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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.

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

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Game Development 2 Dot 0 Game Development 2 Dot 0 Presentation Transcript

  • Game Development 2.0: Moving from boxed product to a service-based model Justin Quimby Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 1
  • 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
  • Obligatory Background Slide • Asheron’s Call • Asheron’s Call 2 • Lord of the Rings Online • Dungeons and Dragons Online • Spore Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 3
  • Services Beat Boxed Products Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 4
  • Boxed Product Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 5
  • Service Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 6
  • A Service is not a Franchise Service Franchise Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 7
  • Services Beat Boxed Products Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 8
  • Services Beat Boxed Products Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 9
  • Services Beat Boxed Products Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 10
  • Services Beat Boxed Products Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 11
  • Services Beat Boxed Products Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 12
  • Services Beat Boxed Products Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 13
  • Services Beat Boxed Products Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 14
  • Services Beat Boxed Products Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 15
  • Services Beat Boxed Products Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 16
  • Services Beat Boxed Products Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 17
  • 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
  • We are … Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 19
  • We are … Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 20
  • 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 Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 25
  • 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 Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 29
  • 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@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 35
  • 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 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
  • 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
  • Plan like a Farmer Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 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
  • 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 Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 54
  • 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 fail internally before you fail externally Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 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
  • Patching Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 58
  • Patching Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 59
  • Patching Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 60
  • 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 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
  • 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
  • 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 build numbering system • Use one build system Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 66
  • 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-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
  • Player Communication Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 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
  • 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 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
  • Hire proven experience Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 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
  • Team composition Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 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
  • 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 Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 85
  • Physical Proximity Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 86
  • Spore Gameplay Editor Engineers Team Core Animation Engine Engineers Team Pollination Artists, An & Web imators & Team Audio Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 87
  • Woo-hoo! Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 88
  • Services Beat Boxed Products Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 89
  • The work is not done Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 90
  • The work is not done Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 91
  • Post-Launch Work Gameplay and Content Bug Fixing Additions Service Improvements Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 92
  • Post-Launch Work Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 93
  • Provide Joy Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 94
  • 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 Launch Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 106
  • 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 • 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