In today's main feature written for Gamasutra sister site Serious Games Source
, which deals with games created for training, health, government, and other uses, as well as their cultural effects, we present a summary of “How To Find And Work With The Right Studio For Your Serious Game Project," a Serious Games Summit D.C. session by Tom Sloper, long-time industry vet and currently consultant for his own Sloperama Productions company.
In this excerpt, Sloper explains how the industry's habits differ from those funding the majority of serious games' development, namely, the federal government:
"It’s been said that people inside the game industry aren’t able to appreciate just how quirky their work habits can be. How business gets done in the game industry is remarkably different from how it is done in the federal government for instance, where many serious game makers get their money. It’s also painfully different from other sectors that are involved in the serious games community—education, healthcare, research, emergency responders, and so forth. Those who rely on bureaucratic systems of approval, documented policies, and up-to-code office conditions may be in for a rude awakening the first few times they meet with professional video game developers.
Having strong lines of communication, Sloper says, is the opening gambit. He recommends that anyone working with game developers, even those shopping for a studio to work with, visit them in their work environment.
“Very small developers oftentimes work out of their homes rather than an office, and I again recommend asking them to see it anyway. You can really learn a lot about how you think they’ll work,” Sloper says. Yet, when gauging how a developer works, Sloper says the more experienced developers won’t necessarily look the most professional. Be prepared to find tangled wires, toys, figurines, and a general state of upbeat chaos, he says. “If it looks like a grown-up day school, then that’s a real game developer.”
You can now read the full Serious Games Source feature on the subject
, including more on finding the right developer for the job, and serious money matters (no registration required, please feel free to link to this feature from external websites).