Runners for those who love humiliation or how we changed and finished PixJam
- And we will show a casual PvP runner with obstacles for those who love humiliation.
Before one of the presentations at PixJam Summer'18.
In winter, we held the first internal PixJam , in which guys from all departments of creatives and invented concepts for new games (by the way, one of them is already preparing for a soft lunch). We collected a ton of positive feedback and feedback to make it even better, and repeated the experiment. I'll tell you how it went this time and what we changed.
In short, why are we doing this?
Many times creative ideas in the company came not only from game designers, programmers or producers, so our goal is to involve as many people as possible in this process. So that each team member can contribute, work on their own ideas and potentially have a hand in creating a new project from scratch.
In fact, many already have ideas that they haven’t talked about, and Jam is the perfect way to put together feedback and test the creative in practice. And many more receive for the first time the experience of public presentations in a cozy atmosphere inside the office (the first presentation is immediately presented outside, at a conference in front of a large audience, so-so first experience). The PixJam format is very suitable for all this, nothing has changed here since last time.
PixJam goes through the whole day (we take Fridays) and we announce the date in advance - it will still not work on current tasks. The basic rules remain the same:
- teams up to 5 people;
- genre and setting - any;
- only mobile platforms;
- 3 minutes for a presentation;
- three winners.
They also did not touch the program: from 12:00 to 16:00 - the creation of concepts, then the submission of applications and the preparation of speeches, from 18:00 - the presentations themselves.
At PixJam, we don’t make prototypes. The task of the teams is to convey the idea and feeling of the game according to its description. The teams create a fake page of their project in the mobile store. A single template for presentations looks like this:
Template for the first slide
At the same time, it is not necessary to be an artist, screenshots can be collected using references from the Internet - and here we have taken into account the experience of the past PixJam.
For the first time, the teams that the artists got into had a slight advantage over the rest in the design. Therefore, now we have tried to give everyone the opportunity to work with the pros “on the outsource” - i.e. ask an extra person for help with the screenshots. Judging by the feedback, it helped the guys smooth out the irregularities in the presentations, although not without reservations. And on the design is still spent a lot of time that could be spent on something else. Therefore, we will also look for options on how to optimize the process.
For the first PixJam fake page in the story, everything was done in SplitMetrics. As always happens, in practice, we already found out that they look very small through the projector, and the screenshots did not unfold on the whole screen. Even in the office to see the gameplay in the pictures was very difficult. Therefore, this time we decided to use regular Google presentations.
The first slide is a template with a logo of the game, a preview of the screenshots and a description of 140 characters, and all other slides are full-screen images of the concept (but no videos, so that the video production department does not get a big advantage).
One of the concepts I Need Help. From the description of the game: “This is a top down action for everyone who loves to play support, play in a team. Opponents appear on their bases and in the first 30 seconds they place traps, defenses, ammunition and first-aid kits on the map. At the start, units and equipment controlled by artificial intelligence start moving from respawn towards the enemy. Your task is to support your troops and partners with the help of one of the three main classes - the medic (who heals), the mechanic (who repairs) and the porter (delivers supplies). Chini! Heal! Drag! ”
As before, exactly 3 minutes was allotted to the pitch. It's a bit, and not enough time for everyone in the winter PixJam. Therefore, for those who spoke for the first time, prepared a special cheat sheet:
- Rehearse your speech. Read and show your presentation to at least a couple of people and ask them the question: “What is clear and what is not?”. Get an answer. Hear it.
- The best way to captivate people is to captivate yourself.
- Go to the question structurally. Answer the question "why this game?".
- Do not forget the humor.
- Avoid difficult “top down action-shooter from 3 persons”, explain in simple language what the game is about. Imagine that you are explaining to someone who is not in the subject.
- Try a "unique approach." Do not overdo it.
- Add details. Avoid "we have bosses, you can pump the hero and collect loot." But to go deep into the mechanics is also not worth it.
- Tell about unique features.
- Do not forget about business.
- Have fun!
Three days after PixJam, the entire company voted for the projects they liked through a special form. You can choose several projects at once, but when you watch about 20 presentations at a time, it can be difficult to remember by name and icon - what the game was about. So, unlike last time, we added a more detailed text description and link to the presentation to each game.
No changes further: after the troika of winners was determined - their projects go to the art department and marketers to test the concept and see if there is a niche in the market for these games (interestingly, this time many ideas contained survival -element).
A small spoiler: one idea from the past PixJam is already preparing for a soft-launch.
Now we are preparing a prototype of the past winner and collect new feedback from the participants to make the next PixJam even better. And we are preparing a new merch for distribution. Well, we will look at the metrics of the first project after the soft-launch.