Big thanks to all who attended this years Nordic Game Conference! It was a pleasure to see and talk to each on of you. This industry really need places like this to meet, greet and get inspired! The future of the NGC is still a bit uncertain, let’s hope we will see this event return next year and the year after that. It would be such a shame to see the conference fade away.
Oh look! I made the news today! My claim to fame is the list of all Swedish game studios/companies I’m collecting. You can find it here. If you know a company that should be on the list let me know and I’ll make sure it gets listed. This list will help developers looking for a job. All information here are public and found on the devs own home pages and Twitters! A big thanks to all developers who are helping me out on this! We already got 120+ listed and counting!
Hello there selfie! I snapped a photo of my oh so serious outfit today, before giving a lecture at The Game Assembly school here in Malmö. I was invited to share my humble knowledge about how to work with metrics guided game development. The event lasted for about one hour, and I had prepared a slideshow with different case studies where we used data to help make successful decisions about the development of MilMo (the MMO made by Junebud, where I worked a few years ago). I talked a bit about the metrics system at Paradox that I helped put in place, and answered some questions from the students. It was so nice to meet with both the students and the teachers, very inspiring! The slideshow I showed contained a lot of images from MilMo, and I got a bit nostalgic. Working with MilMo was my first “real” employment in the industry, and I got to know so many interesting and awesome people. It was a shame really that the game never got as big as it deserved to be, but I’m super happy that it’s still around for the players who really loved it! Maybe it still have a shot at becoming something more? I will always hope so!
Googling for images of MilMo to fill my presentation with I stumbled across these lovely fan-made collages of images from MilMo. The first one is a deck of cards, the other one the MilMo version of monopoly. How cute! Creativity like this always makes me smile! The creator of these are a gut who calls himself 1100Ross.
I haven’t drawn that much this week, mostly went shopping for new furniture to the apartment, hunting for a new job and hanging out with friends. Tomorrow I’ll be traveling by train to Stockholm to meet up with my friend C who has just returned from 1,5 years abroad in Japan and Australia! She now works as a programmer in Stockholm, and we’re gonna spend the weekend together just relaxing and having fun. She is a wonderful person, one of my closest and best friends. We get to know each other six years ago in Skövde, and since the first time we spoke I knew I had found a person I wanted to hang out with and experience adventures together with <3 I’ll end this blog post by showing something I made this week. It’s a perspective drawing. Not too cool or fancy, but I. AM. MAKING. PROGRESS. I still struggle a lot, but I seem to understand how to use a grid and the concepts of vanishing points. But yeah, it looks like poop : D
Just some quick notes I wrote down while listening to the live pitching of game concepts at NGC this week. It’s the same way each year; 5-7 small companies make live pitches to a jury with plenty of money, hoping to get cash and a deal. It’s cringe big time, most of the companies are not nearly as well prepared as they should be, and the jury ask really hard questions to try to find flaws. Fun to watch, but super scary to be on that stage I imagine…
- Tell the investors about your awesome team right away, do not wait until the end of the presentation! If you establish their credibility right away, the investors can decide if you are worth listening to right from the start.
- Present to core concept of your idea. Keep it short and informative. What are your unique selling points? Who are your competitors? Your typical user? Don’t wander off with a deep, detailed story about the game world, just tell them why this will be fun to play and how it will work! Show pretty pictures and video, this will help people to understand your idea one hundred times better than if you are only using words.
- People with money love numbers and detail. Tell them all about your numbers, how much MAU, DAU, retention you think your game will have. How big of a user base? Tell them about how much money you think this will cost. Be prepared to go into detail. No I mean, be prepared, there will be super picky questions about the numbers and how you arrived to them.
- Tell the investors how you are going to invest the money you are asking for. They are going to ask about each and every dollar. Be prepared and show pie charts etc. They will want to know what you are going to do with every single dollar, and how you are gonna deliver profit. Remember, there’s a difference between “profit” and “revenue”. When are you set to hit break-even? When will the investors be able get out of the project?
- Discuss your marketing strategy. Don’t ever say stuff like “yeahhh we are going to have a FB page and a Twitter, hopefully something will go viral”. Social media creates places for fans to gather, it’s not a way to reach out to people that don’t know about your game. FB adds are a way to test the reach of your product, FB pages are not. Learn the difference. Just because Minecraft went viral, doesn’t mean your game is going to. There are 100 000s of great games out there that have never got the attention they deserve because their developers did not invest a single dollar in marketing or read the manual on how to write a press release. Some game studios don’t even contact gaming sites, they think game sites should contact them. Wrong! When you made a game, you are only halfway trough. There’s a reason big titles sometimes spend half of their millions on development and the other half on marketing.
- What is the future of your product? What will you do when the product is developed?
- Time for questions!
It’s over! This year’s edition of NGC was the biggest so far, with over 1 300 visitors, and the Unity event taking place this same week, in the same conference halls. I’m completely exhausted both mentally and physically after working 08-00 the whole week. Tired and happy! I got to attend some kick-ass lectures about storytelling in games, the value of taking care of your own time and what game design teaches us abut human behavior!
It feels like my life is moving so fast at them moment. I forget what month it is sometimes. Can’t really believe I lived in Stockholm last week, or that I went to France just a few days ago…Time is funny, it doesn’t move the way you think. However, it feels good to be back in Malmö, and the last of my stuff arrived this week, so I guess things are really happening.
Photo from today. I’m in Malmö, helping to set up all the decoration, booths and registration for this week’s Nordic Game Conference! This year’s conf is the biggest ever, and it also marks the 10th NGC. Tuesday and Wednesday there’s Unity’s developer gathering Unite in the same building, so I guess I’m gonna be working there too. Nice!
A bunch of photos from the last month, some nice things that’s been happening!
The Ädelfors’s school of game design invited me to hold two lectures in February. About community management and game metrics. I also put together a list of my best tips for how to improve your chances on getting a job in the industry. It’s very nice to share the knowledge I gained so far, and hopefully I inspired some of the kidz to work hard to reach their dreams. I’m still a noob in so many ways, but I’m happy to share whatever I can. At Ädelfors’s game development school all the students have special minds. They have Aspergers, ADHD or something else. To me it seems kind of silly to name these conditions “disorders” since a lot of the super talented people working with games have very special brains and minds. I myself have been fighting dyslexia my whole life, and I’m pretty used to doing typos when writing in both Swedish or English. My dyslexia made it very difficult for me learn how to read and write as a kid, and my problems with spelling made me very uninterested in English until I turned 16. If I had problems with my native languages Finnish and Swedish, how was I to manage to spell in English or even French? Anyways, I had such a nice day in Ädelfors. If you want to view more photos click this [link] (Swedish).
At Paradox Interactive we held a Fan Gathering on the 21st of February. We invited 200 people to the offices to hang out, play games, have a beer or two and chill with us developers. I had a great night, talking to a lot of nice people and running around in a Magicka robe (Yellow)!Other than this, I was interviewed by researchers from the University of Gothenburg, about some kind of paper about gender-equality in the game development industry. They had been reading this blog and particularly my posts about women in the game dev industry and my open letter to Casual Connect. It’s always a bit scary when people tell you they’ve been reading your blog and want to ask some questions, haha! The day after I had a very nice lunch with a representative from the Swedish organization “Dataspelsbranschen“. They work for the Swedish game dev industry and are also interested in how to get more women into the business. The number of women are increasing and are now something like 15% in Sweden. I think we can do better than that!