在2017年發行商將更加需要獨立開發者

作者:Oleg Pridiuk

在最近參加各種遊戲大會時,我經常聽到這樣的說法,即比起獨立開發者需要發行商,現在的發行商更加需要獨立開發者。Gamasutra也認爲這是今年的一大趨勢。這也是我想要花時間寫下本文的原因。自從去年GDC以來我們便在這一趨勢中傾注了許多精力。

我們花了40周的時間去世界各地接觸一些具有才能的獨立開發者,希望能夠找到與我們擁有相同看法並願意使用我們技術的優秀團隊。我們同時還需要確保他們的遊戲具有潛能且我們能夠幫助其成爲更優秀的遊戲。

我效力於知名遊戲開發公司King,我們公司在去年GDC上發佈了Defold引擎(免費出售)而震驚了世界。我們同時也聲稱將提供給獨立開發者流量並幫助他們進行軟發行與硬發行。我們公司的首席技術官Thomas Hartwig也聲稱King的遊戲作品能夠幫助獨立開發者進行有效的交叉推廣。

我們都期待着我們的免費市場營銷策略能夠有效吸引優秀團隊的注意。但事實證明要找到一隻既擁有優秀遊戲同時也願意聽取反饋的獨立團隊真的非常困難。

不過這應該是你們已經清楚的情況,而你們不清楚的是我們到底想要爲一個全新遊戲引擎構建怎樣的社區,什麼方法是可行的而什麼方法又是不可行的。

defold world tour(from gamasutra)

defold world tour(from gamasutra)

遊戲開發活動

不可行

我們會去參加一些遊戲開發大會和遊戲jam,但最終都未能獲得好結果。雖然像網絡,贊助,廣播等方式都具有長期影響,但卻不能帶來即時效益。

可行的

直接聯繫並親自支持精心挑選的團隊。帶有足夠的耐心,不要設定嚴苛的截止期限並去幫助他們的薄弱之處。雖然這有時候會讓人覺得和保姆一樣,但出於很多原因獨立開發者經常不能專注於某一內容,如他們即將問世的遊戲。

遊戲jam和編程馬拉松

不可行

最初我們便是利用離線遊戲jam去審覈遊戲開發者,但事實證明這是一種錯誤的方法。Defolde准入障礙太高了,所以在兩天內提交內容是不大可能的事。在這裏優秀的文件並不是阻礙。

可行的

在線遊戲jam和競爭便非常有效。人們將擁有足夠的時間去精通引擎並遞交自己所滿足的內容。我們會建議團隊專注於最佳生產力,如此整個社區便能夠獲得有機的發展。

市場營銷

不可行

市場營銷引擎功能和其它技術能夠推動Reddit或Hacker News的網站流量以及討論,但卻不能幫助團隊創造出更優秀的遊戲。

可行的

我們將市場營銷預算投資於獨立遊戲的廣告中,並因此吸引了社區成員的注意。開發者在看到那些使用我們引擎的遊戲後便會想要嘗試看看。

技術峯會

不可行

像技術峯會,遊戲引擎圓桌會議以及其它相似的技術活動雖然很有趣,但卻不能有效吸引遊戲團隊的注意。雖然我們會去討論一些未來趨勢,但似乎開發者們更關心現狀與即時選擇。

可行的

假設有關HTML5的圓桌會議專注於強大的技術,它便會比普通引擎峯會更有效。它能吸引人們對HTML5產生興趣並最終成就雙贏,而HTML5便是Defold引擎的一大優勢。

培訓

不可行

我們將不斷完善高級用戶的培訓,但這卻不是一件簡單的事。有經驗的人總是希望能夠快速精通不同內容並趨於異步。進入培訓時所有人都是基於不同階段並基於不同節奏向前移動,他們也會對不同方式感到不滿。那些少數對此滿意的人才會繼續使用Defold,但卻仍需要團隊的引導。

可行的

我們嘗試着將一些比較沒有經驗的人引向我們的論壇或頻道,如此他們便能夠獲得支持與幫助並能爲下一次的Ludum Dare或遊戲Jam做好準備。

1月份的時候我們嘗試了這一新方法,即面向公衆開放網絡Defold培訓活動:https://defoldlondon.confetti.events。這個在King London辦公室進行的活動將只面向專業開發者。也許我們會因此吸引較少人的關注,但這些開發者卻能在此獲得滿足。

比賽

我們嘗試在當地去使用一些競賽方法,雖然發現了一些不可行的內容,但幸虧其它內容都能快速發揮作用。

我們利用了當地的社區並邀請他們參加在線活動,並會提供他們想要的獎品。

而現在我們開始擴大規模並將目標朝向世界範圍的比賽:http://www.defold.com/competition/。我們正準備將6支團隊帶向在舊金山舉辦的GDC大會。我們已經訂好了酒店和展臺。我們也邀請了像King的製作人,Toucharcade的聯合創始人以及Android Marketplace的經理等人加入陪審團的行列。

從某種意義上來看獨立開發者正在引領着全新遊戲體驗,機制和理念的發展。而將最優秀的獨立遊戲開發者帶到GDC大會上是幫助他們發行更出色遊戲的一種有效方法。這也是Defold的目標。

本文爲遊戲邦/gamerboom.com編譯,拒絕任何不保留版權的轉發,如需轉載請聯繫:遊戲邦

In year 2017 publishers will need indies more than indies need publishers

by Oleg Pridiuk

Visiting game conventions I hear more and more often that nowadays publishers need indies more than indies need publishers. And here we go, Gamasutra puts it as a trend of the year. What triggers me to allocate time for this article. See, we have been investing in this trend heavily since last GDC!

