How to overcome the pressure of giving up – Teamfight Manager Developer Hyunwook Nam

  • subject: Teamfight Manager Developer
  • Lecturer: Name – Hyunwook Nam / Programmer Tim Samoyed
  • Presentation area: game development
  • Lecture time: 2021.11.19 (Fri) 10:00 ~ 10:50
  • Lecture Summary: The alienation I felt while developing a teamfight manager
  • Teamfight Manager is an indie game developed by Team Samoyed, a team of two brothers. The ultimate goal is to become the manager of an e-sports team in the virtual game Team Fight Arena and win the World Championship. Team Fight Manager was officially launched on March 2nd this year, and as of October 2021, over 80% of users received positive reviews.

    The core concept was set as the core principle of the game based on the concept of ban picks seen in matches of AOS-based games such as League of Legends and Dota. Matches in the game are automatic battles, and players cannot interfere with the match except for ban picks. Programmer Hyun-wook Nam said, “The system looks simple, but it’s a very strategic game.”

    Making a game with two brothers was a difficult and challenging challenge. Programmer Nam Hyun-wook had a lot of crises when he wanted to give up while making a game. However, the reason I was able to finish game development and release a game that received good reviews is because I realized how to set goals and continue development through trial and error during game development.

    ■ The key to development is selection and concentration – The principle is simple, focus on the core, fun

    In June 2015, programmer Nam Hyun-wook decided to develop his own game. He started developing the game in earnest with his older brother, who was capable of graphic design, and completed the first simple puzzle game a year later. In the process, programmer Nam Hyun-wook got along well with his brother, so he became convinced that we could create a game together.

    In June 2016, programmer Nam Hyun-wook, who joined the company to perform military service as an alternative service, worked during the day and devoted himself to game development at night. The brothers worked on about 16 game development projects in about four years, of which only two had progressed to release.

    Through repeated trial and error, programmer Hyunwook Nam felt that he had to clearly set the game development goal from the beginning of the project. Prior to developing Team Fight Manager, he set the game development period to one year and proceeded with the project with the two goals of releasing it unconditionally within the period.

    After discussing several ideas at the beginning of the project, we decided to develop a game with the theme of running an e-sports team. However, when we actually started developing the game, a number of practical problems were revealed. The first hurdle was copyright. Because the original game exists for e-sports material, it was not possible to borrow the character in the game due to copyright. In addition, the rules of the game changed very often, and the similarity with the original game was lower compared to the early days of development.

    Also, due to copyright, virtual games, virtual leagues, and virtual players had to be created. Users who play Team Fight Manager in an unfamiliar environment have more and more things to learn and understand. Programmer Hyunwook Nam decided to make the game as simple as possible to solve this problem.

    The way the game changed was death match, not nexus destruction. In addition, we erased all concepts such as virtual players and leagues and focused only on ban picks that we judged to be core fun. By resetting the goal, the development speed was further accelerated. 9 to 40 champions in the game were also released, and you can only worry about balancing the ban-pick, which is the core fun.

    ■ How to overcome the pressure to give up – Three Principles Established in Development

    Programmer Hyunwook Nam came up with countless moments when he wanted to give up while developing the game. He pondered why he thought of giving up. Originally, the concept of running an e-sports game team was not as fun as expected. In the process of developing and giving up on that part, programmer Nam Hyun-wook felt that he wanted to give up on the project itself. Also, balancing work and game development made him physically and mentally exhausted.

    Programmer Hyun-wook Nam, who was thinking of giving up, reestablished the development principle. The first rule he set was ‘Let’s develop healthy with leisure’. Programmer Nam Hyun-wook said, “You don’t have to eat cup noodles to make a good game. Also, game development requires a lot of thought, so when the schedule is delayed, I set the time to take into account the delayed time.” Instead of giving up, I chose to take it more leisurely and for a long time.

    The second principle was ‘Let’s make it roughly and check it quickly’. When developing a game, it can be explained in words and even imagined, but in actual development, there was little. So I realized the importance of making my own and seeing and feeling it with my own eyes. Programmer Hyunwook Nam tried to make several models quickly and experienced the game’s potential. This allowed me to choose and focus.

    The third principle was ‘keep the build playable’. Programmer Nam Hyun-wook said that there were times when the actual game and the developed function were not well connected when concentrating on game function development. “A game is not just a set of features,” he said. “The developed features should be able to interact and have fun using them. So, when developing game features, we focused on maintaining a playable build.”

    ■ The programmer who finally made the project a success – Uncompromising ‘fun’

    Brother indie game developer Tim Samoyed eventually released Teamfight Tactics. After the game was released, many things went smoothly. Game marketing, which could have been a challenge, was able to widely publicize the existence of the game with the help of streamers who were cooperative with indie games. Teamfight Tactics has sold 200,000 copies in the eight months since its release. And half of the sales were in the first month.

    Programmer Nam Hyun-wook said about his feelings about releasing the game, “It was a special experience to see people enjoying the game I made. It felt as if all the hard memories while developing the game were erased.”

    Programmer Hyunwook Nam showed confidence that he did not miss the core of fun while developing the game. The person who developed the game also felt that his game was fun. He was able to achieve this success because he overcame the difference between the ideal game he had envisioned and the game he actually made, and grasped the key points of fun that he should focus on.