Assignment: Business Post-Mortem
Research a game or simulation development company, either “AAA” or indie, that you find particularly innovative or successful that has had to close its doors or was bought out and failed to continue producing games. Through articles and interviews, look for clues as to why their business model or management style is strong or unique. Try to go beyond the quality of their games and investigate how their work environment might lead to the production of these types of games. Later in the semester you will be creating your own business plan, so try to find a company that you find inspiring, or from which you may learn what not to do. As there is a presentation component to this project, two groups may not present on the same company.
Each paper and presentation must include:
- Name of the company
- Whether it is a publisher or developer
- Games produced
- Market niche
- Year established/Year ended
- Personnel in Charge
- Parent Company (if applicable)
- Number of Employees
- Gross Sales
- How is this information useful to your company
Each project needs to include several (minimum 3) of these:
- Day-to-day in the production environment
- How they handle crunch time
- Interactions between upper-level and lower-level, between artists and programmers, etc.
- What is the general morale of the team and why?
- Hiring practices
- Team-building activities
- Experiments in management that set them apart and whether these can be applied to other companies
- Relationships with other companies
- And anything else that you feel adds insight into the success or failure of this particular company
This will take the form of a 1500-2000 word paper as well as a presentation with software such as PowerPoint, Keynote or Prezi. Attach both as submissions for this assignment. These should be submitted by start of class on February 12th. Presentations should be 8-10 minutes long. This can include up to 5 minutes of video, but this must be made up of interviews related to or footage of the work environment of the company. This should NOT consist of trailers or discussion of their products, unless it is a game postmortem that gives specific insight into the day-to-day operations of the business.
The best presentations lead off with something to catch our interest and then fill us in as we go. Please do not slog through the Basic Requirements at the beginning. It’s OK if you leave a few details out of the presentation as long as they are in your paper. At the same time, the presentation should not be too short.
Gamasutra postmortems: http://www.gamasutra.com/features/postmortem/
The Big List of Indie Interviews: http://www.pixelprospector.com/the-big-list-of-indie-interviews/
The Big List: Independent Game Developers: http://www.squidoo.com/indie-games