What the Hell is It That You Actually Do Anyway, Mr. Marketing Guy?


Ahhhh, marketing. Few professions are as maligned as marketing. When I say the word “marketing”, no doubt your mind is flooded with images of sleezy skags in suits talking about how transmedia synergies are really hot with the teen male demo. Nobody could say it better than Bill Hicks:

But here’s the question: what IS marketing? Do you know? Do you really know? I’m going to go out on a limb and guess that if you absolutely, fundamentally hate marketing folks without reservation, you probably don’t actually know what marketing is. Or, rather, what it’s supposed to be. I’m a student at a graduate school that made it’s reputation on marketing, and I didn’t actually know what marketing was supposed to be until I took a marketing class. Marketing isn’t just advertising. It isn’t just focus groups and lowest common denominator bullshit. Continue reading

Don’t Read Too Much Into Guerilla Games Comments About Dev Costs


Above image from killzone.com

Herman Hulst of Guerilla Games was quoted on Destructoid as saying that development on PlayStation 4 -and, by inference, the next generation in general- is “not as scary as maybe some led you to believe.”

Now, before you go blogging and Twittering the fallacy of any assertion by publishers or developers that next gen development is more expensive, it’s important to consider what Hulst is and is not saying. Continue reading

A Case for Story Points


Image above captured from Hansoft (www.hansoft.se)

Of all of the concepts in Scrum, one of the most maligned (anecdotally it would seem, at least) is the Story Point. I have heard Scrum’s proponents and detractors alike discount the idea, saying Story Points are meaningless or too abstract, and that estimates and forecasts are better served by Ideal Days. For me, it’s a matter of probability, and the argument between Ideal Days and Points is one between precision and accuracy.

An example: imagine a man who weighs exactly 215.68 pounds. If you put that man on a calibrated digital scale, you will see that he, indeed, weighs 215.68 pounds, a number that is both accurate and precise. But, what if you didn’t have that scale and you instead had to look at the man and simply estimate his weight?

If you said he weighs between 150 and 160 pounds, you would be neither accurate nor precise. If you said he weighs 208.667 pounds you would be precise, but not accurate. But, if you instead said that he weighs between 210 and 220 pounds, you wouldn’t be precise, but you would be accurate. And if I have to choose between accuracy and precision, I’ll take accuracy every time. There’s a reason you hunt quail with a shotgun and not a 9mm. Continue reading

Destructoid: AAA Development Teams Are Too Big


A great article highlighting how ponderously large dev teams are getting, and how economically unsustainable this kind of staffing is. When Guerilla Games says that the industry needs to develop smarter, this is the sort of thing he’s advising against.