Jordan Blackman interviews the leaders and legends of the video game industry so that you can succeed with your game project, career, or venture. Discover how you can produce, market, and operate games more successfully so that your career can be more satisfying and impactful, whether you're a game designer, engineer, or entrepreneur and whether you work at a studio, publisher, brand or startup. Jordan is an industry insider, who has worked as a Senior Producer at Ubisoft and a Lead Designer at Zynga. Since 2012, Jordan has been helping clients like EA Sports, AMC Networks, The Pokemon Company, Ellen Degeneres, and Capcom create and grow hit games. In each episode of Playmakers, he goes to work uncovering valuable insights, tactics, and know-how from a wide range of entertaining personalities including designers, writers, product managers, technologists, studio founders, executives, and more. Why? So that you get practical perspectives and insights week after week. No matter your experience or discipline, this is the show that can level you up on everything from raising funds to live operations, and everything in-between. Oh, and you'll have fun every step of the way, because there's a magic sprinkle of goofiness in each episode. So, thwack that subscribe button and buckle on your safety belt, 'cus this here is the wildest ride in the metaverse.
Rapid Prototyping Secrets for Better Games with Bernard François
Bernard François runs Preview Labs, a company dedicated to helping studios create prototypes. They have created prototypes for Amazon, Wargaming, Unity, Google R&D, Disney Imagineering, and many more.
In this highly actionable interview, we cover how to make prototypes that are efficient and effective. What kinds of problems prototyping can solve, the difference between internal prototypes and prototypes for a pitch, common prototyping mistakes, key variables to include in prototypes, and much much more.
Inside the Mind of a Game God, with Steve Meretzky
I mean, it's Steve Meretzky, one of the greatest game writers and puzzle designers of all time. He's also served as VP of Games at King, VP of Creative at GSN, and VP of Game Design at Playdom/Disney. Steve is a hilarious creative force for good, and in this interview he shares stories and insights from his wide ranging and impactful career making games. Interested in contacting or working with Steve? You can find his LinkedIn profile in the show notes.
From Table Tops to Live Ops, with Bruce Harlick
Bruce Harlick is a prolific game designer and a beloved member of the bay area design community. He's worked at Monolith, LucasArts, Zynga, TinyCo, Hanger 13, and more on everything from MMOs to Facebook games. In our talk, we dive into live operations, content calendars, and managing KPI from a designers perspective.
Product Management & Monetization 101 & 201, with Gordon Rowe
Gordon Rowe was a product manager on Mafia Wars, and then served as Zynga's only product manager on the 3rd party publishing team working with external studios to help them improve the performance of their games. He also worked on PC f2p as the Director of Product at Daybreak games. He's currently working at Facebook as an in-house consultant.
Gordon has worked with dozens of external studios and has problem solved their products, and evaluated their chances of success. These are superpowers you can develop by listening to this episode...
We dive deep into product management frameworks, rule-of-thumb KPI, common free to play errors, the evolution of monetization beyond pay-to-win, how to implement an analytics stack, and much much more.
If you work in, or have interest in, free-to-play games, this interview is absolutely unmissable.
How to Become (or work with) a AAA Game Composer, with Michael Bross
AAA audio composer and sound designer Michael Bross has composed on games like Ratchet and Clank, Counter Strike, Odd World, X-com 2, Simpsons Tapped out, World of Tanks, Arena of Valor, and many more.
In this interview, you'll learn:
* How Michael broke into the industry
* What he looks for when hiring young composers and sound designers
* When is the right time to bring an audio team into the game development process
* How producers and developers can get the most from their audio teams
* And much more! Lots to learn in this episode of Playmakers!
Managing Your Game Industry Career, with Marc Mencher
Marc’s first gaming job was at Sphere, which was later renamed to Spectrum Holobyte. He worked as a software engineer on the games Vet and Falcon 1. When Spectrum Holobyte merged with Microprose in 1993, Mencher was asked to staff the entity and hired over 200 people. He later joined The 3DO Company, a game console manufacturer, as Staffing Manager, and helped to build The 3DO Studio (The 3DO Company’s Game Development Studio) from scratch, hiring over 300 people.