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Game Crunch Doesn't Always Have to be a Thing

You've been dreading the conversation. You know there's no way out of it, given the timeline. Your execs have made it clear that the very large marketing spend is going to hit during the week when two of your engineers were planning to be on vacation.

You've got a brilliant team that has helped you stand up games and keep them working even when the fan excitement threatened to overwhelm your servers. This time, you know the plan is for a global launch, and in the back of your mind you're worried you've underbuilt. There's good reason for this - infrastructure isn't free, and there's no way you'd get the budget to build out to the best case scenario all over the world. This situation is one you've tried to plan for, until the marketing dates moved.

To Keep Players Happy, First Seek Understanding

[Me]: To keep your players happy - you need to understand why they're not.

[You]: Uh, yeah obviously. Thanks. So what?

Actually, I have a lot to say on the topic of keeping players happy. A few months back I wrote a quick post about Friction.

Winning at Launch Time

Your extraordinary work on game development through concept to crunch, your tireless community building, brand awareness, and engagement all converge on one moment: Launching the game.

Is it possible to ever finish building a video game? The longer the dev cycle, the more likely it is you'll run out the clock on tech, slipping down the slope toward obsolescence. The more time you give your team, the more features and assets they'll want to include and incorporate.

Unwelcome Interruptions

Imagine your player's first experience with your game. Finally, after waiting all these years, she's got the game in hand. She tears the cellophane, cracks the case, slots the disc, and . . . "Game is now updating. Please wait." Watching 20 GB load onto a machine is not anyone's idea of fun.

How to not stress out over security and scale

Three key questions to ask yourself before your next Day 1:

  • Do I have the right infrastructure to support my game?
  • How well am I protecting my product and players?
  • Do I have the capacity to expand and adapt? 

Most companies ask themselves these questions... after their game server's gone offline or while they're fending off a DDoS attack.

Defeat revenue-killing risks in your game's first 30 days

You have years to bring your game from vision to reality.

And just 30 days to make it a success.

Successful games see higher revenue through add-ons and downloadable content. They help you secure funding and resources for your next big idea. But a staggering 95 percent of players leave a game within its first 30 days. 

Friction hurts, especially in gaming

You've probably seen a long list of complaints from players, and it might even drive you to say, "If I can't keep them all happy, what's the point?" But some concerns deserve your attention, and most of those fall into a single theme.

In a word: friction.

Do you want to build a server empire?

Have you ever visited a soybean farm in North Carolina? I haven't, despite the fact that it's one of the top 5 crops for the state. I have, though, visited one of the lesser known profit driving farms in NC, the server farm. To be more accurate, I visited the front end showroom for a major server manufacturer and service provider. It was a fully functioning cold server room, with a raised floor, and giant cables criss-crossing the ceiling. It reminded me of the scene in the Matrix when Morpheus leads Neo into the giant weapons cache.

Threats don't like being ignored

I outran a ferocious dog once. The memory is still very fresh for me, despite the fact that it happened 30 years ago. What should be most impressive about this story is that I ran up fourteen flights of stairs, without stopping. I don't think I've ever accomplished this level of physical excellence ever again. I wonder what would have happened if I had been exposed to Gamma rays just as the chase began. We'll never know.

Why is your tech so lazy?

We live in a multitasking world. You see people every day surfing their phones with their right hand, mid-conversation with the person across the table from them, while also trying to make a lunch selection from the menu in their left hand. Without getting into the concerns about our mental health and the fraying of the social fabric in our personal lives, we should recognize that we are expecting more from every interaction, and from every role in our business lives.

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