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Slides (3) from the LUDUS workshop held in Kranj on the 15th of November 2011

Slides (3) from the LUDUS workshop held in Kranj on the 15th of November 2011

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  • As a designer, it is unlikely that you will have the skills, the time, nor the resource to create your game by yourself. You will need a development team consisting of artists, programmers, animators, and testers. Although for your role play, each of you has assumed one or more of these roles, in reality, or to take your concept further, you will need to budget for and to attract the right people into your team. You need to market yourself, your idea, your dreams, to potential team members. Publishers will usually fund developers with proven track records. Hence you may wish to recruit at least one person with prior development experience. Once you have a team, or at least an idea who your team will be, you need a publishing contract. You concept document and preferably a working prototype is how you will market your idea to potential publishers. The more professional your document is, the more professional they will think you are and the more likely they will be to give you money. They also want to know why you think your game will attract the proposed target audience. Although marketing your game is the role of the publisher (with the exception of an MMO or many internet based games), as a developer, you are expected to provide sample marketing materials and ideas, as well as support for the community surrounding your product. Word of mouth is the number one selling tool of any product - especially in the gaming sector. The more you support and enthuse your target audience, the more they will promote your game for you. Lets look at each of these areas where you will need to think about marketing.
  • Large teams of people generally slow down the process of creating a product. More time is spent on coordinating efforts and ensuring development doesn ’t overlap. Large teams will often need multiple projects so that any waiting time is not wasted time. Companies that employ many developers usually split them into small teams working on different titles. The people in your team should have the skills needed for your project. A publisher does not want to fund the learning curve of your staff. Undoubtedly there will be issues that will arise where skills need to be enhanced, but these should be kept to a minimum. Any training required will have to be funded by yourself, hence you should surround yourself with a team of experienced people. Like any software product, development will always take longer than expected. We have all experienced how much time can be wasted with technology. Your should allow for this in your budget but do not plan for it. Do not expect your team members to work with free or budget software. You should install the correct products and ensure that the hardware is appropriate. Buying a cheap PC for doing 3D modeling is a false economy. Your animator ’s time costs more than a respectable system. And your publisher knows this so do not be afraid to budget for adequate hardware and software. (but they are also aware when you are just upgrading your system that you check your emails on). And remember, your publisher will most likely audit you at some stage. They will also ask for their money back if your have miss spent it. Most people interested in game development will work for an adequate salary and a good environment that is resourced correctly. But you need a team that is committed to your idea. It is your idea, your design, and you are asking your team to make your design a reality. They need to “buy in” to the design and you need to sell it to them. For a publisher to give you milestone payments, you will need to meet deadlines. Your team may need to work long hours to meet these deadlines. Threatening them that they wont get paid if the publisher doesn’t pay, will only upset them and hey will go somewhere else.
  • Large teams of people generally slow down the process of creating a product. More time is spent on coordinating efforts and ensuring development doesn ’t overlap. Large teams will often need multiple projects so that any waiting time is not wasted time. Companies that employ many developers usually split them into small teams working on different titles. The people in your team should have the skills needed for your project. A publisher does not want to fund the learning curve of your staff. Undoubtedly there will be issues that will arise where skills need to be enhanced, but these should be kept to a minimum. Any training required will have to be funded by yourself, hence you should surround yourself with a team of experienced people. Like any software product, development will always take longer than expected. We have all experienced how much time can be wasted with technology. Your should allow for this in your budget but do not plan for it. Do not expect your team members to work with free or budget software. You should install the correct products and ensure that the hardware is appropriate. Buying a cheap PC for doing 3D modeling is a false economy. Your animator ’s time costs more than a respectable system. And your publisher knows this so do not be afraid to budget for adequate hardware and software. (but they are also aware when you are just upgrading your system that you check your emails on). And remember, your publisher will most likely audit you at some stage. They will also ask for their money back if your have miss spent it. Most people interested in game development will work for an adequate salary and a good environment that is resourced correctly. But you need a team that is committed to your idea. It is your idea, your design, and you are asking your team to make your design a reality. They need to “buy in” to the design and you need to sell it to them. For a publisher to give you milestone payments, you will need to meet deadlines. Your team may need to work long hours to meet these deadlines. Threatening them that they wont get paid if the publisher doesn’t pay, will only upset them and hey will go somewhere else.
