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When the Honeymoon Ends: 12 Ways to Keep Your Publisher in Love with You Michael Fitch.

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Presentation on theme: "When the Honeymoon Ends: 12 Ways to Keep Your Publisher in Love with You Michael Fitch."— Presentation transcript:

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2 When the Honeymoon Ends: 12 Ways to Keep Your Publisher in Love with You Michael Fitch

3 When the Honeymoon Ends So, who is this guy? Director of Creative Management at THQ Previously, a Creative Manager at THQ A fancy way of saying “Publisher’s producer on creative topics” Before that, Red Storm Entertainment Back in the day, at Atomic Games

4 When the Honeymoon Ends What’s this talk about? Relationship management Simple, practical approaches Concrete actions you can take Building a reputation as a good partner

5 When the Honeymoon Ends What’s this talk not about? How to pitch (finding a partner) Managing the due diligence process Contract negotiations Bitching about bad relationships On with the show…

6 Pre-Production 1) Talk early and often Set up regular calls, at least weekly When in doubt, pick up the phone Create opportunities for feedback Follow-up with , regularly Track issues, resolutions

7 Pre-Production 2) Plan the future together Agree on a “vision” for the project Establish priorities early, revisit frequently Set expectations clearly Create opportunities to demonstrate progress

8 Pre-Production 3) Get approvals before you actually need them Make milestone approval a foregone conclusion Pre-submit milestone materials Agree explicitly on build deliveries Use interim drops when valuable

9 Pre-Production 4) Sell the game with every milestone Highlight all progress Include pretty pictures Over-deliver wherever you can No nasty surprises!

10 Production 5) Make your builds a present, not a chore Package it up Schedule time to integrate and test Build notes are a guidebook to your work Create shortcuts to the good bits Give us something to brag about Deliver it on time!

11 Production 6) Deliver bad news early, but bring flowers Shit happens, we know that Don’t wait until the milestone is due Help us to understand not just what, but how and why Present a recovery plan with every problem

12 Production 7) Be scrupulously honest Let us see everything Provide access to your wiki, source control, intraweb Visibility is cheap Control the conversation

13 Production 8) Keep it a two-way street Come visit! Pick up a check every once in a while Ask questions Manage up

14 Finishing the Game 9) Budget time and money for marketing Demand a timeline and asset list Build tools for screen and video capture Block out time for all your leads Dedicate an artist before you think you’ll need one Plan to lose days for visits, and industry events, and road shows

15 Finishing the Game 10) Tell us what you need We have resources! Get QA on-site for free Insist on usability testing The best time to ask for more is when everyone can see the end The more of a confidence surplus you’ve built up, the more likely you’ll get what you ask for

16 Finishing the Game 11) Share the load Your producer(s) can work for you Scheduling/prioritizing Testing/balancing PR Community management Content

17 Finishing the Game 12) Test everything Pretend you don’t know how it works Get into the dark corners Try wacky combinations Nothing hurts more than a slip that’s too late to do anything about

18 Takeaway A relationship is just that – a relationship Communication Trust Collaboration You need to satisfy both partners’ needs Bumps happen; it’s how you handle them that matters Treat every project as the courtship for the next one – because it is

19 Questions?

20 Michael Fitch Follow-ups: Slides will be posted at When the Honeymoon Ends: 12 Ways to Keep Your Publisher in Love with You


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