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MMA Federation

Published by Phil Goddard

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If you’re lucky, maybe once or twice in your career, the stars align and you have the opportunity to work on a project that combines your personal interests, your full suite of skills, performing the perfect role. That’s what happened when I met the renown ex EA Games VP Exec, Rick Giolito, and the Veteran Voice of the UFC Octagon, Bruce Buffer. Iiiiiiit’s Tiiiime! In October 2013 the UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship) were holding an event in my home town of Manchester, UK. I had arranged a sit down through a mutual acquaintance with none other than Bruce Buffer, the Octagon announcer the night before the fight. Prior to the meeting I had done some preliminary work for an ‘App’ to allow users to earn ‘real rewards’ from the the world of MMA (Mixed Martial Arts), such as signed gloves, tickets to events etc. The App at the time was kind of a statistics based game with a rich economy, kind of like the original Championship Manager, but for the fight game. The meeting went very well and in January 2014 I set up a new studio in Manchester to create MMA Federation, the strategy fighting game for iOS and Android, on mobile and tablet. Already I had found myself working on another mobile gaming project, but the theme was MMA, and I’d been a fan for many years, and also practiced from time to time. To add to this good fortune, a previous studio I had worked with had just closed its doors, and I managed to hire three incredible individuals to help kick off the project with me. A few weeks in to the project and we already had a prototype. We had come up with the concept of a turn based fighting game using ‘Cards’… a bit like Pokemon for MMA. We split combat into attack and defense turns, created rounds, and created hundreds of Moves with different styles, targets and statistics. It wasn’t long before we started to gain some traction and raise some awareness. One interested party was Rick Giolito, games industry veteran, ex EA VP Exec and the genius behind the Medal of Honor franchise Knockout Kings. Rick and I hit it off immediately and he helped me greatly by bridging the gap between the internal studio, and the external board, investors and the business side of business. Fast forward a year and I had built a studio, at its peak, to 22 talented people, ranging between artists, animators, programmers, designers, QA, marketing and even a project manager. I still retained hands-on with game design, UI, UX, audio and video work and took direct line management responsibility for Art, Animation and Design. The amazing Adrian Waterhouse took responsibility for the tech team and what we built in a little over a year was nothing short of incredible. #studiomanagement #gamedesign #wireframing #uxdesign #uidesign #prototyping #creative #creativedirection

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