Top 10 Secrets of Game Production

I actually spotted this first at Seth Godin’s blog where he listed 10 top secrets of the marketing process. Strange how well those 10 points fit well in game production too.

Here’s Seth’s 10 points and my comments on each of them:

1. Don’t run out of money.
So true. I hope every single game studio in the world really knows how important it is to have proper funding for the project.

2. You won’t get it right the first time.
That’s why god gave us sequels.

And patches.

3. Convenient choices are not often the best choices.
But in game production they sometimes actually can be… for example, the core game design mechanisms for example are components that can be used to build new type of games.

4. Irrational, strongly held beliefs of close advisors should be ignored.

5. If it makes you nervous, it’s probably a good idea.
Not so sure about this… I’d rather say “if it makes people say ‘wow'” then it’s probably a good idea.

6. Focusing obsessively
Yes, you cannot please everybody. You gotta focus and find your niche.

7. At some point, you’re either going to have to stick to your convictions or do what the market tells you.

8. Compromise in marketing is almost always a bad idea.
Same is at least sometimes true in game production, but the final game needs to compromise on many things.

9. Test, measure and optimize.
It’s even simpler in game production: test & polish.

10. Read and learn.
…but at some point you gotta start doing.

Juuso Hietalahti


  1. Rodrigo: those weren’t my points – Seth Godin mentions them for marketing. ;)

    Finish sounds like a great 11th point :)

  2. @Juuso: I disagree with you in this case. When we say “Test, measure and optimize”, this is based in an interative and cientific approach on how to improove something (may this a process, a product, an experience, whatever). You need to know where to polish.

    Thats why I think it should consider: Design, Test, Measure, Optimize.

  3. Haha I like number 7. It’s almost like saying, “It’s either true or false”. Hard to argue a point like that :)

  4. These are all great, but I especially agree with #10 as well. A lot of what you read you don’t really “learn” until you’re using it in day-to-day work. Lots of times I read stuff and then just ignore it, eventually learning the truth of it the hard way.

    Right now all my desktop has for a wallpaper are the words “stop goofing off :)”. Productivity is up.

  5. Fore sure agreed on no.10. Also it’s possible to choose a (very) wide niche if you make Casual games. But I guess the same applies, are you making a match-3 or a HO game? Maybe best not to do both, although I have seen a few games that mix genres quite well like Shop n Spree (was in the top 10).

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