• Announcements

    • khawk

      Download the Game Design and Indie Game Marketing Freebook   07/19/17

      GameDev.net and CRC Press have teamed up to bring a free ebook of content curated from top titles published by CRC Press. The freebook, Practices of Game Design & Indie Game Marketing, includes chapters from The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses, A Practical Guide to Indie Game Marketing, and An Architectural Approach to Level Design. The GameDev.net FreeBook is relevant to game designers, developers, and those interested in learning more about the challenges in game development. We know game development can be a tough discipline and business, so we picked several chapters from CRC Press titles that we thought would be of interest to you, the GameDev.net audience, in your journey to design, develop, and market your next game. The free ebook is available through CRC Press by clicking here. The Curated Books The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses, Second Edition, by Jesse Schell Presents 100+ sets of questions, or different lenses, for viewing a game’s design, encompassing diverse fields such as psychology, architecture, music, film, software engineering, theme park design, mathematics, anthropology, and more. Written by one of the world's top game designers, this book describes the deepest and most fundamental principles of game design, demonstrating how tactics used in board, card, and athletic games also work in video games. It provides practical instruction on creating world-class games that will be played again and again. View it here. A Practical Guide to Indie Game Marketing, by Joel Dreskin Marketing is an essential but too frequently overlooked or minimized component of the release plan for indie games. A Practical Guide to Indie Game Marketing provides you with the tools needed to build visibility and sell your indie games. With special focus on those developers with small budgets and limited staff and resources, this book is packed with tangible recommendations and techniques that you can put to use immediately. As a seasoned professional of the indie game arena, author Joel Dreskin gives you insight into practical, real-world experiences of marketing numerous successful games and also provides stories of the failures. View it here. An Architectural Approach to Level Design This is one of the first books to integrate architectural and spatial design theory with the field of level design. The book presents architectural techniques and theories for level designers to use in their own work. It connects architecture and level design in different ways that address the practical elements of how designers construct space and the experiential elements of how and why humans interact with this space. Throughout the text, readers learn skills for spatial layout, evoking emotion through gamespaces, and creating better levels through architectural theory. View it here. Learn more and download the ebook by clicking here. Did you know? GameDev.net and CRC Press also recently teamed up to bring GDNet+ Members up to a 20% discount on all CRC Press books. Learn more about this and other benefits here.

Sagger Khraishi

  • Content count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Community Reputation

400 Neutral

About Sagger Khraishi

  • Rank

Personal Information

  • Location
    Amman, Jordan
  1. Well, let me finish formatting the second part and stuff. But I would need to do more research about how paid apps work out with users and stuff, what I have so far isn't enough to create an accurate business model around it.
  2. The 5 year plan.. Why on earth do we need it? Hello. So in this article, we are going to be going through the process of creating the financial model for your company. For us at Sanctuary Game Studios, this was one of the steps we had to go through when determining the financials, and how much money we would need to pitch for to an investor. So from here on out, I'm going to try to make it as simple as possible in two parts. Part I will be covering the Parameters and Product Sheet. Part II will be covering the Operating Expenses, Income Sheet, and Cash Flow Statement. And most importantly, enjoy. The Descent Why the 5 year plan, and what are the elements in it? So what is the 5 year plan? The 5 year plan is what is going to happen for the next 5 years basically. When you are approaching someone to invest in your company, generally they would ask to see what will happen over the next few years. What products you will make, the research you have done and so on. Finally, this entire financial model is based off of the freemium plan. So in the plan