Just as your social media accounts need management, so does your game titles. The work on games doesn’t just revolve around development and testing but includes management as well.
What is the job of a game manager?
A game manager (more commonly known as game master or GM) is someone in charge of running a game. Specifically, the following are the responsibilities of a GM:
Create the story
GMs create the world that the players live in, most of the time from scratch. They develop a beginning, middle, and end, then guide the players between these points.
Describe the setting
The GM has to describe the setting of the story well — not too detailed or too little — so that players can imagine it well as it’s being told.
Keep up the momentum of the story
The GM has to keep the story interesting and make sure it’s moving in the right direction. GMs don’t have to write the entire plot by themselves, but they do have to be as hands-on as possible. To keep the momentum going, they should ensure that the game characters have something to do and the players themselves are always challenged.
Another role of the GM is to ensure that all players get along and are comfortable with one another. In case arguments or debates arise, GMs need to intervene and resolve these. Depending on the case, they may need to pick one or both of the disputing parties out of the game.
Recruit new players
Recruiting can sometimes be frustrating but, with enough diligence, the GM can find players who will be able to appreciate the game.
Maintain the website
As the gateway to your game, your website should be both informative and attractive. Your website’s appearance will give visitors the first impression and, as they dig into the site, the content on it will keep them engaged with it. The GM is responsible for keeping the site updated — by showing the most recent posts, giving a summary of recent events, and featuring certain game characters.
Give guidance and encouragement
The GM helps players who are stuck in the game formulate ideas on how to progress. They’re the ones who the players go to for help, so they should be approachable and friendly.
To sum it all up, the GM does these things to create an environment that will attract existing and potential players to the game. With the help of a GM, there will be order in a gaming community.
What are the types of games to manage?
When you manage games, you should have a thorough understanding of game titles. To start with, here are the different genres of games that you need to know:
To enjoy these fast-paced games, you need to be fast and have excellent reflexes. You’ll choose a character to represent yourself in the game and complete challenges by fighting with enemies.
Adventure games are usually single player games and often set in an adventure or fantasy world. Generally, these games start with letting you know the backstory of your character and what your mission is. You’ll then have to discover how to complete the mission.
Educational games are meant to help with the learning process and make learning fun. It’s used for training in a variety of subjects, including mathematics, science, and ICT. In these games, there are testing functions where players can answer multiple choice questions.
First Person Shooters (FPS)
In FPS games, you’re the protagonist, and you see things through your own eyes. These games can be played on a game console or computer.
Massively Multiplayer Online (MMO)
In MMO games, players from all over the world use a network (LAN or Internet) and interact with one another in the virtual game room. The creation of these games takes thousands of hours of programming, giving players the most amazing gaming experience possible.
Puzzle games are brain games with no action involved. These games usually have colored shapes, simple actions, and levels ranging from beginner to expert.
Real-Time Strategy (RTS)
From the name itself, RTS games move in real-time. In these games, players can play together at once without taking turns and usually need to build up an inventory of items, armies, etc.
Role-playing games (RPGs) appeal to those who love fantasy and usually have narrative guides. Players can act out the part of the main character and make decisions that go along with the games’ storylines.
Simulation games involve taking control of real-world vehicles such as aircraft, ships, and tanks. In fact, these games can be used to train professionals such as pilots.
These games let you play real-world sports. The most popular sports games are actually based on specific sporting events. As you work up through the various skill levels, you’ll need to imitate real professional athletes and how they move.
Take note that some games can be considered to be of more than one genre. But regardless of the type of game, the important thing is to understand how that game works.
What are the gaming trends to take advantage of?
Aside from the different types of games, it’s also important for gaming companies to know the current trends in the industry. Here are some gaming trends that are worth keeping track of:
The rise of eSports has produced a large number of gamers who regularly compete in professional tournaments with cash prizes. eSports tournaments are usually sponsored by technology companies, but may also generate revenues through live ticket selling and online viewing subscriptions.
Rapid Console Generation Cycles
The five-year cycle of newer generations of console devices can be considered done as, in the present times, we see new models of different labels coming out every season. Concrete examples are PlayStation 4 Pro (released in November 2016) and XBox One Scorpio (released in November 2017), which are both upgrades of their original predecessors. The release of the Nintendo Switch in March 2017 also proves that there’s still room in the market for new console devices. The good thing here is, as newer models come out, original models will eventually get cheaper.
Despite having a player retention problem, the mobile gaming landscape still commands a large audience and generates revenues from in-game purchases. That’s what makes mobile games the most valuable advertising tool for content producers (especially those in entertainment franchises).