  • Large teams of people generally slow down the process of creating a product. More time is spent on coordinating efforts and ensuring development doesn ’t overlap. Large teams will often need multiple projects so that any waiting time is not wasted time. Companies that employ many developers usually split them into small teams working on different titles. The people in your team should have the skills needed for your project. A publisher does not want to fund the learning curve of your staff. Undoubtedly there will be issues that will arise where skills need to be enhanced, but these should be kept to a minimum. Any training required will have to be funded by yourself, hence you should surround yourself with a team of experienced people. Like any software product, development will always take longer than expected. We have all experienced how much time can be wasted with technology. Your should allow for this in your budget but do not plan for it. Do not expect your team members to work with free or budget software. You should install the correct products and ensure that the hardware is appropriate. Buying a cheap PC for doing 3D modeling is a false economy. Your animator ’s time costs more than a respectable system. And your publisher knows this so do not be afraid to budget for adequate hardware and software. (but they are also aware when you are just upgrading your system that you check your emails on). And remember, your publisher will most likely audit you at some stage. They will also ask for their money back if your have miss spent it. Most people interested in game development will work for an adequate salary and a good environment that is resourced correctly. But you need a team that is committed to your idea. It is your idea, your design, and you are asking your team to make your design a reality. They need to “buy in” to the design and you need to sell it to them. For a publisher to give you milestone payments, you will need to meet deadlines. Your team may need to work long hours to meet these deadlines. Threatening them that they wont get paid if the publisher doesn’t pay, will only upset them and hey will go somewhere else.
  • Large teams of people generally slow down the process of creating a product. More time is spent on coordinating efforts and ensuring development doesn ’t overlap. Large teams will often need multiple projects so that any waiting time is not wasted time. Companies that employ many developers usually split them into small teams working on different titles. The people in your team should have the skills needed for your project. A publisher does not want to fund the learning curve of your staff. Undoubtedly there will be issues that will arise where skills need to be enhanced, but these should be kept to a minimum. Any training required will have to be funded by yourself, hence you should surround yourself with a team of experienced people. Like any software product, development will always take longer than expected. We have all experienced how much time can be wasted with technology. Your should allow for this in your budget but do not plan for it. Do not expect your team members to work with free or budget software. You should install the correct products and ensure that the hardware is appropriate. Buying a cheap PC for doing 3D modeling is a false economy. Your animator ’s time costs more than a respectable system. And your publisher knows this so do not be afraid to budget for adequate hardware and software. (but they are also aware when you are just upgrading your system that you check your emails on). And remember, your publisher will most likely audit you at some stage. They will also ask for their money back if your have miss spent it. Most people interested in game development will work for an adequate salary and a good environment that is resourced correctly. But you need a team that is committed to your idea. It is your idea, your design, and you are asking your team to make your design a reality. They need to “buy in” to the design and you need to sell it to them. For a publisher to give you milestone payments, you will need to meet deadlines. Your team may need to work long hours to meet these deadlines. Threatening them that they wont get paid if the publisher doesn’t pay, will only upset them and hey will go somewhere else.
  • Large teams of people generally slow down the process of creating a product. More time is spent on coordinating efforts and ensuring development doesn ’t overlap. Large teams will often need multiple projects so that any waiting time is not wasted time. Companies that employ many developers usually split them into small teams working on different titles. The people in your team should have the skills needed for your project. A publisher does not want to fund the learning curve of your staff. Undoubtedly there will be issues that will arise where skills need to be enhanced, but these should be kept to a minimum. Any training required will have to be funded by yourself, hence you should surround yourself with a team of experienced people. Like any software product, development will always take longer than expected. We have all experienced how much time can be wasted with technology. Your should allow for this in your budget but do not plan for it. Do not expect your team members to work with free or budget software. You should install the correct products and ensure that the hardware is appropriate. Buying a cheap PC for doing 3D modeling is a false economy. Your animator ’s time costs more than a respectable system. And your publisher knows this so do not be afraid to budget for adequate hardware and software. (but they are also aware when you are just upgrading your system that you check your emails on). And remember, your publisher will most likely audit you at some stage. They will also ask for their money back if your have miss spent it. Most people interested in game development will work for an adequate salary and a good environment that is resourced correctly. But you need a team that is committed to your idea. It is your idea, your design, and you are asking your team to make your design a reality. They need to “buy in” to the design and you need to sell it to them. For a publisher to give you milestone payments, you will need to meet deadlines. Your team may need to work long hours to meet these deadlines. Threatening them that they wont get paid if the publisher doesn’t pay, will only upset them and hey will go somewhere else.