we are making, we are going to go over a couple different parts: The parameters Your Product Your Operating Expenses The Income Statement The Cash Flow Statement I use open office, but in general the things that are going be present in this are the same whether you are using Google Docs, or Microsoft Excel, or other software. So lets start with the Parameters. The Parameters The Parameters are basically the rules that are going to be applied throughout the entire document. This helps in two main ways. A) It helps make sure that the entire document is less messy. B) You can control the entire document with this page, after you create the equations that follow. So what parameters do we need to set up? facebook Cost Per Click Youtube Cost Per Click Conversion to App Downloads Conversion to Monthly Active Users (MAU) Conversion of MAU to Whales Decline of MAU Purchasing Behaviors of Whales (IAP) Our Install Per App Revenue (IPA) The Low CPM estimate (CPM) The High CPM estimate (CPM) The Estimated Impressions Per User (EIU) So why do we need to set these up? We will be doing a monthly campaign for each of our products over the next 5 years. Now with that, we need to know how much it costs for a Youtube campaign, as well as a facebook advertising campaign. After that, we need to decide what is the conversion rate between the advertisements viewed and the apps downloaded. From there, it's not that every person that downloads the game sticks around, so there is a conversion rate between Users to Monthly Active Users (MAU). From those MAU, a percentage of those become whales, who are the people who purchase. These whales have purchasing behaviours though, which are split into 5 parts: Single Purchase Double Purchase Triple Purchase Quadruple Purchase Five Plus Purchases From that, then we would go into the Install Per App (IPA) revenue, or how much you would get for every install of your game. This varies between the different API's you can include for monetization. The next step is to find out your CPM estimates. Now for each of the companies that help you monetize, there is a range between the CPM. The CPM is the Cost Per Thousand, so for every 1000 impressions how much money you would make. And finally, you need to find out the Estimated Impressions Per User (EIU). This is how many times an advertisement will be shown per person. Research Research Research! You are going to need to do research in your target audience for each game. We are in the business of making money, and not just making a game. So you need to discover what your market size is, and what behaviours they will follow. For instance, we make Casual and Social Games, and venture a little into other types as well. Our target audience is the North American and European player base, and we have a Total Addressable Market (TAM) of 199 million mobile gamers. Now some cool things about that is that you will find that Social Gamers tend to have a higher purchasing behaviour than other types. So in diving in the books, we can make a better estimate for how much we are going to make, and give our potential investor a less risky approach to Sanctuary Game Studios. So lets go back to the parameters then. Parameters facebook Cost per Click 0.12 Youtube Cost per Click 0.04 Our facebook and Youtube campaigns are set so that we have a monthly budget for the campaign, depending on our game. The cost for the campaign though is 12 cents a click and 4 cents a click respectively. This can change, but that's why we are keeping this in the parameters instead of changing it hundreds of times in the spreadsheet. Conversion to app downloads 30.00% For each of our advertising campaigns, we are setting it that 30% of the ads we get clicks on have people downloading the free app. If you know your market well enough, this can vary. You will find that this is one of the biggest indicators of how much money you will make in the long run, but you need to make sure that you remain as humble as possible, especially when you are approaching an investor. The reason for that is they want to see that you need them. Chances are you will not get an investor to help you out if you are making money. Conversion to monthly active user 55.00% For the amount of people that download your game, not everybody will stick around. As far as user behaviors are concerned, you would find that the average amount of users that convert to MAU is around 55%. This is why it is important that we go back to your research to find out the conversion rate for your target audience. Conversion of MAU to Whales 2.2% On average, 2% of your MAU will become whales. Whales are basically the people that make purchases in your games, and