Slide 1[]

International game development ... in little Norway

Slide 2[]

  • Funcom - Who are we and what do we do?
  • Gaming business - More than just fun and games?
  • Development - How to develop an international game?
  • Conan - How does it really work?

Slide 3[]

  • Established in 1993 - Norways oldest
  • Developed over ten games for different systems
  • Børsnotert i 2006, solid situasjon
  • Over 230 employees from over 20 different countries
  • One of the worlds largest developers

Slide 4[]

  • Developers for Hire
    • Speed Freaks (Sony)
    • CMX (THQ)
    • Caspar (Universal)
    • Pocahontas (Disney)
    • NBA Hangtime (Capcom)
    • Dinosaur's tale (HTE)
    • Winter Gold (Nintendo)
    • Longest Journey (Div)
  • Independent MMO company (2001-2007)
    • Alien Invasion - AO
    • Shadowlands - AO
    • The Nocturn Wars - AO
    • Lost Eden - AO
    • Anarchy Online Spec. Ed.
    • Anarcy Online
    • Dreamfall
    • Different cellphone games
  • Ready for growth (2007)
    • Uniquely experienced team
    • Over 5million games sold
    • Own technology
    • Two games in development
    • Stock company
    • Large community

Slide 5[]

Funcom comming games

  • Age of Conan
    • MMORPG
    • Based on Conan's world
    • Advanced technology
    • Wanted by a whole world
  • The Secret World
    • MMORPG
    • Our own world and time
    • Established Conan-technology
    • Very hush-hush atm.

Slide 6[]


  • Funcom - Who are we and what do we do?
  • The gaming industry - More than just fun and games
  • Development - How to develop an international game?
  • Conan - How does it work?

Slide 7[]


  • 30 Billion


  • 31,4 Billion


  • 64,5 Billion

Slide 8[]

Gaming industry - The gaming nation Norway

  • There are over 500 000 PlayStation 2-machines in norwegian homes, an extreme penetration
  • There are sold over two million games in norway every year, most for PlayStation 2.

Slide 9[]

The gaming industry - Extreme piracy

  • Piracy hurts the game sales
  • Internet increases access
  • All copy-protection will, sooner or later, get broken
  • Are traditional games outdated? (står tradisjonelle PC-spill for fall?)
  • Are paid online games the rescue?
  • Recurring income gives greater profit
  • These online games are impossible to copy
  • More companies start to see their value

Slide 10[]

The gaming industry - Paid online games?

  • Gamers pay ~100NOK each month to play, a subscription
  • The gamer logs on to a server via the internet to play, and all the characters are other gamers
  • A internet world can have thousands of real players who participate from the whole world and play together
  • An online game means a virtual world you can explore with other people

Slide 11[]

Gaming industry - paid online games explode (GRAPH)

Slide 12[]

Gaming industry - paid online games explode

"In 2006 the western MMO market topped one billion dollars." - Screen digest

... mainly thanks to ...

According ot Screen Digest's reseachers, the income for World of Warcraft capped three billion NOK in 2007. Yes, 9 million people play World of Warcraft.

Many people wants a piece of this cake.

Slide 13[]

Gaming industry - everybody wants in on the online gaming market

Everquest Ca 500 000 gamers, Peaked in 2001

World of Warcraft Ca 9 000 000 gamers, released in 2004

The potential audience is growing extremely

Slide 14[]

Gaming industry - Everybody wants in on the online gaming market

(Pictures of games)

More online games are on their way, and many allready exist - is there room for more?

Slide 15[]

The gaming industry - online games are hard to create (this is in english allready :P)

Slide 16[]


  • Funcom - Who are we and what do we do?
  • The gaming industry - More than just fun and games
  • Development - How to develop an international game?
  • Conan - How does it work?

Slide 17[]

Development - What do you need?

  • Economy
    • To develop an AAA-title has become extremely expensive in the last years
    • Age of Conan costs between 100 and 200 million to make (likely to be in NOK)
  • Technology
    • Codebase - Do you buy or create your own?
    • Funcom has builts it's own technology
  • Staff
    • An AAA-title today needs over 100 people
    • People from over 20 different nations work at Funcom
  • Concept
    • You need a good idea, that needs to work as a game
    • Age of Conan is based on a solid lisence

Slide 18[]

Development - Everything has become larger (Development cost in DKK) GRAPH for Hitman costs

Slide 19[]

Development - But why?