  • Large teams of people generally slow down the process of creating a product. More time is spent on coordinating efforts and ensuring development doesn ’t overlap. Large teams will often need multiple projects so that any waiting time is not wasted time. Companies that employ many developers usually split them into small teams working on different titles. The people in your team should have the skills needed for your project. A publisher does not want to fund the learning curve of your staff. Undoubtedly there will be issues that will arise where skills need to be enhanced, but these should be kept to a minimum. Any training required will have to be funded by yourself, hence you should surround yourself with a team of experienced people. Like any software product, development will always take longer than expected. We have all experienced how much time can be wasted with technology. Your should allow for this in your budget but do not plan for it. Do not expect your team members to work with free or budget software. You should install the correct products and ensure that the hardware is appropriate. Buying a cheap PC for doing 3D modeling is a false economy. Your animator ’s time costs more than a respectable system. And your publisher knows this so do not be afraid to budget for adequate hardware and software. (but they are also aware when you are just upgrading your system that you check your emails on). And remember, your publisher will most likely audit you at some stage. They will also ask for their money back if your have miss spent it. Most people interested in game development will work for an adequate salary and a good environment that is resourced correctly. But you need a team that is committed to your idea. It is your idea, your design, and you are asking your team to make your design a reality. They need to “buy in” to the design and you need to sell it to them. For a publisher to give you milestone payments, you will need to meet deadlines. Your team may need to work long hours to meet these deadlines. Threatening them that they wont get paid if the publisher doesn’t pay, will only upset them and hey will go somewhere else.
  • Large teams of people generally slow down the process of creating a product. More time is spent on coordinating efforts and ensuring development doesn ’t overlap. Large teams will often need multiple projects so that any waiting time is not wasted time. Companies that employ many developers usually split them into small teams working on different titles. The people in your team should have the skills needed for your project. A publisher does not want to fund the learning curve of your staff. Undoubtedly there will be issues that will arise where skills need to be enhanced, but these should be kept to a minimum. Any training required will have to be funded by yourself, hence you should surround yourself with a team of experienced people. Like any software product, development will always take longer than expected. We have all experienced how much time can be wasted with technology. Your should allow for this in your budget but do not plan for it. Do not expect your team members to work with free or budget software. You should install the correct products and ensure that the hardware is appropriate. Buying a cheap PC for doing 3D modeling is a false economy. Your animator ’s time costs more than a respectable system. And your publisher knows this so do not be afraid to budget for adequate hardware and software. (but they are also aware when you are just upgrading your system that you check your emails on). And remember, your publisher will most likely audit you at some stage. They will also ask for their money back if your have miss spent it. Most people interested in game development will work for an adequate salary and a good environment that is resourced correctly. But you need a team that is committed to your idea. It is your idea, your design, and you are asking your team to make your design a reality. They need to “buy in” to the design and you need to sell it to them. For a publisher to give you milestone payments, you will need to meet deadlines. Your team may need to work long hours to meet these deadlines. Threatening them that they wont get paid if the publisher doesn’t pay, will only upset them and hey will go somewhere else.
