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From Research Lab
to Commercial
Product
Overview
• How it all started
• The games we’re making
• Demo of ARTé – Mecenas
• The business of making games
Background
Disclosure
• Not fully to market
• Based on our own experience with 2 games:
• ARTé – Art History
• Variant - Calculus
Why make a game?
• Full context of Art history couldn’t be covered in survey class
Why make a game?
• High number of students drop out or switch out of Calculus
Our Lab – LIVE Lab
• 20 high end PC’s
• PS3, PS4, XBOX 360, XBOX1, WiiU
• Software: Unity, Unreal, CryEngine,
Phaser, Game...
Starting a Game
1. Assembling the team
1. SME, Instructional Designer, Game Expert
2. Student Learning Objectives (SLO)
3....
Starting a Game
5. Ideation
6. Proof of concept – paper prototype,
board game, card game
7. Prototype – electronic version...
Demo – ARTé: Mecenas
Does the game work?
Testing for learning outcomes
Testing for entertainment/fun
value
- LIVE lab
- Classroom
- FSU (Study)
Does anybody else care?
• Market testing
• Classroom testing
 Teachers
 Students
They Care – Now What?
Is it a full game?
• Sound
• Cut scenes
• QA
• Back end
• Support
How to create a full game?
• Do we have the talent?
• Where can we get the talent?
• Can we contract it out?
• How much is...
We need a studio!
• Who owns the IP?
• Do we want full control?
• Can our lab deliver a full product?
• Who can be strateg...
Setting up our own studio
• Building a business plan
• Identifying the right employees
• Finding advisors
• Getting it off...
Design and develop high quality interactive
learning experiences that are backed up by
research!
Funding the studio
• Using our own money
• Friends & Family
• Kickstarter? (overhead of keeping
hundreds of ‘investors’ in...
Business Model
•Ideation
•Design
•Proof of
Concept
LIVE Lab
•Prototype
•Testing
•Evaluation
LIVE Lab •Product
Development
...
Self Publishing
• Can we go it alone?
• Google Play, iTunes, Windows store, Steam
• How about Marketing?
• Do we need a sa...
Working with a publisher
• What is our expertise?
• Do we want to spend time and
money on publishing or developing?
• Choo...
Creating a sustainable business
• 1 game does not make a sound
business
• Long lead times for R&D
• People – Products – Pr...
André Thomas - From Research Lab to Commercial Product
André Thomas - From Research Lab to Commercial Product
André Thomas - From Research Lab to Commercial Product
André Thomas - From Research Lab to Commercial Product
André Thomas - From Research Lab to Commercial Product
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André Thomas - From Research Lab to Commercial Product

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Presenter: André Thomas, Lecturer, Department of Visualization, LIVE Lab / Texas A&M University

In this talk I will share our experience designing and developing a proof of concept for a learning game in a research lab and taking it all the way to a full product. During the talk we illustrate our experience in setting up a spin-off company from the university and will talk about pitfalls and lessons learned along the way.

Published in: Education
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André Thomas - From Research Lab to Commercial Product

  1. 1. From Research Lab to Commercial Product
  2. 2. Overview • How it all started • The games we’re making • Demo of ARTé – Mecenas • The business of making games
  3. 3. Background
  4. 4. Disclosure • Not fully to market • Based on our own experience with 2 games: • ARTé – Art History • Variant - Calculus
  5. 5. Why make a game? • Full context of Art history couldn’t be covered in survey class
  6. 6. Why make a game? • High number of students drop out or switch out of Calculus
  7. 7. Our Lab – LIVE Lab • 20 high end PC’s • PS3, PS4, XBOX 360, XBOX1, WiiU • Software: Unity, Unreal, CryEngine, Phaser, Game Maker, Houdini, Maya, Adobe Creative & Production suite • Artists, programmers, designers
  8. 8. Starting a Game 1. Assembling the team 1. SME, Instructional Designer, Game Expert 2. Student Learning Objectives (SLO) 3. Assessment of SLO’s 4. Requirements – online, mobile, multi- player/single player
  9. 9. Starting a Game 5. Ideation 6. Proof of concept – paper prototype, board game, card game 7. Prototype – electronic version of first playable 8. Demo – vertical slice of game (full graphics, playable, testable) Research IdeatePrototype Test
  10. 10. Demo – ARTé: Mecenas
  11. 11. Does the game work? Testing for learning outcomes Testing for entertainment/fun value - LIVE lab - Classroom - FSU (Study)
  12. 12. Does anybody else care? • Market testing • Classroom testing  Teachers  Students
  13. 13. They Care – Now What?
  14. 14. Is it a full game? • Sound • Cut scenes • QA • Back end • Support
  15. 15. How to create a full game? • Do we have the talent? • Where can we get the talent? • Can we contract it out? • How much is it going to cost? • How much time does it take to finish?
  16. 16. We need a studio! • Who owns the IP? • Do we want full control? • Can our lab deliver a full product? • Who can be strategic partners?
  17. 17. Setting up our own studio • Building a business plan • Identifying the right employees • Finding advisors • Getting it off the ground
  18. 18. Design and develop high quality interactive learning experiences that are backed up by research!
  19. 19. Funding the studio • Using our own money • Friends & Family • Kickstarter? (overhead of keeping hundreds of ‘investors’ informed • Angel funding • VC funding • Grants (SBIR)
  20. 20. Business Model •Ideation •Design •Proof of Concept LIVE Lab •Prototype •Testing •Evaluation LIVE Lab •Product Development •Sales & Distribution Triseum •Marketing •Sales •Support Publisher
  21. 21. Self Publishing • Can we go it alone? • Google Play, iTunes, Windows store, Steam • How about Marketing? • Do we need a sales team?
  22. 22. Working with a publisher • What is our expertise? • Do we want to spend time and money on publishing or developing? • Choosing our partner  What do we want from the partnership?
  23. 23. Creating a sustainable business • 1 game does not make a sound business • Long lead times for R&D • People – Products – Profit

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