There’s a reason a 10-year period is endowed with the special title of ‘decade’ that sets it in the league of the jubilees, the century and periods of the like. The reason is quite simple, it is a milestone. TechTreeIT as a firm has had the good fortune and absolute grit to fight its way to make it to this milestone.
A lot of the credit for our success goes to our associates. Through these 10 years we have had the absolute honour to work with some of the brightest minds in the industry. On reaching this milestone we decided to let the TTitans that have made Techtree who it is take center stage and show off their skills on camera!
Since times the immemorial price has been a key, if not the only brand differentiator in this beautiful sub-continent of India. With the rise of e-commerce, this has become even more evident if it wasn’t already. A shift in shopping trends towards buying online at lesser prices is a trend that has picked up by the Indians. Cash burn rates of players like Snapdeal, Jabong, Paytm and Flipkart have floored prices for products to levels that were previously unheard of.
But when the competition is between Big players with deep pockets, Price and even the Product sold is no longer a differentiator. The product you see on Flipkart will be the same as the one available on Snapdeal and Amazon at approximately similar prices.
With heavy discounts leading to faster cash burns, e-commerce giants are shifting to “Plan B” which stresses focus on the customer experience in using their service. You may have noticed the multiple advertisements by Flipkart and Amazon, reassuring their customers of Guaranteed returns, Original products, Seamless service. It is an awakening of sorts where these giants take a step back and realize that they could fight this out in one of the two ways, either get in to a price war with cash burn rates that are unfeasible, or enhance customer experience and try to create a certain brand loyalty which has been lacking in this industry.
Morgan Stanley’s new valuation of Flipkart is an eye-opener for these players that their “Plan A” is not a sustainable form of operations and a shift to a more customer experience-oriented approach as opposed to a price-oriented approach is the need of the hour and key to sustainability and success.
This inevitability has led to a shifting trend in brand differentiators in the eCommerce platform from price to customer experience. In an industry that was originally meant to ease the life of its customers and allow them to shop from the comfort of their homes, the prodigal sons seem to be finding their way back to this very core principle.
A brand is quite simply defined as Trust. Trust is built based on the experience received. The experience received will result in a certain Brand Loyalty. And finally, this Brand Loyalty will inturn strengthen the brand. This is a simple cycle that needs to be at the forefront of your operational strategy!
Most Project Managers in the gaming industry vex about the projects schedule and its management. Game Producers, on the other hand, have a key responsibility that transcends that of the Project Manager and that is to communicate & champion the vision of the game to the team, clients & outside stakeholders. The role of Game Producers may vary from company to company, from the role of note takers in some to Project Managers in others. What I personally believe is that the main role of Game Producers is to bring the best out of creative people as well as manage delivery by making vision oriented project plans, among other responsibilities. The Game Producer needs to know how to harness the creativity brewing inside his team members while also ensuring compliance with the project plan. If there ever was a mantra to ace the role of a Game producer, I believe the following list would form its foundation.
Communication: Communication is the basic need of any team/ organization. The process of communication is declared complete once the message has been received and understood by the recipient. Thus as a Game Producer, one must ensure that the message is simply understood by the recipient and clear doubts in case of a confusion or distortion. As a Game Manager one needs to drive home the vision of the project, no matter how many repetitions it takes.
Own- The Concept, Plan & Project Vision: Game Producer is the one team depends on for a structured plan of action. Failing to plan is planning to fail. Thus, as a Game Producer, one should always plan each and every detail and this plan must be known and communicated by the producer to his team.
Track & Verify: This can be quite simply summarized with the acronym ABCD- Always Be Collecting Data. Compare the actual progress to the planned progress to better manage expectations.
Know your Pipelines: The roadmap of the project and the workflow pipelines must be at back of the mind of a Producer.
Set the Rules: A team works best when they are clear about the vision. As a Game Producer, you must manage Daily Standups, inform the team about their Daily Tasks, review their progress on a day to day basis and have everyone update their task list daily before standups.
Commit, then Deliver: The Game Producer’s role is to commit to the organization about the delivery of the Project, then work with the team to deliver on those commitments.
Carry the Vision: As a Game Producer one must be completely aware about the vision of the product and should protect and promote that vision during the entire course of the production cycle.
Be a Lifelong Learner: This may sound a bit philosophical and vague but it is really important to understand the power of knowledge. Staying up to date with field related news is the crux of any successful career. Reading books, news, taking similar role interviews, taking inputs from team are few ways you can stay ahead of the game.
Be a servant to the team: For a Game Producer, his/her team is the most important thing. As their leader, the Game Producer must fulfill the needs of his/her team. A noble leader answers not to the trumpet calls of self promotion, but to the hushed whispers of necessity.
Listen: Sometimes the best suggestions come from the unlikeliest of sources. A Game Producer must understand this and value and review every opinion with equal fervor.
In this 2 series blog, we will tell you what are the challenges faced during cross platform publishing of games and how we have addressed this. Let’s see what the challenges are.
Gaming industry has been evolving exponentially. It’s getting more exciting and more challenging day by day. One such challenge is ‘Cross Platform Publishing’.