you should not ignore them. These whales are divided up though into percentage groups based on their purchasing behaviours: Single Purchase User Percentage 48.80% Double Purchase User Percentage 21.20% Three Purchase User Percentage 10.70% Quadruple Purchase User Percentage 6.10% Five plus Purchase User Percentage 13.20% For the purpose of our financial plan, we are grouping up the 5+ group together instead of listing the averages of each set one by one. When you are setting up your financial sheet, I would recommend putting another set of parameters for the average purchase price for each of your games. For example, we've set XYZ game to have an average purchase price of $3. So when it comes to the Products sheet, we can just multiply the parameters together to find out how much money we will be making per product. 1 month later decline 55.00% 2 months later decline 7.80% 3 months later decline 3.80% 4 months later decline 2.20% Notice that the whales tend to decline over a period of time. After a period of 4 months though, the people who are playing your game tend to stick around. This will be important in coming up with the half life of your product. So unless you are going to continue putting in money each month for advertisement, or if it goes viral or becomes a social crack, then you will find the total amount of users declining pretty quickly. Install per App Revenue $0.20 Low CPM Estimate $2.00 High CPM Estimate $8.00 Now for a lot of the monetization carriers, you will find that some pay you per install. This is the Install per App Revenue (IPA), so for what we use we get $.20 per install. For the CPM though, we would be making at least $2 for every 1000 impressions. You will need to do your research to find out what is the best option for you. Some, like Revmob, will pay you more for the IPA versus the CPM, which is great if you are looking for money to help you out on your next project. If you are going for the long term investment though, you will need to find a carrier that can give you a higher CPM. Estimated Impressions per User (EIU) 30 Finally you will need to decide on the number of impressions you would get per user, or the EIU. This is another major factor in finding out how much money you would be making, but it depends on a lot of factors. So for this, and to make things simplier, we have set it so that each user gets an average of 30 impressions per month. Notice that the parameters we included are based around averages found from the monetization report of Swrve and Flurry. And that they are averages. Your Product You should now open up a new spreadsheet which you should title Products. For ourselves, we set our products in two categories. Fluffs and Flagships. Fluffs have a smaller marketing budget than flagships, which are the main games we want to be recognized by. The other thing is that our fluff games are there to help keep things afloat between the downtime of releasing the flagships. So you will need to create the 5 year estimate of what is going to happen to your product. Underneath each year then, you will need to break that up into Month / Q1-Q4 / Year Total. On the far left bar, we would be setting up the assumptions. The facebook Campaign and Cost per Click, the Youtube Campaign and Cost per Click, and the Unique Visitors per month total. The equation to find how many of your unique visitors then becomes: (facebook Campaign/.12)+(Youtube Campaign/.4). So lets say we set the facebook campaign and Youtube campaign at 1,428.57 USD, it would be (1428.57/.12)+(1428.57/.4)=47,619 Unique Visitors. This is being rounded up though, as seen with the following equation: =ROUND((H4/H5)+(H6/H7);0) Now I've set the parameter for the advertisement to app download to be at 30%, so basically =$Parameters.$B$5 In order to then find out how many of the unique visitors then download the app, the equation is =ROUND(H8*H11;0) or where we multiply the 47,619 visitors by 30%. That gives us 14,286 app downloads. The conversion to monthly active users from the app downloads is 55%. So then we multiply the 14286 by 55% or =ROUND(H12*H13;0) to end up getting 7,857 MAU. The conversion rate in our parameter is 2.2% for the MAU to Whales, so that then becomes 7857 * 2.2% or =ROUND(H14*H15;0) to end up with 173. Out of the 173 though, they decline over a period of 4 months. 1st month is by 55%. 2nd month by 7.8%. 3rd month by 3.8%. 