Austin Game Conference 2017

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

Thank you for taking the time to read. If you find it helpful, I would greatly appreciate it if you share it with your peers. You rock!

Bonus 3: Austin Game Conference, WordPress, and FREE Giveaways

Bonus Episode 3!

Bonus Episode 3!

Bonus Episode 3! We have made it to the third month of Game Dev Loadout, WOOT WOOT! Thank you for sticking with me and supporting the show.

For this bonus episode 3, I talk about:

  • Feedback on Audio and thank you messages
  • Migrating from Wix to WordPress
  • Austin Game Conference
  • FREE Giveaways
  • Last Giveaway
  • Cubebrush

Remember that knowledge is only Potential power, Execution is the game. I highly encourage you take what you learn and put it to good use. Don’t let it go to waste. Connect with my guests and ask them questions, they are willing to help. Comment below to share your thoughts and experience because I read every single message. Subscribe to the podcast to listen to more inspiring professionals. Thank you for your time! www.gamedevloadout.com

64: The Scary Thought of Being Homeless with Nicolae Berbece

Nicolae Berbece

Nicolae Berbece – “You should start with a black square on a white background that moves around.”

Nicolae Berbece in 2012 found Those Awesome Guys which is a small independent video game studio formed out of people from around the world with the purpose of, you guessed it, creating awesome games. He works on the design, art, and management for their game, Move or Die.

We discuss:

  • How to manage a team that’s across the globe
  • Not overshooting a project
  • Milestones act as motivation
  • Scary thought of being homeless if the game didn’t succeed
  • Reasons for hiring people and deciding their pay
  • And much more…

Connect:

Resources:

Remember that knowledge is only Potential power, Execution is the game. I highly encourage you take what you learn and put it to good use. Don’t let it go to waste. Connect with my guests and ask them questions, they are willing to help. Comment below to share your thoughts and experience because I read every single message. Subscribe to the podcast to listen to more inspiring professionals. Thank you for your time!

63: Research for Authenticity with Alexandra Lucas

Alexandra Lucas

Alexandra M. Lucas

Alexandra Lucas is the host at Cheat Codes and does consulting at “So You Want To Make Games.” She earned a B.A. in French and English from Wellesley College, and studied game design at DigiPen. Next, she won the GDC Game Narrative Review competition twice at the Platinum level. In 2015, she studied sexuality and romance in ‘Dragon Age: Origins’, and in 2016, she explored mental health in ‘Heavy Rain’.

As a member of the IGDA Special Interest Group (SIG), she helped moderate the SIG’s roundtable at GDC 2016, and she presented at PAX Dev 2016 with Sonia Michaels about leveraging liberal arts skills into a game industry career. She discussed the future of narrative design and VR as part of a game design panel at the 2015 Seattle Transmedia & Independent Film Festival. She currently works as a content writer on Microsoft’s Cortana team, a game writer for Immersed Games, and an editor for Pif Magazine.

We discuss:

  • Game canceled and losing her job
  • Using social media for branding
  • Have a resume ready at all time
  • Support female game devs
  • And much more

Connect:

Remember that knowledge is only Potential power, Execution is the game. I highly encourage you take what you learn and put it to good use. Don’t let it go to waste. Connect with my guests and ask them questions, they are willing to help. Comment below to share your thoughts and experience because I read every single message. Subscribe to the podcast to listen to more inspiring professionals. Thank you for your time! www.gamedevloadout.com

62: Ensure Everyone Knows the Vision of the Game with Richard Rouse III

Richard Rouse III

Richard Rouse III

Richard Rouse III is a creative director, writer, designer, and consultant at his company Paranoid Productions currently working on the game “The Church in the Darkness.” His past projects include Quantum Break, Sunset Overdrive, and numerous other titles. He also wrote the popular book Game Design: Theory & Practice and is a frequent speaker on game design and interactive storytelling at conferences and universities.

We discuss:

  • Creating a full game within 3 months
  • The two main ways of making a new game
  • Making sure your vision is realistic that matches your resources
  • How he came up with his game design book
  • The breadth of games from indies and triple-A.

Connect:

Remember that knowledge is only Potential power, Execution is the game. I highly encourage you take what you learn and put it to good use. Don’t let it go to waste. Connect with my guests and ask them questions, they are willing to help. Comment below to share your thoughts and experience because I read every single message. Subscribe to the podcast to listen to more inspiring professionals. Thank you for your time! www.gamedevloadout.com

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