Virtual Reality Improvements
The virtual reality (VR) experience in 2016 didn’t quite meet the expectations attached to it and fell short of unleashing the full potential of VR. The problem is that the best quality VR headsets (such as those of HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, and PlayStation VR) are very expensive and complicated to set up for home users. And even if there are cheaper ones — mobile headsets such as those of Google Daydream View and Samsung Gear VR, they’re not yet providing the kind of high-fidelity everyone is hoping for (the 2016 version of both, at least).
But because VR is still young in the gaming industry, we’ll surely see improvements with the VR experience. In fact, both Google and Samsung have started improving their VR devices by releasing a 2017 version of them.
In the coming years, we’ll surely see more gaming trends coming into the picture. But before deciding to adopt any of these trends, you’ll need to consider a lot of factors first.
How is game management done?
The work doesn’t end when a game is launched because there’s so-called post-launch game management. After the launch period, the game manager then comes into the picture.
The following tips will help you manage game titles effectively:
Understand the players.
One of the biggest issues you have to deal with is your relationship with players. You may be one who paid for, designed, and created a game but, upon launching, it will be the players’ game. Gamasutra classified players into three broad categories: barbarians, tribesmen, and citizens.
Barbarians don’t care about game mechanics and tend to enjoy ruining other players’ experiences. They are statistically small in number but can cause great damage, so you need to reroute or get them out of the game.
Tribesmen just want to ensure that they and their personal community have a great time playing the game. Their tendency to have mob mentality can be both beneficial and harmful depending on the situation.
Citizens are those who are willing to obey the rules and play the game realistically, as well as motivate others to do the same. While it’s important to deal with problem players, it shouldn’t come to a point where you’re already neglecting the good players.
Manage player expectations.
When communicating with your players, remember that anything you post or mention in public matters to them. In line with this, you need a solid internal organization that controls and manages the flow of information from your live development team to the players and vice versa. Players want to get current information, know that their opinions are being considered and delivered by the development team, and be notified in advance regarding major changes.
Delivering these kinds of information and coordinating player responses starts with a process managed by community relations on the website and in message forums.
The following stages will help manage game player expectations:
In Concept - This page is used to list changes that are under consideration for implementation in the coming months but haven’t yet been decided on. These are presented as concepts only for player comment, with links to a message board topic dedicated to the specific concepts or changes mentioned.
In Development - After the live team has decided to begin work on the concept, change or feature addition, it’s noted here, along with some minimal explanation of how it’s expected to function in the game and what the overall impact of the change will be.
In Testing - Listed on this page are line items from the “In Development” section that have been added to the internal and/or public test server and are now being run through the QA process. Each line item must have a detailed explanation of the functionality and use of the additions.
In the Next Patch - Here, you’ll find line items from the “In Testing” section that have cleared the QA process and will be installed in the next scheduled patch, with a date and time given for that patch. The text describing the functionality and use of each line item must be reproduced here along with any changes made to the line item during the test.
What are the game management services available?
Pure Moderation provides one of the most effective BPO game management services in the industry. Increased demand for the quality of user experience drives the need for real-world testing and active agent participation. These elements are paramount to the launch success of a title. We offer several specialized web and mobile gaming services to provide the best testing and launch conditions required by real-world gamers.
Game Moderation and Guideline Enforcement
User-generated content is an essential part of any social gaming experience and provides essential SEO, awareness, and promotion for the success of a title. However, it also leaves your title open to potential abuse, spamming, as well as to user safety and brand reputation damage. Moderation is an essential part of maintaining a fair and user-friendly environment that protects your brand and gaming community. You may also have specific rules and regulations that require enforcing. Pure Moderation can give you protection 24/7/365 at the level you require.
If you’re creating a title with any aspect of MMO, MMORPG, real-time multiplayer or real-time battle, then launching with an adequate player base is essential. While AIs can provide an aspect of this, they’re never comparable to real players. Pure Moderation’s game launch enrichment provides a spectrum of players to operate under your specifications during your launch to seed your game with real-world players that behave the way you want. This gives your launch the platform base, player structure, and audience progression values that create real adoption and retention. We can ensure your launches, events, or any other multiplayer experiences have players in-game to interact with users.
No game is ever released without real-world closed environment testing with feedback from dedicated, experienced game testers. Our dedicated in-house testing teams form part of our game management services. Our game testing provides hand-selected series of focus groups designed to 'real world' test as many conceivable usage scenarios as possible. This not only helps finalize any further bugs but is also used to gain user feedback on UI logic, functionality, and feature understanding. We don’t crowdsource from freelance applicants. Our testers are all in-house and follow the guidelines you provide to give the best feedback for improving your title.
If you want to give players great gaming experience, it’s not enough to develop great game titles. Your products should always be accompanied by great game management services.