We continue the mini-series of interviews within the framework of the WN Dev Contest. In them, the jury of the competition shares tips on working in the game market. This time we talked with Roman Zhikharev, QA Director at G-Core Labs.

WN Dev Contest is a competition of games created on Unreal Engine 4. Held by WN Media Group in conjunction with Unreal Engine and Reboot Develop.

Roman Zhikharev

App2Top.ru Q: What do you think is the main thing that novice developers don't understand?

Novel: They do not understand that the game should, like any business project, be successful. Therefore, there is no willingness to pay attention to those things that are not directly related to the gameplay.

App2Top.ru: What, for example, are they not paying attention to?

Novel: Among other things: onboarding players, taking into account the abilities and interests of different segments of the potential audience, supporting platforms, distribution channels and much, much more.

App2Top.ru: But can a novice developer be ready to take all these things into account?

Novel: I agree. This is a huge field of different competencies. On the other hand, it is not necessary to understand all this today. The world does not stand still. Nowadays, all these tasks are solved by various platforms and publishers, and something is closed by outsourcing (for example, testing).

But it's one thing not to figure it out and quite another not to take it into account. Organizational decisions remain on the shoulders of the developer. Therefore, he needs to keep the business plan of the project in mind, and not just make a game.

App2Top.ru Q: Is there a downside to such a business approach in game development? 

Novel: Of course there is. For example, there are a huge number of imitations on the market today. They are the result of numerous business processes in which neither developers nor publishers were willing to take risks by investing in experimental and innovative types of gameplay.

That's why it's great that big gaming companies are holding game contests. In my opinion, this is a great opportunity for young developers to explore new types of gameplay, and for publishers to look for future super hits.

App2Top.ru: Yes, of course, contests are great. However, including those teams that have just received the initial tangible help, they often overestimate their strength and can make a decent mistake when planning in terms. Can you give me some advice on what to do?

ROMAN: This is just a story about the fact that it is still important to treat games as a business.

As for the advice: in order not to fall into the trap with deadlines, you need to look at the entire project before starting development. Estimate your resources and deadlines.

Farther. If you realize in the middle of a project that you're falling behind, then it's time to cut features / content / art right away. This process has been described for a long time and is called Agile. To understand exactly what should be cut, there is such a competence as product management.

App2Top.ru : What kind of game are you looking for in the competition?

Roman: Personally, I would like to see a game with interesting gameplay first of all. We are ready to help such a game to improve the quality level and suggest what can be changed. We are all avid players, not just testers. We know what's what.