How to run a team meeting

When I was building games companies, I always felt our team meetings could easily be derailed in several ways.

EGD Special: Valuations for early-stage startups

I’ve got Ethan Levy back on the podcast and he wanted to ask me about startup valuations, what’s all the terminology around the topic, how to prepare for a fundraise with a valuation in mind, and how investors and founders can think about the right valuation for a startup.

EGD News #81 — Five Dysfunctions of a Team

I started going through the top content that was consumed on EGD during Q1 of 2021. Here’s the top 10.

DoF Bookclub: The Five Dysfunctions of a Team

I recently sat down with Miska Katkoff and Sophie Vo to talk about a book that I really enjoyed and often recommend called The Five Dysfunctions of a Team, by Patrick M. Lencioni. It’s a management fable about a team’s struggles to work as a team, and how they used Lencioni’s five behaviors model to become an exceptional and effective team.

Daily Events in Free-to-play Games

Developers often implement daily login rewards to incentivize players to return on a daily basis. Some games build up task lists that populate with new unique tasks every morning. Do these five tasks to open the golden crate.

EGD 086: Salla Niemelä, Futureplay

Today I’m talking with Salla Niemelä, who is responsible for Employee Experience at FuturePlay, a mobile game studio in Helsinki. With Salla, we talk about how game studios approach the employee and employer relationship, throughout the full lifecycle of the employment, from hiring, to working and developing the relationship and finally to an exit.

EGD News #80 — Founder Meditations

Besides the extrinsic “getting wealthy” motivation, I feel that there are always two intrinsic motivations for people to start companies.

Shareholders’ Agreement

This week I launched our Shareholders’ Agreement template, which is now available as a template on the Elite Game Developers website. A typical abbreviation for the agreement is an SHA, and I’ll use it from now on.

EGD News #79 — Antifragile game team

Sent on April 30th 2021. If you aren’t a subscriber to EGD News, you can subscribe here. It's Joakim here. Greetings from Helsinki! I've created so much content on the Elite Game Developers website that it often becomes hard to directly go to a particular piece...

EGD Special: Ask Me Anything #1

In today’s episode, I’m going to be addressing some Ask Me Anything questions that I’ve been asking for on the Elite Game Developers newsletter.

Building teams for the long term: Antifragile teams — Masterclass review

“An antifragile team grows stronger from outside problems, hurdles, and attacks.” The reason to have an antifragile team is that making games is so hard.

EGD 085: Anat Shperling, Toya

Today I’m talking with Anat Shperling, the co-founder and CEO of Toya, a Roblox game studio based out of Israel. Anat and her team started building games for UGC platforms in 2016, first on Minecraft, before moving fully over to Roblox. Anat’s company Toya is a female-led studio developing digital games and media to empower a growing female user base.

EGD News #78 — Parallel game projects

I wanted to revisit the product strategy article from 2020. Several startups, which I’ve been talking to when they have a game out that is working, start contemplating on setting up a second games team to work on a new title.

EGD Special: The Merge Genre On Mobile

I recently did a webinar with Collin Foss, the Co-Founder and CPO of Skunkworks, a Helsinki-based mobile games startup and makers of the wildly popular MergeFriends. With Collin, we talked about how the casual merge category has recently been blowing up with more and more developers moving over, and what makes these games differentiate from each other.

EGD News #77 — It’s all about the players

The Elite Game Developers website has been exploding with visitors in recent weeks. Here’s what the weekly visits look like.

Building a Successful Merge Game in 8 Weeks

I did a webinar with Collin Foss, the Co-Founder and CPO of Skunkworks, a Helsinki-based mobile games startup and makers of the wildly popular MergeFriends. If you didn’t manage to attend our webinar, the recording and Collin’s presentation have been uploaded to the EGD website.

Organizational health of game studios

You’ve spent the last six months putting together your founding team, raising money for a startup, and then you start truly working on your product. You know about company values. You understand that a mission and vision are essential. But how would you proceed to get things going? Too often, the easy thing is to start making the game, and the hard thing is to stop and think about how to be good at culture.

EGD 084: Celia Hodent, Game UX

In this episode, I talk with Celia Hodent, game user experience expert and former Director of UX at Epic Games. We talk about adapting the game UX mindset, breaking down how players learn and retain information, and how players are motivated to return to the games that they are playing.

EGD News #76 — We greenlight teams

The a16z folks recently interviewed Supercell CEO Ilkka Paananen in their Clubhouse room. Below is a link to the recording of that conversation.

EGD Special: Tower of Want

I recently invited Ethan Levy from N3twork back on the show, to talk about an interesting concept called the “Tower of Want”. The concept of “Tower of Want” is something that Ethan created some six years ago, to help free-to-play game designers to create long-term goals, through understanding the short-term and long-term loops and player motivations that would drive a successful free-to-play game.

EGD Special: Valuations for early-stage startups

I’ve got Ethan Levy back on the podcast and he wanted to ask me about startup valuations, what’s all the terminology around the topic, how to prepare for a fundraise with a valuation in mind, and how investors and founders can think about the right valuation for a startup.

EGD News #81 — Five Dysfunctions of a Team

I started going through the top content that was consumed on EGD during Q1 of 2021. Here’s the top 10.

UPGRADE YOUR GAMES ENTREPRENEUR KNOWLEDGE

Not sure? Read our previous news.

    Excerpts from “Long Term Game: How To Build A Video Games Company”

    “…breakdown of a possible games entrepreneur’s career, into two-year chunks.”

    “Lots of times, the entrepreneur sets off to start a company, without examining a clear definition for their ambition level for the company.”

    “In a passionate and creative industry like the games industry, you’ll need to ask your hires these important questions to determine if there is alignment in the growth mindset.”

    The book is available on Amazon. Order your copy now!

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    I write the weekly newsletter, sharing my discoveries on games business, life and creativity.

      More information.

      Answers to some frequently asked questions

      What is Elite Game Developers?
      Elite Game Developers is a resource run by me, Joakim Achrén, to teach you proven strategies for running a games business and optimizing it in effective ways.

      I’ve been through so many troubles in my career and my mission with Elite Game Developers is to help people who are seeking success in the games industry. It is such a rewarding job to be doing games, but it can also be cruel in so many ways. Hope the resources I’m sharing will help the future entrepreneurs who adventure into games development.

      Who is Elite Game Developers for?
      Aspiring games entrepreneurs is the core audience who should be reading and getting to know the things I teach.

      But I also go beyond the bits and pieces of starting and running a games company. This includes designing games, running a live game and all the supportive functions that make for a great games business.

      Where should I start?
      Sign up for my newsletter, listen to the podcast and dive into the online courses. Also, you can pick up my book.

      I write the weekly newsletter, sharing my discoveries on games business, life and creativity.