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The DIY Game Career

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'Figure out where you need to be to learn what you need to know, and go there ... .com, Zazzle.com, Lulu.com, Kodak Gallery, Snapfish, Printable Memories and more. ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: The DIY Game Career


1
The DIY Game Career
  • Scott Steinberg
  • Game Career Seminar
  • October 3, 2008

2
About Me

3
  • Figure out where you need to be to learn what
    you need to know, and go there even if it
    means working for free. Very few people go
    sufficiently out of their way to demonstrate
    passion. Ive flown to countries without giving
    notice. Ive shown up in building lobbies without
    appointments. You need to put yourself on the
    line. And then you had better have something to
    say.
  • Trip Hawkins
  • Founder of Electronic Arts, 3DO and Digital
    Chocolate

4
OVERVIEW
  • BACKGROUND
  • BREAKING IN
  • JUMPSTART YOUR CAREER
  • OTHER RESOURCES
  • QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

5
BACKGROUND
  • DIY Success Stories
  • How I Got My Game On
  • A Winning Strategy

6
DIY Success Stories
  • Wild Bill Stealey and Sid Meier
  • Tommy Tallarico
  • Richard Garriott
  • Jonathan Mak
  • Introversion
  • You!

7
My So-Called Life
  • BBS Junkie
  • Testers Choice
  • Started GameSource.com

8
The Pre-Game Warm-Up
  • E3 Nearly DOA
  • The French Connection
  • Publish or Perish

9
Playing to Win
  • The Write Stuff
  • Product Placement
  • Mr. Know-It-All

10
The Secret to Success
  • Get Involved
  • Be Persistent
  • Presentations Crucial
  • Visibility Pays

11
The Secret to Success
  • You Are Who You Know
  • Failure Doesnt Exist
  • Knowledge and Experience Matter Most
  • No Risk, No Reward

12
The Secret to Success
  • Find a Way to Differentiate
  • Keep the Message Simple
  • Promote, Promote, Promote
  • Get Started Today

13
  • To get into gaming, you need to Malcolm X
    it basically, break in by any means necessary.
  • Pete Wanat
  • Producer, Scarface The World is Yours

14
BREAKING IN
  • BARRIERS TO ENTRY
  • BEATING THE ODDS
  • HOW TO GET AHEAD

15
Barriers to Entry
  • Everyone Wants In
  • Industry Localized Around SF, NY, LA
  • High Start-Up Costs
  • Increasing Consolidation
  • Lack of Experience and Hands-On Knowledge

16
Beating the Odds Everyone Wants In
  • Find a Way to Stand Out
  • Network
  • Conferences
  • Exhibitions
  • Organizations
  • (IGDA, ECA, GANG)
  • Books
  • Lulu.com
  • iUniverse
  • WordClay
  • AuthorHouse

17
Beating the Odds Everyone Wants In
  • Find a Way to Stand Out
  • Blogs
  • Blogger.com
  • WordPress
  • TypePad
  • Windows Live Spaces
  • Articles
  • Trade Bylines for Exposure
  • Tackle Tough Subjects
  • Use to Establish Personality

18
Beating the Odds Everyone Wants In
  • Find a Way to Stand Out
  • Indie Projects
  • Fan Sites
  • Mods
  • Games
  • Videos
  • Art
  • Podcasts
  • USB Mic 10-20 / USB Webcam 20-40
  • Community Forums
  • IGDA.org
  • GameCareerGuide.com
  • GameDev.net

19
Beating the Odds Everyone Wants In
  • Establish a Unique Identity
  • Brand Name
  • Image
  • Tone of Voice
  • Unique Approach
  • Be Someone Theyll Remember
  • Work Should Speak for Itself
  • Consistency is Key

20
Beating the Odds Everyone Wants In
  • Self-Promote
  • Website
  • Newsletter
  • Press Releases
  • Link Sharing
  • Mailers
  • Co-Promos
  • Contests
  • Guest Appearances
  • Shoutouts
  • Joint Projects

21
Beating the Odds Out of State Industry
  • Attend Key Events
  • Maintain a Presence at Online Hubs
  • Become an Active Part of the Community
  • Use Internet Vehicles
  • Social Networks
  • Video Sharing Sites
  • Newsgroups
  • Trade Publications
  • Audio Syndication
  • Create Compelling Content Make Them Come to You