4th month by 2.2%. So each month, the previous month's amount of whales decline bit by bit before they end up at the 4th month. So let's say we stick at 173 whales. The second month, that number becomes 78. But we have a new batch of whales that entered, so we have 173 whales + 78 to have a total amount be 251. Now the third month, the first month goes down to 72, then 69, then down to 67. So we have then, to make things easier, the residual whales at the end of the decline adding up, and in a line underneath the total amount of whales. For example: Number of new whales 173 173 173 173 173 173 173 1 month later decline 55% 0 78 78 78 78 78 78 2 months later decline 7.8% 0 0 72 72 72 72 72 3 months later decline 3.8% 0 0 0 69 69 69 69 4 months later decline 2.2% 0 0 0 0 67 67 67 Residual whales after decline 0 0 0 0 0 67 134 Total Amount of Whales 173 251 323 392 459 526 593 So what comes next? We need to add up the total amount of MAU. One thing that is missing here, that you will need to factor in, is the decline of MAU as well. But for the purpose of this example, we are putting in the MAU, adding it all up, and then putting in the recurring MAU the previous month total, then adding all that up together again. Monthly Active Users Number of monthly active users 7857 7857 7857 Number of Recurring MAU 0 7857 15714 Total amount of MAU 7857 15714 23571 After that, we are going to find out how much money you are making off the whales. Remember when we split up the %'s of purchasing behaviour? Single Purchase User Percentage 48.8% Number of Single Purchase Whales 84.0 Average Purchase Price $3.00 Total $252.00 Double Purchase User Percentage 21.20% Number of Double Purchase Whales 37.00 Average Purchase Price $6.00 Total $222.00 Three Purchase User Percentage 10.70% Number of Triple Purchase Whales 19.00 Average Purchase Price $9.00 Total $171.00 Quadruple Purchase User Percentage 6.10% Number of 4 Purchase Whales 11.00 Average Purchase Price $12.00 Total $132.00 Five plus Purchase User Percentage 13.2% Number of Five plus Purchase Whales 23.0 Average Purchase Price $15.00 Total $345.00 Total Monthly Estimate for In App Purchases $1,122.00 After that comes the advertising section: Number of app downloads 14286 Install per App Revenue $0.20 Total $2,857.20 Here we are taking the amount of app downloads that happened in the month, and since we have an IPA of 20 cents per, we multiply that to get 2,857.20 USD. But then comes the other part with the CPM. Total Amount of Users 14286 Estimated Impressions per User (EIU) 30 CPM Estimate $2.00 Total $857.16 Remember that the CPM is for every 1000 impressions. So then we multiply the total amount of users, which is also added in with the last month's MAU by 30, which is the EIU. We take that number, and multiply that by the CPM estimate, for which it is 2 USD. And then we divide it all by 1000 to end up with 857.16 USD. So in equation format, it's: (TAU*EIU*CPM)/1000 = Total Finally, we add up the IPA, the CPM, and the IAP for a total amount of $4,836.36. Now remember to repeat this process throughout the 5 years, so then you can get a total amount at the end. If you are following this model, and repeating the 50/50 share in the advertising campaign between facebook and Youtube, as well as setting a yearly budget of 20,000 USD, then by the end of the year you should be making $56,155.86. But remember to factor in the decline of the MAU to make the estimate as accurate as possible. What is coming in Part II So far we went over two main parts of your 5 year plan. The first part was setting up the parameters, and the second part going over the product estimates. It is very important that you do your research, so don't forget that when finding out what the user behaviors are for your target audience, as well as their purchasing behaviors. In the next article though, we are going to cover the Operating Expenses, and then the Income Statement and Cash Flow Statement for your 5 year plan. The title should be "Creating the Financial Model for your Company Part II" so keep an eye out for that. If you have any questions though, feel free to ask. Article Update Log 30 May 2014: Initial release
  3. Know your audience. That's the first step in identifying what is fun or not. Even then it isn't 100% guaranteed though. Anyhow, how are the physics like? What's the age group? Art style? Mobile or different platform? iOS or android users? Are we talking about the animaniacs crowd for instance? Or are we making a game for Cthulhu fans?   So then, how could we make the game fun, with the physics. Borderlands art style with cartoonish explosions dropping from the sky blowing everything up, but with the right ragdoll physics it explodes and makes the bits and pieces from one creature kill the ones next to it. And then with a sound score that's some punk rock chick talking about chaos. There is probably a crowd that would find that fun.   So back to how to make a level fun? Know your audience.
