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sidekick@ccsf2013 moving your game studio to F2P marathon

Keeping your development
team motivated to run the
free-to-play marathon
How do you keep a dev team
directed, motivated, a...
2
Introduction
• Guy Bendov, CEO, Side-kick Games
• Side-kick started with PC and Xbox360 development,
now focusing on F2P...
Transformation
3

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sidekick@ccsf2013 moving your game studio to F2P marathon

  1. 1. Keeping your development team motivated to run the free-to-play marathon How do you keep a dev team directed, motivated, and happy as you switch to F2P models
  2. 2. 2 Introduction • Guy Bendov, CEO, Side-kick Games • Side-kick started with PC and Xbox360 development, now focusing on F2P mobile games
  3. 3. Transformation 3
  4. 4. Two phases 1. Pre Launch 2. Post Launch 4
  5. 5. Two phases 1. Assumptions 2. Realities 5
  6. 6. Would you go in ? 6
  7. 7. Team • Unknowns are scary, not everyone can handle • Lose rigidness, locate the nimble and detail oriented • Small team (SWAT) with external (backup) help 7 Team Fortress, Valve
  8. 8. Production time has been shorten significantly • Focus on core features, postpone other features • Team needs to support quick iterations and focus 8
  9. 9. Make it gratifying for the team too. • Short bursts. Playable Deliverables. • Everyone should get exposure to the numbers 9
  10. 10. Explore but don't loose the end goal • Write a game brief with main features, fun factors, values and revisit it. • With everyone. 10
  11. 11. You are running an online shop • Need marketing, sales • In-store: Item management, promotions, pricing, placements 11
  12. 12. Communicate with your players • Your players are your guiding angels • The numbers they generate are key • Have the team communicate with players 12
  13. 13. A few more tips • Allow to change game parameters online • Leave time for 3rd party services integration • Be quick to respond • Don't loose yourself 13
  14. 14. Summery Ray Bradbury, an American fiction writer, said about love and business: “First you jump off the cliff and you build your wings on the way down.” @The_rami @djedery @adriancrook @nimbledave @gamesbrief @_superdata @deantak 14
  15. 15. Thank you Guy Bendov Sidekick.co.il @guybendov
  16. 16. 16

Notes de l'éditeur

  • Most experienced developers are used to a particular product cycle. First you brainstorm the concept, then you prototype and research, then you finalize your design and get down and dirty in heavy production, then you QA, finish, launch and start over with a new game. But that's not how Free to Play works! How do you keep a dev team directed, motivated, and happy when the designs are fluid, development is iterative, improvement is incremental, and launch is just the beginning of a long, long road? Join Guy Bendov, CEO of Sidekick Games as he remembers his teams' journey to embrace a service evolution reality and the challenges Sidekick overcame to get there.
  • Hello, my name is guy, Sidekick is a game developer , 20 people Did Now Who is a developer, who is doing work for hire, who is self publshing, who is doinge f2p
  • The market is transforming rapidly And to sttay updated you can’t reply on the risit, no risk planning of projects. Times are shorter and most of the development is done after launch New traits are formed and they are changing fast too The work is very dynamic
  • There is no “fire and forget” model, where you whould go in and develop a game based on agreed milestones. There are two phases Pre launch, where you plan and create the first version, anywhere between an alpha and a beta And post launch, where you put this version to test in front of audiences and advance acording to feedback.
  • I like to call these phases assumption and reatlity Before you have feedback , hard numbers , you assume what will work , what will be more important and only after you laucnh, you get the reality .. But neither phases in depending on gut feeling alone.
  • You stand in front of a dark forest. Who would go in From the no risk format, we need nimble, initiative taking, resourceful people to go in the unknown But we also need the systematic people, that comes into action when deadlines need to be met, and when we hit gold. To dig it efficiently . This is why we need a team
  • Producers and technical guys are usually most rigid You will need a monetization expert / designer
  • Pre launch you are preparing a store , building trust and core motivations Post launch you are running a store. You need a store manager. Celebrate it Cost of player < Life time value

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