Overview of the casual games space with a focus on the needs of developers
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Overview of the Casual Games Space with a focus on the needs of developers. Ivan Tkachenko Vice President of Production Nikitova Games / Kenjitsu. Nikitova: Outsourcing. 6 years of experience 5 offices Chicago, LA, Kiev, St Petersburg, Dnepropetrovsk 3 dev teams

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Overview of the casual games space with a focus on the needs of developers l.jpg

Overview of the Casual Games Space with a focus on the needs of developers.

Ivan TkachenkoVice President of Production Nikitova Games / Kenjitsu


Nikitova outsourcing l.jpg
Nikitova: Outsourcing of developers.

  • 6 years of experience

  • 5 offices

    • Chicago, LA, Kiev, St Petersburg, Dnepropetrovsk

  • 3 dev teams

    • Kiev, Ukraine; St Petersburg, Russia; Dnepropetrovsk, Ukraine

  • 250+ employees


Nikitova casual games projects l.jpg
Nikitova: Casual Games Projects of developers.

  • Wild Tangent

    • Fire Fly

    • Polar Golfer

    • Polar Bowler

    • Shrek 2 Ogre Bowler

  • Big Fish

    • Mystery Case Files

  • Anarchy Enterprises

    • NDA Project


Nikitova casual games development service l.jpg
Nikitova: Casual Games Development Service of developers.

  • Full game development

  • Development of Game Design Document

  • Art creation

    • Characters

    • Levels

    • Special Effects

  • Programming

    • C++

    • Java

    • Flash, Director

  • Porting to alternate platforms


Developer s goals l.jpg
Developer's Goals of developers.

  • Make hits (top 10)

  • Own popular IP

  • Increase revenue

  • No excess in value chain


Scope of work what developer needs to reach his goals l.jpg
Scope of work: What developer needs to reach his goals of developers.

  • Management

  • Sales & Marketing

  • Production

  • Infrastructure and artefacts

  • Postproduction


Management l.jpg
Management of developers.

  • Project management

  • QA Manager

  • Lawyer


Project management l.jpg

Budget of developers.

Typically produced for approximately $50,000 to $200,000 USD

Small Team

Roles overlapping

1 person plays a number of roles

Number of projects go simultaneously

Planning / Tracking

Meetings

Coordination

Communications

Reporting to stakeholders

Conventions

Project management


Qa manager l.jpg
QA Manager of developers.

  • Test Plan

    • Looking for bugs

    • Compatibility testing

    • User Surveys

    • Usability testing

    • Focus Groups

    • Play balancing

    • Linguistic and Functionality Testing


Sales marketing l.jpg
Sales & Marketing of developers.

  • Research

  • Pitch

  • Negotiations


Research l.jpg
Research of developers.

  • What is your Target Audience?

  • Who are your publishers?

  • Game mechanics

  • Setting

  • Art Style


Pitch l.jpg
Pitch of developers.

  • Look and feel

    • Prototype?

  • More pictures

  • Key Selling features

  • Short description instead of GDD


Negotiations l.jpg
Negotiations of developers.

  • IP holder

  • Type of contract

    • Publisher

    • Self-publishing

    • Work-for-Hire

  • Funding

    • Share Risks

    • Give up rights


Production l.jpg
Production of developers.

  • Stages

  • Team involvement

  • Technologies

  • Processes


Stages l.jpg
Stages of developers.

  • Concept

  • Prototype

  • Alpha

  • Test

  • Beta

  • Test

  • Gold


Team involvement l.jpg
Team involvement of developers.

  • Art

  • Programming

  • Game design

  • Management & QA

  • Sound


Slide17 l.jpg
Art of developers.

  • 20-45% of budget

  • Art Director

    • Style

    • Light

    • Color

    • FX

  • Outsource

    • Sketches


Programming l.jpg
Programming of developers.

  • 20-25% of budget

  • Lead programmer

    • Architecture

    • Flexibility

    • Handles

    • Tools

  • Outsource

    • Prototype - No re-using

    • GDD

    • TDD


Game design l.jpg
Game design of developers.

  • 20-25% game design / narrative / script

  • Idea

  • Producer

  • Game Designer

  • Game mechanics

  • Key Design elements

  • Outsource


Slide20 l.jpg
Idea of developers.

  • Reference analysis

  • Thinking Organization

    • Number of people

    • Brain storm

    • MindMaps

  • More Ideas - wider choice

  • Test you choice


Producer l.jpg
Producer of developers.

  • Is it fun enough?

  • Creative opposition to PM

  • Marketing support


Game designer l.jpg
Game Designer of developers.

  • GDD

  • Levels

  • Balancing

  • Explaining features on production stage


Game mechanics l.jpg
Game mechanics of developers.

  • Matching Games

  • Chain Popper

  • Find Subsets

  • Shape Manipulation

  • System Management

  • Breakout Variants

  • Casual Sports Games

  • Card & Parlor Games

  • Other Arcade Variants


Key design elements l.jpg
Key Design elements of developers.

  • Simple and Meaningful Play with Transparent Rules

  • User Interaction

  • Depth & Complexity

  • Rewarding Players

  • Showing Progress

  • Forgiving Game Play

    • No stress

  • Visuals and Themes

  • Narrative and Characters

  • Using Sound and Interactive Audio to Enhance Gameplay


Outsource l.jpg
Outsource of developers.

  • GDD

  • First phase of outsourcing full title


Management qa l.jpg
Management & QA of developers.

  • 15-20% of budget

  • Project Manager

  • QA team


Sound l.jpg
Sound of developers.

  • 1-10% of budget

  • Outsource

    • Sounds list

    • Music list

    • References list

    • Playable demo with Handles


Technologies l.jpg
Technologies of developers.

  • Engines an Framework

    • Director

    • Flash

    • Torque

    • HGE

    • Popcap Framework

  • Web + PC + Mac

  • Network

    • Community based and multiplayer casual games.


Processes l.jpg
Processes of developers.

  • Small Team

  • Small Budget

  • Agile method


Infrastructure and artifacts l.jpg
Infrastructure and artifacts of developers.

  • CVS

  • Feature & defect tracker

  • Art asset management

  • Project Plan


Slide31 l.jpg
CVS of developers.

  • Documentation

    • GDD

    • TDD

    • WIKI

  • Code

  • Graphics

  • Variants

    • CVS

    • AlienBrain

    • Perforce


Feature defect tracker l.jpg
Feature & defect tracker of developers.

  • Test Track

  • Bugzilla

  • OnTime


Art asset management l.jpg
Art asset management of developers.

  • AlienBrain

  • Perforce

  • Art Tracking Tools


Project plan l.jpg
Project Plan of developers.

  • Microsoft Project

  • Tracker


Postproduction l.jpg
Postproduction of developers.

  • Porting to alternate platforms

  • Localization

  • Support


Porting to alternate platforms l.jpg
Porting to alternate platforms of developers.

  • Open own division

  • Outsource to porting house


Open own division l.jpg
Open own division of developers.

  • Long term

  • Experience

  • Risky


Outsource to porting house l.jpg
Outsource to porting house of developers.

  • Short term

  • Nikitova Mobile


Nikitova mobile l.jpg
Nikitova Mobile of developers.

  • Nikitova Mobowise

    • Service

    • Product


Localization l.jpg
Localization of developers.

  • Plan at preproduction phase

  • German, Japanise


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