Archive for June, 2008

Today I’ve been computing for 25 years!

Wednesday, June 11th, 2008

I’m 33 today and that marks 25 years since I got my first computer at the age of 8. My dad bought me a Spectrum 48K from Dixons in Yeovil, and in those days you got programming manuals with your computers. Because games costs a lot of money for little kids (yeah even those Mastertronic £1.99 games) I learned to program my own. I never stopped making games and now it’s my job, how cool is that? ;-)

HOT: Top Facebook Games Stats

Tuesday, June 10th, 2008

Just read these stats about the top 10 Facebook games as of June 9th:

1: Friends For Sale! (633,897 active players)
2: TexasHoldEmPoker (553,999)
3: Scrabulous (444,548)
4: (Lil) Green Patch (437, 847)
5: Mob Wars (288, 372)
6: Who Has The Biggest Brain? (279,242)
7: Speed Racing (207, 283)
8: Bowling Buddies (205, 716)
9: Pokey! (202,161)
10: Word Challenge (193, 850)

That’s pretty impressive. I haven’t actually tried any of these because Facebook is EVIL (well, actually it’s just a waste of my precious time, so I don’t bother). I assume these games generate revenue from adverts (I could be wrong) in which case they should be doing pretty well.

Another approach would be to link to download games (or ad-driven online games) on your own site so that users might play the Facebook game and then end up on your site (great for generating traffic especially as some Facebook games generate MILLIONS of unique visitors per month).

Getting your Game Producer Résumé/CV looking good

Friday, June 6th, 2008

I was just updating my Résumé/CV based on the last 3 years of writing casual games and I initially came up with a rather dry, factual chronological list of what I’ve been doing. Then Helen, my super-skilled Science writer/editor partner, took a look at it and made some great suggestions about how to “big myself up” by demonstrating what skills I’ve used/learned as part of my job. Here’s the two versions, see if you can spot the difference…

First

“After writing several free downloadable games as “practice pieces” I produced my first commercial casual game, Xmas Bonus (a match-3 puzzle), and launched it at the end of 2005. Since then I have written four more commercial games: Easter Bonus, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, Holiday Bonus and Fairway Solitaire. I was contracted to write the Oz game for Injoy Games, and I was contracted to write Fairway Solitaire (a downloadable conversion of an online game) for Big Fish Games. Fairway Solitaire is currently the #1 card game on BFG, and even achieved #1 on apple.com – I’m very proud of this game. At present I’m writing my sixth game as a contractor for BFG.”

Second

“I honed my game development skills by writing several free downloadable games as “practice pieces” before producing my first commercial casual game, Xmas Bonus (a match-3 puzzle). I then built and managed a small team to develop Easter Bonus. My Grey Alien Game Framework has achieved international success and has powered not only my own games but also those of numerous other developers. One example is The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, which I programmed for Injoy Games. I then produced Holiday Bonus, another highly polished match-3 game, just in time for Christmas. Now gaining recognition for my tight game programming and polished style, I was happy to be approached by Big Fish Games (BFG) to develop Fairway Solitaire (a downloadable conversion of an online game). I am proud that Fairway Solitaire is currently the #1 card game on BFG, and even achieved #1 on apple.com. At present I’m writing my sixth game, for BFG, and co-producing a time management game as a hobby.”

Note the skills that I’ve dropped into the 2nd version. I’ve mentioned that I can “produce” my own games, build teams, develop powerful engines, do contract work, meet tight deadlines, be head hunted for my quality, convert online games, and that I live and breathe games so much that I’m even making one in my spare time ;-)

So in conclusion, sell yourself with your CV. It’s basically self-marketing, not a dry list making exercise…