Week 22 Pitchin

12 Feb 2020

This week I finished my video pitch for the UK Games Fund, fixed a couple of bugs, worked on the first story and started writing customer interview questions for my target audiences. I also got distracted by the Shieldwall Chronicles game, I do like a good turn-based, hex-tiled strategy game.

Details Attending the Creative Bridges session on Understanding Customers, with Wojtek Kutyla, has led me to ask myself, “What problem do games solve?” The obvious answer is that they are entertainment. For me, games are often about self-actualisation; giving me a sense of control and power, providing challenges, goals and a world in which I can set my own goals. Completing these goals sometimes feels anti-climatic but that’s also true for ‘real-world’ goals. It’s the journey that matters.

I have two primary marketing personas that I am targeting. The first of these I call Alek.

Alek likes:

Alek dislikes:

Mhairi likes:

Mhairi dislikes:

These are all assumptions and this week I will do some interviews in order to in/validate them. If you play either of these games and have 30 minutes to spare for an interview, please get in touch. 10 pound Amazon gift card for participants.

To focus development I would like to concentrate on satisfying one of these personas. Concentrating on Alek will bring the game closer to the aspiration of the player learning about themselves but requires more work and longer play-tests to get feedback from. Concentrating on Mhairi will make the game more marketable as the mechanics are easier to demonstrate and the game-play is better understood. Mhairi is also closer to myself and so easier to develop for. So concentrating on Mhairi is the better business choice but ignoring Alek risks losing the game’s soul.

The UK Games Fund video-pitch asked for a rough plan up to the autumn. While making this plan I’ve settled on two stories to focus my energies. The first will be a story that is triggered by a dramatic event arising from the interactions between Dwergs; the kind of thing Alek would like. The second involves hunting and combat; something that Mhairi would appreciate.

Sadly, Konbo closed last week so edindies took place at Levels cafe this week. I had two play-testing sessions with the latest tutorial and received valuable feedback. I’m happy to say that allowing users to mine almost anywhere has removed a lot of confusion and I’m happier with the explanation of z-levels. Combining the story with the tutorial has definitely improved how much of the tutorial is read and not skipped.

I got along to GameDevEd this week and had another play-testing session that uncovered a nasty bug. The play-tester works in technical marketing and also had some top tips for me in that area.

This week I will be conducting customer interviews and trying to get through the list of development tasks I promised two weeks ago. I’m looking after my sister’s dog this week too, so expect at least one dog picture next week.

- Jock

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