games industry

UK Games Studios: want more contracts? Contact me…

…fill out this form, please (it’s auto-filling a spreadsheet for me that has everyone’s contact details + key info):

NB: I won’t be making this form public, although it might be interesting just to list-out all the names + websites at the end. I’m gathering this info to help with consulting engagements where several of our clients have recently asked something along the lines:

“Do you know any good game developers? We need someone to make X for us”

A few guidance notes:

  1. Respondents must be UK-based (if there’s enough demand from the comissioners, I’ll expand to other countries later – but I’m starting locally)
  2. Respondents must be game-studios with a background in making games. Very young companies can count if e.g. most of your staff are from mainstream games industry, with plenty of titles/credits.
  3. Web companies who “would like to branch into games” don’t count: these are projects specifically for people with detailed game-experience (mostly: game-design, game-asset creation / asset-pipelines, and games-specific production process)
  4. “Clients” here are usually big-name brands, or their retained advertising agencies/marketing agencies
  5. “Incumbents” are marketing-agencies / web-agencies with no games-industry background who are being called-upon to write games; they do their best, but for some projects they’re just not the right fit

Right now, no promises for new work – this is an experiment to see what the landscape of *current* UK studios is like – but I expect to make at least a few successful matchups in the coming months.

games design social networking web 2.0

Google Street Maps … of a videogame (GTA IV)

This is cool – a great use of Google’s tech, a great example of what it *really* means to drag Online Games and MMO’s out of the stone-age of “do what Diablo did, but with more people on screen”.

Sadly, it doesn’t quite work – none of the stereographic projection stuff (which is key to making Google StreetView) is working here. Oh well.

And it raises the question: why didn’t R* do this themselves, and make more of the R* Club (their “social/online” part to GTA) than the silly farting-about it was at launch?

design games design games publishing reputation systems

“by running a spy network I am griefing”

If you’re an MMO designer, and you *still* don’t grok the griefer-mindset, or you somehow hope/believe that “one day, there will be no griefers”, then maybe this RPS interview with the always-fun-to-watch Goonswarm will help you:

MT: We are griefers. If nothing is going to happen then we’re going to try to find something that screams and bleeds and poke at it.

RPS: Griefing is something goons are known for doing, but now I’m talking to you it’s not something I can imagine you personally doing.

MT: Technically speaking, by running a spy network I am griefing.

RPS: But would you go out and aggravate other players for the Hell of it if you were a lower ranking member of Goonswarm?

MT: Well, most lower ranked Goons make their money by doing that. Scamming people is a very quick way of making money in Eve. Rather than making an honest buck, you take that buck from somebody else.

and, much further down, maybe this will help you see how griefers often serve just as positive and valuable a role as all your “preferred” player-types:

RPS: For my money, Eve might be the most fascinating game in existence today. But that doesn’t stop it from being interminably boring as well.

MT: Right. I mean most Eve players are stuck in high security space mining, and a lot of the core PvE in Eve has you sitting there are watching three grey bars slowly turn red.

Goonfleet is a socialist alliance. We give people ships so that rather than being forced to rat [fight low-powered AI NPCs] they can take part in PvP, we teach them how to scam so that they don’t have to mine, we teach them how to make ISK most effectively, we give them a lot of ISK and we reimburse their losses. This way they can focus on the fun aspects of the game, like griefing and warfare, so they’re not forced to endure derp-derp-ing around high sec.

If they play your game, you should be glad; if they grief, you should be asking yourself why – and if you’re a commercial operation, you should probably be asking:

“are they fixing a problem for us?

can we afford to leave them to it, part of our unpaid workforce?


is it worth our time trying to fix the problem itself, or should we accept their help and move on down our never-ending list of pending fixes?”