22
Beating the Odds High Start-Up Costs
  • Mods

23
Beating the Odds High Start-Up Costs
  • Off-the-Shelf Engines
  • Torque Game Builder (2D) 100
  • Torque Game Engine (3D) 150
  • XNA Creators Club 99/year
  • iPhone SDK 99
  • Playground SDK FREE
  • Android SDK FREE
  • Digital Distribution
  • Xbox Live Arcade
  • PlayStation Network
  • Steam
  • Impulse
  • Freeware/Shareware
  • TryGames

24
Beating the Odds High Start-Up Costs
  • Collaborate with Others Online
  • Favor Small-Scale Projects
  • Sign Deal on Prototype, Fund Dev Off Advance
  • Secure International Distribution Deals
  • Look at Casual Portals

25
Beating the Odds Increasing Consolidation
  • Pick Topics Others Arent Exploring
  • Sell Direct to Consumers
  • Focus on Underserved Platforms
  • Cultivate a Fan Base

26
Beating the Odds Increasing Consolidation
  • Create Easily Expandable Games, Toolsets
  • Diversify Revenue Streams
  • Keep Overhead Low
  • Partner with Other Upcoming Talent

27
Beating the Odds Lack of Knowledge, Experience
  • Exploit Free Educational Resources
  • GameCareerGuide.com
  • CasualConnect.org
  • Biz.GameDaily.com
  • Edge-Online.com
  • GamesIndustry.biz
  • Take Advantage of Open-Source Software
  • Steal from the Best
  • Attend Workshops, Seminars

28
Beating the Odds Lack of Knowledge, Experience
  • Formal Academic Training
  • Work on Fan-Made Projects
  • Ask Questions
  • Make Your Own Curriculum

29
How to Get Ahead
  • Hard Work and Commitment
  • Dont Hesitate Create
  • Put Yourself in the Right Position
  • Find a Mentor

30
How to Get Ahead
  • Be One of a Kind
  • Look the Part
  • Promote Yourself
  • Dont Expect a Handout Incentivize

31
  • Hitting it big has more to do with work
    ethic than any approach. You cant have low
    standards. If someone thinks they can do great
    work thatll blow people away on a 9 to 5
    schedule, theyre getting into the wrong
    business. Its like the Olympics Dont train
    your ass off, and youll never win a gold medal.
  • - Lorne Lanning
  • Co-Founder, Oddworld Inhabitants

32
JUMPSTART YOUR CAREER
  • ARTISTS
  • DESIGNERS
  • JOURNALISTS
  • MUSICIANS
  • PROGRAMMERS
  • OTHERS (EXECS, PROS, TESTERS, ETC.)

33
Jumpstart Your CareerARTISTS
  • Focus on a Signature Style
  • Spread the Word Online
  • Forums, newsletters, communities
  • Picture Galleries
  • Content for Homebrew Projects, Mods, etc.
  • Free giveaways (wallpaper, slideshows, web-based
    comics, illustrations)
  • Get Creative With Your Portfolio
  • T-shirts
  • Mousepads
  • Photo Books
  • Print-on-Demand Resources CafePress.com,
    Zazzle.com, Lulu.com, Kodak Gallery, Snapfish,
    Printable Memories and more.
  • Always Sign Your Work

34
Jumpstart Your CareerDESIGNERS
  • Invent or Innovate Pick One
  • Focus on areas others ignore
  • Always offer 1-3 key USPs
  • Do less better Quality trumps quantity every
    time
  • Dress for Success
  • Pick themes with broad appeal
  • Graphics matter as much as play
  • Keep concepts simple

35
Jumpstart Your CareerDESIGNERS
  • Play It Smart
  • Start with small projects
  • Prototype ASAP
  • Dont be afraid to cut features
  • Save fancy ideas for sequels
  • Get the Public Involved
  • Build a website
  • Use demos, screenshots, trailers to build
    awareness
  • Employ betas to turn players into employees,
    evangelists
  • Make distributors come to you

36
Jumpstart Your CareerJOURNALISTS
  • Volunteer
  • Blogs
  • Fan Sites
  • Podcasts
  • Moderate Forums
  • Speak in an Original Voice
  • Choose Attention-Getting Subjects
  • Pick Topics Others Dont Pursue
  • Features are Always In-Demand
  • Dont Be Afraid to Negotiate

