So. Where was I? Oh yeah, that’s right. We were supposed to cover the subject of “where do the new features come from”. Well - let’s!
If you read this blog you probably have some sort of connection to Power Soccer. You might have played the game once or never or for two years, but you most likely found this place through powerchallenge.com. Anyway, a lot has happened with this game for the last year. Or even the last 6 months. Actually it happens quite a lot all the time, but let’s stick to what you, the users, see and notice.
A year ago we were just getting started, we’d just signed up all the developers. The game as it was then had been developed by two programmers and one graphical artist. That was pretty much it. It was one of those many “basement” games, created by a handful people in a windowless corner - if one’s lucky - of some office building. Someone had a good idea and managed to find the talented people to turn that idea into reality.
And here we are. Some odd 25 people and 15 months later. Still coming up with thousands of ideas, pushing the game forward, struggling every day to make the right decisions to keep as many people as possible happy. The investors, the users, the CEO, the Executive producer…and ourselves. It’s not easy but it’s something we truly enjoy doing and we’re happy to go to work every day. Ok, most days. I guess some days you wake up and you just know that the code you write will have to be re-written, the schedule your juggling will crash to the floor and the mock-ups you design just won’t do. The inspiration is not always there, but 9½ days out of 10 I’d say it is.
The ideas… Where do they come from? Well, there are a few main suppliers of ideas of how to improve the game.
1. You - the users. We get so much invaluable feedback, comments and ideas from you, in forum posts or e-mails. It’s an extremely important source of inspiration to us.
2. Product Owner. This is the person responsible for the product = the game. Has it the right “feel”? Is it difficult enough, too tricky, do newbies get lost or should we add an extra layer of complexity? Why? What does our main target group look like? Should we have 3D hot dogs spinning around in the arena as advertising spots? All sorts, high and low.
3. Game designers. They make sure all the tiny elements and different aspects of the game fit together, that the sum of the parts is a well functioning game. A lot of times they work close to the other developers. Gamedesigners calculate variables in worksheets, decide the accuracy and speed of the through pass, design league systems, write specifications of features to come and spend a lot of time testing.
4. Other developers. Most people working here are gamers and have been for years. It comes pretty natural for them to analyze and think and talk about games. So the actual 3D part of the game is pretty well covered, so to speak. Those of us who aren’t really gamers still love games in one way or another. Or sport. Or programming. We have meetings, we talk over lunch, we get into discussions wherever we are… The air is filled with a passion for games and every step we take is towards making the game even greater.
5. Powdersnow. Say no more.
Did I acually write all this managing to still not address the subject of how we introduce new features? Oh my. I’m such a sucker for writing about stuff that has to do with games, but sometimes I find it hard to get to the point.
Same time and place tomorrow? Let me continue my story then