  • Large teams of people generally slow down the process of creating a product. More time is spent on coordinating efforts and ensuring development doesn ’t overlap. Large teams will often need multiple projects so that any waiting time is not wasted time. Companies that employ many developers usually split them into small teams working on different titles. The people in your team should have the skills needed for your project. A publisher does not want to fund the learning curve of your staff. Undoubtedly there will be issues that will arise where skills need to be enhanced, but these should be kept to a minimum. Any training required will have to be funded by yourself, hence you should surround yourself with a team of experienced people. Like any software product, development will always take longer than expected. We have all experienced how much time can be wasted with technology. Your should allow for this in your budget but do not plan for it. Do not expect your team members to work with free or budget software. You should install the correct products and ensure that the hardware is appropriate. Buying a cheap PC for doing 3D modeling is a false economy. Your animator ’s time costs more than a respectable system. And your publisher knows this so do not be afraid to budget for adequate hardware and software. (but they are also aware when you are just upgrading your system that you check your emails on). And remember, your publisher will most likely audit you at some stage. They will also ask for their money back if your have miss spent it. Most people interested in game development will work for an adequate salary and a good environment that is resourced correctly. But you need a team that is committed to your idea. It is your idea, your design, and you are asking your team to make your design a reality. They need to “buy in” to the design and you need to sell it to them. For a publisher to give you milestone payments, you will need to meet deadlines. Your team may need to work long hours to meet these deadlines. Threatening them that they wont get paid if the publisher doesn’t pay, will only upset them and hey will go somewhere else.
  • Large teams of people generally slow down the process of creating a product. More time is spent on coordinating efforts and ensuring development doesn ’t overlap. Large teams will often need multiple projects so that any waiting time is not wasted time. Companies that employ many developers usually split them into small teams working on different titles. The people in your team should have the skills needed for your project. A publisher does not want to fund the learning curve of your staff. Undoubtedly there will be issues that will arise where skills need to be enhanced, but these should be kept to a minimum. Any training required will have to be funded by yourself, hence you should surround yourself with a team of experienced people. Like any software product, development will always take longer than expected. We have all experienced how much time can be wasted with technology. Your should allow for this in your budget but do not plan for it. Do not expect your team members to work with free or budget software. You should install the correct products and ensure that the hardware is appropriate. Buying a cheap PC for doing 3D modeling is a false economy. Your animator ’s time costs more than a respectable system. And your publisher knows this so do not be afraid to budget for adequate hardware and software. (but they are also aware when you are just upgrading your system that you check your emails on). And remember, your publisher will most likely audit you at some stage. They will also ask for their money back if your have miss spent it. Most people interested in game development will work for an adequate salary and a good environment that is resourced correctly. But you need a team that is committed to your idea. It is your idea, your design, and you are asking your team to make your design a reality. They need to “buy in” to the design and you need to sell it to them. For a publisher to give you milestone payments, you will need to meet deadlines. Your team may need to work long hours to meet these deadlines. Threatening them that they wont get paid if the publisher doesn’t pay, will only upset them and hey will go somewhere else.
  • Large teams of people generally slow down the process of creating a product. More time is spent on coordinating efforts and ensuring development doesn ’t overlap. Large teams will often need multiple projects so that any waiting time is not wasted time. Companies that employ many developers usually split them into small teams working on different titles. The people in your team should have the skills needed for your project. A publisher does not want to fund the learning curve of your staff. Undoubtedly there will be issues that will arise where skills need to be enhanced, but these should be kept to a minimum. Any training required will have to be funded by yourself, hence you should surround yourself with a team of experienced people. Like any software product, development will always take longer than expected. We have all experienced how much time can be wasted with technology. Your should allow for this in your budget but do not plan for it. Do not expect your team members to work with free or budget software. You should install the correct products and ensure that the hardware is appropriate. Buying a cheap PC for doing 3D modeling is a false economy. Your animator ’s time costs more than a respectable system. And your publisher knows this so do not be afraid to budget for adequate hardware and software. (but they are also aware when you are just upgrading your system that you check your emails on). And remember, your publisher will most likely audit you at some stage. They will also ask for their money back if your have miss spent it. Most people interested in game development will work for an adequate salary and a good environment that is resourced correctly. But you need a team that is committed to your idea. It is your idea, your design, and you are asking your team to make your design a reality. They need to “buy in” to the design and you need to sell it to them. For a publisher to give you milestone payments, you will need to meet deadlines. Your team may need to work long hours to meet these deadlines. Threatening them that they wont get paid if the publisher doesn’t pay, will only upset them and hey will go somewhere else.
