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The Technology Behind The Games

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The Technology Behind The Games

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Building a scalable infrastructure for games which serve hundreds of millions of people is tough. But with each new game requiring slightly different features building that scalable infrastructure multiple times becomes impossible. In this talk Steven will share how his team works with all of the different game teams to build a shared infrastructure that empowers the game developers without restricting their ability to innovate.

- Defining the central technology product
- Handling requests from multiple different stakeholders
- Managing the big risk - lack of adoption
- Keeping the platform lean and agile

Building a scalable infrastructure for games which serve hundreds of millions of people is tough. But with each new game requiring slightly different features building that scalable infrastructure multiple times becomes impossible. In this talk Steven will share how his team works with all of the different game teams to build a shared infrastructure that empowers the game developers without restricting their ability to innovate.

- Defining the central technology product
- Handling requests from multiple different stakeholders
- Managing the big risk - lack of adoption
- Keeping the platform lean and agile

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The Technology Behind The Games

  1. 1. The technology behind the games Steve Collins CTO King
  2. 2. Graphics Research Group Physics for Games Multi-core scripting for console games Mobile marketing Automation Early-Stage VC Mobile Games B2B B2B B2B (B2B)2C
  3. 3. • Founded in 2003 • Candy Crush Saga released 2012 • IPO in 2014 • Joined Activision Blizzard 2016 • ~2000 employees currently A brief history of King… King has offices and studios in Stockholm, London, Barcelona, Malmo, Berlin, San Francisco, Chicago, New York, Los Angeles and Malta.
  4. 4. 200+ Games Developed
  5. 5. The Games
  6. 6. Candy Crush Saga
  7. 7. The Progression Map
  8. 8. Meta Gameplay Core Game (engagement) Progression Meta (retention) Seasonal Content & Events (re-engagement)
  9. 9. Games as a Service
  10. 10. The Platform
  11. 11. Game Platform
  12. 12. Fiction Factory Game Engine
  13. 13. Economy Management
  14. 14. In app purchases
  15. 15. Advertising
  16. 16. Live Operations
  17. 17. Candy All Stars
  18. 18. AB Testing
  19. 19. Planning
  20. 20. Partner Success Engineering Product Management Inverse Conway! “Organizations which design systems . . . are constrained to produce designs which are copies of the communication structures of these organizations” (Conway 1968) Ads Services Data Infra Developer Platform Game Engine
  21. 21. Product Portfolio Management P r o d u c t A r e a 1 P r o d u c t A r e a 2 P r o d u c t A r e a 3
  22. 22. Capacity T e a m 1 T e a m 2 T e a m 3
  23. 23. “Customers” Size
  24. 24. Customer Discovery Internal External
  25. 25. Planning Principles 1 2 3 4 5 Reduce complexity & fragmentation Focus on products & features with high impact potential & high repeatability Focus on differentiated capabilities Enable all games to be operable and data driven Minimize cognitive load
  26. 26. OKRs & Product Plans Corp Goals Strategy Platform OKRs Product Commits Org OKRs Cascade Cascade Sync Personal Goals Product Roadmaps
  27. 27. Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Capacity ??? Prod A Prod B Prod C Prod D Prod E Prod F Cust 1 Cust 2 Cust 3 Obj X Obj Y Obj Z Active Investment Maintain
  28. 28. Source: CC BY-SA 2.5, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=985491
  29. 29. Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Capacity Prod A Prod B Prod C Prod D Prod E Prod F Cust 1 Cust 2 Cust 3 Obj X Obj Y Obj Z Active Investment Maintain Tech Debt X
  30. 30. Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Capacity Prod A Prod B Prod C Prod D Prod E Prod F Obj X Obj Y Obj Z Active Investment Maintain Tech Debt X Maintenance 1 11 2 2 2 3 3 Cust 1 Cust 2 Cust 3
  31. 31. Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Capacity Prod A Prod B Prod C Prod D Prod E Prod F Tech Debt 40% Maintenance 1 1 1 2 2 2 3 3 Cust 1 Cust 2 Cust 3 Obj X Obj Y Obj Z X Active Investment Maintain
  32. 32. Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Capacity Prod A Prod B Prod C Prod D Prod E Prod F Tech Debt 40% Maintenance 1 1 1 2 2 2 3 3 Cust 1 Cust 2 Cust 3 Obj X Obj Y Obj Z X Product Backlogs Active Investment Maintain
  33. 33. Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Capacity Prod A Prod B Prod C Prod D Prod E Prod F Tech Debt 40% Maintenance 1 1 1 2 2 2 3 3 Cust 1 Cust 2 Cust 3 Obj X Obj Y Obj Z X Product Stream A Product Stream B Product Stream C Active Investment Maintain
  34. 34. Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Capacity Prod A Prod B Prod C Prod D Prod E Prod F Tech Debt 40% Maintenance 1 1 1 2 2 2 3 3 Cust 1 Cust 2 Cust 3 Obj X Obj Y Obj Z X Product Stream A Product Stream B Product Stream C 1 2 3 X Z 1 1 1 X X Y Y Z 2 2 2 3 3 3 Y Active Investment Maintain
  35. 35. Replan Replan Replan Plan
  36. 36. Annual Quarterly Monthly Daily Strategic Tactical
  37. 37. Familiarity Bias We have perfect visibility of customer requirements Reliance on old networks Uncommunicated changes Misalignment in org Too many channels {
  38. 38. 44 Alignment King Leadership strategic investments & company initiatives Game Teams roadmaps, releases, requirements, projections Tech Leadership tech debt, migrations, new platforms, centralization Product Areas dependencies, resourcing prioritization Legal Team compliance, regional legislation Platform Partners capabilities, support, legislation, requirements
  39. 39. Product Management
  40. 40. Product Management > 40 Active Products
  41. 41. Account Management
  42. 42. Configuring as internal B2B Enterprise delivery Enterprise Sales Account Management Solution Engineering / Professional Services Product Management Engineering Support Customer Success Engineering Support Product Management Partner Success Integration Engineering Engineering
  43. 43. B2B vs (B2B)2C
  44. 44. Internal Customers Observations 1 2 3 4 5 No customer discovery → priorities by alignment No sales renewal cycle to drive focus on customer retention → “account” management No Marketing funnel → emphasis on visibility, adoption & evangelizing shared platform Visible OKRs → Potential benefit to aligned Competition is DIY → set centralisation bar high

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