Porter’s Professional Game Consulting

Porter’s Professional Game Consulting

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Why Use A Game Consulting Service?

Have you ever made or played a game that had so much potential, but it just fell short of excellence for one reason or another? The answer to that is yes, whether you know it or not. Every year, tens, if not hundreds of games are released that had the potential to be something amazing, but weren’t. These games reached for the highest level of success, only to fall flat on their faces as another decent game in an already existing flood of just that. When it comes to a nearly great game falling to this fate, it’s generally because the developer just didn’t see a few small faults that were completely ruining it, or a few elements that if evolved upon in the slightest way, would have the world raving about how great it was. These issues can range from clunky interfaces, to a slight lack in enemy variation, to the sound effect volumes not being properly balanced. Regardless of the woe that brings upon this unfortunate reality to many games, there are ways to stop it.

Beta testers are not only helpful, but a necessity in game development. You can be as proud as you’d like, but without multiple eyes viewing your game once it’s “done”, your game is going to suffer some major post-launch failure. There are always bugs, and there’s always room for improvement, and while there is a time to call it quits and say the project is done, that time is far beyond when you first say your game is complete. This is where things get tricky. So you’ve finished your game, and are now getting feedback from some anonymous service such as FlashGameLicense’s “First Impressions” system, a closed group of players from a popular web arcade such as Kongregate, or just a bunch of your close friends and family. While this is great, and these people will definitely spot some issues with your game, there is one extremely large flaw with this process, most players don’t know what’s best for a game. 

If you’ve ever released a game, you’ve surely read hundreds if not thousands of feedback comments on your hard work, both praising you, and criticizing you. Quite often, you’ll find people suggesting changes for a sequel to make the game better. While all of these suggestions should be read, and considered, it takes a very rare skill to truly know how to design a game. Adding something new to a game formula might seem amazing, but much like chemistry, even awesome additions to an already stable compound could be devastating to the overall product (think meth, and mercury fulminate!). If you’ve done your homework as a game developer, you’ll know that many players just simply don’t know what’s best for them. They may have ideas that are heading in the right direction, but they are completely blind on how to fine-tune the experience in a way that is truly harmonic with the rest of your creation. This is where I come in.

Services And Rates

I offer two services, but feel free to mix and match, or request a custom job if you feel I’m fit for it. Both services generally require only an hour or two of my time, but if you have a more in-depth project that requires more time, that’s not an issue. I’m currently supplying this service to any game I can run, which includes anything on a PC, or Android device.

* In addition, if your game is up on FGL, I will supply you with a 15 minute screencast of me playing your game, allowing you to see exactly how a player plays. *

Reviewing Your “Completed” Games.

The first service I offer, is a game reviewing service. The way this works, is that I’ll play your already “completed” game, and break it down in every way possible. I’ll give you a lengthy, detailed write-up in multiple formats outlining everything from gameplay, to audio, and everything between. You’ll receive detailed information on what works, what doesn’t, and how to improve all aspects of your game. Common issues addressed contain, but are not limited to, level design, difficulty curves, unbalanced enemies, interfaces, audio levels, fun factor, controls, etc. Think of this service as the ultimate QA. You’ll learn the vast majority of what thousands of players will nit-pick (or sometimes tear apart) about your game after release, through one person.

Rate – $50

Everything Else

If you have other work for me that doesn’t quite meet the above services, go ahead and contact me anyways. I’m extremely versatile in what I do, and very flexible and willing to negotiate pricing for custom jobs.

My Qualifications

Games have always been a huge part of my life. I’ve been playing games since I was 3 years old and could properly use an NES controller. While many people started gaming at an age as early as mine, very few have done it with as much interest and ambition as I have. I grew up playing Mario, Gaunlet, Time Lords, Renegade, River City Ransom, Shatterhand, Sonic, Street Fighter, etc. For as long as I can remember, I played these games and craved more. However, I wasn’t just playing these games, I was understanding how they worked, and how they could be improved upon or added to. In my youth, no game pleased me to the extent I desired. This lead to replaying games over and over searching for something I hadn’t found, dreaming about additional levels and features that didn’t exist at a very young age, and even drawing pictures with crayons of level designs which my dad would bring in to work and hang for all to see. When I was as young as 5 years old, I was already dying to tell developers how to make their games better, and to make better games myself. This didn’t stop as I grew up, it simply became more intense. I played games as a favorite pass time my entire life, and still do. When I was 18 I realized I had it in me to make them, and thus began my slow and steady journey to becoming a game developer, more specifically a programmer / game designer. It’s this life long ambition that has given me the skills today to both analyze games in extreme detail, and to create my own games.

In addition to this passion for gaming, I’ve been an extremely active reviewer in the flash game industry. On FGL (FlashGameLicense.com), I’ve beta tested these services, and had tremendously positive feedback from many developers. This has earned me the position of the highest ranked “player” account on FGL, as the account with the most positively received feedback posts on games.

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I’ve already had the opportunity to work with some amazing developers. Below is a list of a few satisfied clients who have used my services, as well as their testimonials.

MunsieGames - ”I asked Porter to play one of my games for 15 min and then spend another 45 min thinking of new ideas for the sequel. I hired Porter for an hour of his time. We’re not talking about polish or control, etc, we’re talking in game elements, characters, power ups, pick ups, etc, etc. No idea was too stupid or too crazy, I did ask him to keep the ideas simple and casual, nothing too complicated.

Porter supplied me with a document (in several formats) which detailed his ideas in enough detail to make me easily understand them. He also went a little beyond what was requested and supplied some additional food for thought which was a welcome surprise. Even though I may or may not end up using any of his ideas in the game (I probably will though), just looking over his ideas in general has started the creative juices flowing and that alone was worth it. I highly recommend this to anyone looking for creative ideas for a game, has a case of brain lock or has been working on a game for so long they’ve come to a brick wall as far as ideas go.

Job well done Porter, I will probably be using this service again…very soon.”

 

EffingGames - ”I also had Porter do consulting on sequel ideas for 2 games and was impressed by the results. It felt like he was able to accurately assess the strengths and weaknesses of the game and his service is particularly valuable for preventing the idea incest that happens when its just 1 person designing a game. There was only about a 30% overlap between Porter’s ideas and the ideas I already had, and his ideas helped me make a design breakthrough that I was stuck on for a while. Plus the write-ups Porter gives you are pretty healthily sized, and he’s a decent writer to boot!

A+++ Would do business with again!”

 

LongAnimals – “Just to say, Porter did an excellent review of one of our forthcoming games. I heartily recommend this service.

 

xdragonx10 (Christopher Gregorio) - Porter worked with me on my newest game to help me pinpoint all possible pitfalls as well as possible improvements for the game. I was very impressed with the amount of effort he put into helping me as he went above and beyond what was expected. Unfortunately I was under a time budget with the game so I was unable to implement all his suggestions, but his help was still very valuable. I definitely intend on using his service for future games and reccommend anyone who is hesitant to do so also!

Contact

If you’re interested in using these services, email me at:

consulting |at| gemfruit |dot| com

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    3 Responses to “Porter’s Professional Game Consulting”

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