March 2, 2011

The Game Developer's Conference in Quotes

I will only be at GDC a little bit, partially because it costs too much, and partially because I need to work to promote my game at the same time. But, I do read a lot of the articles and snippets because there is a lot to be inspired by and learn from. I thought it'd be fun for me and my reader (singular) to grab some of the quotes that really resonated with me.

"The people who come to your product first matter...Meeting their expectations is key to your product's success."


"[...] positive team experiences make people want to hang around." 
Tom Cadwell, Riot Games (League of Legends)

Read the full write-up here.

A victory is far more enjoyable than a defeat, and a defeat is far more enjoyable with a "good game" instead of a racial slur.

In general, positive motivation is better than negative motivation, in my opinion. I have no idea where to find it, but I read on the Valve Developer Wiki once about how "the enemy AI doesn't exist to beat the player. They exist to make the player feel awesome and die gloriously."

"It's really surprising how a lot of companies don't have a good customer support team, but we managed to do it across hundreds of thousands of customers while also developing the site. It's not really that hard, you just have to sit down and answer e-mails."
Jeffrey Rosen, Wolfire Games/Humble Indie Bundle

Read the full write-up here

I've dealt with Sony's customer support lately and I've heard both from non-industry friends and my former customers how awful EA's customer support can be at times. I know it isn't easy, but I feel like sometimes so much bureaucracy and formality is put into what really needs to just be an honest, quick response.

"Teams should aspire to iterate daily."
Daniel Cook, Spry Fox

Read the full write-up here

Just a good lesson! You must constantly tweak and massage designs and implementation until they just sing. I think this is something I absolutely love about mobile development, because the games are typically smaller so it's easier to try new solutions and ideas. I love playing the build over night or the weekend, taking notes, then working with the team to try new things in the morning.

"What Lambe wishes to create are games that he wants to create but are also games that people want to play and want to pay for."
Gamasutra paraphrasing Ichiro Lambe, Dejobaan Games

Read the full write-up here

I just think this is a good thing to remember. We're making entertainment experiences for people to enjoy. I think there is value in trying out ideas that aren't necessarily commercial...I do this with my board games. But, we need to remember to make a game that others want to play. Games are meant to be played and enjoyed!

"Just because someone loves a console experience, for example, doesn't mean they're going to want a "lite" or scaled-down version in the mobile or downloadable markets. Consumers want a unique game experience. "


"Instead of looking at what console games are doing, look at what they're not doing."
Gamasutra paraphrasing Donald Mustard, Chair (Shadow Complex, Infinity Blade)

Read the full write-up here.

This is so fundamental yet so often ignored. Look at the titles that flood a new handheld or mobile device when it launches. Sub-par FPS games that just don't work on the control scheme, versions of the game that just exclude so many features.

I think in general you must develop a game to take advantage of the strengths of the platform. This goes for PC, motion controllers, console controllers, touch screen devices, and more. 

"When it comes to mobile devices in particular, the device has unique considerations: Where do people play?"
Gamasutra paraphrasing Donald Mustard, Chair (Shadow Complex, Infinity Blade)

I think about this all the time and it's really interesting. For example, I play games on the bus, usually one-handed because my other hand is holding onto the rail. Most of my guy friends play when they are going #2 in the restroom. My girlfriend only plays at night typically in bed before she goes to sleep. You cannot rely on the player to be sitting in front of their computer or TV with the sole focus of playing a game!

"This is what engages the players. Nintendo provides the model for this: delivering joy through delicate touches."
Vijay Thakkar, Zynga with Friends (Words with Friends)

Read the full write-up here.

This was always true working on The Sims. We'd play, figure things out, and add them. More often than not, our players would be laughing about and discussing these tiny polish tweaks more than the features themselves.

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