Beginning new projects & stakeholder alignment

Nicolas Eypert
Founder and Designer, Wacha Games

Nicolas Eypert

Nicolas is a designer and consultant who specialises in navigating projects at the conception phase and stakeholder alignment. He’s worked in games since 1989, including 15 years at Ubisoft.

Beginning a new project comes with a set of challenges. Not only do you need to decide on your game’s scope, mechanics, art style etc – it’s also vital to ensure that everyone who has an interest in the project, buys into its vision. That includes not only the dev team but also the investors / publisher (if there is one), partners and the target audience.

It can be hard to navigate these challenges, so we were delighted to welcome Nicolas Eypert to the Tentacle Zone to share his experience with us. Nicolas is a true veteran of the industry, starting all the way back in 1989 as an Amiga programmer at Ubisoft. Since then, he has worked consistently on big budget titles and has become a specialist at managing the concept phase of game development.

During his talk, Nicolas presented a high level but detailed view of many different aspects of early development. In particular we enjoyed the importance he placed on the idea of finding your super fans. 

As he pointed out, while your team may have come up with the initial design of your game, it’s amongst your community that you’ll find people who know your idea even better than you do. It’s important to be guided by their feedback, after all, they’re the ones who will be buying your game and driving your success.

On the subject of community, Nicolas identified a common mistake that teams can make when thinking about their game’s target audience, or “buyer persona”. Very often, developers think about age, sex and income when deciding who the target of their game is. This usually results in a potential market that is far too broad. Instead, teams should think about “design personas” – how players will behave in-game, their needs, pains and gains.

Our thanks to Nicolas for joining us this week and giving us his time. If knowledge sharing appeals to you, then you should consider making a move to the Tentacle Zone to take advantage of our weekly talks. We have office space available for those looking for a new home or you can make use of our hotdesks, meeting rooms or event space.

Take a look at our workspace page for further details and if you have questions then get in touch, we’re always happy to chat.