Oct 11, 2006

Ann Tancio


So what exactly goes on behind the scenes of one of the world’s top online gaming companies? Take a sneak peak inside Blockdot’s gaming studio and the home of, one of the top 25 gaming portals on the Internet.

Blockdot’s offices are located on the 4th floor of the same building that J.R. Ewing worked out of in the television show “Dallas”, the famous primetime soap opera of the 1980’s.


Blockdot is the leading producer and provider of casual games and company-sponsored Advergames on the Internet. The founders of Blockdot are considered by many to be the forefathers of Advergaming. Since its creation, Blockdot has created over 250 games for a broad range of leading brand name companies, like American Airlines, AT&T, Baskin-Robbins, Kimberly-Clark, Kraft, Motorola, M&Ms Brand, and Verizon.

The office space is fun and doesn’t take itself too seriously. Just like Texas, the office has wide open spaces. There are areas throughout the office to kickback and work.


In our lobby, we have two huge thrones. Jason McMinn, seated in the foreground, is one of our founders and is in charge of Blockdot’s publishing group. He is responsible for the recent release of the new game site.


Along side the thrones is a 7 foot tall statue of a hot dog man. He’s been with the company since the very beginning. We get a lot of head turns from people in the elevator when the doors open. For awhile, we had everyone convinced that we were a sausage company, not a game company.

We spend a lot of time talking to people to find out what they like to play. Blockdot often use focus groups, to help test our games and to give us feedback on our work. We also do quite a bit of play testing ourselves. Here is our arcade area, where we have a library of games and just about every gaming console, both old and new, ever created.


During lunch, the arcade gets pretty busy.



Pull up a bag and get in line. I got next game!

The Game development group has a secret room, called the Ice Cube, where a lot of brainstorming sessions take place. This is a room that is about 15 foot by 15 foot, there are no chairs but it is filled with Sumo bags and marker boards. Add a couple cups of coffee and a handful of chocolate, and you can really get some good ideas flowing (or at least a vicious pillow fight).



We often have our kids show up, and we show them how tough it is in the real world. Kennedy, one of our 9-year old play testers is off to a meeting to brainstorm on a new game idea.


Outside of the game development and publishing groups is the sales and marketing team. Here you can see some of them busy, closing deals.



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