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The market of addictive games grows more and more every day, and it's hard to be different from competitors since user's demands grow even faster. Program-Ace decided to conduct research to study anonymously a couple of game development studios of different size and popularity.
Based on the results of this analysis and our personal experience as a successful middle-sized game development company we identified seven secrets that discern prosperous companies.
Finding a perfect quantity of people for your team is paramount. Since large crews create a problem of middle management when everyone needs to attend meetings to reach a consensus. Developers will spend a lot of time at these meetings instead of creating games. In addition, in such teams each member is responsible for a narrow piece of work and often doesn't see how his or her work correlates with others’ work and cannot get the full picture, as a result. Small teams, at the same time, accumulate another problem. For some project a couple of people won't be enough to perform a specific task.
Program-Ace states that the best option is to start with five or six professionals and then follow an organic growth of the team expand it only when it's necessary to bring new talents. Just don't forget to find people who will really increase the productivity of the whole company.
When a team conducted a testing sessions of a game they created, they set some goals, so-called key performance indicators (KPIs). Studios and companies should have the courage to abandon projects that didn't reach these objectives. Keeping them will be a bad decision that will swallow the resources that are necessary to support existed or new projects.
This approach allows the members of a team to create a game quite fast and keep it playable. According to our research, the more unique and sophisticated the game is, the more problems it could bring and the more risk it involves. Successful companies reduce this risk by selecting a clear benchmark. Only when, the development process is based on a proven strategy and featured concept, the development stage can be finished quickly and without much bugs and imperfections. The team only benefits from such approach because they will have a playable prototype to learn from. As a result, time that developers, designers and artists spend on this project can be decreased.
A game needs to be loved and played to become successful. That's not a joke. Of course, at early stages it's difficult to play a game you're developing since there is lack of content, design and gameplay. However, by regularly playing you can look at your game from player's point of view and not only speed up the bug targeting and fixing, but also improve the game with some great user experience.
It's significant to comply with the needs of your players and try to satisfy them. Eventually, they are the ones who pay your salary. They are the ones who adore the game, who play it every day and create communities to support it. That's why you should not only please them but also challenge. Invest some time and money into user's community, introduce difficult levels and missions. In other words, have deep respect for people who appreciate what you do.
In successful game development corporations, the team has an ability to make its own decisions and be responsible for them. Team leads should be capable of setting appropriate goals based on the feedback received from alpha and beta testing. It could seem risky, however, by empowering the team to settle issues the company facilitates it to learn how to be responsible and meet goals faster.
Success is not just about the hard work that was done; it's also about conviction and prosperity. No one, of course, knows for sure whenever the game be a hit or no and the market will be the final instance to judge. However, there is only one way to fail in game development, and it's by not releasing any games at all. So don't be scared. Launch as many games as you can, but do not forget the secret #2 and be ready to shut up the project that cannot meet its KPIs.