In simple words ‘cross platform publishing’ is publishing your game across multiple OS, Stores, Devices and Platforms. It is an opportunity and threat in itself. If you know how to tackle this, you will reach more players and retain them for a longer period since you would have optimized your game for all of them. If you don’t publish your game across different platforms, you will lose out to your competitors.
The scenario becomes more complex when you want to reach players in India since internet penetration is low and the market is highly fragmented. Reaching players having low configuration hardware with low graphics resolution becomes more challenging.
Following are the pain points of mobile game developers when they want to go for cross platform publishing:
Create-Build ratio is 20:80
Developers today are focusing more on building the game than differentiating it. This is mainly due to the efforts involved in cross platform publishing. This makes them focus more on production aspects rather than focusing on core gameplay. You may successfully publish your game across different platforms but if the core gameplay is not good, players will leave your game too early affecting the retention rate adversely.
Multiple screen sizes and device configurations
Building a game for different screen sizes is another challenge faced by developers. They have to ensure that their game is compatible with devices having different configurations too. Optimising the game controls keeping all this in mind makes it more difficult.
OS specific functionalities
Functionalities differ with each OS and each OS has multiple versions. Even if you optimize your game for different OS, it is going to be a continuous process since new versions with updates will be released periodically. Each update may have a new feature which will affect your game. You have to test your game to identify the problems and then work on fixing it.
Game production time goes up significantly due to multiple porting requirements. Porting your game to different OS and stores will increase your production time thereby increasing your cost of production too. This cost is only going to increase since we will see many more stores, platforms, OS updates versions in future.
Iterative and repetitive work
Cross platform publishing involves lots of iterative and repetitive work which adds up to the production time and cost. While this can be reduced, it can’t be eliminated.
Never ending process
Game production is a never ending process. Continuous improvement and updates are a must if your game has to be successful and remain so. This means implementing these changes across multiple platforms and OS periodically.
In the next part we will show you how Nukebox Studios has overcome these pain points and the amazing results we have achieved from it.
Chief Gaming Officer – Nukebox Studios
Nukebox Studios is the Gaming Division of TechTreeIT
The corporate culture of sitting in front of a computer screen and working 8+ hour shifts have claimed the best of us. Engineers at the peak of their fitness, right out of college, have been reduced to unfit men with bellies that have rendered most of their old clothes obsolete. It is the work stress, as much as the lack of physical activity that has resulted in higher blood pressure, weaker immune systems, and an overall slump in the stride of associates. Leaving the house early every morning and returning back home post sundown exhausted from a tough day of work is the excuse that is on the lips of most corporate employees. Though a valid excuse, we cannot let it dictate our lives.
Health is wealth is a statement that was repeated to us numerous times when we were growing up. An unhealthy associate will see his/her productivity affected drastically. In our pursuit to make wealth, we lose out on something much more important and priceless i.e. our health. The percentage of corporate employees with health problems ranging from diabetes, Blood pressure, insomnia etc. is staggering.
What is the solution you ask? Well, we at TechTreeIT have found a way to balance Work and play that ensures maximum productivity from the employees. Meet Mr. Thakur, a well-known yogi in the circuit, a man with over 7 Years of experience helping people de-stress and center themselves. “Yoga is the best way to combat the silent killer i.e. Stress. A few minutes spent in meditation daily can increase the positive energy in our lives while ridding ourselves of all the negativity in life.” Mr. Thakur believes.Our Health Executive Mr. Supreet is the brain behind this initiative. “There is a lack of importance given to the health of associates by various corporates. We at TechTreeIT care about our associates and we are ready to go that extra mile to prove it. Yoga in the office is out of the box and it is this out of the box thinking that differentiates us from other corporates.” he said. This initiative is just the beginning of what seems to be a revolution in the making. On being asked about his future plans for our associates, Mr Supreet said, “This is just the beginning for us. We have lined up a number of activities right from Lifestyle Modification Assessment Programs to Mind Coaching. We are also planning to have Wellness Guest speeches that will add great value to the day-to-day lives of our associates.”
In our commitment to take care of our associates, yoga sessions are organized Twice every week. The sessions begin with body tapping, followed by stretching and loosening all joints in the body which is more physical in nature. This is followed Pranayama exercises (breathing exercises) that puts one in a relaxed and meditative state. These sessions seem to energize our associates while providing them with a healthy and much needed break from work.
Mr. Praveen , the Business Consultant at TechTreeIT had this to say about the initiative, “In the day to day busy schedule at work and time spent commuting in Traffic I rarely get time to keep track of my fitness but this initiative of Yoga @ work has really helped me to relax and destress I feel Yoga is not just for physical fitness but for mental fitness as well”
It may be hard to pen-down empirical data on the effect of these initiatives on our associates over the last 3 months but it has definitely seemed to return that spark in the eyes of most of our associates. Helping our associates find themselves again is something we take great pride in. There is no better way to conclude than with a quote from the 35th US President Mr John F Kennedy himself,” Physical fitness is not only one of the most important keys to a healthy body, it is the basis of dynamic and