Andy Gahan continues his quest to run his own micro studio... and hits two big hurdles

Building a studio from scratch: Week 3

[Go here to find all entries in Gahan’s diary]

Week 3

During my discussions with the prospective programmers I had been thinking about my game ideas a lot. I’ve continued talking to my programming partners, and I’ve pretty much narrowed the candidates down to one person.

He sounded great, he was a contractor, so could choose when to work, he was around about my age, had similar interests and really liked the racing concept I have.

He was interested in racing games and had some great initial ideas on how we could do things. We spent a week or so bouncing ideas back and forth and things were going pretty well.

Things were going pretty well until things started to go quiet. I thought something was wrong. After a fair bit of silence it turned out that he had taken on a major contract, then after further discussions it was pretty clear that I was on my own again looking for a programmer.

My main game idea was a racing game set in the future 20 years or so. Whist organising the initial concept art and doing some initial planning, I realised that it would need a lot of effort to do it justice, much more than I may be able to pull together for our first release. So reluctantly I accepted the fact that my best game idea would not be my first release.

I realised that I needed to develop something smaller because I really needed to finish any project that I started. After all, I couldn’t survive indefinitely without cash, so I needed to make a change.

Whilst the quest for my programmer continued, I was meeting up with a lot of my artist friends over lunch and discussing the future. A lot were in the same boat as me, having recently been made redundant and they were keen to hear my ideas.

I really want to make games a different way than I had in the past, and I was very keen to work as a collective rather than a hierarchy. This supported the idea of collaborating on projects rather than paying people.

We discussed this concept of equal effort – equal share of the profits, and pretty much everyone I spoke to was keen to get involved. I went through the various ideas I had on the table and the racing title was very well received by all.

So although I have taken a bit of step back with my search for a programmer, I was getting a very encouraging response to my racing concept and also the way that I’d like the company to run.

People were very keen on working on a title at a time, and not being tied to the company. They could choose to do the next project or not, and they would be rewarded in relation to the effort they put in. I really like the idea of people taking a break from work if a game does well and then choosing to jump back on board when they are ready to complete a new project.

Total money spent so far: £250

Negatives

No programmers (still)
The best game concept is too big to do as a first title

Positives
Some great artists interested in getting involved
The artists really like the collaborative approach

andy@thepixelbullies.com
thepixelbullies.com

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