Touchten Games’ CEO Talks Studio Structure & Organization
Based in Jakarta, Indonesia Touchten Games contended with the unique challenges of game development in that part of the world and have managed to establish a foothold in the market with their simple, yet consistent, game projects. Most recently they celebrated the successful Kickstarter funding of one of their larger projects titled, Target Acquired.
Despite Indonesia being a completely different type of gaming market compared to the United States, with more than a dozen different mobile titles for sale on their website, Touchten Games certainly has plenty of experience in maintaining a consistently producing studio.
Touchten Games’ CEO and Executive Producer Anton Soeharyo sat down with us to explain how the studio keeps up and manages so many different projects while continuing to create new ones like Target Acquired.
Jesse Tannous: You have a fairly large team with several seemingly smaller scale light-hearted games under your belt. How do you manage the existing projects while also working on new games?
Anton Soeharyo: We adopt the 2:1 ration so far. Two casual light games that we can finish and launch ASAP, and one more “advanced” game like “Target Acquired” where it takes more time and resources. When one of these slots is gone, we can then always fill it in, keeping in mind the 2:1 ratio. We hope to expand this overtime as our team does.
JT: What have been some of the most important tactics you’ve put in place to ensure your studio continues to stay afloat and grow?
AS: Never stop creating. I think the mistake that most people make is to be married to only one project. The smartphone gamer crowd can drop our game anytime, therefore we should continue to please them. That’s the secret, I personally think.
JT: As a CEO and Executive Producer what are the hardest challenges you encounter during the game creation process as opposed to the core development team?
AS: The hardest challenge which I totally enjoyed, is definitely marketing the game. Connecting our games with the media, is something of a passion for me.
JT: How does your studio decide what game project to work on next? Is it a collaboration between the whole team or are current market popularity trends more important in your process?
AS: We have these game pitching days, so when one of the slots become available in the 2:1 ratio I mentioned above, we gather the team, buy pizza or snacks, and then prepare for Game pitching day. Anyone can present their game idea (within our guideline of gameplay and retention flow). Then the company votes together to find a great game we want to make and play!
JT: Are you aware of any unique challenges to making games in Indonesia that developers in other parts of the world may not have to contend with?
AS: We have such a huge population, (4th largest in the world, 1st in South East Asia) and such a young population too, but the challenges are: no payment gateway to collect money, low credit card penetration, slow internet, and low Smartphone penetration. But having said all that, I believe things are ONLY going to get better, and I am excited to see where we can be in the future!
While the steady stream of titles that Touchten Games creates may seem oversimplified, their cooperative structure helps produce experiences that they consider fun and are built with an understanding of the obstacles unique to their national market.
Jesse is a reporter first who just happens to love video games and enjoys writing video game related articles and interviewing industry professionals.