Last Day of Work-PresentationPresentation Transcript
LAST DAY OF WORK
A START-UP vs A JOB
Alternative to a normal job at a “big tech firm”.
Many of the famous high tech companies in the bay area started out with two people in a garage (apple, hp, google, youtube,myspace….).
In the bay area there is a cultural mentality that your first choice for your career should be your own business, and your second choice should be working for someone else, building their business.
WHO IS LAST DAY OF WORK (LDW)
Small independent studio between SF/Italy
2 principles and around 10 contractors around the world (3 engineers in SF, 1 engineer in Manila, artists in Canada and Portland, QA in Colorado, Music done in a studio in Berkeley)
We make casual video games for Windows/Macintosh
What is a Casual Game?
Casual games are the games that your “Mom” would play.
Games that are family friendly, non violent and easy to learn
Games that you typically find when you go to Yahoo/Games or MSN/Games
Question: Which is the most played game in the world? Solitaire, Sudoku, PacMan, etc.
The Video Game Industry
The Video Game Industry
Competes directly with Hollywood. Opening weekend of Madden 2006 made as much money as AAA hollywood movie launch.
The Casual Game Industry
Is growing extremely rapidly
ROI: typical cost 100,000-200,000 to develop and can generate if it’s a hit game over 1M. Our first hit game cost closer to 50,000
Conversion rates of ~2%
Fish Tycoon-> a fish breeding simulation game. You breed and cross breed fish until you find the 6 Magic Fish. It’s a genetic puzzle.
Plant Tycoon-> the virtual gardening sim game. Same of FT but with plants. CAME OUT TODAY.
Virtual Villagers 1/2-> a village simulator game. You need to take care of a tribe of lost villagers on a remote island and help them survive. You have to make babies etc. (think lost, survivor etc).
VV was d/l >10MM times
All our games are “software toys” like Sim city
How to make a Casual Game
A lot of similarities with making a movie. There are three stages
You start with a GDD that explains the game
Artists to make art
Music Studio for the soundtracks and sound effects
=> producers coordinate all the different team members.
BETA-> testing the game for bugs and problems
GOLD-> when the game comes out to market
WE WORK FROM A VIRTUAL OFFICE
We had a “real” office but it didn’t work out. We always
have IM, Yahoo Messenger, Email, Share Documents.
POSITIVE OF A VIRTUAL OFFICE:
work from here and from italy
hire the best people even if they don’t want to move.
NEGATIVE OF A VIRTUAL OFFICE:
can’t grow beyond a size
Takes a lot of effort in communication (different time zones. It’s tricky).
HOW TO DISTRIBUTE A GAME FOR Win/Mac DEVELOPER (Last Day of Work) PUBLISHER ONLINE DISTRIBURS (YAHOO, MSN,) RETAIL DISTRIBUTORS (walmart, target, best buy, ebgames, apple store) My mom OTHER PLATFORMS (mobile, ds, xbox, wii) 90% 70% 30%
Who is involved in the process
1) The developer. In this case, us. We are an independent studio.
2) The publisher: facilitates the distribution of the game (has relations, contracts, resources that you need).
3) The distributors. Yahoo. They take a lot of the money but they have a lot of traffic. Our hope is that the “end customer” will be drawn to our own site because the site has more information, exclusive content etc.
4) Publisher is your key to get in the door. If you have a good game, they will fight over you, and even fund you.
1) WebSite. We have up-to-date websites for our games with a lot of information, exclusive content. Google rankings.
2) Online forums. Community for help, tips tricks. Contests. Exchange guides etc
3) PR. We hired a PR company this year. Press Release at the moment of the launch of game. They send it out to all the media (gaming media, non gaming media) for reviews.
4) Make Video to upload everywhere
5) Submit game to every contest, website, blog. Spread the word.
6) Publishers will do a lot of this for you.
1) When you graduate university, you have alternatives beside working for someone else.
2) In the situation of casual games an impressive prototype and an interested publisher can open the door for you even without having the development budget.
3) The barrier to entry in independent game development is still very low and innovative quality games will overcome many difficulties.
4) Try to retain ownership of IP at all costs. Owning your IP is the value of your company.