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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  • 1. Game Development 2.0: Moving from boxed product to a service-based model Justin Quimby Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 1
  • 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. 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. Services Beat Boxed Products Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 4
  • 5. Boxed Product Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 5
  • 6. Service Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 6
  • 7. A Service is not a Franchise Service Franchise Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 7
  • 8. Services Beat Boxed Products Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 8
  • 9. Services Beat Boxed Products Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 9
  • 10. Services Beat Boxed Products Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 10
  • 11. Services Beat Boxed Products Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 11
  • 12. Services Beat Boxed Products Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 12
  • 13. Services Beat Boxed Products Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 13
  • 14. Services Beat Boxed Products Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 14
  • 15. Services Beat Boxed Products Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 15
  • 16. Services Beat Boxed Products Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 16
  • 17. Services Beat Boxed Products Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 17
  • 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. We are … Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 19
  • 20. We are … Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 20
  • 21. We are Hunters Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 21
  • 22. See the target Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 22
  • 23. Gather weapons Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 23
  • 24. Go on the Hunt Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 24
  • 25. Avoid injury Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 25
  • 26. Collect the spoils Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 26
  • 27. Rewards can be very high Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 27
  • 28. Risks are very high Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 28
  • 29. Rest Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 29
  • 30. We need to move beyond hunting Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 30
  • 31. We need to move beyond hunting Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 31
  • 32. We need to move beyond hunting Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 32
  • 33. Evolving our Mindset Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 34
  • 34. Company Culture The culture of the boxed product can be the culture of company failure Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 35
  • 35. Culture can sabotage everything Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 36
  • 36. Who do you reward and praise? Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 37
  • 37. Firefighters? Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 38
  • 38. Firefighting is Hunting Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 39
  • 39. Who wants to live here? Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 40
  • 40. Users leave burning neighborhoods Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 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. 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. Plan like a Farmer Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 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. Scheduling is Critical Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 46
  • 46. Scheduling is Critical Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 47
  • 47. Passion Crunch Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 48
  • 48. Schedule Crunch Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 49
  • 49. ANY type of crunch leads to burnout Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 50
  • 50. Management Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 51
  • 51. Staff Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 52
  • 52. Planning for Schedule Crunch is Planning to Fail your Service Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 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. You build your own path Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 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. 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. Patching Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 58
  • 58. Patching Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 59
  • 59. Patching Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 60
  • 60. Patch Process Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 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. 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. Build Process Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 64
  • 64. Build Process Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 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. Deployment Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 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. Player Communication Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 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. Crisis Management Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 71
  • 71. Information is Power Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 72
  • 72. Perception is Reality Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 73
  • 73. DRM Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 74
  • 74. DRM Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 75
  • 75. DRM Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 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. Hire proven experience Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 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. Team composition Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 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. Best Practices for Building Services Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 82
  • 82. Patch Notes for Every Build Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 83
  • 83. Patch Notes for Everyone Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 84
  • 84. Peer Review for Everyone Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 85
  • 85. Physical Proximity Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 86
  • 86. Spore Gameplay Editor Engineers Team Core Animation Engine Engineers Team Pollination Artists, An & Web imators & Team Audio Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 87
  • 87. Woo-hoo! Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 88
  • 88. Services Beat Boxed Products Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 89
  • 89. The work is not done Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 90
  • 90. The work is not done Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 91
  • 91. Post-Launch Work Gameplay and Content Bug Fixing Additions Service Improvements Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 92
  • 92. Post-Launch Work Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 93
  • 93. Provide Joy Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 94
  • 94. No Joy becomes No Team Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 95
  • 95. Automate, Automate, Automate Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 96
  • 96. Services Require Flexibility Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 97
  • 97. Boxed Products requires a Fixed Goal Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 98
  • 98. Flexibility or death Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 99
  • 99. Types of users Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 100
  • 100. Types of users Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 101
  • 101. Types of users Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 102
  • 102. Spore riding creatures Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 103
  • 103. Sporn Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 104
  • 104. Crafting in D&D Online No! Yes! Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 105
  • 105. Evolving Services need Evolving Teams Year 2 Year 1 Launch Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 106
  • 106. Single Points of Failure Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 107
  • 107. Single Points of Failure Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 108
  • 108. Single Points of Failure Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 109
  • 109. Single Points of Failure Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 110
  • 110. Humanity Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 111
  • 111. Humanity Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 112
  • 112. Recognize unique talent Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 113
  • 113. Duplicate it Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 114
  • 114. Keep the team happy Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 115
  • 115. Never be this guy Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 116
  • 116. Services are the Future Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 117
  • 117. Happy Farming! Justin@QuimbyHeavyIndustries.com 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