20 Things Successful Game Developers Do Beyond Making Games

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This presentation with outline a collection of stories, examples and tricks that will offer the audience the solutions to some of the most recurring challenges game developers are confronted with in the areas of business and PR & Marketing.

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  • You simply know how to cook
  • Blueberry garden guy Erik Svedäng
    Cactus
    Phil Fish
    Martin Jonasson
    Cortex Command Dan Tabar
  • Blueberry garden guy Erik Svedäng
    Cactus
    Phil Fish
    Martin Jonasson
    Cortex Command Dan Tabar
  • Blueberry garden guy Erik Svedäng
    Cactus
    Phil Fish
    Martin Jonasson
    Cortex Command Dan Tabar
  • Blueberry garden guy Erik Svedäng
    Cactus
    Phil Fish
    Martin Jonasson
    Cortex Command Dan Tabar
  • Blueberry garden guy Erik Svedäng
    Cactus
    Phil Fish
    Martin Jonasson
    Cortex Command Dan Tabar
  • Blueberry garden guy Erik Svedäng
    Cactus
    Phil Fish
    Martin Jonasson
    Cortex Command Dan Tabar
  • 20 Things Successful Game Developers Do Beyond Making Games

    1. 1. 20 Things Successful Game Developers Do Beyond Making Games (And Why They Are Worth Every Bit of Effort)
    2. 2. Table of contents • Who is this guy!? • Where does this talk come from? • Steps 1 - 20 • Summary • Questions
    3. 3. Bad News
    4. 4. Good News
    5. 5. Who am I? This is a talk by Vlad Micu Now Head of Studio at Critical Force Entertainment Used to be the PR Manager of Grambleworld.com Did production, game design and creative direction for arkavis Siam co. ltd. in Thailand Wrote for many other international outlets including Gamesauce.org, TechInAsia.com, PocketGamer.biz, Control Magazine, Gamer.nl, XBLAFans.com, Casual Connect Magazine and many more. @vgvisionary
    6. 6. Partners & Clients
    7. 7. Where does this all come from? • 600+ developers interviewed • Personal start-up experience • Advising multiple international studios • Reading a BUTTLOAD on the interwebz
    8. 8. Interrupt me any time • Ask questions • Comment • Disagree, please do!
    9. 9. #1 Prototyping is king • Failing fast • Build the core gameplay • Kill your darlings • Repeat x 100
    10. 10. My own first publishing deal (2009)
    11. 11. The Numbers • 12.000 euros budget. – 3 members got paid to made a new prototype • 1 team member got a fulltime job. • Pulse was later developed for 100k by an external developer. • Pulse flopped with only 1000 sales on iOS.
    12. 12. Even the big boys do it! www.globalgamejam.org
    13. 13. #2 The first 0-15 minutes count the MOST http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8FpigqfcvlM
    14. 14. Examples
    15. 15. Where are all my players going? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8FpigqfcvlM
    16. 16. #3 Your game is popular before it’s finished • YouTubers • Press • Key influencers in the industry http://www.freelives.net/broforce-game • Events
    17. 17. Stories
    18. 18. #peepeepeepee My Hero
    19. 19. #4 Have the Look “One of the hardest parts of the job when trying to get people to look at games is having something that is interesting to look at. Just in the fact that we did a very dramatic change, which was perceived to be late in development, everybody was looking.” – Steve Gibson, VP of Marketing at Gearbox about Borderlands
    20. 20. It really helps, trust us
    21. 21. #5 Test your game with strangers • At a train station • In any queue • As a pick-up line! • At a school/university
    22. 22. #6 Apply for indie festivals and competitions • To volunteer • To showcase • Or even speak
    23. 23. Example www.promoterapp.com/calendar www.gameconfs.com
    24. 24. Coming soon: App Farm http://www.socialityrocks.com/
    25. 25. #7 Become a must-have
    26. 26. Or at least a ‘must-try’…
    27. 27. #8 Be prepared for business • Assets on your mobile • Elevator pitch • Investor deck • Soft-launch numbers  Check Kadri’s awesome talk here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FXRverBntZc
    28. 28. #9 Where’s your investor deck?
    29. 29. #10 Be smart about EVERYTHING • Interns/friends are awesome! • Integrate processes that work for you. • Use that lovely Minimal Effective Dose (MED) approach.
    30. 30. 20/80 rule www.lifehacker.com
