“Temple run” husband and wife team of developers startup process and hand tour

Wang Zhong wan reported on August 21, silicon valley

in only eight employees, even without office, development led by a pair of husband and wife, came out of the game in the world five hundred million downloads, even influence than social gaming giant company owned by any game.

this is the temple run series.

a few days ago, the temple run game developers Keith Shepherd in the home office, with video accepted an interview with tencent’s science and technology and the distance from time to time also dropped back from the screams, Keith was a little embarrassed to apologize to the reporter, “is my little daughter, this is the disadvantages of working from home.”

it is hard to imagine developed income has reached tens of millions of dollars of temple fugitive iMagngi game studios, there is no office of eight employees usually are around the work at home, only to get together a meeting every Monday. But, he says, along with the increase in the number of employees, they are looking for a suitable office hopes to have a place to let people communicate face to face.

Keith said couples venture the hardest thing to take hold, is the business and private time is difficult to cut, but two people in a joint operational decisions, on both sides of the trust also inferior to the other business partners. Also thanks to the original two people have been married, with no fixed income of the company set up early, he can to quit her job, by the wife of a paycheck to support the whole family.

the Temple Run series besides initially launched the first edition, second edition also added a different elements such as patent protector, but also to be a partner with Disney for film version of the Tmple Run – Brave and Temple Run – Oz. Keith also hope that in addition to launch different themes temple escape series, can use the game as brand management, develop different related derivatives. Has been introduced in addition to clothing products, and anime and arcade games, card games and books, and still will be published next to the story line and the background of the game’s more clearly.

temple run series are so popular, but Keith said, before also developed many games very not ideal, groped after stumbling in the process, the company launched the ninth game to get such a big success. Individuals, he said, get the biggest lesson is the must. Nowadays, only do their own ability to achieve project. Mobile game casual games on the field at the same time, the most important design concept is to make players can easily get started, but difficult to master.

the current Asia accounts for forty percent of all of the user in the game, so the temple fled in addition has announced that it would cooperate with music to make the game, in the new version of China characteristic, the end of August will be WeChat with mobile phone QQ platform is launched, also actively expand to South Korea and Japan.

below is the full interview:

tencent technology: I was surprised to know that as successful as temple run game, didn’t office. How did you coordinate work?

Keith: actually staff only at the very beginning I with wife Natalia and another artist, after six months has become a game of catch on around the world, we are very surprised, so the team also must be extended, but we are still a small company, only eight people, all in north Carolina, is going to have to hire two people.

we are looking for the office, I think there is a growing along with the team, there is a place full of creative can let us meet to discuss every day, it is very important. Also is not a problem when the person is little, but now people more, if there is no chance to discuss every day, just don’t think that’s a team, so before also didn’t find the office, we rent a meeting room fixed party once a week. Later we will still keep the elasticity of working from home, but also have a fixed everybody met office.

tencent technology: husband and wife is also a business partner in other industries may be very common, but in the game industry is not so common, because of the high risk early means, how can you make this decision? Is intimate lover and business partner’s advantages and disadvantages?

Keith: decided to set up his own company, is a very scary thing, all I have been think if we want to make will be in the heart. Company at the beginning, I resign first, my wife Natalia still continue to work, at least have a fixed salary and medical insurance, it reduces the pressure at first, if we aren’t married, can’t rely on partner to support you. Probably founded in eight or nine months, we believe that the mobile game is a feasible way, at the same time the company also began to have a stable income, so she resigned, also joined the ranks.

when the people heard when we get married and work together, usually very polarised reaction. Some people said, that’s great, two people can work together; Some people would say, so terrible! For us, can spend more time together is a great things, combined with the two person’s personality and skills can complement each other, two people trust each other together to make important decisions on business operations is very important, of course, weakness is unable to balance work and personal life, because it takes a lot of time in a startup.

tencent technology: the two of you are not the game background, how can think of to step into this line? You think it was the game background and some what good for you?