We’ve spent the last 40 weeks working with talented indies globally. The goal was to find good teams who shared our vision and were willing to use our technology. We needed to make sure their games had potential and we could potentially help them make better games.

I may address the “why?!” clause in the comments, if you’re curious, but I want to have a strong focus on the teams in the current blogpost.

I work for King, famous game development company that surprised the world last GDC by releasing Defold, an internal game engine, publicly for free. We also announced we’d be providing indies with traffic and help for soft launch and hard launch. Cross-promo from within King games portfolio incentive have been announced by Thomas Hartwig, King CTO, to help talented indies make the market push.

We might have been somewhat naive expecting our free marketing incentives be efficient to lure in good teams. In fact, it has proven to be tremendously hard to find good indie teams with good games who can also listen to the feedback.

But this is what you know already, what you may not know, is what exactly we tried to assemble a community for a young game engine, what worked and what did not work.

Gamedev events

Did not work

We tried going to game development conferences and game jams – both returned no fruitful results. Like exactly zero. Networking, sponsorships, broadcasting from the scene – this might have a long-term effect, but we felt no immediate benefits of any kind.

Did work well

Direct relations and hands-on support for cherry picked teams. With infinite patience, no hard deadlines and help on their weak spots. I felt like a baby-sitter sometimes, but for multiple reasons indies often cannot focus on one thing, such as their upcoming game.

Game jams and hackathons

Did not work

Offline Game jams were an obvious initial focus for us to detect good devs, and it was a wrong one. Entry barrier to Defold is too high to jump it over and deliver something within two days timeframe. And good docs are not a bottleneck here.

Did work well

Online game jams and competitions worked so nice. People have time to master the engine and deliver something they’re happy with. We suggest teams to join a slack channel for best productivity, so the community grows organically and keeps itself helpful.

Marketing

Did not work

Marketing engine features and other kinds of technology bullet points did help with website traffic and discussions on Reddit or Hacker News, but did not help with teams doing good games.

Did work well
We invested our marketing budgets into advertising indie games #madewithdefold which resulted in increased community interest and actual deliveries. Developers saw games delivered with the engine and wanted to ship something with Defold as well.

Technology summits

Did not work

Technology summits, game engine roundtables and similar deep-tech activities we did, were of so much fun for participants and of very little interest to game teams. We discussed future and trends on the scene, while developers seemed to care about the current state and immediate choices.

Did work well

I assembled an HTML5 roundtable with a strong tech focus, and it worked much-much better than a generic engine summit. It attracted people interested in HTML5 and ended up in decent networking and mutual interest, as HTML5 is one of key strengths of Defold.

Trainings

Did not work
We’re getting better at doing trainings for advanced users, but such are very hard to do right. Experienced crowd is willing to master totally different things and gets desynchronized very quickly. Soon into the training everyone is on different stages, can move on at different pace and is unhappy in different ways. And those few who are happy may continue playing with Defold, but still need a team to ship.

Did work well
No deep dive kind of training with a set of example projects good to tackle with at home make people of all kinds of skills stick together and play with stuff, often deliver something fun. We try to route less advanced people to a dedicated slack channel and our forums, so they can get support, help and maybe even a new team member for the next Ludum Dare or Game Jam.

And in January we’re trying our a new approach with opening up an internal Defold training event to public – https://defoldlondon.confetti.events This event at King London office is for professional developers only. We might get less people, but those should be happy.

Contests

We went very local to try out the competition approach, learn from doing and have something for the “did not work” paragraph ;) But everything did work well immediately.

We used local communities and trusted them do an online event, prizes logistics and all kinds of local magic they wanted. These are the games delivered from a contest in Russia, for example.

Now we’re scaling up and going ambitious with the global contest – http://www.defold.com/competition/. We’re bringing 6 teams to GDC in San Francisco. We have hotels and booth space booked already. 10’x30’ area at GDC Play will be dedicated to the winning teams along with business meetings and other opportunities pack. We’ve attracted a decent jury panel with King producer, Toucharcade cofounder and Android Marketplace manager looking at the submissions.

Indie developers in a lot of senses are pioneering new kinds of game experiences, mechanics, ideas. Bringing the best independent game developers to GDC in SF is a decent way to help them ship better games. Exactly what Defold is all about.(source:gamasutra