From Idea to Income. How to be successful at independent games

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1 From Idea to Income How to be successful at independent games

2 Who is this guy? Daniel Menard Co-founder and CEO

3 Big Action Mega Fight!

4 First Cohort

5 Founded

6 Creative Expression

7 No Limitations

8 Innovation

9 The Indie Dream Creative expression No limitations Innovation Push the industry forward

10 The Indie Reality Entrepreneurship first Probably won t make you rich ~90% of new companies fail

11 Crowded Market

12 The Indie Reality Failure is part of the game Passion alone isn t enough Releasing is only half the battle

13 Your Battlefields Financing Scope / Time Right project Right market Hiring Management

14

15

16 Party of Sin Puzzle-platformer

17 Party of Sin Puzzle-platformer Local coop

18 Party of Sin Puzzle-platformer Local coop Steam release

19 Party of Sin Puzzle-platformer Local coop Steam release Originally meant for consoles

20 Party of Sin Team of ~8 Working remotely Revenue share deal Kickstarter

21 Party of Sin 3.5 years Part time I quit my job in April 2012 Released in December 2012

22 What we thought would happen Decent reviews Massive Steam sales Profitable over time (~1 year)

23 What actually happened Mixed reviews Marketing and store placement not great Mediocre sales 98% piracy

24 My career is over!

25 Most important lesson It s okay to fail It is a necessary step toward success

26 Five Whys From Toyota Ask Why? at least 5 times Get to the root cause

27 The great postmortem Honest picture of our game and process Mistakes we would never make again Crankshaft Games Code of Conduct

28 Professionalism Is this going to be your hobby or your career? Party of Sin started as a hobby Must be accountable to your players Constantly learning

29 Business Model Be clear on how you will make money Pricing is complicated Keep in mind the expectations of anyone giving you money

30 Build a solid team Hire talented people you will trust

31 Build a solid team Hire talented people you will trust Hire people when you know they re the one

32 Build a solid team Hire talented people you will trust Good teams don t need managers

33 Build a solid team Hire talented people you will trust Good teams don t need managers Give everyone a stake

34 Build a solid team Hire talented people you will trust Good teams don t need managers Give everyone a stake Breadth Generalists Depth

35 Leave your ego at the door Keep an open mind Share creative freedom, it will be good for you Party of Sin was too centralized Take feedback as an opportunity to learn Acknowledge your weaknesses

36 Work-Life Balance Sustainable Development

37 Work-Life Balance Sustainable Development Eliminate crunch and burnout

38 Work-Life Balance Sustainable Development Eliminate crunch and burnout Give people control over how they contribute

39 Work-Life Balance Sustainable Development Eliminate crunch Give people control over how they contribute Work-Life Balance

40 Mind your time / scope Common pitfall: put everything you think is cool in your first game Don t fall in love with your project What if you were paying someone? Don t build an engine unless you sell engines

41 Studio Thinking Think beyond just one project Have a unifying vision Most studios will not display it publicly It s important to stick out

42 Hit Driven Business You will be defined by the games you make How you make those games is more important Your first few will be bad Focus on the process Build your company culture

43 Execution Labs Incubator program for mobile indie games in Montreal Funding for 9 months Mentorship from industry experts

44 Team Catalyst Designer Programmer Programmer Artist Programmer

45 Support Resouces Analytics Monetization Marketing

46 Mentorship Amazing Network Feedback all through the process

47 How Incubators Can Help Shared experience Leadership / vision coaching Someone on your side

48 Make the best of incubator Nurture your team Be ready to learn Speak out, give feedback Think as a company, not a product Evolve your process Mind the schedule

49 References The Lean Startup by Eric Ries Four Steps to the Epiphany by Steve Blank Valve Handbook for New Employees Ideas per Second by Nathan Marts (GDC 2013) 4/Reponse_to_quot8_keys_to_indie_successquot.php

50 Thank You!

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