    31. 31. • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • #11 Gather info FREE-TO-PLAY & FREEMIUM DEVELOPMENT Ethical F2P Game Design - LINK Successfully Migrating to F2P LINK The ghosts of development past – Free to Play Tips for 2013 LINK A comprehensive free-to-play game model: revenue, DAU, virality and retention LINK Driving free-to-play revenue: Increase conversion rate or increase ARPPU? LINK Developer Roundtable: Triple-A, Free-to-Play LINK The freemium monetization curve is continuous LINK Is piracy a freemium strategy? LINK New Study Investigates If Free is the Right Price for Mobile LINK The Ethics and psychology of the ‘freemium’ model LINK The Hidden Cost of AB Testing LINK Alternative Financing Schemes for Mobile Gaming Companies LINK Dear Indie Mobile Game Developer LINK The Pyramid of free-to-play game design LINK Mobile Indies and Three Steps Ahead LINK USER ACQUISITION How to define reasonable KPIs for mobile games - LINK Interpreting the new users drop-off chart - LINK Three examples of misguided trips to the Top 10 Downloaded Chart - LINK ANALYTICS Game Analytics 101 - LINK Intro to User Analytics - LINK Getting started with analytics 4: Reading (Part 1) - LINK The 10 Commandments of Mobile App Analytics - LLINK Guide to Mobile App Analytics - LINK Trevor McCalmont's Blog - 5 Common Pitfalls for Mobile Game Analytics LINK Soft launch product development using the Minimum Viable Metrics - LINK The Game Life Cycle & Game Analytics: What metrics matter when? - LINK Top 5 Performance Indicators for Mobile Analytics - Trilibis Mobile Blog LINK Data-driven design vs. Data-prejudiced design LINK Analytics is not a cost center LINK Minimum Viable Metrics for Mobile LINK Big Data in Mobile Gaming: Optimizing the User Experience LINK Quantitative Literacy an Interview with Wharton Professor Dr Peter Fader LINK Guide to Mobile App Analytics LINK • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • DEVELOPMENT Refining Diablo III LINK Starcraft 2 as E-SPORT LINK 6 Reasons why Pet Rescue Saga isn't the next Candy Crush Saga LINK Android Fragmentation Visualized LINK Gunghos Stock Price Rollercoaster and Hit driven valuations LINK http://www.gamasutra.com/blogs/TanyaShort/20131010/201752/50_Easy_Steps_to_Ind ie_Success.php REVENUE Mobile gaming revenues are shifting to tablets...and to Asia LINK iOS vs Android - Revenue Wars Infographic LINK Six Ways to Maximize App Revenue LINK Maximize Ad Revenue and Maintain User Retention in Mobile Games LINK RETENTION Why the retention profile is more useful than the churn metric in freemium LINK Retention rates and their impact on lifetime customer value LINK Three Promotions to Get You Through the Holidays LINK Improving player engagement, retention and monetization - check out what we’ve got in store LINK VIRALITY Better way to monetize your app and drive deeper engagement LINK http://ufert.se/user-acquisition/mobile-virality/explaining-tinders-curiously-viral-growth/ USER-ACQUISITION Emerging Strategies to User Acquisition: Video from Casual Connect Panel LINK Two misconceptions about paid user acquisition LINK Infographic: Want your new game to land in the US Top 10? You have 72 hours to spend $56,000 LINK User Acquisition Divid Android iOS growing - LINK
    32. 32. #12 (Do market) research • SWOT analysis • Competitors • Devs with similar backgrounds (and what they’ve done)
    33. 33. Our own example • We were the ONLY pitch with market research
    34. 34. Examples http://grambleworld.com/blog/gramble-tips-ultimate-mobile-game-postmortem-list/
    35. 35. #13 Pitch to everyone • Blow people away • You know the market • Show the core gameplay • An AWESOME video helps (example)
    36. 36. #14 Measure or Die http://www.gameanalytics.com/
    37. 37. #15 We share everything • Insights and numbers • Valuable contacts • Opportunities and jobs • Even a place to stay
    38. 38. Especially our mistakes
    39. 39. #16 Partnerships get us further
    40. 40. Examples
    41. 41. #17 We become better people
    42. 42. #18 Embrace the power of timing
    43. 43. Examples •Resogun on PS4 (Housemarque) • Company of Tanks on Android (Critical Force Ent.)
    44. 44. #19 Learn to love YouTubers
    45. 45. #20 Get out of the trenches Like you’re down now, but more often ;)
    46. 46. Bonus: Quantify your work My numbers (2007-2013)
    47. 47. Career in numbers (2007-2013) • 21 talks given (next one being in Lviv, Ukraine on January 25th). • 232 articles written from September 2007 – today. • 3 website staff managed filled with talented young writers for Gamesauce.org, Windowsphonefans.com and PSNFans.com • 1 super-talented development team managed (for arkavis Siam Co. ltd.) • 10 videogames that I’ve been credited on (only three have been released till this day). • 30 countries visited in the first 27 years of my life. 9 countries that I’ve lived in. • 60 video items made with 85.253 views (16324 of which were for Control Magazine). •500+ people interviewed as an industry journalist (most of them game developers). •4500+ business cards handed out •8621 contacts in my Gmail (categorized thanks to Smartr). • 1200+ hours spent playing League of Legends between summer 2011 and today spread over my 2x EUW, 1x US and 1x Thai account. • 1917 friends on Facebook (of which 1016 are Game Industry-related). I’ve spoken at least 5 minutes to 99% of them. • 2000+ LinkedIn connections I have no clue what to do with. • 97+ press badges collected • 3 months per year spent traveling or abroad on average (4.5 months in 2013)
    48. 48. Bonus #2: Watch my own lectures! www.youtube.com/vgvisionary
    49. 49. #imlonely Contact me • @vgvisionary • Mail me at v.micu@vgvisionary.com • Lectures: www.youtube.com/vgvisionary
    50. 50. Thanks! Questions?

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