View, browse and sort the ever-growing list of sessions by pass type, track, and format. With this Session Viewer, you can view session and speaker details for the 2024 Game Developers Conference. New sessions are regularly added leading up to GDC, and all dates and times will be announced about 4 weeks before the event. Once live, you will be able to build your schedule with the GDC Mobile App.
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Richard Vogel (CEO, T-Minus Zero Entertainment)
Pass Type: All Access Pass, Core Pass - Get your pass now!
Topic: Production & Team Leadership
Vault Recording: TBD
Audience Level: Advanced
Creating and maintaining a games studio can be daunting and often full of unexpected bumps in the road. There are many decision points along the way in creating a studio, and those choices could set you up for success or failure. The most significant change new studios face is building a remote workforce and what that means in terms of building culture, onboarding newbies, and building an original game remotely. My goal for this roundtable is to gather a group of game developers who have recently formed a game studio to discuss their journey into launching their studio and what they are doing to keep it growing. I learn something new every time I build a studio; the one I just formed is my fourth one. It would be great to have an open forum where other game developers can tell their stories and learn from other people's choices (the good or the bad).
Each day, we would discuss a different topic. This allows us time to do some deep dives into areas that I found to be the biggest hurdles in terms of setting up a new studio.
Day 1: Funding Choices- There are a few options out there in terms of funding. I want to explore the available funding options with others in the room and why they chose the one they did for starting their studio (1st party – publisher owned, or 3rd party - Indy/financed). What business model did they choose and why? What are the legal costs of funding a studio, and what materials did they need to put together to fund a studio successfully? How did they figure out the equity split with the funding partner, and did they provide equity to employees? What types of equity did they distribute to employees and why? What type of company did they form (LLC, S Corp, or C Corp and why?
Day 2 – Building a High-Performance Culture- To start a studio, every hire matters. You need to find people who are agile, self-driven, passionate, collaborative, and focused. How do you go about building your initial core team? What are you looking for? How do you find the right people? How did you establish the cultural pillars of your studio? How is your studio structured, and why? What production methodologies are you using and why? What type of work policy are you using (remote, hybrid, or onsite) and why?
Day 3: Communications – A lot of studio startups are remote first. How do you foster communication within the studio? What tools do you use and why? What are the best practices for developing a highly collaborative environment? How do you keep everyone on the same page when building a game? How do you adopt asynchronous communications? What checks and balances do you put into place to ensure everyone is on the same page and implementing what they are supposed to? How do you get strategic alignment with your stakeholders within the studio and outside the studio (investors/publishers)?
Attendees will learn from other studio leaders the challenges they faced and overcame starting a new studio. We will explore both successes and failures to provide a forum for game developers who are either in the process of forming their studios or recently formed a studio to learn from each other.
This is for anyone who has recently formed a game development studio or is in the process of creating one.