The Iterative Digest #82
Raven vote to unionize, Norman Reedus reveals Death Stranding 2, Xbox turned down Spiderman, finding the best Game Publisher for you, and more!
Hello and welcome to issue #82 of the Digest! This week we discuss Raven voting to unionize, Norman Reedus revealing Death Stranding 2, Xbox turning down Spiderman, finding the best Game Publisher for you, and more!
So without further ado, sit back, relax, and enjoy this week’s latest - curated by yours truly! If you like what you see, don’t forget to share and subscribe; your support means a lot to us. Have a great week!
🗳️ The QA testers of Raven Software, a subsidiary of Activision Blizzard, have officially voted to unionize. With a final tally of 19-3 in favor, it’s the first union to form at a major North American game developer
👶 In a Leo Edit magazine interview published on May 17th, Norman Reedus casually dropped the news that we should be expecting a sequel to Death Stranding, with Hideo Kojima all but confirming the news by telling the actor to “go to his room.”
🕸️ It was revealed that one of the most successful video game releases ever, Spider-Man for PS4, was turned down by Xbox as they were focusing on their own IP. Marvel spoke with PlayStation instead, and the rest is history.
🤝 Context has been provided for PlayStation purchasing Bungie, as Sony Ceo Kenichiro Yoshida stated the acquisition is partly motivated by a desire for PlayStation to become more of a multiplatform business.
🎮 Chinese electronics company TLC has said it expects Playstation 5 Pro and Xbox Series S/X consoles to arrive by 2024. The company ranks second in the global TV market in terms of sales volume.
🔌 Detailed as a major feature at launch, Battlefield 2042 has made changes to its Breakthrough multiplayer mode, reducing the player count from 128 to 64, as to “remove some of the chaos from the experience.”
How to find the best Game Publisher for you
In #80 of The Iterative Digest, we explored the benefits of working with a game publisher, and now we’re following up by helping you find the best fit for you! (If you haven’t done so already, we highly recommend going back and giving #80 a read). But what is that perfect fit? Where do we start?
First, we highly recommend writing down SMART goals that address what you’re looking to achieve. Having a clear, coherent list serving as a constant reminder of what you’re looking to accomplish is not only a great tool in game dev but also in life in general.
Next, we need to know our options and who we could consider. There are a number of ways we could do this:
Talk to other Developers:
Ask about their experiences and try and get honest feedback about publishers we may be considering.
Ask for recommendations and share what we’re wanting to get out of a project to get deeper insight.
Read online including:
Testimonials of clients who have previously worked with publishers.
Utilize resources such as:
Take the time and go to conventions and networking events. (Added bonus of also meeting over developers, investors, and press.)
Email and set up calls to get any additional information.
Investigate Game Performance:
See how the game was marketed to you. Were you the right demographic?
Note any interesting promotional tactics that may have been used.
Consider the buzz and hype that the publisher generated.
Remember that scores aren’t necessarily a great indicator of the publisher’s efforts.
Check out the publisher’s efforts post-launch. Are they still providing additional content? Are bugs being addressed? Is the publisher involved with the community?
By now we’ve done our research and have hopefully narrowed down a list of publishers we would like to talk to. We want to make sure we’re ready so it let’s brush up and review our original SMART goals so we know 100% what we want from our publisher. It’s time to reach out! These are some good questions to ask:
Communication: What time zone are you in, what channels of contact do you use, and how often can I expect us to be in contact?
Release: how long Will you support our title post-launch, what are your relationships with distributors such as Steam, who handles post-launch merchandise copyright, what’s your relationship with subscription service models?
Events: which events Do you attend, do you cover the cost involved with events, who showcases?
Translation/Porting: Do you support multi-plat, who handles porting to other platforms, and which languages will you support for our title?
Development: How hands-on/hands-off will you be, how can you shape the game, what knowledge/resources can you provide?
Financing: Is this something you offer or is there any advice you could provide so we can acquire what we need?
Relationship: What do you require from me, should I expect a typical approach for how you address my game? (It’s also good to take note of how well you gel together through these initial meetings.)
Additionally, pay attention to the publisher’s specialties. Do they focus on a certain platform, do they have experience with monetization models, do their audience expect a certain genre, do they have experience with your genre? What is their catalogue of games like? How are the games’ communities?
Hopefully, with all this information the cogs have been turning and you have a good idea of being able to identify a publisher that fits your needs. For a more in-depth analysis, we highly recommend Akupara Games blog for further advice, and best of luck in finding a Game Publisher suitable for your needs!
Deathrun TV is a fast hardcore rogue-lite twin-stick shooter set in the world's biggest and craziest game show. With breakneck speed, bullet-dodging action, and lots of guns, you'll have to survive swarms of rabid mutants to progress and level up your contestant. Twin-stick bullet hell action will test your reflexes through each arena. Will you survive it launching on Switch, PS4/PS5, Xbox Series S/X, and PC?
Card Shark is a story-rich, historical adventure game full of cunning, intrigue, and delectable deceit. Set in 18th century France, you’ll need to master deceptions using card marking, false shuffles, deck switching, false deals, and more to play your opponents better than you play your cards. It’s showing its cards on Switch, PC, and Mac.
The Lost Clockwinder sets you out on a mission to repair an ancient clocktower built into the trunk of a colossal tree. Inside, you find a pair of gloves that allow you to turn anything you do into a looping clockwork automaton. Dealing with unique VR puzzle automation the game is set to launch on Steam.
Cameron - Work With Indies Discord Server
The Work with Indies Discord server is a job board and inclusive community for developers, artists, writers, and more, looking to find their next role working in indie games.
With a strong membership of 7000+ people from all over the world, it’s the perfect spot to connect job seekers with recruiters. For job seekers, it is completely free to join and participate, while for those wanting to post a job ad, fees begin at as little as $49.
Once you enter the group, you can join different channels according to your needs, and there are 8 categories (like art-animation, design, etc.) to choose from, depending on your skillset. You can also join the general channel to receive all job offers, no matter their category. There are also some pretty handy workshops with individuals from the industry giving great advice to help you on your career journey.
I found the group to be full of very supportive individuals who were willing to offer feedback and recommendations and were always happy to answer any questions I may have. It’s also the community where I have found the job posting for The Iterative Collective! 🎉
You can join the Work with Indies Discord here.
Gorogoa manages to tell a story without a single word in the actual gameplay. Some people say it’s less of a game and more of an interactive painting, while others say that though they have no idea what any of it means, the experience was some of the most beautiful gameplay they’d ever had the opportunity to enjoy. What seems to be agreed upon, however, is the general sense of sadness expressed throughout the experience. There’s a constant sensation of searching, of struggle, and dissatisfaction, even though the player's achievements. We chase a gorgeous dragon-monster, try to find normalcy in a war-torn city, see our character broken, humbled, and seemingly desperate as he travels desolate landscapes to a destination that remains unclear. The game is beautiful and engaging, and its story is perplexing. One writer said that "Gorogoa’s overarching theme is curiosity.” It’s true, Gorogoa’s vignettes pull you in, even if you’re not quite sure exactly where you’re being pulled to, and you feel calm, curious, worried, and victorious at all the right moments. I’ve found myself thinking of this game long after my first playthrough, despite the fact that there isn’t a single voice or clearly defined story point to call to mind. It’s an interesting study in minimalist storytelling and a unique and unforgettable experience I highly recommend.
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We are The Iterative Collective - an indie games incubator & publisher! Each week, we shed light on the latest gaming trends for all folks interested in the scene by going through a summary of the latest news from the industry as well as promising upcoming game releases! Click to learn more about us below!