Friday, September 2, 2011

Beyond Board Games

When writing The Toy and Game Inventor's Handbook, we asked eighty professional inventors about their creative careers. One question was, "Who inspired you to become an inventor?"
David Hoyt's answer to that question ensured a place in our published profiles and guaranteed that he would one day be a subject on my blog as well. That answer credited me as motivating him to continue as a "toy dreamer" even though he encountered many rejections and "nos" in efforts to license his ideas. (Thank you, David, but my job as VP, Inventor Relations was to cheer lead the company to the inventing community, critique ideas, soothe disappointed inventors, and worst of all--return rejected ideas.) Interestingly, Hoyt's answer went on to cite what the pros know, "Do not look at a "no" as a sign of failure but rather an opportunity to improve as an inventor as long as the faults are applied to future inventions."

And improve he has! He saw that game play can take many forms on a variety of media. Since those early rejections by Hasbro Games of more traditional game formats, Hoyt has successfully developed online games, mobile games, console games, newspaper games, instant lottery games, casino table games, video slot machines games and, of course, board and card games. Millions of players enjoy his syndicated daily games and puzzles found in many hundreds of newspapers around the world. He has seen his very popular JUMBLE "paper/pencil puzzles" published in some thirty books.

Along the way, David learned the value of partnering with other creatives to broaden possibilities of licensing game ideas. He partners with Jeff Knurek to expand the JUMBLE brand. He has co-produced SPLIT card and board games with inventor, Steve Flaherty and PICTURIFFIC with inventor, Jim Keifer. When seeing that media celebrity could drive some of his game play with consumers, Hoyt licensed one of the all time popular TV show hosts, Pat Sajak, for a line of his game designs.

Much of Hoyt's current focus has turned to social networking games. He is part of a team developing game titles for Facebook . PICTURIFFIC is now ready for release. Bringing his creativity and enthusiasm to this newest medium, Hoyt says, "Budgets are bigger, production value is bigger, the play is bigger, everything is bigger. Sometimes it feels more like the movie business than the game business."

Check out all his accomplishments.

Looking at all of David's successes since weathering my early rejections, I am flattered that some of my advice in some way contributed to his highly successful and productive career as Hoyt Interactive Media.

1 comment:

  1. Given the breadth of David's experience, it'd be great to hear what game mechanics are common across media and those that are unique or essential in a individual medium.