Burst Igda Presentation 61409

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Presentation given at the June 2009 Philly IGDA Meeting by Damon Alberts, founder of Burst Online Entertainment.

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  • Research, Research, Research – Game Theory, History, Play Study Game Design Theory and History – Understand of the current state of the industry, Non-Video Games, Respect from elder statesmen, Proven Failures and Successes Understand The Business Side – Don’t get screwed, Respect from people with Money Find A Good Lawyer-EULAs, Copyrights, trademarks, IP Protection etc…
  • Burst Igda Presentation 61409

    1. 1. Damon M. Alberts Burst Online Entertainment IGDA Philly - June14th,2009 <ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>www.burstonline.net </li></ul>
    2. 2. INDEPEDENT DEVELOPMENT WHERE TO START <ul><li>Research, Research, Research </li></ul><ul><li>Document Your Thoughts </li></ul><ul><li>Attend Conferences and Networking Events </li></ul><ul><li>Find Some Trustworthy Collaborative Partners </li></ul><ul><li>Study Game Design Theory and History </li></ul><ul><li>Understand The Business Side </li></ul><ul><li>Engineers – C/C+ and Python, Lua, SQL </li></ul><ul><li>Play Games – Even Ones You Don’t Like </li></ul><ul><li>Find A Good Lawyer </li></ul>
    3. 3. BOOTSTRAP YOUR VENTURE <ul><li>Acquire Seed Money </li></ul><ul><li>Develop Business Documentation </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Pitch/Executive Summary </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Business Plan </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Marketing Plan </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>SWOT Analysis </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Create Website & Social Portal (Ning, Facebook) </li></ul><ul><li>Evaluate Games For 1 st Project (More Later) </li></ul>
    4. 4. BOOTSTRAP YOUR VENTURE <ul><li>Develop Product/Service Documentation </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Vision Document/Design Overview </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Systems Design </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Feature List (more on this later) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Choose Technologies </li></ul><ul><li>Plan Out Schedule and First Couple Milestones </li></ul><ul><li>Start Coding Woohoo  </li></ul>
    5. 5. CHOOSING 1 st PROJECT <ul><li>Develop Project/Company Goals </li></ul><ul><li>List Product/Service Ideas – Vision Docs </li></ul><ul><li>Consider BLUE OCEAN STRATEGY </li></ul><ul><li>Differentiation (Core Gameplay & Art Style) </li></ul><ul><li>Consider Technical and Financial Constraints </li></ul><ul><li>Make Sure You’ll Have Time for Iteration, Implementation, and Polish </li></ul><ul><li>Analyze Competition (Gameplay, Audience, BizModel, Platform, Etc…) </li></ul>
    6. 6. CHOOSING 1 st PROJECT cont… <ul><li>BizModel Implications </li></ul><ul><li>Platform/Distribution Constraints </li></ul><ul><li>Reoccurring Revenue Streams = Profit </li></ul><ul><li>Social Worlds Are Sticky </li></ul><ul><li>Cooperative VS. Competitive </li></ul><ul><li>Genres – Game Wrappers </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t Over Innovate </li></ul><ul><li>Consider Target Audience </li></ul>
    7. 7. TARGET AUDIENCE <ul><li>Who Are They? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Demographics/Psychographics/Lifestyle </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Player Types </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Preferred Play Styles </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Games They Play </li></ul></ul><ul><li>What Motivates Them? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Playing God, Playing Doll, Playing House, Achievement, Social Pressure, Feeling Clever, Feeling Superior, Killing Stuff, Etc…. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Turn Offs </li></ul><ul><li>How Will You Reach Them? </li></ul>
    8. 8. GAME DESIGN TIPS <ul><li>Know Your Audience </li></ul><ul><li>Design For Them, Not You </li></ul><ul><li>Choose The Right Business Model </li></ul><ul><li>Understand The Implications Of Your Business Model On Game Design </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t Repeat Other Game’s mistakes </li></ul><ul><li>Research, Research, Research </li></ul>
    9. 9. GAME DESIGN TIPS cont… <ul><li>Keep Your Documentation Current </li></ul><ul><li>Use a WIKI </li></ul><ul><li>Good System Documentation is KEY </li></ul><ul><li>Keep It Simple, Complicated = Bad </li></ul><ul><li>Avoid Feature Creep – Identify Minimum Feature Set </li></ul><ul><li>Be Prepared To Abandon Features </li></ul>
    10. 10. FEATURE ANALYSIS <ul><li>Organize Your Features Into Four Categories: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Must Have – A Key Differentiator and/or Key to Core Gameplay </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Acquisition/Retention - Improves Customer Acquisition or Retention </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Nice to Have – Would Be cool, Game Isn’t Broken Without Them </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Blue Sky- Some Other Day Perhaps? </li></ul></ul>
    11. 11. ACQUISITION & RETENTION <ul><li>Token Representation Features - We just want the bullet point on our box </li></ul><ul><li>Competitive Features - We want what the market leader has with minor tweaks, but we don’t want to be too risky. </li></ul><ul><li>Alternative Features - Nothing too big, but definitely different from our competitor. </li></ul><ul><li>Innovative Features - We will crush our competition with these features! </li></ul>
    12. 12. DEVELOPMENT TIPS <ul><li>Time Estimates - Double Them </li></ul><ul><li>Keep an Up-to-Date Schedule Of Milestones and Responsibilities </li></ul><ul><li>Always Listen To Your Engineers With Regard To Technology and Schedule </li></ul><ul><li>Build Core Gameplay Systems First </li></ul><ul><li>Find The Fun Early – Iteration Often </li></ul><ul><li>Your Game Needs To Be Fun w/o Art, Story, or Genre </li></ul><ul><li>Beware of Feature Creep - Don’t Touch “nice to have” Features Unless You Are WAY Ahead of Schedule </li></ul>
    13. 13. GENRE/BACKSTORY <ul><li>A Wrapper That Provides Context For Gameplay </li></ul><ul><li>Make Sure It Suits The Core Gameplay </li></ul><ul><li>Make Sure It Suits The Audience </li></ul><ul><li>Whatever You Do Don’t Pitch a VC or Publisher on Genre Unless You are Making An Adventure Game Heavy On Storyline </li></ul>
    14. 14. THANK YOU Q&A

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