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Be selective with your innovation, and other wisdom from GameLayers

Our friends at GameLayers recently took the hard decision to retire their launch product, PMOG, and dedicate their efforts to a new game, Dictator Wars (on Facebook), where they can spend more time on game design and less on the supporting infrastructure. They have many enthusiastic players already. Good on them!

I’m always impressed with good, hard decisions. If you’ve ever had a sleepless night over a project, you can imagine how tough it must be to, a year or even more later, walk away from it. Projects are tangled thickets of history and emotion. Corner turns are hard, and killing your babies doubly so. GameLayers have displayed good strategy.

Justin’s post on their learnings is insightful and leaves me yet more impressed. He shares three thoughts as to what makes a good product in interactive media. It’s much more widely applicable. I’ve picked a sentence from each:

  • Be selective with your innovation. Keep as much of your product predictable, so people can find their way to the gem of awesome that you have pioneered.
  • Serious Business. … if you want to actually hire people to work with you, pay kickass artists to make content for your game, and afford to buy new shoes, figure out what people would want to pay for if they were using your software.
  • First Five Minutes. If someone can’t figure out what to do in the first five minutes of your interactive experience, you are hosed.

All so true! There’s more. Go read it.

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