Game Developer Journal #3 (with Q&A)

Hello everyone! We are at the beginning of another week and there is plenty to do.

This week we will be focusing on the Sales and Marketing functionality of the game. So let’s talk a bit about this. (remember that things can still change regarding what you are about to read).

Before we begin with the Sales and Marketing process, I want to share that we will also be creating more game assets, objects, furniture, desks and more this week…

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The Process

Of course once you start developing your products, you will have to start making the world aware of it, if you expect to eventually create household name brand products. A huge part of this is Sales and Marketing. So this is where your sales and marketing employees come in. You can decide when to start marketing your products, however there are benefits and potential drawbacks to doing so either too early, or late. Remember that it will take time to actually develop your product, and depending on the time it will take, you will need to choose wisely as to when you should start marketing your product. To this end, there are two things you will need to take into account:

  1. How much cash are you willing (or are able) to spend on marketing?

You need to consider how much you want to spend on marketing as well as how much you can spend on marketing. This matters of course given that you can only spend what you have. However, if you have plenty to spend, how you spend it will also make a difference.

  1. How long will the development of the product take?
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Cannot Place Desk

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Can Place Desk

If the product takes long to develop you might want to spread out your marketing accordingly so that the word is going out consistently, therefore keeping public awareness high. In the game, product awareness and hype play a very vital role in the notoriety of your products and company.

 

Hype and Awareness

In the game awareness is created by the marketing campaigns that you create and run. These campaigns are chosen by you the player and everything about them will be what you decide. A campaign can be short, long and/or anything in between. You will be able to choose how long the campaign will run, how much to spend, which employees to assign to the campaign and which avenues or marketing approaches you will take. For example, you can choose to run a campaign targeting relevant local publications and blogs only, or that along with national television ads. You can also just select all avenues. The cost will function quite differently as well. There are two things that cost when it comes to a campaign:

  1. Cost of materials

The cost of materials is determined by you the player, the higher amount of funding you set this at, the better the materials and other marketing tools your team will use. This is important as it directly affects the campaign.

  1. Cost of marketing outlets

Test_TET 2016-02-15 18-33-53-64If you decide to try to get your product into articles and newspaper sections, it will cost you a predetermined amount. However, you will be able to determine whether you want to target a local, national, regional or worldwide audience. The bigger the audience, the more expensive.

So with the campaigns that you choose, awareness is created. Now hype is more of a function of your sales team’s efforts. The sales teams function in the process is primarily to create hype for your product. So the campaign includes your sales team members going to tradeshows and other sales opportunities to hype your products. More on this as it is still be detailed.

During a campaign, there are a few things you need to know:

Campaigns that are running before the product releases creates hype on a much higher level than campaigns that run after product release. This is primarily because no one has experienced your product yet, and depending on the campaign and the skill of the sales and marketing team members assigned to it, the potential excitement that can be created is naturally higher. Now this is not a guarantee as two things need to be in place in order to maximize hype potential: A good relevant product, and a great marketing campaign and team running it. So you will want to assign your best and brightest sales and marketing personnel to your campaigns.

It is worth noting that you can only assign an employee to two campaigns at a time. However, if they are working on two at one time, the workload may prove to make the employee inefficient, as more stress derived from workload can create weary employees limiting their full potential. More on this in the future.

 

So, this is what we will be focusing on this week and can’t wait to show you more when we have finished. Please let us know what you think below in the comments.

Q&A

Q&A #2

Peps asks…

  • Will there will be the possibility of using mods by Steam Workshop?

WEB: At the moment, we are considering this. The functionality is there, but we have to refine it a bit in order for it to be a possibility. If we do not add it by release, we will try to do so after.

  • What about producing smartphones, tablets, TVs and smartwatch, are you going to introduce them?

WEB: This is something we talked about, however due to time constraints, it will be something we try to add in either free DLC or paid DLC. We simply have not decided yet.

 

 

Arctic Wolf

  • What will the world map look like? How will the cities, countries & regions be represented as far as UI goes?

WEB: So there will be no world map. However, there is a world that you the player will interact with. Most of this will be through in game decision making processes. As alluded to in this very article, you will be able to choose how you want to market your products whether it be local, national, regional or worldwide. So in the game it is more of a designation rather than selecting specific geographical locations.

  • Are you going to make free DLC’s for other industries like manufacturing cars, buses, trucks, planes, ships, trains, boats, vehicle components, trams, helicopters & metro’s?
  • Can you make a DLC for the fast food industry where you research organic food technology as a good Corp or research GMO technology as an evil Corp?
  • Can you make another DLC for playing as a pharmaceutical company where you can make everything medical like medical equipment, medicine & drugs?