  • Many people have great ideas for games, games that never reach the market or even never get started. This is generally because of lack of funding or funds wasted and deadlines not achieved. As a designer or developer, you should imagine your concept in all its glory, yet the concept document for the publisher should highlight that development will be within an acceptable timeframe, and acceptable budget, and with existing technology. Your document and/or prototype should show the essential features that will make your game sell. Additional features can be suggested but the publisher may opt for keeping these for a second or third release of the game - which is good because it lengthens the time you will be in business. Small budget games usually take 9 to 12 months, with big budget games taking 3 to 5 years to complete. Write your document for the reading audience yet do not assume that everyone is a gaming geek and understands your terminology - publishers are business people. Also choose your words carefully and/or use pictures. It is harder than you imagine to convey the images inside your head to a listening audience. But it is important to highlight the essential points of difference of your concept. If you are asking a publisher for a million euros, they want to know why your idea is better than the other hundred they are considering investing in. Ensure that your budget is accurate. Games can cost anywhere from a few thousand euros to tens of millions. A PSP game typically costs under a million with a consoles game costing around 10 million euros. Your budget should reflect staffing costs, hardware and software costs, but very rarely shows a profit margin. A publisher is not interested in giving you money to make a profit. They will fund acceptable costs and if you can develop for less, then you make a profit.
  • Many people have great ideas for games, games that never reach the market or even never get started. This is generally because of lack of funding or funds wasted and deadlines not achieved. As a designer or developer, you should imagine your concept in all its glory, yet the concept document for the publisher should highlight that development will be within an acceptable timeframe, and acceptable budget, and with existing technology. Your document and/or prototype should show the essential features that will make your game sell. Additional features can be suggested but the publisher may opt for keeping these for a second or third release of the game - which is good because it lengthens the time you will be in business. Small budget games usually take 9 to 12 months, with big budget games taking 3 to 5 years to complete. Write your document for the reading audience yet do not assume that everyone is a gaming geek and understands your terminology - publishers are business people. Also choose your words carefully and/or use pictures. It is harder than you imagine to convey the images inside your head to a listening audience. But it is important to highlight the essential points of difference of your concept. If you are asking a publisher for a million euros, they want to know why your idea is better than the other hundred they are considering investing in. Ensure that your budget is accurate. Games can cost anywhere from a few thousand euros to tens of millions. A PSP game typically costs under a million with a consoles game costing around 10 million euros. Your budget should reflect staffing costs, hardware and software costs, but very rarely shows a profit margin. A publisher is not interested in giving you money to make a profit. They will fund acceptable costs and if you can develop for less, then you make a profit.
  • Many people have great ideas for games, games that never reach the market or even never get started. This is generally because of lack of funding or funds wasted and deadlines not achieved. As a designer or developer, you should imagine your concept in all its glory, yet the concept document for the publisher should highlight that development will be within an acceptable timeframe, and acceptable budget, and with existing technology. Your document and/or prototype should show the essential features that will make your game sell. Additional features can be suggested but the publisher may opt for keeping these for a second or third release of the game - which is good because it lengthens the time you will be in business. Small budget games usually take 9 to 12 months, with big budget games taking 3 to 5 years to complete. Write your document for the reading audience yet do not assume that everyone is a gaming geek and understands your terminology - publishers are business people. Also choose your words carefully and/or use pictures. It is harder than you imagine to convey the images inside your head to a listening audience. But it is important to highlight the essential points of difference of your concept. If you are asking a publisher for a million euros, they want to know why your idea is better than the other hundred they are considering investing in. Ensure that your budget is accurate. Games can cost anywhere from a few thousand euros to tens of millions. A PSP game typically costs under a million with a consoles game costing around 10 million euros. Your budget should reflect staffing costs, hardware and software costs, but very rarely shows a profit margin. A publisher is not interested in giving you money to make a profit. They will fund acceptable costs and if you can develop for less, then you make a profit.
