Q&A with Indigo’s Dokes Nilo on Gaming Software Industry

Q1: You grew up and worked in the US. How did you get into the gaming software industry and work in the Philippines?

A: Serendipity, actually. I was vacationing in Singapore and visiting my brother, when a High School friend asked me if I’d be willing to attend a gaming convention during that visit to canvass possible game development studios who might be looking for a business partnership. My canvassing did result in a successful business match, and for my efforts, I was offered an opportunity to work in the resulting company, marrying my IT skills with my knowledge of gaming. It also allowed me to move to the Philippines, so that I may spend time with my parents, who weren’t getting any younger. Win/win!

Q2: Your services cater mostly to foreign companies. Can you share who are some of your more popular clients and how were you able to convince them to have you as supplier?

A: Our more popular clients include Disney, Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network, and Samsung. We were able to convince them to have us as a supplier through various ways. When an opportunity to engage in a conversation with a client presents itself, we are very active in continuing the conversations about possible work, and submitting pitches often, with no guarantee of any work. Eventually, our tenacity and creativity pay off, as they put us on a test project, which we knock out of the park, resulting in a string of succeeding projects.

Q3: What were some challenges you faced as you were starting up and trying to acquire new clients abroad?

A: The challenges were likely the usual for most Philippine companies attempting to acquire clients abroad: attempting to convince international companies that we can develop high-quality creative games on par with North America and Europe, at a competitive price, and without any problems due to time zone, language, and cultural differences.

Q4: Based on your observations about the industry, what makes a game successful?

A: In terms of commercial success, a game should appeal to either the mass market or a niche with a rabid fan base. Any In-App Purchases should be as frictionless as possible, and any ads should be infrequent and unobtrusive.

Q5: Computer programming can be stressful when it comes to meeting deadlines. How do you manage your people and project timetable to ensure quality, cost and speed?

A: We have project managers who communicate regularly with our internal teams and clients to manage expectations. We have built up our internal QA team to improve quality, and even QA from the concept stage all the way through the development cycle. We also build in a small buffer to estimated timelines to account for the typical revisions from clients and eventual bugs that will creep up. Even with all of this, development “crunch” may still occur.

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