Archive for March, 2007

“Convince me to buy” competition

Friday, March 23rd, 2007 has an interesting competition going on right now. Juuso, the blog’s founder, has said to game developers “convince me to buy your video game” and he will actually buy the games of developers that manage to convince him by the end of April. Then he’ll say what games he bought (those are the winners I guess).

Initially I thought that the blog post was going to be a precursor to a series of posts about marketing but Juuso confesses that this wasn’t the case, although he may do that now. However, it’s a great way to get links to his blog, get a high Digg rating and drive traffic to his site, so that’s pretty smart. It’s a good marketing exercise for sure AND it helps out the developers who get to pimp their (sometimes unusual) wares; so it’s win – win all round then! 🙂

Knowing Where to Tap

Thursday, March 22nd, 2007

Just got sent this little story by email and thought that it was cool:

Once a giant ship engine failed. The ship’s owners tried one expert after another, but none of them could figure out how to fix the engine. Then they brought in an old man who had been fixing ships since he was a youngster. He carried a large bag of tools with him, and when he arrived, he immediately went to work. He inspected the engine very carefully, top to bottom. Two of the ship’s owners were there, watching this man, hoping he would know what to do. After looking things over, the old man reached into his bag and pulled out a small hammer. He gently tapped something. Instantly, the engine lurched into life. He carefully put his hammer away. The engine was fixed!

A week later, the owners received a bill from the old man for ten thousand dollars.”What?!” the owners exclaimed. “He hardly did anything!” So they wrote the old man a note saying, “Please send us an itemized bill.”The man sent a bill that read,

Tapping with a hammer……………………………..$2
Knowing where to tap…………………………..$9998

I can empathise with this as I used to do a lot of IT consultancy. Sometimes I got the impression that some people probably thought “Christ he charged a lot for that hour” but then they had been flailing around trying to fix some problem themselves for hours/days and asking the neighbour’s kid in to fix it, and asking their mates in the pub etc to no avail. In fact, in the end I just focused on business as, when time becomes money, they just hire in people that get the job done so that they can focus on their strengths instead.

It’s the same reason that I don’t bother to do pumbing, woodwork, decorating and car maintenence myself. I could spend ages doing a crap job or hire an expert. My time is better off spent earning money at what I’m good at. Sure it could be “fun” to improve my skills in those areas, but there are other areas I’d rather focus on first.

Also I heard someone on an interesting marketing teleseminar say recently [paraphrased] “If you spend all your time improving your weaknesses, all you are left with at the end is a whole bunch of strong weaknesses!”. This is a pretty good point. Actually, I am into improving some of my weaknesses – those that are worthwhile improving; but really it’s better to capitalise on your strengths and to delegate tasks to people who are better than you in your weak areas. That’s what I think anyway 🙂

Inside a video game developer studio

Wednesday, March 21st, 2007

BBC News has an interesting article about 10 of the key roles in a mainstream console video game development team. Interestingly they’ve missed off Marketing, Manual writing, QA/Testing etc. Perhaps they just wanted to focus on the more “fun” jobs…

If you are an Indie developer then you are probably ALL of those roles and more, unless you are fortunate to work as part of a small team, in which case you are probably only about 5 roles. 😉