Design by the Numbers: Using Data for Good

Notes on a talk by Evan Losi of Scopely at GDC 2019 Play tests only take you so farCapturing analyticsTrack everything—every time a player does anythingEverything a person interacts withWhich screens they openWhat activities people takeResources (what players earn and spend)Look at the aggregated dataKey metrics/KPIsEnd results of player behaviorRetention, conversions, ARPU/ARPDAUEverything sums up to … Continue reading Design by the Numbers: Using Data for Good

Ship Faster, Crash Less, and Retain Players

Notes on a talk by Dallas Dickinson of QC Games (Developers of Breach) and Abel Matthew, CEO of Backtrace, from GDC 2019 When you build new stuff, it crashesWant to prioritize crashesTracking crashes both in their own stack and in UnrealProcess (unidirectional flow here)Trunk development (70% of dev time spent here)New system devMain dev branch—nightly … Continue reading Ship Faster, Crash Less, and Retain Players

“Marvel’s Spider-Man”: A Technical Postmortem

Notes on a talk by Elan Ruskin of Insomniac Slides (PDF)Engine began life in FuseMuch more open world than they've used before (5 km across)154MB of source code (.h and .cpp)Frame breakdown33 ms/frameGPU renders 1.3333 frames behind the CPUPost-processing happens at the start of a frameMain thread3 ms streaming asset setup/teardown, initialize/destroy actor10ms update gameplay … Continue reading “Marvel’s Spider-Man”: A Technical Postmortem

A Survival Guide for Game Developers

Notes on a talk by Richard Vogel of Certain Affinity Observations:You have a 90% probability of being laid off within your first 5 years at least once.Your average lifespan in a company is around 4 years.Change is inevitable.E.g., today we have streaming coming, VR, AR, etc.Game companies have little to no onboarding, training, mentoring, or … Continue reading A Survival Guide for Game Developers

Automated Testing Implementation Roundtable

Notes on a roundtable talk at GDC 2019 Again, see autotestingroundtable.comHow do you define a sufficient level of test coverage?Aim to cover 95% of the weight of the code based on what gets run/used the mostCover the hotspots/inner loopsAdd tests as a part of every refactoring, bug fixBest place to start is to figure out … Continue reading Automated Testing Implementation Roundtable

Looking for Success in All the Wrong Places

Notes on a talk by Robin Scannell, Game Director at Hutch Make a collectible virtual card strategy game called Top DrivesNeed different cars for different tracks/race stylesGame's soft launch didn't look like it was going to do muchDaily retention among early signups was much worse than past games (20% versus 35% retention for past games … Continue reading Looking for Success in All the Wrong Places

In the Long Run (Games Career Seminar)

Notes on a panel discussion moderated by Henrik Jonsson (@IonSwitz) of Goodbye Kansas PanelistsBrie Code (@briecode)Osama Dorias (@osamadorias)Dr. JC Lau (@drjclau)—technical producerRaph Koster (@raphkoster)—Game designerOur business is making joy; we're part of "the joy industrial complex"Why is it so hard sometimes, then?How can we make the process better?How to get in to your first job?Got … Continue reading In the Long Run (Games Career Seminar)