  • Many people have great ideas for games, games that never reach the market or even never get started. This is generally because of lack of funding or funds wasted and deadlines not achieved. As a designer or developer, you should imagine your concept in all its glory, yet the concept document for the publisher should highlight that development will be within an acceptable timeframe, and acceptable budget, and with existing technology. Your document and/or prototype should show the essential features that will make your game sell. Additional features can be suggested but the publisher may opt for keeping these for a second or third release of the game - which is good because it lengthens the time you will be in business. Small budget games usually take 9 to 12 months, with big budget games taking 3 to 5 years to complete. Write your document for the reading audience yet do not assume that everyone is a gaming geek and understands your terminology - publishers are business people. Also choose your words carefully and/or use pictures. It is harder than you imagine to convey the images inside your head to a listening audience. But it is important to highlight the essential points of difference of your concept. If you are asking a publisher for a million euros, they want to know why your idea is better than the other hundred they are considering investing in. Ensure that your budget is accurate. Games can cost anywhere from a few thousand euros to tens of millions. A PSP game typically costs under a million with a consoles game costing around 10 million euros. Your budget should reflect staffing costs, hardware and software costs, but very rarely shows a profit margin. A publisher is not interested in giving you money to make a profit. They will fund acceptable costs and if you can develop for less, then you make a profit.
  • Knowing the market and being aware of the competition is essential. You must know what other games are available - your target audience does! Selling or promoting a feature that has been done before and nobody liked, will give your product a premature death. Likewise, if another game has similar features, and does it better than yours, your review ratings will be very low - and game buyers do read the ratings! Your buyers will become your community and their word or mouth (what they say about your game) will either sell more and build potential sales for the next version, or will kill it. As a community, they like to be supported. However, allowing them to support themselves is a trick that many developers/publishers use. Having level builders, player created resources, modding tools, as well as web support, forums, etc., allows the player to invest in your game and once they have, they will promote it themselves. Doing your homework will also allow you to know what will initially attract your buyers. Your publisher will take advice from you and you should push the features that the target audience will think is “cool”. Most games make money in the pre-orders and initial sales upon release. Few people will purchase a game, educational or recreational, that was release over a year ago. But the “cool” factor does sell games.
  • developed by Mirage Media, and published by Time Warner Interactive in 1994, the Rise of the Robots was one of the first games to pre-release graphics and marketing material months before the games was available. Pre-ordering was introduced and with the state-of-the-art 3D rendering (for that time), this game was highly anticipated. Fighting games such as Mortal Kombat and Street Fighter were increasing in popularity, and this game was sure to make an impact in the market. The developers boasted advanced AI for single player mode, full motion video cut scenes, and soundtracks by Brian May (formally Queen). The marketing of this game was superb. Preorders were high and anticipation was intense.
  • Gripshift was developed by Sidhe Interactive and release in 2005 by Red Mile Entertainment. Created as a puzzle game with a difference for the PSP, the developers failed to market the idea correctly to both the publishers and the reviewers. Hence the wrong market was targeted. Thought to be more or a racing game (like the highly successful Wipeout), the racing game sector of the market were confused and rated this game badly. Sales were poor. This was despite the game winning numerous awards for innovative design and best handheld game. The puzzle game sector did not buy the games as they thought it was a car racing game. Cover and poster graphics, the name of the game, and the use of terminology such as “race mode” and “track editor” were all attributed to the confusion.
  • Counterstrike was written as a modification to the Half Life game. Created by two university students, Counterstrike is an online multiplayer anti-terrorist FPS. By making use of the tools that came with the Half-Life game, Minh Le and Jess Cliffe created a game that they believed FPS enthusiast would enjoy playing. A web site about the game was put online in March 1999, and through word of mouth, received 10,000 hits in the first week. The first beta release was playable in June of the same year and it was so popular that Value Software (creators of Half Life) purchased the rights and employed the two students in April 2000. Counterstrike is now reported as the most player online game, with over 61000 servers worldwide. The success of this game was the developers providing the community what they wanted. The playable beta was available to the public for 18 months before the first version was release - a version based on the extensive feedback from the players.
  • Trainz is a Railroad simulator (like flight simulator) developed by an Australian company - Auran Games. Although considered a simulation, it is sold in computer game shops along side flight simulator, fussball manager, roller coaster simulator, etc. The first release of Trainz was in 2001 and it was marketed to the train enthusiast community via clubs, newsletters and forums. The community had much to say about it, originally condemning it for inaccuracies of train models. As the people complaining were the people who would also buy the product, the developer requested the assistance of the community in achieving an accurate simulation of trains. What appeared to be a gamble by the developers in allowing content creation by the users (remember this is 2001, before web 2.0), actually was a bold move and paid off significantly.
