Brian R. Smith

Writing stories about færies and demons 

Brian R. Smith

Mastery Journal

 

Full Sail University mobile gaming master's

The effects of Business Marketing on Game Design and Development

 

Brian R. Smith

Full Sail University, Winter Park, Florida

2021 April

 

This paper shall explore how business and marketing affect the design and development of a mobile game. It will consider, how the revenue model affects game design, how to determine your game is something people will want to play, what is involved in game development other than coding and artwork and how does this affect your development budget and schedule, how to convince an investor/publisher to fund your game, and how will this class affect my approach to WWI Flying Circus?

 

How the revenue model affects game design

 

 

How to determine your game is something people will want to play

 

The best way is to research similar games in your target market. Look at their revenue models and compare how well each has done relative to each other. After that, and as soon as you can, have your target market audience play early versions of your game to gauge the uptake.

 

What is involved in game development other than coding and artwork, and how does this affect your development budget and schedule

 

  • Testing. A robust testing scheme all the way from Unit Testing – through to Alpha and Beta testers is key to not only shake out pesky bugs but to measure the best fun-value features of your game. Now measured, you can tweak the game system to maximize those fun-value things the players want, and minimize those they do not like.
    • I would note that many, including me, include testing as part of coding. But, as Alpha and Beta testers reaches out beyond your programming office and into the realm of managing consumer expectations, is a important to mention here.
    • Key to testing is the increased time needed to be built into the development schedule and any capital investment you need to make to support Alpha and Beta testing.
  • Marketing. Creating the best game in the world has no fun-value if nobody knows enough about the game to download it. While some marketing can be done organically, most often marketing takes money. Even if it is to offer a 50% discount for this weekend only, that 50% off your list price is revenue lost which shall affect your budget.
  • Community. Related to Marketing is community. How and how quickly you react to both praise and scorn in online communities will go a long way to increase your market share against other similar games.

 

How to convince an investor/publisher to fund your game

 

It is never easy, the convincing. But, here are some of the key points I have learned during the course of this course.

 

  1. Start with enthusiasm – Nothing sells like… (to include your own backstory and why you are the one to deliver on the promise)
  2. Have a great elevator pitch ready…
  3. Hit them with your Unique Selling Points (USPs)…
  4. Target the pitch to the humans and/or company… (for example, how their own game portfolio can be used to organically generate leads into paying customers)
  5. Show them how much money they will make… (via a well-crafted and conservative business plan)
  6. Leave them with the ask… so they will ask for more.

 

This reminds me of a story. I was helping with a conference in Istanbul back in the late 1990s while I worked for a Large Multinational Corporation (LMC). As the keynote was speaking, I was outside the main auditorium putting up signage. A young LMC man came out of the auditorium and walked directly to me. He said in broken English, “I do not know what she is selling, but I know I need it.” He then rushed off. I peeked into the auditorium and saw an American salesperson saying, “this software is so good it will basically make money for you.” She used the motions (like pulling on the handle of a slot-machine) and sounds (“ka-ching!”) of an old-time cash register to reinforce her sales message. What was she selling? It was not important. What was important, especially where English is not the primary language, was her enthusiasm for the product. That is why I have enthusiasm as number one on my list.

 

Amazing. I still remember her name: Kelly Schmatzer (sp). I hired her as a keynote for one of my Belgium conferences later that year. Such was the power of her enthusiasm.

 

Of course, you have to be able to back up your enthusiasm with a good solid game idea, technical plan, and business case.

 

How will this class affect my approach to WWI Flying Circus

 

I really enjoyed sharing all what I have learned so far with Professors Kelly and Penney in the greenlight presentation for my WWI Flying Circus capstone project. This class afforded me the time to apply what I have learned so far and push that into the slides.

 

Hopefully, I brought the enthusiasm.

 

Hopefully, I also brought the good solid game idea, technical plan, and business case to the table.

 

Both, together, have helped me solidify my plans for WWI Flying Circus.

 

Works Cited

There are no sources in the current document.