Develop Conference 2010, Day One (Part 2)

July 14, 2010

SESSION 5:Why Mobile games will outperform console gaming: An overview of actual smartphone gaming and what’s next.

The sessions title had been changed to “Mobile becomes console”
(Fishlab founded 2004, Hamburg)

I think I can summarise this one into one or two paragraphs. The basic point being made is that it’s taking far less time for the graphical leaps on mobile phones to happen than it did for consoles. That combined with the massive sales of smart phone devices makes it an opportunity for making graphical games.

Not so sure about this myself, control issues are the main sticking point in my mind, but since I don’t own a smart phone I think it’s probably best I be honest that I may be wrong there. There’s probably plenty of opportunity to create great games there, but I’m not convinced that they could actually kill consoles, heck, consoles didn’t kill PC gaming, just displaced it.

SESSION 6: Round 2: Get ready for convergent gaming, Adam Boyes, Beefy Media

Round 1
Capcom had a number of firsts XLBA/PSN sim release, headset support, europe PSN content…

Capcom aimed to be faster than everyone else.
They (sorta) bullied XBLA limits by releasing on PSN first…
They pushed on the limits being imposed on them by the format holders.
The format holders wanted to push those limits but needed ammunition, capcom helped push on those barriers by giving format holders ammunition from which to do this.

They broke rules, how much the game should be charged at.

Listened to the consumers “other publishers pretend to do…”
Have senior staff talking to consumers as well as dev staff (why wasn’t x released on y)

It’s often necessary to fail into to learn & therefor succeed.

If you go halfway people will cry. ? – They rebuilt a game and didn’t rebuild everything in Super Puzzle Fighter.

“If you make a crappy looking game, it won’t sell that well.”

“If you build something with enough love and honor the original, people will like you.”

How flock got signed
Leipzig
3 playable prototypes, no meetings booked, just wandered halls knocking on doors. Asked for product acquisition. Showed 3 totally different games.

XBLA does not equal the people in the marketing for XBLA.
Age of booty released same time as Fable 2 which turned out to be a little bit of a mistake, but it still sold well.

They were surprised that people still wanted to play fighting games “People really, really LOVE to punch each other in the face”
“People love the 90s” and “People are worse at games then they were in the 80s”

Final Fight Double Impact – Double Impact “because it made it sound like it’s a sequel.”

SF2 HD Remix
Reached out for help to the community for music, rebalance.
Hit up friends that were fans – LPB, pinball, UNO, Bumberman, Uno.

ROUND 2
What is convergent gaming
It’s a combined experience across multiple screens.
Not a carbon copy on different platforms.

Some get the big idea – fable 2, pub games on XBLA. Toy soldiers and Xbox & XBLA games.
Others are trying to ‘get it’ – Msoft with XBLA & XBox But are missing all of the systems they don’t hold the rights too.
Convergent games are dynamic game experiences that compliment the way you play on the device.

Contribute to the ‘big picture’ (the other game).

Eg – Mass Effect 2, iPhone version unlocked just one piece of armour for MS2, missed opportunity. eg could’ve mined for minerals on your phone, ie whilst on train/bus to work.

Most publishers work with 4 separated departments not working together – retail, mobile, digital, online with use of outsourcing.
Best case scenario you have 6 different developers that different versions are outsourced to.

Inneficient.

You need mature management, thinking for the publisher so they don’t have to.
Bring developers together to work on the different versions so they can build the gameplay into eachothers games/releases.

Leverage content
Simultaneous release
Mature processes that can be trusted to achieve without interference from above.

Publishers aren’t going to change because they keep thinking from the inside out, the changes need to come from the outside -> in.

Session 7: How 100 users turned into a 100 million – a broswer game success story, Nils-Holger Henning, Bigpoint GmbH

Online is fastest growing space.

Browser games = lowest entrance barrier. No install or lengthy download (Well, not technically true, any online game has downloading & uploading, it’s just sufficiently hidden from the user).

Usage peak at lunch time.

A high growth, low competition area was pursued, so that ruled out hardcore games. Of course, the field is a lot more crowded now, so the low competition part of that doesn’t apply to the same degree anymore.

Apparently about 10% of your users will pay for convenience, convenience items that save them time. You should align the purchasing elements of the game with that 10% of users.

There are people who will pay $50k dollars for a fancy looking suit of armour.

A common mistake with webgames is not working out in advance how users will be driven to the game in the first place. It doesn’t matter how well you’ve designed your (shivers) ‘monetisation’ schemes, if there are no users to be sucked in by them.

Bigpoint now is so big that they claim they need games ‘from the outside’, there’s too much demand for content. It looks as though they’ve actually built up a massive network of companies they’ll provide content to, rather than being just a facebook company and they are moving towards more traditional games as well (Like a BattleStar Galactica themed space shooter).

Session 8: Gamification: How Games are Everywhere, David Helgason, Unity Technologies

Targetted low end as well as high end “especially important for something as broken as the web”
At least 1k unity games as iPhone apps.

Gamification 1

Gamification, noun,
1. use of game design outside of games, e.g. in product or user xp design
2 use of game tech in other fields

Neologism – shows up late 2009, organises lots of info.
Heavily covered this year.

(Look up SWOOPO ‘entertainment shopping’, described as evil & really more like gambling)
(Look up Scott Dodsons upcoming GDC online talk)

Gamification 2
Military training and simulation
Architects and product designers
Complez data and visualisation
medical visualisation
social spaces and interactions
Art, VJ-ing, experimental media, etc etc etc

‘The Perfect Storm’
First – programmers (8 million of them in the world?!)
Second – education (Very fast growing)
Third – Content creation (Specifically outside of the profession realm of tools like Maya)
Fourth – technology & community
-critical mass of knowledge creation
-forums, wikis, etc
-commercial extensions, services

Gamification 3?

Hi5, MySpace, Orkut becoming game sites
Google investing heavily in games
Every phone, TV and set top box manufacturer is rushing into the fray
Also media players, appliances, perhaps others.

Summary – 3 definitions of Gamification

“Use of game design outside of games, e.g. product or user experience design”
“Use of game technology in other fields”
“The process where games are a primary economic driver for new platforms and ecosystems.”

AAAAAND DONE.

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