patch Process • Who decides what goes in a patch? • How long does QA need to review the patch? • Does QA need to formally approve the patch? • What happens if QA rejects a build? • What backward compatibility testing is done? • Who makes the call on publishing a patch? • How does the development team work ahead on the next patch while QA is testing? • What is the branching process? Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 62
  62. 62. Branch Process • Keep it as simple as possible • Ensure all departments follow it • Pre-launch and post-launch branches follow the same process • Trust but Verify – Require developers to write and run unit tests – Use automated testing – Run a “shaminator” • Never set branch deadlines on Monday or Friday Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 63
  63. 63. Build Process Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 64
  64. 64. Build Process Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 65
  65. 65. Build Process • Make an automated build system • Have a clear owner who kicks off the official build • Have a simple build numbering system • Use one build system Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 66
  66. 66. Deployment Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 67
  67. 67. Deployment • How does the handoff of the build to Network Operations work? • How much time do they need? • What last-minute sanity checking is done prior to letting the public in? • Who can make the call for an abort of the deployment? • How can operations roll-back to a previous version? Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 68
  68. 68. Player Communication Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 69
  69. 69. Player Communication • How do the players know about upcoming downtime? • What information is provided to them during downtime? • How are new changes communicated to them? Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 70
  70. 70. Crisis Management Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 71
  71. 71. Information is Power Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 72
  72. 72. Perception is Reality Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 73
  73. 73. DRM Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 74
  74. 74. DRM Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 75
  75. 75. DRM Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 76
  76. 76. Community Management • Never promise something you cannot deliver • Always respect the intelligence of your players • As much as possible, explain why potentially contentious changes are being made • The crowd will expose every flaw in your logic • At some point, you will be wrong! Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 77
  77. 77. Hire proven experience Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 78
  78. 78. Customer Service is everyone’s job Executive Team Project Production Management Team Development Service Team Team Art QA Engineering Net Ops Customer Design Service Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 79
  79. 79. Team composition Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 80
  80. 80. Evolving teams 100% 90% 80% 70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0% Prepro Dev First Alpha Beta Launch Playable Hunters Farmers Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 81
  81. 81. Best Practices for Building Services Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 82
  82. 82. Patch Notes for Every Build Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 83
  83. 83. Patch Notes for Everyone Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 84
  84. 84. Peer Review for Everyone Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 85
  85. 85. Physical Proximity Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 86
  86. 86. Spore Gameplay Editor Engineers Team Core Animation Engine Engineers Team Pollination Artists, An & Web imators & Team Audio Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 87
  87. 87. Woo-hoo! Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 88
  88. 88. Services Beat Boxed Products Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 89
  89. 89. The work is not done Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 90
  90. 90. The work is not done Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 91
  91. 91. Post-Launch Work Gameplay and Content Bug Fixing Additions Service Improvements Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 92
  92. 92. Post-Launch Work Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 93
  93. 93. Provide Joy Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 94
  94. 94. No Joy becomes No Team Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 95
  95. 95. Automate, Automate, Automate Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 96
  96. 96. Services Require Flexibility Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 97
  97. 97. Boxed Products requires a Fixed Goal Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 98
  98. 98. Flexibility or death Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 99
  99. 99. Types of users Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 100
  100. 100. Types of users Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 101
  101. 101. Types of users Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 102
  102. 102. Spore riding creatures Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 103
  103. 103. Sporn Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 104
  104. 104. Crafting in D&D Online No! Yes! Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 105
  105. 105. Evolving Services need Evolving Teams Year 2 Year 1 Launch Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 106
  106. 106. Single Points of Failure Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 107
  107. 107. Single Points of Failure Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 108
  108. 108. Single Points of Failure Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 109
  109. 109. Single Points of Failure Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 110
  110. 110. Humanity Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 111
  111. 111. Humanity Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 112
  112. 112. Recognize unique talent Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 113
  113. 113. Duplicate it Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 114
  114. 114. Keep the team happy Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 115
  115. 115. Never be this guy Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 116
  116. 116. Services are the Future Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 117
  117. 117. Happy Farming! Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 118
  118. 118. Need assistance in building a service? • You are looking at a copy of the slides I used in my 2009 GDC presentation • Please contact me if you have any questions or I could be of assistance to you and your organization • Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 119

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