WEB: I figured I’d answer these questions all together. These are all great ideas and something we are considering. We have a few other industries we want to add into this game system and we are discussing this for sure to possibly be something we offer after release or maybe in another title altogether.

  • Will you be able to make furniture, computers & become a vendor?

WEB: Computers—yes, furniture—no. However, you can purchase furniture for your company.

  • Will the logo of your company have your companies name on it?

WEB: This is the plan; we are finalizing some ideas now for how to make this work in a very good way.

  • Will you be able to pick/design a logo for your product lines & brands?

WEB: This is also part of our plan. We at least want to give you some logos and designs to choose from. Maybe even make a way for you to upload your own logos. More on this in the future as we flesh out the details.

  • What furnishings & computers can you currently buy for your offices?

WEB: We will show you in the video updates, however we are not done creating game assets, so there are a lot of things that you haven’t seen yet.

 

dawgamims

  • Can you utilize individually developed components in your larger products? For example, if I choose to make a console or PC, can I use my in-house-developed CPU/GPU? And if so, would that cut the cost of development?

WEB: Great question, yes. For example, if you create CPU’s, when you decide to make a computer, you can definitely fit your own CPU’s into your computer design, and yes this will save you on the cost as you do not have to buy them from a third party (middle man).

  • Are there plans to add paid, additional content? I’m thinking “Tech Executive: Console Wars” sounds pretty good.

WEB: Anything’s possible 😉

 

ITMARK

  • In the game, can you research the technology before the public research? And can you the player buy the others companies (or studios)?

WEB: You can research technology before the “world” or other companies do. How this will work is that you can focus on research (but this will be costly), and if your research team is really, really good, they can research faster than the competition and as such be considered in the game as on the “cutting edge” of that technology. If your company is on the cutting edge of any technology, then you are essentially pushing the envelope for that research. Gameplay-wise, this affords you some benefits, as some companies are willing to pay for technology. They will have to spend quite a bit to purchase it as well, so this is an early game strategy if you the player decide you want to build up cash before diving into products. Just remember other companies are pretty good at this too.

You can also purchase other companies as well. This process we’ll talk about soon, but for now to answer your question in a word—yes.

 

Azhrei 

  • One of you mentioned you were thinking of starting the game in 1980, which makes sense, but wouldn’t 1977 be a better start? The first mass-produced home computers did release in that year (the Commodore PET, Apple II, TRS-80). Maybe just scale back things such as graphics chips and let the basic computers we could create at that point run everything through the CPU, kind of like the Spectrum’s ULA.

WEB: We did initially mention 1980, however we also considered 1975 as the start of the game. We are still determining how we want to represent time in the game. So I will reserve any confirmations until we have finalized our decision on this.

  • Also, just how in-depth can we go for processors and graphics chipsets?

WEB: Good question indeed. For CPU’s and GPU’s, we do not want to over complicating the game for those who may not be tech-savvy, so we made it that this process is mostly abstract. This affords us the ability to appeal to both the tech savvy as well as the casual strategy gamer. We feel that over-complicating the product creation process might alienate some fans of the genre. However, the good thing about our approach is that it still lends itself to creating great strategy opportunities and the options you’ll have will still give you that sense of accomplishment when you create a great CPU. We will show more about this soon, as I am sure this explanation is not sufficient to give the idea of what we are actually doing. So stay tuned.

 

 

Thanks everyone for reading, we will have more very soon!

One comment to Game Developer Journal #3 (with Q&A)

  • Azhrei

    Thanks for the reply! I’m sitting here dying for news every week 🙂

    To follow on from Arctic Wolf’s question about the logos, I was thinking the way you might go about it is to choose a logo, type your company’s name, and the name then appears with the logo in the font the sample text on that premade logo is written on. For example, Circuit World has a logo and that name written in a specific font and colour. Dynasoft has a different logo and, potentially font.

    As for detail in cpu and gpu development, I understand completely why you have gone the abstract way of doing this, but I hope it won’t be too abstract in that there’ll be some proper details, eve if it’s just names of architecture and what-not. I was thinking you could have a system that scales whereby the player can be involved in that process (or any other process) as much as they feel comfortable with, but I imagine that would require significantly more development time from you guys, so yeah, I understand completely.

    Kinda confused as to why people are asking for furniture and other such stuff… I think the game has a nice, tight focus on the technology it’s offering as is.

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