  • Unfortunately released games do not always provide the market with what they want. Today, most movies include a computer game as part of the merchandise from the title. The recently released movie, The Golden Compass, is one such movie. The game, loosely based on the movie, allows the player to play as a polar bear to complete the story. Although the publishes know that sales of the game are dependant on the popularity of the movie, game critics rated this game as 0.5 out of 10, with a big “don’t buy” label. Many games will take a popular theme, comic book, story line, or movie, to base the game on. This technique is also used to establish startup bands (pop groups), by releasing a remake of a big hit song. The theory is to give the band or the game, an already established community. However, sometimes this can fail if the title does not deliver promises.
  • Publishers and players will purchase games, ideas, designs from developers with a proven track record - past success. Will Wright of SIMS fame has been talking about his next creation for the last 3 or so years. Now with an 80 person team, the game SPORE is still a couple of years away. However, with at least five years of marketing before it is release, Spore is certain to be a sell out and continue the success of this developer. Will Wright, now 47 years old, started out studying to be an architectural engineer but was captivated by early computers and games. In 1986, he formed Maxis games and started the Sim empire with sim-city, after a meeting an investor (Jeff Braun) at a pizza party. Wright created his niche in god mode games or “software toys” with games like sim-earth, sim-ant, sim-copter, games that could not be won or lost, but just played. The popular SIMS and add-ons have sold over 30 million copies worldwide, surpassing all other game sales records. Although Wright ’s games are marketed on the previous success of his others, with the financial backing that his success attracts, he is able to produce high quality and uniquely different games - meeting the expectations that he creates.
  • Publishers and players will purchase games, ideas, designs from developers with a proven track record - past success. Will Wright of SIMS fame has been talking about his next creation for the last 3 or so years. Now with an 80 person team, the game SPORE is still a couple of years away. However, with at least five years of marketing before it is release, Spore is certain to be a sell out and continue the success of this developer. Will Wright, now 47 years old, started out studying to be an architectural engineer but was captivated by early computers and games. In 1986, he formed Maxis games and started the Sim empire with sim-city, after a meeting an investor (Jeff Braun) at a pizza party. Wright created his niche in god mode games or “software toys” with games like sim-earth, sim-ant, sim-copter, games that could not be won or lost, but just played. The popular SIMS and add-ons have sold over 30 million copies worldwide, surpassing all other game sales records. Although Wright ’s games are marketed on the previous success of his others, with the financial backing that his success attracts, he is able to produce high quality and uniquely different games - meeting the expectations that he creates.
  • It is essential that you have done your homework, analyzed your market, studied your competition, and know your design thoroughly - before you speak to any publisher (also note that many publishers know each other and if you behave poorly with one, others will know). Many classic games (like Spore will be and World of Warcraft is) are years in the design stage, before any coding is started. Getting the concept right is 90% of the work - the coding is the easy part. If you have done your homework, and your idea stands up to criticism, Publishers will fund you and your game will sell - and guarantee a second release of the title. Computer games cost large sums of money, but most only break even. Developers rarely see any royalties but make enough to run a successful business and sometimes hit upon that perfect design (Sims, Halflife, Quake, Trainz, DDR, Warcraft, Ultima) that will not only create a community, but also a cult following guarantee future success for the developer and hence your career. However, even the perfect design carries a risk. The publisher, the money man, must believe in your idea and believe in you. For this to happen, you must be professional in all aspects. You must look professional (how would you dress if you were going to the bank and asking them for half a million euros?), you must act professional, and your document must also be professional (no typos, no grammatical errors, no missing pages, no hand written amendments, and certainly no coffee stains!!!). A publisher views an unprofessional concept document will result in an unprofessional product - and they wont waste their money on this. Above all, everyone from a prospective team member, the publisher, and ultimately your customer, will be looking to you to believe in your ideas. If your concept is a bit radical (which some publishers want and the market needs), you will need a passion and a belief to succeed. Success comes to those who keep working on their ideas when others have given up. And a belief in yourself will help you sell yourself and your concept.