Production values

  • Graphics: Everything should look extremely realistic, and this takes time
  • The world needs to be bigger and more immersive
  • The physics needs to be realistic, which requires a lot of code
  • Animations and voices are recorded by actors
  • Games should prefferably be released on several platforms
  • Music: Keyboard isn't enough, needs a choir!


  • If you want to sell the game, you need millions to advertise it
  • You need a good lisence, which is expensive
  • You want to tie a known name to the game
  • Eternal struggle against hundres of other good titles

Slide 20[]

Development - Then and now

  • Super Mario 8bit had simple graphics and few elements. Age of Conan looks almost photorealistic, and has thousands of elements.
  • In Pac-man your goal was to eat white dots, so the gameplay-code was simple. In Age of Conan you're living a virtual life and exploring a whole world.
  • Commander Keen gave you small beeps from the PC and wasn't even based on real instruments. In Age of Conan we have choir, musicians and thousands of real sounds.

Slide 21[]

Development - production process

A god idea

  • Brainstorming meatings
  • Write down the ideas
  • Create a "design bible"


  • Structuring the project
  • Parts of the team
  • Milestones and processes


  • Code, art, content
  • Prioitizing, cutting
  • Tie together the pieces

Test and release

  • Quality control the product
  • Marketing
  • Distribution to the market

Slide 22[]

Development - Who do you need?

  • Designers
  • Programmers
  • Graphics
  • Sound technisians
  • Content builders
  • Marketing

Slide 23[]

Development - Designers

  • Comes with the ideas, gets them on paper
  • Describes every detail of the game
  • Sets the parameters and defines the rules
  • Thousands of pages with pure text
  • Formulas, excell-sheets, statistics
  • Cooperates with the developers

Slide 24[]

Development - Graphics

  • Takes the designers requirements and realizes them visually
  • Tens of thousands pieces of graphics in every size
  • 3D, 2D, concept, animation
  • Work in 3Dmax, Photoshop etc
  • Technical limitations
  • Motion-capture and hand-animation

Slide 25[]

Development - Coders

  • Makes all the pieces of the game work together
  • Engine-coders, gameplay-coders, tools-coders
  • Hundreds of thousands of Lines of code
  • Visual studio and other programs
  • Weekly merging of all code
  • Continuous bugfixing all the way

Slide 26[]

Development - Content-creators

  • Takes the graphics and builds a world from it
  • Writes thousands lines of dialogs
  • Scripting situations in the game
  • Creating quests for the player
  • Defines thousands of objects
  • Create all playable content

Slide 27[]

Development - Sound technicians

  • Has to create thousands of unique sounds
  • Compose music that should hold for hours
  • Creates everything from yelling to footsteps
  • Makes the sound work with the technology
  • Tens of sounds play simultaniously
  • Voice acting and actors

Slide 28[]

Development - Testers

  • Tens of testers are testing the game constantly
  • Testing every detail of the game
  • Everything is logged and structured
  • Communicates with the developers
  • Apporves every version
  • Works with external testers

Slide 29[]

Development - Marketing

  • How to get the press' attention with hundreds of games released every year?
  • Working with ad-campaigns on TV, radio, online, gaming magazintes etc
  • There are only 10-12 covers for each game magazine each year, how do you get one?
  • Market the game to the community, building a community that should hold for years
  • Reveal features at regular intervals, resist the temptation of telling everything right away

Slide 30[]

Development - The lisence

  • More and more developers use established lisences that gives them a good basis for creating games
  • A good lisence can sell the game for you, even if the game is bad
  • Extreme pressure on releasing the game together with other products is a trap
  • A strong brand that can help the game, especially movies
  • Age of Conan is built on the Conan lisence, and Funcom has the rights to create a MMO of it
  • The Conan lisence is solid, with books, movies, comics, characters, posters and more