Chartboost University: Be Prepared Before Going Live

Insights & Best Practices

November 5, 2013


min read

Today's lecture is all about the tips, tools, and perspectives developers can consider when going live with a game. DeNA Producer Roger Royce shares his lessons learned and the key factors to consider as developers prepare to launch.

Game developers often work on schedules that have limited time and planning, so it's important to arm yourself with the right tools as you enter this unpredictable environment. Roger uses the example of a swiss army knife to highlight questions and opinions dev teams should consider when "entering the wild." Here are some of the tools he calls attention to.

Magnifying Glass. An unexamined game, Roger says, is not worth playing. If devs embrace the "heads down" mentality and don't allow space for new perspectives, the development process may start to take a sour turn.

Nail File. Shave away the excess. Complexity can scare away an audience, and just because a game has more features doesn't mean it's better. The most simple games can sometimes attract the biggest audience. Also, Roger reminds developers to focus on the target audience, versus personal preferences. Ultimately, the game must cater to the interests of the players to be successful.

Screwdriver. Tighten down the gameplay loops. Players have different amounts of time to give to your game. Second-to-second gameplay, minute-to-minute, hour-to-hour....what are you doing to keep players fixated? In mobile, day-to-day retention is key. What loops are you going to integrate to keep players coming back on a daily basis?

Scissors. Cut through the competition. Hundreds of apps are released daily on the app store. How are you going to make yourself stand out? Sell your idea and be positive about it.

Ruler. Before your game goes live, make a list of what you envision success to be for your title. Build a dashboard to filter useful data, identify your key performance indicators and ensure you have a set-up that allows you to adjust your game based on the feedback you receive.

Hammer. QA early. Break the game and try to find everything that might be wrong with it. Accept that not every bug in your game will be resolved prior to go-live.

In general, Roger recommends that regardless of where you are in the game development process, all developers should take a moment to stop, assess and understand what the goals are (limited release vs worldwide, etc) and prioritize tasks before moving forward.

Huge thanks to Roger and our friends at DeNA for contributing to our CBU Fall Session lecture series! More videos to come!