  4. Sure. It is pretty much the same, but when I was pitching to investors, I used the term IPA for them. As for the last question, I'll explain it as in why we use flurry vs revmob.   Flurry gives us a CPI of $.20 - .40 and a CPM of $2 - $8. Revmob gives a CPI of $2 - $ 4 and a CPM of $.5 - $1.5   When we are making games, we want to make them last as long as possible, so lets keep a game that lasts 1 year in mind. So lets say that we are making a yearly budget of 18k for this game, with 6k to youtube and 12k to facebook. And finally, I'm putting this with an Estimated Impressions per User at 30.   The end of year total for a flurry campaign, with a $.20 CPI is 15k  - $.4 CPI, we get $30k. For the CPM, Low range CPM of $2 gives us $20,383.56 / High Range CPM of $8 gives us $81,534.24   Now in comparison to lets say Revmob. CPI $2 gives us $150k / CPI $4 gives us $300k CPM $.5 gives us $5,095.89 / CPM $1.5 gives us $15,287.67   So lets compare low side total CPI/CPM versus high side total CPI/CPM with revmob and then flurry at 30 Impressions per User. Revmob: $155,096.89 (low side) versus $315,287.67 (high side) Flurry:   $35,383.56 (low side) versus $118,534.24 (high side)   Now before anyone gets their hopes up, the high side tends to go to apps, while games stick to the lower side. So if your entire ball game is to go for the CPI, then sure, stick with Revmob, or other companies that offer high CPI. If your goal is to make money in the long run though, you would want something that can give you better CPM.   So lets show what happens when you increase the impression. The average playtime spent on mobile is 94 minutes daily. The average play session for mobile games is between 1.5 - 2 minutes. Lets say that you're game is solely played by your target audience 94 minutes a day, and each session shows 1 ad impression. So then lets say that the total amount of impressions a player gets a day is 47, and lets take it further and say they play that game every day for a 30 day month cycle (If this ever happens for you, congratulations, you made a virtual crack). So the hypothetical amount of impressions per use will be set at 1,410 per month.     So while we were making at 30 impressions per user with revmob $155,096.89 and $35,383.56 with flurry, at 1,410 impressions per month you would be making: Revmob: (low side) $389,506.83 (CPI + CPM @ 1410 impressions) Flurry: (low side) $973,027.32 (CPI + CPM @ 1410 impressions)   So again, what it comes down to is do you think your game will make it? That people would keep on playing it so that you can rack up the CPM? Or is the game something people will download and ignore?   There is a couple of other things that we look for when we put the advertisements in our games. Who gives us the best controls on what ads we want displayed, and the most freedom for mobility. Also, for instance we make games for schools, so for the previous game we made, we have a guarantee that players will be playing it consistently over the period of 2 semesters. And if the teachers are happy with it, that it would continue as a supplementary exercise.   So for that reason, the best way for us to monetize is to go with the CPM, and with that Flurry. Now again, some things that are missing in the calculations are player decay of MAU. What was taken in account is decay in Whales. Also for the time being, we can't accurately guess the right amount of impressions, and there is no calculation for other terms of growth. So take everything with a grain of salt.   So if you want to do your own research on the market and stuff, I recommend downloading the monetization report from Swrve.com, and also checking out the reports from Flurry on app behavior and stuff.   And even though it's a comparison here to a competitive product, revmob does well to explain it here: http://www.revmobreview.com/networks/revmob-vs-flurry-a-side-by-side-comparison/
  5. This should help as well. When you make a game, usually you would be attaching something to make the ad revenue alongside it.   IPA or Install Per App Revenue and the CPM, which is as @frob mentioned. CPM is an amount given for every 1000 impressions.   Now here's the choice. You have different ways to monetize it, and it's entirely up to you. For the purpose of demonstrating, lets use revmob and flurry.   Revmob pays a higher amount for the IPA, which is around $2 - $4, but the CPM is lower at I think between $.50 - $1.5 Flurry though has a lower IPA, but a higher CPM. IPA is between $.20 - $.40. CPM is between $2 to $8.   So for the purpose of everything, you'll need to decide on the kind of game you're going forwards with. If it's a shitty one level game that is your first release, and you want to make some money, you would want to look for something that can give you the higher IPA, which would help with future products.   Now on the other side, if you are making something, and you expect that more people would be playing it and stuff (aka the game lifetime is going to be pretty long), then the best bet for you is to find something that can give you a higher CPM.   