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GDD 008 : How To Make 2014 A Great Year For Game Developers: Happy 2014! It’s a new year and times are changing fast in our video game industry. It’s important to evaluate your skills and abilities in order to make smart, achievable goals to make your company a success.

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Happy 2014! It's a new year and times are changing fast in our video game industry. It's important to evaluate your skills and abilities in order to make smart, achievable goals to make your company a success. Packed with insights and examples this episode will help you get going in the the right direction.Hey everyone! We're all rested up from a great holiday break and are getting back in the saddle for a great 2014. The word of the day: Ship it! Well, that's two words I suppose. For both of us, 2013 was a transitional year as Ike started his new company and I incubated multiple original projects. This year, you can expect both of us to launch our own stuff and we hope that you each launch at least one game 2014.5 Ways to Maximize Your Chances For SuccessPeople think of video game industry as gold rush. However, in reality it's very rare to make millions, much like the lottery. The truth is that thousands of developers making games don't earn a single dollar! Here's some sure fire ways maximize your chances for success:Set goals to have more product launches or, in baseball terms, “at bats”. The more at bats you have, the more chances you have to get a hit.Look at having a long career in games, not just a flash in the pan.Over time the more you shoot, the more accurate you'll get and the better you're going to get at knowing your audience and your craft.Repetition in this cycle will create mastery.Planning Your Goals Using the Indie Game Developer's Survival PyramidOne way to look at how to plan your goals is to find out where you are on the Game Developer's Survival Pyramid. This hierarchy, modeled after Pavlov's Hierarchy of Needs, illustrates how a developer can go from a single professional into a very successful business.  Let's take a closer look.Hierarchy of Needs PyramidBasic psychology from Pavlov:Bottom of pyramid – basic needs like food and shelterNext layer have some luxuries and so onTop layer – enlightenmentIn video game development:Level 1, Ground Floor – looking to earn money from video game development.Level 2, Lift Off - you're working in the industry as an independent contractor or as an indie game studio doing work for hire.Level 3, Cruising Altitude - you have a steady steam of clients and have grown your staff.  You're now launching your own original games.Level 4, Stratosphere - You no longer or very rarely do any work for hire and spend most of your time updating and launching games to your fans.Level 1 – Ground FloorThe first thing you'll need to do is to take a look at what skills you have. Then, you'll need to find a way to either get work for your skills, learn new skills, or find other like minded partners that have complimentary skills to join you – either by hiring them or by partnering. Also, it's important to get out and do some networking, since this stage is all about people. Here's a short list of places that can help you find work and partners:Local Meet Ups - highly recommendedGDC – Game Developers ConferenceCasual ConnectCollege – perfect situation for networkingOnce you have a small group, what's the next step? Get a website together and show the world what you can do. We suggest WordPress as a great template to build really nice looking websites very inexpensively. Look to the site to be a portfolio site that can clearly illustrate what skills you have and what types of projects you can do. Polish and quality are key here people!  At this point, look at these opportunities:Publishers willing to pay for a projectAt the point to launch a Kickstarter campaignGet some money because raised enough awareness through social mediaAnother company sees what you're doing and ask to do for themLevel 2 – Lift OffAt this point, you are working and making money creating art, writing code, or making entire games. Hopefully, you're even doing it full time! You're getting some fans on Facebook and you're posting on Twitter to raise awareness for yourself. Congratulations, you're well on your way.

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