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The Voxel Agents - Year 1 Retrospective
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The Voxel Agents - Year 1 Retrospective

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  • - talking from experience - specific to us
    - will try to generalise for all


















  • Transcript

    • 1. *presented at IGDA Melbourne meetup April 2010 Year 1 TheVoxelAgents.com Simon Joslin Matt Clark Tom Killen
    • 2. GOING INDIE IS POSSIBLE! ... with a plan
    • 3. THIS TALK IS FOR THOSE WHO: • want to start an indie studio • take indie very seriously
    • 4. ... in the beginning (Simon Joslin, Tom Killen, Matt Clark)
    • 5. We Set Goals in April 09 We all agreed to focus on: • iPhone • Original IP • Innovation • Small and gameplay driven • Trade short-term income for long-term gain (NEIS, invest cash, ignore contract work) • Go full-time
    • 6. Dolphin Hero In the early months: • Setting goals • Learning iPhone dev • Laying some groundwork Why Dolphin Hero didn’t work • No target audience • Not understood in 30 seconds • No marketing
    • 7. Train Conductor In the mid-months: • Prototyped • Focused on quality • Really pushed marketing Why Train Conductor did work • Obvious target audience • Understood in 30 seconds • Supported by marketing • Niche (Australia)
    • 8. Train Conductor USA In the late-months: • Collecting and responding to feedback • Dedicating 40% of time to marketing • Using connections
    • 9. In 12 Months: • $12,000 ($4000 invested each) • $35,000 earnt • $27,000 spent • Released 2 games for iPhone / iPod Touch • Worked with 9 contract / part-timers, 1 legal firm, 1 accountant
    • 10. The 49 Roles The Non-Development Roles • Accounting / Tax • Marketing Videos • Website design / coding • Web 2.0 Strategy • Marketing Strategy • Forum dweller • Press management • Tweeter • Corporate Planning • Facebook'er • Legals • iTunes Marketing • Sys / Network / Backups • Website SEO • Public email handler • Publisher Management • Human Resources • Rank data analysis • Looking for offices • Grants
    • 11. The Voxel Agents What we have after 12 months: • 2 Games to be proud of :) • 28,000 Train Conductors • 1 year of Indie FREEDOM!! • 237 Twitter followers, • 98 Facebook fans, • Connections with GDAA, MMV, Film Vic, • Contacts at about 30 press outlets • Interest from Gamasutra, gamedev.net, IGDA Melb etc • 1 iPhone engine + some in-house tools • Requests for contract work
    • 12. How much is all of this worth? a cool $229,850 $0
    • 13. But reality is quite different!! $0
    • 14. Expenses
    • 15. Retrospective What went right 1. Trust the long-term plan 2. Quality and polish 3. Realistic schedules / projects 4. Original IP 5. Not protective - Networking, accepting assistance 6. Ok with failure: learn and grow. 7. Imitate success 8. Professional (office, attitude, ACN)
    • 16. Retrospective What has brought the most value? 1. Marketing (TVA story, press page, resources) 2. Quality (games, website, professional) 3. Relationships (MMV, GDAA, Film Vic, press, devs) 4. Targeting niches (Australia)
    • 17. Retrospective Marketing tips 1. Have a story for the press to tell 2. Make journalists lives easy 3. Take every opportunity 4. Spread your effort wide 5. Be positive
    • 18. Retrospective What went wrong 1. Not making smaller games 2. Not releasing earlier 3. Not having an artist in the team 4. Inefficient production management 5. Undervaluing our time
    • 19. If we could do it again Work to your abilities and Make small titles, record give 40% of time to marketing metrics and iterate Have core viral / marketing features
    • 20. INDIE 2010 MUST DO’s for Indies in 2010 1. Work out your income stream 2. Invest in marketing and strategise 3. Befriend the press, give them a story 4. Prototype, make small and iterate
    • 21. GOOD LUCK! ASK US QUESTIONS Some resources: Film Victoria Game Developers Association of Australia Multimedia Victoria New Enterprise Initiative Scheme Freeplay simon@thevoxelagents.com TheVoxelAgents.com twitter.com/TheVoxelAgents facebook.com/TheVoxelAgents

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