Andy Payne offers advice on how to get noticed amongst the media and your peers

Getting your business discovered

Alongside creating innovative and captivating gameplay, discovery is often cited as the one most important factors that any games maker needs in order to succeed.

With access to worldwide markets available at the end of your phone, PC or console, it is possible to create, build and sell a game like never before.

The problem game developers face is that unless you have a track record or a well-known IP, securing attention from media, your peers, platform providers and above all potential fans/customers, it’s going to be a challenge.

It’s not an impossible challenge, but one everyone needs to think about.

Getting yourself networked up with key industry peers, is always a good idea. Sometimes an opportunity to get involved in a mentoring network may just help you.

A good mentor will help you think about and follow proven strategies with a view to get noticed on a number of different levels.

One such mentoring network is The Nesta Creative Business Mentoring Network. This could be a tonic that aspirational game makers could find rather useful.

Receiving valuable input and advice not only to your game idea, but also about your business model, different routes to market and discovery is, I believe, absoloutely essential.

Mentors are not there to do the work and open all the doors, in fact they do quite the opposite. A good mentor encourages the mentee to think both strategically and tactically in pursuit of clearly defined business goals.

Some say it takes a lifetime to achieve overnight success; which can be true in game development.

However, learning from history and previous mistakes can be an essential part of becoming successful. How else can you possibly learn unless you have dealt with failure, potential or otherwise? Working with an experienced mentor could be the power-up that you or your game needs.

There are no magic bullets and no guarantees. Shortcuts rarely exist, but smart thinking and attentiveness are absolutely essential.

Running a business is never easy and making a game is certainly not, but as games transition from products to services you will need to understand and prepare yourself for both a service led approach and mentality.

As the old saying goes, no battle plan survives intact once the first contact with the enemy has taken place.

That does not mean that you don’t need a plan, you do but you also need to be ready, have the right training and disciplined approach and above all be able to think and act with a considerable degree of flexibility.

If you feel that you could use that extra experience, an occasional challenge to your thinking and you’re prepared to do some work, I would strongly advise you to apply to Nesta and take part in the CBMN.

The deadline for applications is Thursday 13th, September 2012. And in an age of ‘everything now’, there’s no better time to seize the opportunity.

For more information about Nesta’s Creative Business Mentor Network, visit the official website.

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