Keith: : before we are medical software company colleagues, don’t have the game background, more emphasis on web design, but always like to play games. I may more games than Natalia coding background, it is some experience.

it is because there is no game experience, we focus on is I would want to play the game type, if from orthodox game background, if the move into the mobile game easier, may with a preset position, want to put the game consoles to the mobile terminal, but this is not the best idea. Many gamers using a mobile phone or tablet may play games for a long time, but still don’t consider themselves hardcore gamers, so they seek game is fragmentary, more leisure time. Touch screen is also a new gameplay, compared with the game backgrounds, we will not consider whether the game should use the remote control lever or the keyboard to play, and therefore less restricted.

tencent technology: what do you think of the mobile end indispensable element to success what game?

Keith: there is no one hundred percent of the answer, but I think all the success of mobile games, there are a few in common. Nature of the game must be very easy, the user is very easy to use, as long as ten seconds see demo will know how to play, can immediately be fun, but at the same time must have a desire to let users have always wanted to repeat play, play each has a different new experiences. The best game is “easy to use, hard to master” (Simple to learn, about the master).

at the same time, control experience is also must revolve around on the user, you must consider when playing the game, is how to pick up the phone? The user to use a hand or hands to play. On the design of the control of the game protagonist also should be intuitive is very strong, like angry birds, the control of the slingshot almost without thinking, even if haven’t played PC games, also can know at once.

tencent technology: “temple run” series are android, iOS, amazon launched in the whole world, the end of August in WeChat platform and mobile phone QQ online. Why do you for the layout of the Chinese market and expectations?

Keith: as a small team we hard to cater to every new market demand, the Chinese market is very important to us, in particular, I actually know very little of the Chinese market. To make the game more ground, to meet the needs and habits of the local players, this is our cooperation with music to make the game in the first place.

we have previously to marketing, public relations, lock payment platform and the operator. The next step is to design the game itself. Micro letter version of the game will be some special characters, we are still not sure what is the role of the last, but will be more close to the Chinese culture, at the same time, the letter will use powerful social functions, will lay particular stress on multiplayer mode, can challenge your friends, let the game in micro the letter did not feel abrupt.

tencent technology: before the media interview, you mentioned that the temple run as a brand management. But unlike angry birds, you did not cute doll characters can make it, how is your strategy?

Keith: temple run downloaded so high, has certain well-knownness, so naturally practice is as a brand to run it. We started the first step is to cooperate with Disney, combined with the Temple spirit and the role of Disney, fleeing developed another fugitive version Temple Temple Run – Brave and Temple Run – Oz, we often hear the user feedback is hope to have more character, more places to Run, more different versions. Like Disney’s Brave film featuring little girl Brave character is full of adventure, is in keeping with the theme of the temple fled.

in addition to the game itself, the temple run fans can also buy related peripheral products, such as clothes, hats and other apparel products. Also began to have anime, arcade games, card games with books and other related products. You’re right, we don’t have a lovely please role, but the game itself is a series of adventure, we hope to continue to develop temple fled, tell the story behind the players, like where the protagonist? Why do you want to escape? After you is what things?

tencent technology: in addition to the temple fled, you also plans to develop other games?

Keith: our company is small, a year before a game, but the temple run so popular, we must first put down other work at hand, with development of the game of the heart, let the temple fled to be the best. But we also want to hire more people, other games can spare capacity development. So in the next six months there will be no new products come out, but one year after the expected iMagngi studio can have a new game.

tencent technology: to quit her job, open their own game studios, do you have any good Suggestions?

Keith: from the creative point of view, the best advice is to develop oneself want to play games, don’t want to now what is the most popular, the most profitable market, not to design the game for others. Do you want to play, like the concept of the game when you from the heart, others will likely enjoy the game.

from the management point of view, I also think should consider how to let the player is interested in your game, don’t give up, never learn from your mistakes, stick to it. Temple run is not the first game, we develop eight didn’t like it in front of the fire, like angry birds nor Rivo first game. You can only put the game out, see how the market acceptance, see what is accepted, those who were rejected by the user. Pursue your dream isn’t easy, you have to stick to it.

I got the biggest lesson from the mistakes of the past is, if your team is very small, do not have grandiose, want to make a time-consuming to big games. Like we previously developed a 3 d sled game, originally want to launch at Christmas time, spent too long to develop as a result, the market such as have already is spring, sales, of course, is also a mess. We found that in today’s manpower, one of the most successful games should be spend three to six months to develop, scale to the size of the game, so easy to play the type is best for us.

source: tencent technology