Games are more diverse than ever. On one end you've got the fat cats making their hundred million dollar, ultra-violent screengasms, and on the other you have John Q. Public, barista by day, programming a game that he hopes will be the next Angry Birds by night.
Mid-sized game developers are dying left and right as they try to play up to the pharaohs or compete with the free-to-play swarm. The old business model no longer makes sense.
At Liquid we have always believed that a company must continually reshape itself to provide the best quality games within the constraints of its business environment. As times change, we change with them, it's in our DNA.
We believe that the time is right for a more flexible development strategy. To implement a process that has already been proven out in other entertainment industries. Liquid has made the shift to On-Demand Development.
When you work with a developer that has 20+ people you are paying more than you should for your game. That developer has massive overhead, and that overhead is built into every game they work on. They also have very specialized people, like audio engineers and lighting artists who they are bouncing around multiple projects at once because they don't have enough work on your project alone. All these people get assigned to your project regardless of whether they are the right person for the job or not. Why? Well because someone's got to feed them, why not you? These people get bumped off and back on your project as priorities change and that means they can never give you their best. You're paying more and getting less.
When you work with a developer who is 1-19 people, you are often working with people who are moonlighting on something else, or even worse, they have no experience. While the price might be right in the beginning, you'll take it in the shorts on the back end when they don't deliver, or worse, deliver substandard quality. Again, you're paying more and getting less.
The right answer is on-demand development managed by industry veterans. Choosing on-demand development, means saying 'yes' to building the right team for the job. It means saying 'yes' to developing the game in the most efficient, pain free way possible. We bring together the exact people that your project requires for the exact time they need to be on the project. Everyone's a contractor - hired because they are the right person for the job - not because they are a "floating resource" looking for a project.
We maintain a proprietary database of the best talent available and hire them for your project and your project alone. We handle all the logistics of bringing the team together and coordinating the execution and delivery of all aspects of the game.
It's simply the best way to get a game done and we're blown away that more companies aren't doing it.
During this time we hire visualizers and ideators to scope and design the game while adding key visuals to communicate the vision. By the end of development you will have a complete game design, several key visuals and a clear understanding of the game that is being built. Again, if you choose to go with a firm that has full-time staff, you will be paying for artists and programmers who will be starting work without a complete idea of the game, which means that you will paying for their rework. Make the complete plan first, then build it. You wouldn't build your custom home without blueprints, would you?
As we move into Production, only the staff necessary for the continuing creation of the game is retained. Engineers are brought on according to the scheduled timeline and only for the agreed upon work. No more paying for a dev whose building someone else's game.
Production includes the creation of all the content in the game. Regular meetings, reports, and code drops insure that you are happy with the work and any requested changes are handled as simple change orders.
Most developers don't set aside a fixed and dedicated time for improving and polishing the game, and that's too bad. Sure, they'll tell you that they do it as they go, or even worse, that they do it right the first time. We all know that doesn't work. People run out of time. You ask for more stuff. Life happens.
We set aside a clear time to hone the game, clean things up, and address that awesome new feature you really want in the game. The best time for all of this is at the end. Do it in the beginning and the project loses focus, do it in the middle and time is lost in reworking, but do it at the end, when everyone can see what they have, and any changes that have to be made end up being the most efficient possible.
Whether it's in the browser, client/server, Xbox, Playstation, PC, MAC, Android, or iOS download, we've been making games for more than 20 years. We know the ins and out of all these platforms and are capable of launching on all of them. You want someone whose done this before (really done this before, not just kinda sorta) or you're going to pay more and get less.
Today's games are more like starting a new business than launching a product. Players expect that their time investment will be rewarded with some kind of ongoing content.
Whose gonna build that, you? Of course not. We take all the headache out of live ops. We bring together specialists in server operations, ecommerce, community managers, customer support staff, as well as individuals from the production team to ensure that all your needs are addressed. Servers go down at 3am? We get the call and fix it while you sleep. Game exploding in size? We scale the servers and make you look good to your boss.
Later, when you're ready to ramp down the game, we'll be there to make that transition as easy as possible for the players and for you.
It's true. We've been consulting to companies for more than two decades now. We've taken on and rescued some seriously challenged projects. Have a project, division, or company in trouble? Need someone to take over live ops. for your game? Don't know which way to turn? Buy us a cup of coffee and we'll talk. If you need more than that, we can talk about that too... over that cup of coffee... which you just bought.