If you’re a decision-maker on a game development team, you’re no stranger to the ever-changing dynamics of the gaming industry. Here, time-to-market is not just a catchphrase but a critical metric. The constant demand for new and engaging content means game developers, large and small, often face immense pressure.
You’ve probably engaged with traditional industry partnerships. But, have you ever considered teaming up with a software consultancy as your game co-development partner? It might be time you did, and here’s why.
Case Study: Pixelberry Studios and Atomic Object
For the past year and a half, I’ve been immersed in an exciting project, bringing my skills as a software designer to a collaborative effort between Atomic Object and Pixelberry. (You can read more about the project here!) Pixelberry looked beyond the usual suspects for partners and came to Atomic Object, a software consultancy. Theirs was a large ask — create an immersive User Generated Content Platform from the ground up. We helped them deliver.
“Our parent company gave us one year and asked us if we could go big,” said David Robinson, Director of Production at StoryLoom. “We asked the Atomic team, ‘We want to go big — can you go on this journey with us?’ and they said, ‘Yeah, we’ll get on that ship with you!’ They didn’t flinch.”
As part of a dynamic team comprising fellow design and software consultants from Atomic Object and key stakeholders at Pixelberry, we poured our collective knowledge and passion into crafting StoryLoom, a cross-platform experience for mobile and desktop where the community can play, build, and publish interactive story games.
Pixelberry and Atomic collaborated throughout the game development pipeline. Using Figma and focusing on value-driven, lean UX, we embarked on designing an enterprise-level design system and applied it to create an end-to-end user experience. From creating a cross-platform architecture to building custom content authoring tools for interactive story publishing, we delivered beyond the role of traditional software development.
The project was completed on time and budget, delivering a feature-rich, engaging platform.
“They are laser-focused on budget and timing, which is something I’ve never seen in 30 years of development,” said David Robinson. “It was delivered on time, on budget, to expectation, live—not three or four milestones late with people leaving and the platform half-baked and full of bugs.”
The outcome included an innovative set of creator tools within the StoryLoom ecosystem, including a user-friendly, no-code story builder, a dynamic character creator, a creator economy, and a custom admin experience. The most rewarding moment was when we finally reached our goal together and launched an open beta for the storytelling community in just 10 months.
This experience has led me to think more about how software and game companies might team up to produce innovative products. This is not because it’s my job, but because I have a passion for games and would genuinely love to see more projects in this intersection.
Software Consultancies: Empower Your Gaming Projects
There’s a reason Pixelberry chose to partner with Atomic to create a proof of concept, and eventually ship a cross-platform application for web and mobile. Here are some advantages I believe software companies like Atomic bring to the table:
We’re very versatile!
A software consultancy is not just a dev shop. We’re extensions of your team and bring diverse services and experiences to the table. Generalist makers have a wide range of skills, from product strategy and UX Design to API integrations and analytics. One of our key strengths is that we bring best practices and lessons learned from other sectors like healthcare and manufacturing.
We can help accelerate your go-to-market strategy.
Armed with agile methodologies, consultancies can help streamline your roadmap and processes. From the first idea to beta, and even after the big launch, a high-performing, dedicated team can be essential. They’ll help you move and scale fast without missing important milestones along the way.
We’re pros at collaboration.
Software consultants can effortlessly blend into your existing setup. Whether you need them to lead or simply supplement your team, their contribution will level up your productivity.
What Software Consultancies Offer
While most software consultancies don’t specialize in game production for game engines like Unity, our teams share much of the same development skills. We’re also both versed in designing and engineering services like those that support gameplay and the larger player experience.
- Companion Apps and Portals. Do you envision your game sharing real-time data with a companion app? Modern APIs and WebSocket technology can make this a reality. Using these tools, you can offer players a seamless experience, from in-game to secondary screens. Create a more immersive experience by enabling player personalization and customization
- Game UI and Enterprise Design Systems. A cohesive design language across platforms is more than eye candy. It’s essential for brand continuity, and this is where software designers excel. Implementing flexible and scalable design systems encourages a consistent look and feel across complex game ecosystems. Implementing reusable components, modules, and microfrontends helps create an easily scalable foundation.
- User Experience (UX) Design. Software designers are adept at crafting user-centric experiences. Leveraging insights from user research and analytics, like methods used in Player Experience (PX) Design, they can help fine-tune in-game interactions to optimize enjoyment, engagement, and retention.
- AI-Powered Analytics and Personalization. Integration of machine learning can elevate your game by introducing features like predictive analytics and personalized player experiences. Software consultants experienced in AI integrations can identify new opportunities for increasing player engagement, player retention, or average revenue per user.
- Strategic Monetization and User Incentives. A software consultancy’s expertise isn’t limited to development and design. They can also construct secure, transparent in-game economies and strategies to incentivize player engagement.
Selecting a partner to co-develop your game or app is an enduring commitment. And, in a world where game companies are constantly racing against the clock, augmentation through a strategic team partnership can be your game-changer.
The hard part is knowing if you’re choosing the right partner. You don’t just need more people. Instead, you need the right people who can go beyond traditional roles to deliver results and truly augment your own capabilities. A software consultancy can be your unexplored avenue.
Don’t limit your scope. Consider software consultancies like Atomic Object in your selection process. You’ll get more than just additional hands; you gain strategic partners committed to your game’s success. Let’s unlock your game’s full potential, together.