usc interactive business course intro l

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Information about usc interactive business course intro l

Published on November 21, 2008

Author: aSGuest3590


The Business of Interactive Media : The Business of Interactive Media Bing Gordon Chris Swain August 2005 Today we will… : Today we will… Find out? should you be in this class? teacher qualifications and interests? Schedule and workload planning. Interrogate! Mark Skaggs, Exec Producer Nox, Red Alert, Battle for Middle Earth, etc Geoff Keighley, Editor Entertainment Weekly, Gamespot, G4TV The Big Idea : The Big Idea Actively learn… To protect… To enable… Your best work… In the interactive entertainment business. In other words, Help Chris Swain rewrite 100 pages of his book! : In other words, Help Chris Swain rewrite 100 pages of his book! Grading metrics : Grading metrics A+ = your plan is fundable right now A = excellent student work some professional level insights B = good graduate student work you will understand your producer’s work C = good undergraduate student work solid grasp of class discussions your work lacks maturity and context D = you have wasted your time and our time Dealing with “distance learning” : Dealing with “distance learning” Bing lecture: 1/3 weeks Guest lectures: 2/3 weeks 6 assignments: comments from Chris,Bing Summary reviews in class 3 short quizzes Four 4 hr class sessions Chris intros his bad self : Chris intros his bad self Bing : Bing 1982 Marketing, Studio, CCO Bard’s Tale, Starflight, Madden, Tiger, NHL, Nox, Alpha Centauri, Sim Golf, Populous: The Beginning, Generals, Sim City 3000, Sims and Sims 2, Urbz, Battle for Middle Earth, Lottso, etc My bookshelf : My bookshelf Confessions of an Advertising Man, Ogilvy How Hits Happen, Farrell Positioning, Ries and Trout The Big Picture, Epstein The Fifth Discipline, Senge The Medici Effect, Johannson Net Gain, Hagel & Armstrong Emergence, Johnson On Intelligence, Hawkins The Beak of the Finch, Weiner My all-time favorite games : My all-time favorite games Dark Age of Camelot Diablo series Civilization Series Final Fantasy 7 Wing Commander 3 Heroes of Might and Magic 3 Starflight 7 Cities of Gold Planetfall Columns Club Pogo Sneakers My sponsorAbout Electronic Arts : My sponsorAbout Electronic Arts 1982 25% 6000 400 21 Listen a bit, do a lot. : Listen a bit, do a lot. Learn the big picture: Overview of interactive businesses The job of executive producer Live role models Develop your skills: Basics of the executive producer finance, marketing, contracts, entrepreneuring Setting, communicating vision Skills practice Write your own business or project plan Group exercise: Design this class : Group exercise: Design this class What question do you want this class to answer? OR: What is your biggest personal challenge in interactive media business? Process: Groups of 3 Discuss Report back on another person’s issue ClassesPart 1: Follow the money : ClassesPart 1: Follow the money Week 1: Overview and Introduction to the Course Bing Gordon, Mark Skaggs Week 2: What your finance advisor knows Bryan Neider, VP Finance, EA Studios Week 4: The business of online games Chip Lange, VP Marketing, Assignments: Personal area of focus statement, Financial analysis ClassesPart 2: Know your customers : ClassesPart 2: Know your customers Week 5: The Role of Marketing, Bing Gordon Week 6: Customer Research, Carolyn Feinstein, VP Advtsg/Promo, EA 4 HOUR SESSION Week 7: How Game Marketing Works Today, Frank Gibeau, Sr VP Marketing, EA Week 8: Selling to the Retail Channel Tom Cipolla, Sr VP North American Sales, EA Assignments: Focus Group Testing, Market Analysis ClassesPart 3: Making it happen : ClassesPart 3: Making it happen Week 9: Pitching the Project, Rich Hilleman, EA University Workshop: FOUR HOUR SESSION Week 10: Serious Games and Academia, Speaker tbd Week 11: Independent Publishing, Tom Frisina, Sr VP EA Partners Week 12: Deal Negotiation, Speaker tbd Workshop: FOUR HOUR SESSION Assignments: Project proposal concept pitch ClassesPart 4: Start you up : ClassesPart 4: Start you up Week 13: Preproduction, Glenn Entis Workshop: prepro your work, FOUR HOUR SESSION Week 14:Founding Electronic Arts, Bing Gordon Week 15: How to Read a Contract, Patrick O’Brien, EA Legal Week 16: Final Presentations, Chris and Bing Assignments: Business Plan   This could be for your USC 3rd Year project or another project 20 (sic) questions : 