Well this is an interesting time. I am closer than ever to finishing a game that has taking me a long, long time to write. In the process I have learned much. Plenty about the iPhone, plenty about what I am trying to achieve, and plenty about how best I write games. It’s been written in many different places and countries, in different environments. In different personal circumstances, and different amounts of pressure, problems, and ease in life.
I have become challenged, stressed, frustrated, philosophical, excited, happy and relaxed. – All along the way of writing this.
I have met, through social media, through this, some great people. And continue to.
Why am I a bit retrospective now? I am just about to take a short break, recharge my batteries, ready for the final run- the final push for promotion!
Whoah not sure I like this now, 2 beards in one advert! But it’s interesting to see what I wrote, I was young then, and I know so much more, (or less), now!
It was always overshadowed by Football Manager, but I played it a year or two ago on emulator and it is a fun game still. I like some of the ideas I had in it. Here’s a bit of trivia, one person wrote to me that the game was immoral because you could be more successful by using Hype instead of Honesty. So it was encouraging people to be dishonest!! Is Hype dishonest? There is a question.
When I was in New Zealand I met developers who were writing for the iPhone. Some produced good games, yet despite that were disappointed when the game did not succeed. The impression some had was that putting the game on the App Store was putting the game on the market. It isn’t, it’s more like putting your game into one gigantic warehouse of hundreds of thousands of similar products, and hoping somebody walking in to the warehouse will see your game and buy it. That experience of a lot of work leading to nothing much can disappoint and demoralise people which is a shame.
The missing link is marketing. The old saying “If you build a better mousetrap the customers will come” has never been true. They won’t if they don’t know your mousetrap exists.
But there are many other advantages with the App Store business model. . .
I regularly meet up with games developers. There is one characteristic that is noticeable. They love working on games. It’s such a fun job compared to many other jobs. Footballers love their job too mostly, another fun job.
- Generally it pays better though!
2011 is almost upon us. Here in New Zealand, we get there earlier than most! I am looking forward to a productive year, and a year of game launches from me. (At last, I hear you say!).
There will be more scandal in Football, from either players, managers or administrators. Competition to win the Premier League will be fierce and exciting, and at the bottom, teams will scrap and slug it out to survive. I am looking forward to it!
Here in New Zealand as I write this in a coffee shop the sun is shining and it is 27 degrees. We get a warm New Years Eve in the Southern Hemisphere, quite different to what I was used to in the UK.
I wish you all health and success in 2011!
I have written a few games, and they are all management games. I could have written arcade games, or other types of games, but I chose management games. It’s the range of possibilities that holds my interest. Management games are about managing people and resources. Managing in real life is about managing people and resources. I have done it myself and I have met many good, and many bad managers in my time. Some of their characteristics are worth looking at …
I have recently been reading about app entrepreneurs- those who have made their businesses based around the App Store. It’s now evolved to the state where people are wondering where it’s going to go from here. Judging by my experience in the early computer games market it will start consolidating now. – Some companies will combine to gain economies of scale, and some, with weaker ideas and products, who just jumped on the bandwagon of the App Store, will disappear. Over time the market will have the stronger and the better.
But, there are differences. It’s possible to have an app in the App Store without doing much investment in it. It can just tick over and be present. So the company selling it can continue quietly.
And, whatever happens, it’s still great that individual developers with great ideas can sell direct to their customers at a low distribution cost, and therefore they don’t have to sell themselves to a publisher to get their ideas to market.
Yes, the iPad is an obvious improvement for the game and I will be targeting it as well as iPhone. I am delighted to have the opportunity to design for a bigger device. I look forward to enjoying relaxing times with my Football Manager game on the iPad.
So, the Global Game Jam is under way. I am in the Auckland location of it right now. Great so far, I am just helping out, but good to be involved. What a great way to get people to be creative and productive, give them only 48 hours to make a game! – No project management, no politics, no prima donnas (I hope).. and no time!
(When I say we started it in New Zealand, I mean just that we started this year’s round first here, because we live in the future from most of the Rest of the World!!!) (13 hours ahead of GMT!)