Monday, September 23, 2013

Casual Connect 2013: Keeping Your Development Team Motivated to Run the Free-to-Play Marathon

by Guy Bendov, CEO, Sidekick Games
·         Think about development in two phases, pre-launch and post-launch. In other words, it’s assumptions and realities.
·         The unknowns of moving into the free-to-play space are scary. Not everyone can handle it.
·         Advice – lose ridigness, locate the nimble and detail-oriented, create a small team with external help, focus on the core features and postpone the others, the team needs to support quick iterations
·         Gratifying for the team – short bursts, playable deliverables, everyone should get exposures to the numbers
·         Explore but don’t lose the end goal. Write a game brief with the main features, and then explore the game with everyone involved.
·         A free-to-play game is like running an online shop. You need marketing, sales, and in-store updates with item management, promotions, pricing, and placement.
·         Communicate with players often and have the entire team communicate with them. Players are the guiding angels and the numbers they generate are key. Print out all the numbers and expose it to the team by pasting it near the team area.
·         Tips – allow the team to change game parameters online without pushing content updates, leave time for third party service integration, be quick to respond to failures, don’t lose yourself
·         Making a free-to-play game is like what Ray Bradbury said about love and business. “First you jump off the cliff and you build your wings on the way down.”

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