20 (sic) questions Live… How close was our (draft) syllabus to your goals? What should we try to change? Your “Big questions” : Your “Big questions” Should I be in the industry? Does the bottom suck? Could I drop out in January and start a company and succeed? What do execs look for in new projects: creative or money? How can we differentiate our projects? What kind of platforms should we address– mobile, online, etc? That you want answered : That you want answered How do we turn a new kind of game into a killer app? How can exec producer be made into a creative position? How can story be a killer feature in interactive entertainment? Why is interactive design buried in the Film School? Over course of this semester : Over course of this semester How do you get a team motivated to support and build my idea? Even non-gamer team members. What skills and experience and organization necessary for good chance of success? Best way to produce games independently? x2 What if game companies don’t think my skill is important? We’ll try to help you find answers : We’ll try to help you find answers How do I find my personal niche? How to articulate my crazy ideas? Get funding? How build an effective dev pipeline? What can I learn from games biz to improve odds of success in other forms of interactive media? How convince major publisher/rich angels to take a risk on new type of game? Big ? : Big ? Why don’t all well-made games sell well, or at least meet expectations? What can I learn from feature games biz to change the world of serious games? Small questions-deal with these right now! : Small questions-deal with these right now! Do I need industry background for this class? What fields will this prepare me for? Will we be entertained? Will I have time to watch tv and still do this class? Group exercise #2 : Group exercise #2 What do you think is the hardest decision exec producers face? OR: What do today’s exec producers wish they had learned in university? Process: Groups of 3 Discuss Report back on another student’s idea At Electronic ArtsThe Role of the Exec Producer : At Electronic ArtsThe Role of the Exec Producer Performance measure: profits (vs plan) Three roles: Midas: turn money into money Capital, contracts, forecasts, expenses The Oracle: set a marketable vision Customers, sales channel, promo, PR, spokesman General Contractor: maximize people, schedule Recruiting, workflow, group structures, project plans, details! No background fully prepares… : No background fully prepares… Engineers: Management+++, Customer insight +, Business? Marketers: Customer insight++, Management+, Business++ Designers: Customer insight+++, Management?, Business? Today is too complex : Today is too complex Engineers write 15x lines of code than industry average! Artists, designers 1x output, but worse tools, and realtime. Producers manage ¼ production budget but changing pipelines and organization models Alpha-beta 1month!! Future “rationalizes” : Future “rationalizes” Fewer lines of code/day Runtime modules Digital film level art and animation tools Proven pipelines Alpha-beta 2-3 months Bing’s Top Exec Producer Achievements of 2004 : Bing’s Top Exec Producer Achievements of 2004 Club pogo World of Warcraft GTA San Andreas Madden 2005 ESPN NFL 2005 What Exec Producers (should) fear : What Exec Producers (should) fear Report back But let’s ask our visiting experts : But let’s ask our visiting experts 5 Exec Producers/Titles they admire? What keeps exec producers up at night? Best article ever written about exec producering? Introducing Mark Skaggs : Introducing Mark Skaggs “Navy brat” Texas Instruments, MBA Startups:FreeHand, Russia, Tetragon Games: Thrill Kill (dns), Nox, Dune, Red Alert 2, C&C Generals, LOTR: Battle for Middle Earth “How Mark Skaggs works” : “How Mark Skaggs works” Unit design on paper Painterly visual prototyping Map/strategy game paper prototype Level design teams Multiplay for balance and AI creation Command and Conquer Generals : Command and Conquer Generals Unit and weapon physics Interactive environments Generals and AI Upgrades and scoring Thanks Mark! : Thanks Mark! Assignment #1: Your Personal Focus Statement : Assignment #1: Your Personal Focus Statement What problem or project do you want to address? What do you want to learn? Why will it be worth 3 months of your time? One page. Due via email, by Friday. Discussion : Discussion

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