"I believe as an industry we’ve become too data-driven," stated Boomzap Entertainment co-founder and creative director Christopher Natsuume.
This was the message given during the ‘Workflow Tricks for Growing Teams: Plus Working with Freelancers and Outsource Development Agencies’ session at PGC Digital #2. Frag Games director of business development Zaair Hussain and Fundamentally Games chief strategy officer Oscar Clark also took part in the panel alongside Natsuume.
Data was discussed in detail with a debate on whether it’s relied on too heavily in this day and age. Natsuume spoke of an example when Boomzap partnered with Big Fish Games on a project that included spiders at the forefront, however after seeing a negative response from testing four spider titles, it was scrapped by Big Fish. Several months later, a new game made its debut featuring spiders and ended up topping the charts.
"The data doesn’t give you the full answer, it just gives you some information," said Natsuume
All panellists agreed that communication at the beginning of a project is a necessity to keep the core vision throughout. This applies for any external teams via outsourcing too, with clarity on what everyone is doing and what everyone isn't doing a must.
"There needs to be a lot of communication upfront," said Hussain.
"You need to make sure everyone is making the same product, and you have to make sure everyone understands what they are making from the start," added Natsuume.
PG Connects Digital #2 is the best of our Pocket Gamer Connects conference in an online form, with an entire week of talks, meetings, and pitch events taking place from June 8th to the 12th. You can read up on all the tracks taking place through the week here.
Correction: This article previously stated that Christopher Natsumme worked with Chucklefish Games. He had actually worked with Big Fish Games. We have updated the article accordingly.