The wisdom of a game developer

Bernie Yee, the head of game development at The Electric Sheep Company and a brilliant strategic thinking in the videogame industry, made three really interesting points at the recent Digital Hollywood conference.

He said to think about the “utility” of the game as you develop it; what do players really want to do, rather than what else can you develop to sell. His developers spend 90% of their time developing cosmetic aspects of their games that have no impact on game play, such as costumes and props. But that 90% supports the social dynamics that keep people invested in the game.

Social Networks play on all of the seven deadly sins (lust, gluttony, greed, sloth, wrath, envy, pride), as well as Maslow’s hierarchy of needs.

The business of game development has four drivers; competition, commerce, creativity, and community. Successful games find a balance that works for all four drivers for an audience sizeable enough to make a profit and grow.


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