Now here is something else. Just because hypothetically you have 1 million downloads it doesn't mean that you have 1 million active users. We've found for us that the conversion rate for our games and contracts is at around 55%. Meaning that 55% of new players stick around to become MAU or monthly active users.   1 month later, that number will decline by 55%. 2 months, by 7.8%, 3 months? 3.8%. 4 months? 2.2%.   Something else you want to factor in, is how many of those people will become whales. Whales, cash cows, your choice. On average, you'll find that 2.2% of the MAU purchase on average. That itself is broken up even further. Out of that 2.2%, 48.8% purchase once. 21.2% purchase twice. 10.7% purchase three times. 6.1% purchase four times, and 13.2% purchase five times or more. Now these are averages, meaning that depending on your game, these numbers can vary.   So lets say with an XYZ game, we are doing a campaign of around 20k a year, starting in June. Facebook is at $.12 a click, Youtube is lets say $.04 a click. So for that month, we are doing a 50/50 spread on the campaign, giving each thing about $1,428.57. Estimated amount of unique visitors is at 47,619 people.   Now since we didn't do our market research correctly, and did just a blanket campaign, we are getting a turnover rate of 30%. The turnover rate is from Advertisement to App download.   So then we have an estimate of 14,286 app downloads. 55% of them become MAU, so we have an estimate of 7,857 MAU out of that batch. 2.2% of those MAU who become whales leaves us with 173 potential whales.   Now for the 173 whales we have, 84 of them purchase 1 time. Each purchase is about $3 by the way. 37 people purchase twice, 19 three times, 11 four times, 23 five plus. The numbers are a bit rounded anyways. So the Total Monthly Estimate for in-app purchases is at around 1,122 USD.   Since we have 14286 app downloads, and lets say we are using flurry, we are getting $.20 per IPA, so $2,857.20. Our total amount of impressions is at around 30. That's going as low as possible, in saying each person is shown an advertisement one time each day in a 30 day month. So at $2.00 for every 1000 impressions, we are getting $857.16 total.   that gives us an estimate of the IPA + IAP + CPM of $4,836.36 for the first month. Next month, when calculating the TAU (total amount of users) against the EIU (estimated impression per user) and the CPM, we are adding on the total amount of MAU that has degraded each month as well.   That should give you a better estimate on how much money you would be making, so enjoy.   Key Terms I used: IPA (Install Per App Revenue) IAP (In App Purchases) CPM (Cost Per Thousand) MAU (Monthly Active Users) TAU (Total Amount of Users) EIU (Estimated Impressions per User)
  6. Here is an example of the GDD that we use. You can find the pdf here: http://payhip.com/b/TIcB It's free anyhow, and if you find it useful please do share it with others. It contains the Story Bible like what you partly created, but also contains the technical bible and art bible as well. Cheers!     Untitled 1 liner description   © 2013 Sanctuary Game Studios, LLC. All rights reserved. Version 1. Sagger Khraishi. Date.   Table of Contents Index   Design History Summary Game Overview Game Concept Feature Set Genre Target Audience Game Flow Summary Look and Feel Project Scope Number of locations Number of levels Number of NPC's Number of Weapons Etc. Gameplay and Mechanics Gameplay Game Progression Mission | Challenge Structure Puzzle Structure Objectives Play Flow Mechanics Physics Movement General Movement Other Movement Objects Picking Up Objects Moving Objects Actions Switches and Buttons Picking up, Carrying and Dropping Talking Reading Combat Economy Screen Flow Screen Flow Chart Screen Descriptions Main Menu Screen Options Screen Etc. Game Options Replaying and Saving Cheats and Easter Eggs Story, Setting, and Character Story and Narrative Back Storyboard Plot Elements Game Progression License Considerations Cut Scenes Cut Scene #1 Actors Description Storyboard Script Cut Scene #2 Actors Description Storyboard Script Cut Scene #3 Actors Description Storyboard Script Game World General Look and feel of world Area #1 General Descriptions Physical Characteristics Levels that use area Connections to other areas Area #2 General Descriptions Physical Characteristics Levels that use area Connections to other areas Characters Character #1 Back Story Personality Look Physical Characteristics Animations Special Abilities Relevance to game story Relationship to other characters Statistics Character #2 Back Story Personality Look Physical Characteristics Animations Special Abilities Relevance to game story Relationship to other characters Statistics Etc. Levels Level #1 Synopsis Introductory Material Objectives Physical Description Map Critical Path Encounters Level Walkthrough Closing Material Level #2 etc. Training Level Interface Visual System HUD Menus Rendering System Camera Lighting Models Control