Archive for the ‘Fall ’11’ Category
Final Presentations were on December 14th.
Click through to see the videos
On Friday December 9th, the ETC Sillicon Valley campus went to San Francisco Ballet to see “The Nutcracker.” Because it was the holiday season there were a lot of families, including us, at this performance. We could appreciate it better because we heard the story of the Nutcracker before we came to see the ballet. We enjoyed the beautiful classical music composed by Tchaikovsky, a fantastic performance, and gorgeous ballet clothes. There were many pieces of music that everyone was familiar with, especially, “Waltz of Flowers,” which was one of the music pieces that Team Crescendo has in their classical music game project. It was a good experience for us to fill our mental gauge to prepare for our upcoming final presentation.
On ETC elective class on December 8th, we had Jennifer Donahoe, a Senior Director of Franchise Management and Brand Development in EA Interactive. “Marketers are the ones who don’t know how to code or make art assets, but are very passionate about games – so they just wish to do whatever they can do to help out,” she says, as she walked us through her career as a marketer.
As a passionate marketer who worked in the industry for many years, she gave the students a general introduction regarding in-game marketing and publishing. This was very valuable information for us to understand the different side of game sales and post-production, since many ETC students are focusing on game development (production).
The biggest lesson Jennifer shared with us today was how to understand the market and consumers. “Creating a game that works for the consumer, not for the person who makes the game, is the most important thing about game development and post-production,” she said. Jennifer also presented few sample cases of marketing in the entertainment industry, and walked through which worked, which didn’t work and why.
During Q&A, the students asked several questions such as how game publishing on online based games (such as Facebook games) differs from traditional game distribution. Relative to that, a student from team Five Sided Square also asked her about board game distribution, which directly related to their project.
On December 2nd we visited Tesla, which is a Silicon Valley based electric car company. They founded the company back in 2003 and since then they have had very rapid growth. Currently, they are expanding their market to the UK and Asia. The company is currently producing two models: the Roadster and the Model S. The Roadster is an expensive model and targets people who want to have a customized high quality electric car. The Model S is a sedan car which is targeting the mass market, with better technology and design than their competitors.
We visited their headquarters in Palo Alto. Kate Randall introduced the company and explained what it is like working there. She said that they tried making a workplace that can inspire employees and induce motivation and pride for them. She showed us an interactive design studio where potential customers can customize their future car. When a customer wants to buy the car they can choose the color, style, interior, etc… It is very easy to use, all you need to do is pick options from the screen and it will show immediately how your car will look. Since Tesla is not a big car company customers can only buy their car via Tesla stores and all dealers are Tesla staff.
After that we had the chance to talk with Roi Goldman who is a lead UI designer for the in-car experience. He showed a mock up for the new UI which will be used for the Model S. He said they focused the UI to guide people safely and not to distract drivers. We asked many questions and we shared ideas about the UI. Finally we had a chance to get into the Roadster and everyone took pictures. It was a great field trip and everyone enjoyed it a lot. Tesla was super nice and seems to be an awesome company to work at.
You must have heard of Cloud computing, the technology that has been talked about over and over again these years. You probably do not know what exactly the cloud computing does, but I bet you are using its services every day. For example, Gmail is an application using cloud computing. You can log into Gmail using your account no matter you are using a laptop, a smart phone or a tablet, and receive or send emails whenever you are connected to the internet.
However, an “elephant” is still in the room. It has been there for several years and gradually affected by these new technology and platforms. Not surprisingly, that elephant is gaming market, and the person who talked about this issue today is Richard Hilleman, the Chief Creative Director of Electronic Arts.
He broke down this problem into piece. He shared us with what EA learned since 2008.He stressed out that Games are built for players and price points. He pointed out the Second Screen concept, new players and the new “Not-Gamers” brought by these new platforms, new places to play, new ways to play, and new payment expectations.
He made a decent analysis of the current different types of players’ behavior. By giving the example of CFD Combustion Analysis for the car racing, the technologies used aiming to make the driver better by providing simulations conditions, he concisely addressed the point that building the new games services on these new platforms is to provide good experiences for the players but not building products based on the strengths of the platform.