the opportunity to see progress and offer feedback.
This step adds time to the project schedule, “but it’s
worth it to build a culture of consensus building,”
Mr. Bhadada says.
FINDING THE HOOK
FOR FLUID FOOTBALL
Getting and maintaining stakeholder support is
critical when the project budget relies on external investors, says Varun Gupta, senior project
manager for digital publishing company Aptara,
“If you are pitching investors, you need to have
something that’s totally different, or you won’t
get their attention,” he says of the gaming field.
Industry research, therefore, is a
necessary part of the due diligence process for new game
When his team first came up
with the idea to develop a football (soccer) game, they began by
researching interest levels in different geographic areas, then looked
at all the football games currently
on the market for mobile devices
and other gaming platforms. Research
showed that while several available games focused
on the on-field action, they lacked a robust way of
capturing the sport’s strategic elements.
Based on that discovery, the team developed a
project plan to create a game with multiple levels,
rewarding players for making tactical decisions to
advance. Armed with a different take on football,
the team brought the proposal to investors in
January 2012 and won support. Fluid Football was
released in August for iOS and Android devices,
and by year’s end it surpassed 1 million downloads,
making it a considerable success.
Mr. Gupta acknowledges research alone can’t
ensure a game will fly, but it removes a lot of
uncertainty from the project’s early stages. “It’s
one basis of your decision on which project to
pursue,” he says. “Research doesn’t guarantee
success, but it does minimize your risks and help
accessibility issues that must be factored into the
development process, says Romain Piegay, PMP,
PgMP, program manager for game developer and
publisher Ubisoft, Paris, France.
Research doesn’t guarantee
success, but it does minimize your risks and help attract investors.”
—Varun Gupta, Aptara, Pune, India
PHOTO BY EMMANUEL FRADIN
DANCING ACROSS THE GLOBE
Entertainment projects face additional risks when
they span multiple platforms and devices, creating