Pivec workshop 3 Pivec workshop 3 Presentation Transcript

  • Implementing your Design Maja & Paul Pivec 2011 © All Rights Reserved
  • Choosing your Model
    • Genre Dependent
    • Platform Dependent
    • Target Audience Dependent
  • Building your Infrastructure
    • In-House or Outsourced
    • Permanent staff or Contract
    • Licensed Engine or Homegrown?
  • Building your Team
    • Small passionate team
    • Use existing skills
    • Offer adequate resources
    • Commitment is essential
  • Choosing your Engine
    • Would you develop or licence a Game Engine?
    • Thinking Worlds
    • http://www.thinkingworlds.com/
  • Choosing your Engine
    • Would you develop or licence a Game Engine?
    • Binary Star
    • http://www.binary-star.com/
  • Choosing your Engine
    • Would you develop or licence a Game Engine?
    • Habbo Hotel
    • http://www.habbo.com/
  • Choosing your Engine
    • Platform Engines
    Gamemaker Torque 2D
  • Choosing your Engine
    • Isometric Engines
    World Creator FIFEngine
  • Choosing your Engine
    • 3D Engines
    World Creator Unity Unreal
  • Choosing your Engine
    • MMO Engines
    Realmcrafter Kaneva
  • Choosing your Engine
    • Server Software
    Photon Smart Fox
  • Developing your Business Model
    • Dream big but Think small
    • Keep to the Point!
    • Be Bu$iness aware
  • Developing your Business Model
    • Publisher Funding
      • Traditional Business Model
      • Console Products (cots)
    • Self or Other Funding
      • Self Publish Business Model
      • App Stores (Steam, Mac, Mobile, etc)
  • Developing your Business Model
    • Publisher Funding
      • Publisher Contract (Game Shows)
      • Manufacturer Approval (12 – 18 months)
      • Milestone Payments
      • Publisher owns Source code
    Money up front, no long term return
  • Developing your Business Model
    • Self or Other Funding
      • Funds from Grants, Advertising, VCs
      • Contractual Commitments
      • Ownership Issues
      • App store Publishing
    No Money up front, better long term return
  • Marketing your Idea
    • Know your market
    • Support your community
    • Sell your passion
  • Marketing Coolness
    • Rise of the Robots
  • Marketing to the wrong target
    • GripShift
  • Marketing a Niche
    • CounterStrike
  • Marketing made easy
    • Trainz
  • Marketing Merchandise
    • Golden Compass
  • Marketing Success
    • Spore
  • What can go wrong…. Commercial Evaluation by Pivec Labs www.piveclabs.com
    • Alpha Version
      • Eye Tracking
      • FPS view suggested immersive game but…
      • Flow Matrix scored high on immersion and player control
      • scored low on challenge, player skills, and clear goals
      • Overall score 2.1 out of 5
    Commercial Evaluation
    • Released Version - Review
    • “ I think the game kind of fell short of where it could have been. The levels could have been less repetitive. The idea is totally sound, but the end product clearly wasn't what the developers were trying to do. ”
    Commercial Evaluation
    • Released Version - Review
    • “ The levels take anywhere from 10 seconds to 10 minutes to complete, and you'll see many recurring designs throughout the game's 135 levels ”
    • “ For as much fun as the gameplay can be, the levels can get more than a little repetitive ”
    Commercial Evaluation
    • Released Version - Review
    • “ The levels are grouped into zones, with three zones for each of the three difficulty levels. Aside from the color of the blocks and the background, there's very little difference from zone to zone, which saps any sense of accomplishment or progression you might have derived from playing ”
    Commercial Evaluation
    • Alpha Version
      • Overall score - 2.1 out of 5 on gameflow matrix
    • Released Version
      • Overall score - 5 out of 10 in Game Reviews
    • Result
      • Commercial Failure
    Commercial Evaluation
  • In Summary
    • Do your homework and be thorough
    • Test early and Test often
    • Be professional and employ professionals
    • Believe in your ideas and don’ t give up
  • Maja & Paul Pivec 2011 © All Rights Reserved http://www.piveclabs.com/forum/