system Audio Music Sound Effects Help System Artificial Intelligence Opponent AI Enemy AI Non-combat Characters Friendly Characters Support AI Player and Collision Detection Pathfinding Technical Target Hardware Development hardware and software Development procedures and standards Game Engine Network Scripting Language etc. Game Art Concept Art Style Guides Characters Environments Equipment Cut Scenes Miscellaneous Secondary Software Editor Installer Update Software Management Detailed Schedule Budget Risk Analysis Localization Plan Test Plan Appendices Asset List Art Model and Texture List Animation List Effects List Interface Art List Cut Scene List Sound Environmental Sounds Weapon Sounds Interface Sounds Music Ambient “Action” Victory Defeat Voice Actor #1 Lines Actor #2 Lines Etc. [edit: the rest of this is just a bit too much for a simple thread. Just get the free pdf for the rest]
  7.   I am mainly a game writer, though I do concept art too, to help out with the team when needed. It's fun, and I grew up in a family of people who tend to start their own businesses and stuff. I guess the best reason why I'm doing this, instead of something like working as a scientist for instance, is because I'm one of those people who tend to like to challenge myself to do better. You get some things like wanting to be a perfectionist, but this is more like saying "I think I can do better" and challenging yourself to do so.     I did a double major, first one going to a business administration degree, and the second to an English Literature one with a minor in creative writing. Business administration helps a lot when it comes to running things, the experience with accounting for instance helps out with crunching numbers as much as learning about how to manage a team or company does. English Literature was amazing for learning how to research properly, as well as be able to criticize my own stuff better. So when I was studying, I also made sure the take electives in the right things. For instance taking screenplay electives, or digital art, or taking a few courses to learn more computing languages. The kind of people we hire are Jack of all trades, and a master of a few. This helps out tons when it comes to working as a small team, especially when one person can mess up, but have the right community in the team to make sure the mistake doesn't cost us the project.       It is pretty important, in pretty much everything you can think of. Art, it helps with scaling stuff or getting a rough estimate about the amount of sprites you need on a scene. The business aspects, for instance creating excel sheets, or crunching numbers, it helps a lot. And math is fun, all it needs is practice so don't disregard it kid. You would be surprised when it pops up in your life.     I would get to the office at around 9 or 10 am, and then whatsapp the employees to check up on them. After that, I would go over what work was finished the previous day, and write down on the desk what needs to be done for that day, and start. The desk is cluttered with arts and crafts stuff, and books too. I tend to make paper models for things I do, so it gets a bit messy towards the end of the day. I'd grab lunch at around 2 or 3 pm, then continue working till around 9 or 10 pm. Every couple of hours I'd go outside to smoke a cigarette, or to refill the coffee cup, go back and switch tasks to something else. Towards the end of the day though, it's more of the business aspect of looking over what everyone else did and talking to them. Since we are all spread apart, we usually talk to each other with skype, or whatsapp, and stuff. By then, if I'm not going out to see friends, I'd go home, do the home stuff, and work a bit more before sleeping at around 1 or 2.   Every few days though, I would go out to one of the universities here and audit a lecture to see what they are working on, or to double team the class with the instructor sometimes.     Depends. Suit up if I'm visiting a client, otherwise it's just a semi-formal shirt and pants.     You have one of the best pickup lines ever. That and I really enjoy going out and interacting with people, as well as knowing that the time you are clocking in is going to what you want it to.     We gamify education and advertising with games. I don't mean that we make educational games, but that we make games and then put in the educational aspects into them. Same goes with advertisements, like making sure what you are playing will keep a decent user retention, make you want to continue playing the game, and make it into an almost ongoing advertisement. The advertisement is good for contract work, as it gives us money to help with costs, is great with practice, and we had the luck of having a good deal of control with the games we make.   All in all though, our games are stepping stones for the previous games, so that we can eventually head off to the bigger games we want to make. Our start-up is relatively new, we turned 1 year old a month ago, but it is pretty rewarding.   Hope this helps!
