GDC speakers spotlight – Interview with YoYo Games' Mike Dailly and Jared Psigoda of Reality Squared Games

Redaktion   //   Juli 19, 2012   //   0 Kommentare

From August 13-15 the GDC Europe is held in Cologne again and Making Games is taking part as official media partner. We interviewed several renowned speakers in advance and asked about their respective lectures, their expectations from the conference and their opinion of current developments in the industry.

  

 

Jared Psigoda
is CEO of Reality Squared Games.



Making Games What is the topic of your lecture?
Jared Psigoda »$ 100,000 Whales – An Introduction to Chinese Browser Game Design«

Making Games Why is this specific subject so important for you personally?
Jared Psigoda With China never having a pay-to-play game culture (primarily due to rampant privacy), F2P became popular in Asia long before doing so in the US/Europe. When it comes to monetization, Chinese browser games are some of the most advanced in the world, with numerous titles pulling in revenues of hundreds of millions per year (with development costs of usually only a few hundred thousand USD). As the head of a publishing company that primarily takes Chinese titles and localizes / operates them in Western markets, it is important for us to understand true differences in psychologies between Western and Chinese gamers, as well as how to adapt these Chinese products for a Western market. I hope, through this talk, to be able to open up a line of dialogue with designers and other industry professionals from around the world, to discuss the pros and cons of different design philosophies in different cultures.

Making Games What should your listeners take home with them when leaving GDC Europe?
Jared Psigoda If there's one thing Chinese games are good at, it is monetizing their users (although some of their methods maybe present some ethical dilemmas). While I don't recommend Western developers copy these Chinese »tricks of the trade«, I do think there is much to be learned from their system / economy design.

Making Games In general: What are your expectations for this year’s GDC Europe?
Jared Psigoda As a publisher, we are just entering into the European markets. For us, we primarily view this conference as a solid learning experience!

Making Games What are the most exciting developments in the gaming industry for you at present (technically and economically)?
Jared Psigoda Cross-platform games! We can't wait to see our favorite online games being playable on our iPhones, Androids, iPads, PS3s, etc.!



 

Mike Dailly
is Head of Development at YoYo Games.



Making Games What is the topic of your lecture?
Mike Dailly I’m discussing »Dynamic« WebGL; that is using WebGL to render lots of sprites, effects, particles and the like.

Making Games Why is this specific subject so important for you personally?
Mike Dailly Well, while not important to me personally – because I like to think I know the subject, I do like to educate people on how to use the hardware they all have! You see, the problem with most developers is that they didn’t grow up as these technologies evolved, so they don’t know WHY you should be coding in a certain way. Having started programming 3D back before there was hardware to render things for you, I have »the whole story« of the graphics, why it came about, why it’s evolved the way it has, and more importantly, why you have to use it in a particular way to get the very best out of it! Most developers come to hardware simply seeing the latest API, and not understanding exactly why it’s evolved into what it is today. Why DO we try and draw things in batches? Why do we use texture pages; pages that gather all the sprites onto specific groups for rendering? This is something I naturally do as we were told to back when it first appeared!
We used to have hardware advocates tour games companies telling us how to get the best out of their graphics card, and this information has largely been lost. Sure, the general techniques are still around, but most people don’t know why they do it, just that they do. Knowing things like this can help you optimise your game better, get more from a card, and can in fact be the difference in a game running at the right speed or not. Knowledge is power as they say.

Making Games What should your listeners take home with them when leaving GDC Europe?
Mike Dailly With any luck, they’ll leave thinking, »So THAT’S why I do things that way! That makes TOTAL sense to me now! In fact, knowing this, if I shuffle X and Y around, I can increase the throughput of the rendering engine and get all the effects I really wanted into the game!«
If you have some basic understanding of rendering, then nothing I’ll talk about is very complicated, but knowing it can open so many doors to your understand, and how you arrange things, that you’ll wonder why no one’s done it before. In the past, I’ve sometimes had to explain 20 years of experience with every design decision I’ve made, yet if some of this was more »common knowledge« then more would understand WHY certain choices are made. Why do you defer this or that? Why do you batch these things together? Why do we try and keep vertex size down? All this should be known by anyone who is interested in programming, never mind graphics, and I hope to shed some light on things like this so that users not only know a little more about graphics coding for WebGL, but take more away for coding in general.

Making Games In general: What are your expectations for this year’s GDC Europe?
Mike Dailly It’s hard to say! We’re going over to promote GameMaker:Studio, our new cross-platform games programming IDE and game Engine. We’ve already been using it for more than 18 months, so we know it works! It saves time, money, and lets us create really fun games without having to constantly create yet another engine, and lets us concentrate on the game itself! We hope that we can bring this to as many developers as we can to show a real alternative to some of the more expensive tools out there. Ours if simple, fast, and cheap!! Why wouldn’t you be interested?!?!?

Making Games What are the most exciting developments in the gaming industry for you at present (technically and economically)?
Mike Dailly Technically … I’m all about GameMaker:Studio, it’s total, and simple cross platform solution that I’d have killed for back in the day. A simple drop down menu and it runs on another platform without all the recoding! I spend years converting Lemmings to many platforms, and it took a long time, now you can do it with the flick of a switch – how cool is that!
Economically ... Some of the new advertising spaces are interesting, and there are many of them. With the cross platform nature of games, having a single ad provider is getting more important, and these are starting to appear which is great. I’m also a fan of In-App Purchases, but I am looking forward to »micro« payments becoming the norm. I’d love to charge 1p ( or $ 0.01) a level, easily. It’s much simpler to convince a user to play »just one more level« if it only costs 1 cent.
With Facebook also abandoning Facebook credits, that also provides some really interesting opportunities for developers. So in terms of »money«, there are some interesting things on the table just now, with some more coming in the near future I think …
 

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