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MIGS: Day 1, 1:30pm: Grindhouse Presents: Landry's Eyes and Rocca's Legs

While Heather Chaplin vomits, Bernard and Jason spew.

Jim McGinley, Blogger

December 7, 2009

4 Min Read

MIGS took place Nov. 16 - 17, 2009.
Jim McGinley dabbles in scribbling.
Previous Entries - 7:40am , 8:30am , 10:15am , 11:30am

Day 1 - 1:30pm - Keynote 2
Bonus Double Feature: Viva Quebec! Viva Failure!
Bernard Landry and Jason Della Rocca

Heather Chaplin meant to continue her GDC beatdown with "Guy Culture".
Unfortunately, she's sick... or afraid.
MIGs organizers instantly replaced her with a legendary Quebec leader,
and the most well connected man in gaming.
And yet they couldn't keep Gamma.

Bernard Landry - Quebec Kicks Cul
No doubt about it, Bernard Landry is charming.
Witty, energetic, sharp - annnd he chose to speak in english - très appréciée.
"Quebec is the synthesis of Europe and North America." It's the best of both worlds.
"France without the French, America without the Americans!"

Quebec is the greatest center of game development in the world (paraphrased).
No "Fifth Worldwide Hub for Videogame Development" for him.
Next year, MIGs should consider having Bernard write the programme.

"Thirty years ago, our main exports were minerals, hydro-electricity and lumber"
"Today, we export airplanes, train parts, and video games."
Source: The Gazette (couldn't keep up to record quotes myself)
The new economy favours creativity, culture and intelligence.
Plus, the wages are much better.
Quebec lost textile industry to China, but replaced it with better paying jobs.
Hu Jintao: "D'oh."

The "National State of Quebec" supported added value programs.
   Translation1: Landry wants Quebec to be its own country.
   Translation2: Landry introduced Quebec tax credits that attracted major game developers.
I'm a fan of the second, but the first would ruin a lot of maps.

"Even in a market economy, state has a role to play."
"Believe in market economy, but don't believe it's a religion"
"Government needs to steer things."
You had me at bailout.

"I'm not saying Montreal is the best,
or Canada is the best,
but we did our job."
What's up with that downbeat ending?

"Enjoy your stay in Montreal."
Now that's more like it.
A shame he wants to destroy Canada.

Jason Della Rocca - The Need to Fail (to Succeed)
"I feel the need... the need to succeed!" - Maverik
"Goose? GOOSE!!!" - Maverik

Jason recently visited a game making school.
The perfect environment for students to try new ideas (successes or failures).
The FINAL project was a Breakout clone. The reason? It's easy to grade.
"Poor students."

"Great failures mean great ambition"
"Quality comes from Quantity"
"The ones who did more, succeeded more."
They also failed more, which is the entire point, stupid.

Jason offers himself as proof of failure.
He does many presentations. Failing today simply prepares him better for next time.
"I'll try some things, see what works."
Utterly diabolical, worthy of Lex Luthor.

He recently analyzed a ton of sales data.
Showed that great risk (Internal/Original IP) does indeed yield great reward.
Standard deviation showed that less risk (External/Licensed IP) yields decent reward.
Only Luthor would think to check standard deviation.

Thoughts on Risk from Strangers

Mark Cerny

Created a culture of risk. Brutally cut the games early that didn't work.

Alex Seropian

Created hundreds of projects on napkins.This liberated designers who could now get ideas into pipeline.

A Shift in Risk


Build the entire game (spend all your money), hope it sells.


Release game as early as possible (much less money, revenue sooner),then keep working on it (maintenance costs, ongoing sales).Think Facebook and WOW.

Side Note (translated from graph)
Traditional games industry makes money from realistic games heavy on story.
If you're looking to fail, try one of the following:
   an abstract game heavy on mechanics
   an abstract game heavy on story
   a realistic game heavy on mechanics
Links are my own. Hopefully I understood.

"My key point is to go out there and fail!"
"Of course, don't make the same mistake twice."

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