What’s your point of difference?

Bear with me on this one…I’m currently sat watching a TV programme in the UK called ‘Mary Queen Of Shops’, which is of particular interest because they’re focusing on a business I know near my house.

The programme features Mary, who goes into a failing local business and revamp it into something much more successful.

Why am I writing about it? What on earth has it got to do with video game development? I felt compelled to write something while the programme is still on air

I can’t help but draw similes from this program when comparing small indie games (local shops) and AAA budget games (supermarkets). The message here is that it’s absolutely pointless for the indies to try to be the big guys, you’ll never win them at a game that they control. You don’t have the budgets and backing they do but it doesn’t mean you can’t be awesome.

Find Your Niche

What you have to do is find a niche, specialise, bring game players something truly unique and special that whole teams of marketeers, producers, legal, financial people and a whole myriad of other people won’t get behind because it’s not something they understand or doesn’t fit on an existing shelf.

I love games like Godfinger and God Of War, I actually have more time for the former but I enjoy the spectacle of the latter.

Indies - forget trying to emulate the big guys. Make something you’re passionate about as that always shows through in a game.

Don’t Be Blinkered

Do you have a narrow-minded view of how your game works? Can you open your eyes to criticism? Are you actually any good (I wrote about this recently)?

As I sit and watch these people on TV ignore the obvious truth and I can only think about game developers I’ve met who are adamant that their game is awesome despite everyone telling them different. There’s only 1 side that’s losing out here.

Have an X Statement

Interestingly, the programme has just show the tag line, by line, x statement for the business. It’s a short statement that really encapsulates what you’re doing with your game, your business or even if it’s what you as a person want to achieve.

Summary

I started watching this series of programmes with local interest and I honestly think there’s something we can all learn for game development by watching the pain someone else goes through on our behalf.

The trick is to think about what’s being said if applying it to your own world of game development.

As Mary would say - “What’s your point of difference?”

I would say, that we don’t need to end up naked covered in veg to be successful. :)

Further Reading

Blog Post - Are You Unique? Blog Post - Weakest Link – Be A Better Game Developer

Filed under: , and