In a competitive gaming industry, several developers are able to achieve international success. Media Context speaks to Yuliya Trofimova, the Head of Marketing and Associate producer at Alawar, who shares key insights about producing its games.
The Life Cycle of a Project
The life cycle of a project can be divided into stages:
Overcoming the Challenges of Game Development
Ideas that everyone liked during the brainstorm or prototype stage may turn out to be less interesting than expected.
For example, Beholder was originally conceived of as an economic resource management game. During its development, we realized that it was quite boring to play. So we abandoned the original idea and reimagined the game as a narrative adventure with a focus on story and atmosphere. This had a hugely positive effect on the game's success.
Developing Great Stories
We have talented and professional game designers and screenwriters working on our projects. It helps a lot to watch films and read literature related to the project's setting.
When developing Beholder, we read a lot of dystopian literature (1984, We, Brave New World, The Foundation Pit and others). This helped us to immerse ourselves in the atmosphere of a totalitarian state, understand how it operates and consider how people living under such a system might think.
We didn't want the world of Beholder to be black and white. We wanted to present players with choices that have consequences, and which ultimately affect the outcome of the game. But we didn’t push players towards certain decisions or say that choosing one path or another would result in a bad ending. Beholder doesn't offer the player clear-cut good or bad decisions – just the consequences of your actions.
We use this approach in almost all our projects. Immerse yourself in the setting, start thinking like the main character, make decisions and accept the consequences. Just like in real life.
Pitching to Alawar
We have quite a strong publishing department. We oversee testing, localization and marketing as well as offering legal, financial and production consulting.
In order to familiarize ourselves with projects as effectively as possible, we ask developers to send us a pitch in the form of a presentation. It should outline the project's name, platform and business model, a story overview, features, screenshots, GIFs and a gameplay video (if available). We also ask about what stage the project is at and whether any financial support is required from the publisher. If financial support is needed, it's helpful to see a financial breakdown for all stages.
Of course, a slide with information about the studio doesn’t hurt: things like location, the number of employees, portfolio etc. You can send your projects to firstname.lastname@example.org or fill out a small form at https://company.alawar.com/en/developers/
We plan to further develop the publishing department and our internal development. We have two major midcore projects planned for 2021: publishing Song of Farca and developing an internal project whose name we can't reveal just yet. All we can say is that fans of The Mandalorian and other space adventures will be happy!
We plan to significantly increase the number of projects and post more and more new vacancies. We're currently looking for talented developers, marketers and designers. Check out our vacancies on our social media, e.g. Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/alawarteam
Global events made 2020 a difficult and strange year. But it did teach us how to work effectively and efficiently from home, which is why we consider candidates from all over the world.