I had a great day last week. It was the first education day at Amiedu in Helsinki. The topic was “Entrepreneurship in the game industry”. I took the night bus, didn’t sleep at all and took the wrong bus from Kamppi to Tuusula, which happens to be around 20 kilometeres away from the correct location, I was supposed to be going. After forced to pay the taxi, to get on time to Amiedu, the actual fun was able to start. It was a great day!
When I was preparing the materials for the course, and during the actual education day I realized yet again, how it’s impossible to teach one single way, to manage a game studio. To manage a game studio is a topic of it’s own, but to “do it successfully”, I’m pretty sure there is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ solution.
Game markets are always evolving, shifting and offer new ways to do business. But at the same time, closing the known old doors with the same speed, or even faster. The most effective way to do business right now, is to form an environment, which enables “data driven” development for a product. Basically trying out things, getting players in and seeing/hearing their thoughts. Then reacting, polishing, customizing, tweaking the product in ways, which you can either spot from the analytics, or hear as feedback from the core groups.
Doing too many changes at the same time, loses the understanding which of those changes made the player reactions more positive, or even worse. Doing too few changes, may disappoint the player since they want new content and effective changes to gameplay or other mechanics.
Which leads us to a situation, where finding the ‘sweet spot’ for constant updates is necessary.
So how do you create this type of environment, which basically enables you to fail multiple times while trying to find the best fit for your players. It may take weeks, months or even years to discover the best possible product. Having the time and resources to do this, is of course almost impossible task for a small game company, which is only at the beginning of creating solid revenue.
I personally would say, that there are multiple options to “survive” through this never ending iteration process. The bigger question is, what is your cup of tea, when running sustainable business. I’m going to bring up couple of solutions for this, but I bet there are dozens of more.
Since the solutions is a totally topic of it’s own, I’m going to split this blog post into two. The next part is: Ways to survive through the iteration process. Stay tuned!