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Opinion: Your studio is not the most important thing about the games industry, g | Pocket Gamer.biz

It’s a strange thing to say, but in the advent of choice within video games, there is becoming less and less of a need to acknowledge the end user.

There you go, I said it, there’s no going back from that! But I feel as though it’s a good idea to address why I’m saying it.

As somebody who has been making games on and off for the last (almost) 30 years (don’t remind me!) it’s not necessarily my duty to report this sad news, but it is my duty to help studios and individuals create unique and exciting intellectual property for their audience.

Journey of discovery

In September, I will be delivering my first MasterClass for PocketGamer.biz and I’m really excited to not only guide you through the process of player behaviour, but also kick off your journey of discovery to hopefully lead the vanguard in changing how games are made, with the player front and centre of the entire experience.

Yes, yes, I know that over the last few years there have been lots of discussions, workshops, and journeys into the psychology of the player brain. But the debate will hopefully end here, because I believe we have forgotten how to develop, create and indulge the player, who is quite obviously the most important person in the entire games industry.

Join me in September as we take a deeper dive, not exactly into how players play games, that has been covered many times by academics and supreme experts in the field.

But what if I told you that the importance of this particular masterclass is in exploring what the player doesn’t do in games, and what the player does outside of focused gameplay?

That would be a good starting point for creating a foundational discussion on game design, game thinking and community/world building in games.

This type of stuff really gets me amped, but what doesn’t make me effervescent is when game studios simply don’t have their shit together in order to ensure lasting game experiences. The kind of experiences where 10 years after you’ve played it you’re still thinking about that game.

Because of that, it’s recommended that you approach this MasterClass with a basic understanding of the game development process and life-cycle game design principles.

You don’t have to be expert in this field, but you definitely need to have skills, and perhaps you want to bring them and some of the problems or pitfalls you have experienced in making your games, and your major beefs, to this relaxed, fun but clinic-style masterclass.

One of the greatest lessons I have learned in game development is that no one is more important than the player.

We’ll be tackling topics like communication, and good practice in setting up a community. Top tip: this happens a long time before soft launch! We’ll also handle the tricky discussion of age-appropriate games, and how do we know the content that we are creating is suitable for the audience?

I’m particularly excited to explore the discussion of design thinking and unmet needs in game development because it’s something that is often forgotten about when actually it’s the holy grail of creating the perfect game! (Of course we know that the perfect game doesn’t exist… yet!)

MasterClass

So, let’s spend some time talking about why good games go bad and I’ve got some cool activities in my toolkit for you to explore during the PocketGamer.biz MasterClass and in your own time.

Then, using some of this information and points from our discussion we will go towards building your own toolkit that involves good practice from a variety of successful studios. Finally, we’ll look at how to implement and reinforce our studio titles using success criteria measurements.

I’ve been making games for what seems like a million years and one of the greatest lessons I have learned in game development is that no one is more important than the player.

From the top of the studio and their gigantic egos to the promotional events and campaigns with the foot soldiers on the ground, if the player isn’t part of your thinking; no amount of money, jewels, or free stuff is going to save you from commercial failure.

Wow, what a way to end an article. I kind of bummed you out? Sorry about that. So I’d better end this feature by saying: My name is Kelly Vero and I’m here to save your game. That sounds better, right? Let’s get your shit together… together (smiley face). See you in September!

Book now

If you’d like to learn more about player behaviour with Kelly Vero, you can book your place today and save $150 with our Early Bird offer – hurry though, prices rise at midnight tomorrow!

Multi-buy & group discounts

We have a number of other MasterClasses taking place in September too, so if you’re interested in developing your skills in other areas of game design, be sure to check out our MasterClass homepage for more details.

We have some great multi-booking offers you can take advantage of:

  • Three for two: Book three MasterClasses for the price of two.
  • Corporate discount: a group of six or more from one company can get a bespoke discount if booked together.

To arrange any of the bespoke packages above, please email [email protected] for more information. Tickets are limited so be sure to get in touch today to secure your place.


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