  8. Take a look at swrve and flurry's data reports, as that would help out. There is something else that was missing in the replies, and that is segmenting your market based on income.   iOS usually goes along with the middle & upper class, so if you want to make a serious game that's more geared towards in app purchases (for an educational benefit of course), I would stick with iOS. If you want to hit the schools though, as Sloper mentioned, then you would be generally looking as a one off purchase (if it is for sale) and go with PC.   Other things with iOS, other than the income class that tags along with it, is the demographics and stuff. You can find out more information there with swrve and flurry though. It's always good to do research with these things.   Cheers
  9. This is a pretty good resource to keep in your bookmarks: http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2013/04/03/legal-guide-contract-samples-for-designers/   That said, it's always good to get a lawyer to look over a contract when you're done tweaking it.   Cheers!   Edit: On second note, be careful about giving a profit share as a reward, especially for something as high as 35%. If you are making a mobile game, then you are already paying 30% to the app store/ google play, so then to divide that even more is iffy for yourself. Even if they are a godsend of art and stuff, I would suggest paying a bit right off the bat (40-50%), and then the rest over the duration of the project (the remaining 60 - 50%).   If they want to be a part of the team, instead of a freelancer, then you'll still need the contract, but again 35% is too high with the profit share. If you want, send me a message and I can help you out with figuring out stuff.
  10. When you are ready and everything, something my friends do with their marketing is hit up a tweet to the person. It's a bit more eye-catching as a plus.
  11. Hello everyone!   So we're in the process of courting a few VC's in the MENA region, and throughout the process one of the main things that we keep on talking about is the risks when it comes to getting funding for a game company versus another tech industry. I'm currently in Jordan for instance, and the track record of the people we've approached has been kind of shoddy. There was one company here that had to shut down because the investor was money laundering, and there are a couple of companies that have made it (so to speak).   So as far as things go, does anyone know of any VC's that has experience with the games industry, or specifically sticks around with that? The best thing about finding the right VC is that you use them, and their experience as much as they use you. So while a lot of the VC's here stick around with tossing the e-commerce bundle about, it would be great to know of a solid investor who would be great to be on a board.   The second question is in sponsors. Does anyone have any experience with approaching companies to find sponsors? We make advertisement games for companies, so other than the people that approach us for games, what is the best way to turn the tables and go to lets say the Kleenix provider in the MENA region and say "Hey, we've made XYZ game that has a MAU of 10,000 players. Would you like to put your products in our game for a unique sort of advertising?"   tl;dr Has anyone dealt with VC's before, and can recommend a good one that is interested/ works in the Games Industry? Are there any recommendations for VC's in the MENA region? Any tips with approaching companies for sponsors? Does anyone have experience with it or a horror story too? Thanks in advance, and Cheers!
  12. I do everything on paper, then scan and move the stuff (if it's art), to illustrator or photoshop to work on. If it's writing, then paper first and then on a computer. Basically, if the paper model works, then I would go ahead with the game.   If you don't have photoshop, go with gimp or maybe deviant art's muro or something. Illustrator, I think the free version is called inkscape? If you are using Unity, then the ability to put in the psd's is pretty great.   Or are you working on something for 3d? Maya, poser, bryce, depends on what you are most familiar with and stuff.
  13.   Consumer Gods. Create your own god based on what you eat, or rather, what you would spend on. Each barcode would add some meat or skeleton or flesh to the character, so that if you scan the barcode off of an instant noodle cup, you would get the super power of spearing enemies with ramen. Or if you eat a lot of meat, you would create someone with higher physical poweress.   That would be the first step. When you create the player base with that, then start off a game where you can battle your friends with your creations. And each battle would mean that the winner would take a barcode ingredient from the losing player or players. Have a ranking system where you can find the super consumers, who would set the rules for the matches below them. Have a website dedicated to the hall of fame, where you would see how long a person kept first place for. Sign off deals with different companies, so that if the player scans their items in particular, they would get special buffs.   Okay, so I went off on a different tangent there, but you can recreate a whole new game with just barcodes. And somehow, that would be pretty awesome. (Goes back to work, kicking that rusty bucket of a game).