Sponsored By
Stan Just, Blogger

March 17, 2013

7 Min Read

[The views expressed herein are my own and do not represent the positions of firms that I’ve been working for. The following text also does not describe any real events rather it is aimed at capturing the experience present in the gamedev industry.] 

------ PRESS START ------


------ LOAD SAVED GAME ------





Class: Management

Experience: 942 921 (level 11)

Next level: 1 000 000

Wisdom: 19

Intelligence: 17

Charisma: 20

Art skills: 4

Design skills: 13

Programming skills: 2

Enthusiasm: 10

Character: Lawful neutral

Special moves:

- Motivational talk (+10 morale)

- Hard kick (immediate team member substitution)

- Hero boost (+% cash bonus)


You enter the office and head towards your desk. Along the way you notice that almost all of your employees are already working even though it’s relatively early in the morning. You don’t mind that you came to the office later than them after all you are The Boss. First hour goes by on replying to numerous e-mails and of course a cup of black with two spoons of sugar. Soon after that two of your directors enters the room. After a short babble they started to present to you most important issues.

Situation I)

It seems that one of your star employees is extremely annoying to the rest of the team. He criticize everybody’s work, he does not participate in any meetings or communicate with team members in any way other than “tell me what you want?!”. You had some talks with him but it didn’t work out. What’s worst, he even started to transfer this behavior to his friend from other project creating yet another rebel in the company. On the other hand, this is one of your key talents who has been with the company for years and who would be extremely hard to replace.

What do you do?

I.A) Keep this employee


I.B) Fire this employee

You decided to keep this employee. Project has been finished without a significant delay but the team was a mess. For the next project you managed to reassign some of the staff to a different team but few good employees left because of your decision. Moreover, newly formed team signaled the same problem right from the start.


You decided to fire the employee but you were not able to find a proper substitution quickly. After some time you’ve given this position to somebody underqualified but easy-going. Team finished a project without much of a quarrel but even though some features has been cut out and the whole project slipped a couple of months.  

+ 10% cash for on-time release

+ 10% game score

- 2 specialists who needs to be replaced

- 30% team’s morale


+ 20% employee work satisfaction

- 20% cash because of the delay in release

- 10% game score because of feature cut

- 5% lower budget for the next project


Situation II)

Your game is selling quite well so you receive more and more offers to port it to different platforms. A small team has been delegated to cover all four ports that are to be done. Unfortunately, they encountered a lot of problems by the second port so the release has been postponed by 3 weeks. The hardware manufacturer is getting anxious. At the same time very serious bugs were pouring in from the first port which was already accepted by the sponsor and passed required certification.

Porting team wants to know how to proceed?


II.A) Keep working on the second port


II.B) Hold second port in order to fix the first one

You don’t want to lose any contract so you decided to move on. Team was able to reduce the delay and release second port after a while. Due to the substantial amount of bugs your sales of the first port dropped and a lot of hateful comments were thrown at you in the reviews.


You decided to sacrifice few days to fix all the major problems with the first port. An update has been posted but it took more time than expected. A sponsor of your second port paid you a lot less due to your inability to meet deadlines.   

+ 20% income for the second port release

- 25% firm reputation for the lack of support

- 40% sales from the first port


- 10% sales from the first port

- 5% firm reputation for fixing the bugs

- 25% income for the second port release

Situation III)

You are working on a third and final part of your lead game series. This brand is slowly fading but the last part certainly will turn a lot of profit. After long years of work on the same material your team is eager to get into the new, already prepared, project. So you want to finish it as soon as possible. Unfortunately, in the last production phase, your programmers encountered a very serious bug. You can either fix it “the right way” but it will take a lot of additional time or you can patch it up quickly which could result it a lot of minor bugs afterwards.

What do you do?

III. A) Quick patch


III.B) Proper but lengthy fix

You do the patch but soon after the game falls apart on the “other end”. So you patch it again and again just to keep it playable on the release. It hits the right release window so that the initial sales are very good and the project breaks even relatively fast but the income drops rapidly afterwards. The amount of bugs strongly influenced the review scores and customer satisfaction. The brand seems to be destroyed and your team feels bad that the series has been ended in such a way.


You decided to correct the bug properly. It made you to lose a great release date and a lot of initial sales due to the competition. However, the fans appreciated how refined the product was. Initially the project hasn’t met its break-even point but it should turn profit over longer period due to good reviews. Team has proven to be very ineffective in prolonged, last production phase but they are also glad that they left the brand with a good reputation.

+ 50% initial sales

- 30% “after-peak” sales

- 10% game score

- 20% game’s brand value

- 10% company reputation


+ 15% game score

+ 30% “after-peak” sales

+ 10% game’s brand value

+ 5% company reputation

- 30% initial sales

------ SAVE GAME ------



------ EXIT TO HOME ------

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