Sunday, July 29, 2012

Production Tips

After being a producer now for some time for GREE, I figured I'd take some time and divulge some of my lessons that I have learned recently. Hopefully through these lessons, you will learn to not duplicate them.

One of the first things is to not listen to past performance of a person. This has to be weighed a little, but do not listen to past performance rumors or criticism from other employees. Doing this will only set up the other person for failure. What if this person has learned from their past mistakes and is trying to be better? What if this person still stinks? Watch them closely but do not condemn them immediately.

Asking the right questions is important. This skill is a hard one to learn, but is crucial. What do I mean? My old mentor Travis George would say that when you are tasked with something, make sure you know the context. What is the "why"? After understanding the context, then start looking at the unknowns. You do not need to know all of the unknowns, but to understand the most important ones are crucial.

Lastly, empower the team. This one is an easy one to think that you are doing but is an easy one to screw up. When you are facing a team problem, let the team solve it, or at least propose solutions. By letting them drive the problem, they will take ownership. Do not just hand them a compass and say go to "X" location. Give them the context to solve the problem. Why are you trying to solve it? Will it help? Does the team value the change?

More lessons learned coming soon.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Trying to Solve the Company Meeting Problem

The image on the left is something that we are seeing more of everyday. People are constantly checking their phones and seeing if anyone liked their Facebook post. However, I am starting to see this more and more with company meetings. After talking to some friends that work with other companies, I am finding that this site is also becoming a "norm". The question is how can we improve these meetings and to prevent people from phasing out?

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Getting Funding

As you may know, I am a huge fan of Extra Credits. They recently announced that they are looking to help fund a game title with their indie publisher. This got me thinking, if I was a game studio looking for funding, how should I go about doing it? In the Extra Credits video they announced that they are looking for groups that already have a demo and are at conferences showcasing their demo. Is that all there is to it?

Sunday, May 20, 2012

A Delayed Game is Better

Over the past two console generations, developers have been delaying games more and more from when they announced that they would launch the title. However, on the other hand we have also been seeing more and more developers rushing games out to market in hopes that they can patch it to save it. Are either of these approaches good or are there other ways to handle it?

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Simplifying Total Tasks

In a recent article from the Business Harvard Review, a great website or magazine for leadership articles, posted an article about the how Steve Jobs led his different teams. More specifically, it looks at his keys to successful leadership. The article is a must read for anyone that holds a leadership position as it shows how he rearranged Apple's goals and priorities and to how he treated his employees. However, upon further retrospection I realized that these can be applied to our daily tasks. The question is how?

This article will only discuss "focus" and "simplify".

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Concerns with Kickstarter Game Projects

Over the past few months there have been more and more studios turning to Kickstarter (KS) for funding. With more and more studios signing up to use KS as a funding avenue, the more and more I see problems that will plague the KS and the game development community.

How Dead Island Missed Its Mark

For those that don't follow the game industry that closely, last year a video game trailer shook the gaming world. The trailer, linked below, for "Dead Island" depicts how this little girl died but in reverse order. From being chased by zombies, to becoming a zombie, to trying to kill her father as a zombie. What was great about this trailer was that you were following a family who was on vacation and then watching in horror how they were overtaken by the zombie horde.