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Amateur to AAA

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khawk

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Here's a liveblog of the session, literally:

Love your publisher
- developers cynical of publisher intentions create us vs. them attitude, which isn't healthy
- have blind loyalty, faithfulness, and commitment to the publisher
- get a big brother, a mentor, like Splash Damage did with id Software
- work on famous IP for your mentor
- remember that you need to plan to be the #1 in the world at something, and focus on that and nothing else
- never make excuses!

Don't choose royalties or tech/IP ownership
- 2 primary goals: ensure staff can pay rent and achieve critical acclaim
- not going to make millions or pursue exit strategy. need good burn-rate, contingency funds, and you have to want critical acclaim

Don't be any good at art, design, or coding
- recruiting and retaining talented people will be the single biggest contribution to your success
- don't hire anyone that isn't better than you
- who, then what! focus on getting good people on board, then figure out what you're going to do

Ideas are cheap
- can't plan too much
- execution is key
- prototype everything as cheap as possible
- iterative revision is better than innovation
- mantra: create, don't compete. don't worry about your competitors. you are in this to create

Don't be a strategist, accountant, or lawyer
- management consultants are better
- outsource everything that is not your core competency
- make everyone come to you (you're paying them)
- do business critical things by the book, like taxation and employment law

Don't try to manage your team
- serve your team, don't manage them
- don't have higher status, better desks, or hardware than your team
- don't have a desk phone
- one exception: delegate everything

Don't try to budget
- budgets are inaccurate within weeks of their creation (yet you're stuck with them)
- balance sheets and portfolios are an art, not a science
- cash-flow is king, forecasting is the most important of business accounting, and key to financial stability
- mae more than you spend!

On PR Handlers and Press
- remember you work for them
- a great publicist/PR handler is an amazing asset
- learn 3 key messages and stick to them
- bored PR handler means you are doing a good job
- have fun and love your game

Best skills are counter-intuitive
- don't need to know about SKU's, decay-curves, attach-rates, player-churn, or other lingo
- instead, improve yourself by studying areas such as mnemonics, body language, ethics, and written English
- honesty and confidence serve you better in business than any amount of academic knowledge

Success can suck
- get the barminess out of your system as quickly as possible
- you're going to think you're invicible
- wealth and status will distract you
- get back to normal as quickly as possible

Go to Every Conference
- pay attention to what everyone else is doing
- attend every game conference, also knowing there is an ulterior motive...

... by the way, Splash Damage is hiring!
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