Online Matters Transcending the single Player Experience.

Monthly Archives: May 2011

IGDA OC: Leaderboards Can Suck It!

Tonight — Wednesday, May 31 — at 6:30 p.m., The Orange County chapter of the International Game Developers Association will host GameSpy Technology VP Todd Northcutt as a special guest speaker for the chapter’s monthly meeting. Todd (we call him “Tungsten” or “Tungholio” around the GameSpy Technology offices, depending on what game we’re playing at the time) will deliver his talk on video game data visualization, entitled, “Leaderboards Can Suck It.” If you’re in the OC area, we highly recommend catching it.

Obsidian Entertainment (you know – the guys behind Fallout: New Vegas and Dungeon Siege III) are hosting the event at their office, located at 8105 Irvine Center Drive, Suite 200 Irvine, CA 92618. You need not be an IGDA member to attend (although membership has its privileges).

As for the talk, here’s a quick abstract:

Leaderboards are boring, discouraging and lazy. So why are they the defacto standard when it comes presenting data to players? Why do games, which have so much access to data, tend to do so little with the gold mine at their feet? We’ll present better ideas for engaging players with your amazing data — from infographics to heat maps and more – and discuss how data can be used to keep your community more active, your game on the shelf longer and DLC converting at a higher rate.

Todd’s delivered this talk to rapturous receptions at both GDC Online and at the Montreal International Games Summit. We’re pleased to have him present again, close to (our) home! See you at the event!

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Categories: Data, Other

Indie Open House: Next Game Boss Episode 2

You remember IGN Indie Open House, right? The program that IGN and GameSpy Technology kicked off this past Winter to provide office space, free online game development tools and consultation to five independent game dev teams? Of course you do. It’s a great program, and the participants have become some of our favorite people ever. I mean, how do you NOT love a bunch of guys who moved to San Francisco for 6 months, for no money, to pursue their dream of making successful video games?

Last month, IGN decided to shine a different light on the participants by having them participate in a new Web-exclusive reality show called “The Next Game Boss,” provided as a perk for subscribers to IGN’s new “Prime” subscription service. In it, the five teams participate in a series of game design challenges aimed at showcasing each participant’s ability to think creatively on their feet, responding to (admittedly) ridiculous, borderline surreal prompts with entertaining and viable game ideas.

The first episode launch in April, to rave reviews. Now, the teams are back in episode two. The heat is a little hotter this time around and, thankfully, the attention also a little more focused on what the teams (who are all incredibly dedicated and deadly serious about making their games successful) do when they’re not being filmed by a camera crew and taunted by editors/ judges. Have a look!

Anecdote of note: the director on these pieces is former IGN Insider video editor Amy Do, who also directed the acclaimed indie documentary Rabbit Fever (also very much worth a watch!).

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Play, Drink, Conquer (We’re Hiring!)

GameSpy Technology — a division of IGN Entertainment — is hiring for three crucial roles in both its San Francisco and Costa Mesa, CA offices. Can you code, design or sell the pants off of awesome code / design? Do you love games? Know your stouts from your porters, and your Belgians from your IPAs? We want you.

We work with Nintendo, EA, Rockstar, THQ, Activision and over 100 other publishers and game developers of every size and scope, serving up awesome online experiences for millions of gamers every month. GameSpy Technology powers the online portion of over 1000 games on every platform under the sun, we’re hoping you will join the team and help us go farther, faster.

Here’s a quick run-down of the open positions on our team. Follow the links to apply!

  • Account Manager: Kick ass. Take no prisoners. Help enhance and extend users’ gameplay experiences on the next big release. As a member of the GameSpy Technology Account Management team you will manage all aspects of the sales cycle (prospecting, relationship building, and implementation), helping developers at every level find the perfect solution for their online game development needs.
  • Designer / Front-End Developer: You’ve built awesome products before so you know everything there is to know about user interaction and visual design. You post your doodles on Dribbble. You love to debate how best to indicate on/off state. You obsess over how best to display data in a grid. You can’t fathom turning over a beautiful mockup to another developer to implement, after all, it’s your baby.
  • Online Gaming Software Engineer: Your Mission: Develop new technology for high availability, high demand online services that are changing the face of entertainment and gaming. Your weapons cache: Experience with Microsoft / LAMP; OO Languages such as : C++, C#, ASP.NET; Solid database experience with various relational DB systems such as SQL Server, MySQL or Oracle (level ups if you have experience with one or more of the NoSQL alternatives); familiarity with both Windows and Linux environments. You come armed with a love of Agile and a hatred of waterfall, and knowledge that RESTful is not sleep, SOAP is not a beauty product, and that SCRUM is not part of the human anatomy.

Dying to work at IGN or GameSpy Technology, but not seeing a good fit for yourself above? Perhaps Code-Foo is the answer. Forget about resumes and let your skills do the talking. Spend six weeks full-time at IGN’s offices working on services and learning your craft. Wow us with your work and we’ll hire you. No joke.

Categories: Other

Crysis 2: DLC Sales, Redeem Codes and More with GameSpy Direct2Game

On Tuesday, May 17, Crytek released the first wave of downloadable content for the massively successful Crysis 2, the latest installment in the studio’s boundary-pushing Crysis first-person shooter franchise.

Releasing DLC is not, in and of itself, all that novel. But Crytek is innovating in a very important way: it’s partnered with GameSpy Technology to sell DLC directly to players via an in-game store and the official MyCrysis Web site.

Crysis 2 - In-Game Store

Crysis 2: in-game store powered by GameSpy Direct2Game

Using GameSpy’s Direct2Game digital commerce services and APIs, Crytek has “leveled up” its efforts to sell digital content on the PC, enabling the developer to control at every level how that content gets sold. It can merchandise however it sees fit, offering specials, sales, free redeemables, exclusives, and bundles at its discretion, all without worrying about its products competing against other studios’ or publishers’ content for player attention. Best of all, Crytek can sell directly to its players from within the game or via the official MyCrysis Web site, making it dead simple for players to discover, purchase, download and play the content that Crytek makes available.

MyCrysis Web store

GameSpy Direct2Game also powers DLC sales via the MyCrysis Web store

All of this leverages GameSpy Technology’s services-based commerce platform, which provides end-to-end support for account management, billing, taxation, fulfillment, and customer support behind the scenes. This leaves Crytek free to do what it does best – make and sell great online games – and frees it from the hassles normally associated with third party digital marketplaces.

Ready to take control over your digital content destiny? Sign up for a free GameSpy Technology account today to get started immediately.

Categories: Commerce / Tags: ,