Sunday, March 22, 2015

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Post: Mobile Gaming Hall Of Fame!

Hall Of Fame: Scott Foe

Hopefully, winning a lifetime achievement award is no indication that my lifetime is over!

Thank you to my dear, old mother, who confiscated my Nintendo Entertainment System when I (always) misbehaved, who patiently typed "pick up the carrot" into King's Quest as I directed her, and who bought me an Intel 80486 computer to mollify my incessant begging. My mother is truly deserving of first-ballot induction into the Mom Hall Of Fame.

Thank you to Gerard Wiener, who believed in me, mentored me, and who never confiscated my Nintendo Entertainment System when I (always) misbehaved. Innovation simply cannot happen without full and unflappable organizational support, and, no matter how way-way-out-there my dreams and schemes, Gerard signed the checks without blinking.

Thank you to the amazing writers and publishers out there who have given me so much editorial love over the years: Anybody who thinks press doesn't matter isn't thinking at all.

Most-of-all: Thank you to all of the wonderful creative, technical, and business people who have led, followed, and marched alongside me over the years. Your ranks are legion and to name some would be a disservice to hundreds of others - each of you have been invaluable to my growth as a game developer.

And thank you in particular to the awesome people over at Pocket Gamer for inducting me into the Hall of Fame. You always hear at awards shows, "it's nice to be recognized," which is total codswallop: Unfortunately, there is no word in the English language to describe the indelibly positive rush of emotion that comes from having your life's work recognized by your industry. (Well, there is "alate," but, like most people, I don't know what that means, and I'm still kinda iffy on the definition of "codswallop.")

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Video: Casual Connect Europe 2014

The first Evil Game Design Challenge is billed by the good people at Casual Connect as, "The most-popular session in Casual Connect history." (I don't know how they qualify that, but, The Evil Game Design Challenge was definitely the most-watched talk from Casual Connect USA 2013.)

This second Evil Game Design Challenge is much, much better ...

Within the below video, you will find three luminary free-to-play game designers - Ben Cousins of DeNA, Laralyn McWilliams of The Workshop, and Teut Weidemann of Ubisoft - each murdering the game of Minecraft in their own individually evil ways, turning Minecraft out for player acquisition, retention, engagement, and, of course, monetization.

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the second Evil Game Design Challenge.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Video: Casual Connect USA 2013

*** UPDATE! According to the good folks at Casual Connect, The Evil Game Design Challenge is now "the most-popular talk in Casual Connect history!" Thank you all very much for the interest and support! ***

In 2005, when I pitched my first free-to-play game, Reset Generation, people truly thought I was "crazy." Crazy is fine, because crazy is the calling card of market disruption. I was already branded "crazy" for leaving console for mobile gaming in 2003, and, even before that, all the way back in 1999, people were calling me "crazy" for filling a Nerf Super Soaker squirt gun with my own urine.

Crazy is all well and good, but, somewhere along the line, the industry has gone from seeing free-to-play game design as "crazy," to seeing free-to-play game design as perniciously "evil." Well, to flip a phrase, "The only way to deal with idealists is to terrorize the bastards." So, let's get evil.

Within the below video, you will find three luminary free-to-play game designers - Greg Costikyan, Dan Rubenfield, and Ethan Levy - dressed as the super villains that they are. Therein they present game designs geared toward the most-evil pursuit of discovering scalable, repeatable business. One design loaded with thoughtful insight, one design a flight of wild imagination, one design a deeply evil winner ...

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the first Evil Game Design Challenge.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Post: The Paula Abdul Of Games

I know that I've been called the "Quentin Tarantino" of games in the press, and while that's truly flattering, I've now got steeper accolade: This boy's lifelong dream of becoming the "Paula Abdul of the games industry" has finally come to be! Thanks Activision, for asking me to sit as a judge on America's Next Top Game Maker, or The Activision Indie Games Competition, or whatever you call this incredibly large stack of games that's sitting on my desk here.

Note to Activision: There's a certain incongruousness in ringing my doorbell with a box of indie games at 8:00 a.m. on a Saturday morning. Ms. Abdul needs her beauty rest - and then she needs some "really cheery ohs" - a bowl of Oxycodone drenched in Screaming Eagle Cabernet, eaten with a spoon. (I'm suddenly in the mood for breakfast-for-dinner.) Also, how am I supposed to seduce the contestants if I don't know who they are?

xOXo The Paula Abdul of Games

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Video: Games Convention Asia 2009

Here's an oldie and a goody: My keynote from Games Convention Asia, "The MBAAA" - a talk about some of the economics of big-project mobile game development and a tutorial for entertainment property development. Now, please keep in mind that the first half of the talk references numbers from over a year ago, and time marches on as numbers drum upward. (Heck, we didn't yet have "six-cent-per-daily-active-user" stories to tell ...)

The second part of the talk is timeless, platform-less, and something that every developer, publisher, student, and scandalously good-looking public relations flack should see (if only to pound with virtual tomatoes). Entertainment Property Development should be mistress to entire business units at organizations everywhere.

When watching part two, you might find it helpful to know that people were booing and moaning when the Disney slide came up ... that doesn't really come through from the audio in this recording.

To borrow from "Yahtzee" Croshaw, I was positively stonked during the Q&A for this talk: Every question asked included the phrase, "Entertainment Property." Wish they had gotten that on film ...

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Video: GameHorizon 2010

As I say in the keynote, it's hard to give a talk about the future of gaming, as anything - and I mean, "anything" - is possible. (Also, on a side note, I was shocked by just how much fun the town of Newcastle is: If you get a chance to attend GameHorizon, stay and play.)