The Austin Game Conference makes me want to immediately move out of Houston. I learn so much about the game industry and network with many great people. I think the after parties were the best part where you talk to other game devs. To hear the joy of people of like-minded people is amazing. Here are all the things I learned at AGC.


Session: What is AR and Does it Matter for Game? John Hanke, CEO and Founder of Niantic interviewed by Chris Plante, Executive Editor and Co-Founder of Polygon.

  • John Hanke help make google maps.
  • Got threats from other countries to release Pokemon Go there.
  • Saw people meeting up to play the game, and so they decided to hold big public events.
  • The main draw of the game was more of the social side rather than the gameplay itself.
  • Did an event in Japan that had over 2 million people join in.
  • His inspiration: he notices his kids were having too much screen time, and so he wanted to make games to make people go out and have fun.
  • What would get you to wear an AR glasses which can allow you to see crazy things pop up like in Pokemon Go?
  • For success in AR: it needs to make sense with AR, blend real world with game world to look interesting, interactive and SOCIAL.
  • Ethical questions: will there be regulations on what we get to see. So for example, if you go into a store, do they have the right to tell you to take your glasses off?
  • Apple is going big on AR.
  • It’s a greenfield for game devs because there isn’t a set and stone way of doing AR so you can experiment with many different things.
  • Audio AR could be the next big thing

 

Session: Practical Project Management for Games and Team Development by Adam Creighton : Studio GM and Director of Development on Panic Button

  • Success Criteria: Frame rate? Resolution? Number of players? load-times? Number of levels? Number of puzzles? Gameplay duration?
  • Completion Criteria: Submission dates? How long do we have for certification? How many pre-/re-submissions do we get? When do we need to be live?
  • Vision: What haven’t been done before or rarely done? Why are we the only one that can do this?
  • Onboarding email to each member on new projects: Congrats, Status (confidentiality, announcement, and company attachment), goals for the project (business and aspirational), Project duration (development, submission, street date), key dates, team members and roles, client members and roles, scope, work breakdown (who is doing what, or where to find that), process (email lists, stand-ups, meetings, reporting), IM usage
  • Ego can be the biggest challenge when managing a team. People are the biggest assets and biggest pain. 
  • Stand-ups (meeting for people to talk): what you do yesterday, what you did today, where are you blocked, what can unblock you. Essentially get people to talk about their work and find solutions.
  • Instant Messaging (IM): update beginning and end of the day. Create an off-chat channel for fun.
  • Team building: do board games, happy hours, movies, games.
  • Budget: measure time, cost, overheads, events.
  • Project Charter File!

 

Session: Increasing Engagement Through Statistics by Sabina Hemmi: Co-founder and Product Director a Elo Entertainment

  • Player identity: their stats and profile.
  • Celebrate special moments.
  • Community obsesses over your revenue growth.
  • real-time tracker: see data updated in succession.

 

Session: Working with Influencers Live

  • Understanding their motivations: play games they love, build relationships, increase their personal brand and opportunities, and monetization.
  • Be transparent with the influencers such as the criteria, expectations, opportunities, rules, support, etc.
  • Allowing influencer to personalize your gaming content with their brand is a great way to advertise your game.
  • The game should fit the influencers brand so if the influencers play a lot of shooters, they most likely will not stream a puzzle game like Bejewel.
  • One great tip is to use an influencer in your Facebook ads so players can instantly recognize who that is.

 

Session: How to Best Work with a Publisher

  • Better chance if you allow the publisher to play a prototype.
  • Be specific in the contract with milestones, cost, people, expectations, communications. 
  • Target publisher that has a history of doing your type of games.
  • Your personality can play a huge role if a publisher wants to work with you.

 

Session: Sole Operator at Managing Community Alone Speakers: Linda Carlson @Brasse Mathew Anderson @mathewanderson Autumn Taylor @lusterly_

  • Create and maintain a document with your responsibilities, tasks, and priorities. 
  • Task management is important! The different tools to use: Hootsuite enterprise. Todoist, Trello, JIRA, toodledo, basecamp, tweet deck, zen post, slack.
  • The key is to communicate with the parties involved so they know what to expect, when and why.
  • Silence is a killer of reputations.
  • Beware of feature creep and drive-by requests.

 

Session: 10 Lessons I have Learned Starting and Running Remote Game Development Studios. Rich Vogel: Executive Producer/President BattleCry Studios a division, Bethesda Softworks

  1. Develop core values using a mission statement. Tip: find a company you love, copy their core values and put your spin on it.
  2. Leader: be intelligent, honest, creative, confident, driven, courageous.
  3. Finding the right balance working and living life
  4. Acquiring, managing, retaining talent. It’s important to train, motivate, empower, educate, attract, and reward employees
  5. DNA Matching
  6. Communication. Use tools like Slack and Trello to make it easy. Be transparent with team so everyone knows exactly what’s going on.
  7. Scalability
  8. Managing Stress – work/life balance. Hates crunch time. Have a entertainment committee for fun.
  9. finding the MVP minimum viable product
  10. Built to last

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