37
Jumpstart Your CareerMUSICIANS
  • Recording/Publishing on the Cheap
  • Audacity
  • Garage Band
  • REAPER
  • iTunes, Zune Marketplace Free Syndication
  • CDs, Digital Sales TuneCore, CDBaby
  • Rock Different Techniques
  • Tunes need to loop, cater to moods
  • Tracks must be versatile
  • Imperative you show range here

38
Jumpstart Your CareerMUSICIANS
  • Alternate Distribution Methods
  • Create game-inspired concept albums
  • Design virtual mixtapes
  • Make goofy songs about games, heroes
  • Provide tunes for community projects
  • Use a Signature Calling Card
  • Vocal technique
  • Fondness for instrument
  • Even just a shout at beginning or end of song
  • Make yourself easy to find

39
Jumpstart Your CareerPROGRAMMERS
  • Raid Internet Stashes
  • GameDev.net
  • DevMaster.net
  • UltimateGameProgramming.com
  • Open-Source Code
  • Polish Your Skills
  • Books
  • Take Courses C, Java, Android
  • Research New Developments Online
  • Attend Conferences, Webinars

40
Jumpstart Your CareerPROGRAMMERS
  • Make Projects in the Off Hours
  • Prototypes
  • Technology Demos
  • Game-Related Editors, Utilities
  • Clever Hacks on Popular Games
  • Software Emulators
  • Remixes of the Professionals Works

41
Jumpstart Your CareerPROFESSIONAL GAMERS
  • Compete in Local Tournaments
  • Join Leagues
  • Championship Gaming Series
  • Major League Gaming
  • GGL
  • World Cyber Games
  • Local Tournaments
  • Market Yourself as a Brand
  • Make Guest Appearances

42
Jumpstart Your CareerTESTERS
  • Offer to Test for Free
  • Get Involved With Open/Closed Betas
  • Learn to Better Articulate Your Thoughts
  • Go Above and Beyond

43
Jumpstart Your CareerEXECUTIVES
  • Become an Instant Expert
  • Books
  • Blogs
  • Podcasts
  • Bylined Articles
  • Indie Projects
  • Websites
  • Games
  • Organizations
  • Grassroots PR/Marketing

44
Jumpstart Your CareerPRODUCERS
  • Organize Something
  • Event
  • Website Launch
  • New Online Community
  • Video Series
  • Be Consistent
  • Build Your Brand
  • Make Some Noise

45
Jumpstart Your CareerALTERNATE ENTRY POINTS
  • Pen Game Scripts
  • Work as a Level Designer
  • Act as Community Manager
  • Take a Biz Dev Position

46
Jumpstart Your CareerALTERNATE ENTRY POINTS
  • Start a Social Network
  • Ning
  • CrowdVine
  • KickApps
  • Facebook Groups
  • Create a Fashion Line
  • Make Your Own Book
  • Record a CD

47
Jumpstart Your CareerALTERNATE ENTRY POINTS
  • Establish a Service
  • Make Widgets or Desktop Toys
  • Start a Live Talk Show
  • Become a Genre Authority

48
Jumpstart Your CareerALTERNATE ENTRY POINTS
  • Build a Community Portal
  • Become the Voice of a Market
  • Create Cartoons or Flash Animations
  • Be a Humorist

49
  • The best thing any individual can do to
    succeed in the game industry is focus on a
    specific mission, goal or talent and relentlessly
    pursue it. And if that fails, just make a game
    that gets banned in 12 or more countries.
  • Vince Desi
  • Creator, Postal

50
OTHER RESOURCES
  • BOOKS
  • BLOGS
  • EVENTS
  • WEBSITES

51
Other ResourcesBOOKS
52
Other ResourcesBOOKS Free to Download
  • SellMoreVideogames.com
  • GetRichGaming.com GameStyleGuide.com

53
Other ResourcesBLOGS
  • WaterCoolerGames.com
  • BBrathwaite.wordpress.com
  • Multiplayerblog.MTV.com
  • GameSetWatch.com
  • GameDevBlog.com
  • MakeItBigInGames.com
  • GameProducer.net

54
Other ResourcesEVENTS
  • E3
  • E for All
  • Games Convention
  • Game Developers Conf
  • Tokyo Game Show
  • Penny Arcade Expo
  • Casual Connect
  • LA Games Conference

55
Other ResourcesWEBSITES
  • Biz.GameDaily.com
  • Edge-Online.com
  • Gamasutra.com
  • GameCareerGuide.com
  • GDMag.com
  • GamesIndustry.biz
  • GameDev.net
  • GPWiki.org
  • MCVUK.com

56
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
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