Startup Stories (IGDA Finland)

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Rocket Pack's presentation at the Startup Stories event organized by IGDA Finland

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  • Hi!
    Great to see such interest in startups.
    Sorry, free booze will happen *afterwards*.
  • Jiri from Rocket Pack
    Continuing The Finnish tradition of “kiitos ja anteeksi”, or “thanks and sorry”.
    So, *CLICK* thanks to IGDA for inviting us
    and thanks to everyone for coming (even if not for us), aaaand...
  • Had to get this out of the way!
    Sorry that we took the Nordic Game grant your company deserved!
    Anyway.

  • Had to get this out of the way!
    Sorry that we took the Nordic Game grant your company deserved!
    Anyway.

  • It’s not good to think of “casual gaming”, “social gaming” and “gaming” as separate things
    Lot of small companies around here - trying to build something that will benefit all
    Cats vs. Dogs, a social MMO with more of what some might call “real gameplay”, will be in beta later this year - newsletter at Rocketpack.fi
  • With Rocket Pack, we’re continuing another great Finnish tradition:
    Starting company names with the letter R.
    But before this R company, there actually was another one...
  • With Rocket Pack, we’re continuing another great Finnish tradition:
    Starting company names with the letter R.
    But before this R company, there actually was another one...
  • With Rocket Pack, we’re continuing another great Finnish tradition:
    Starting company names with the letter R.
    But before this R company, there actually was another one...
  • With Rocket Pack, we’re continuing another great Finnish tradition:
    Starting company names with the letter R.
    But before this R company, there actually was another one...
  • With Rocket Pack, we’re continuing another great Finnish tradition:
    Starting company names with the letter R.
    But before this R company, there actually was another one...
  • Called Retrobot. A year or so ago.
    Great people, great ideas, unfortunately some felt that we needed an office etc. before we can get started.
    And it kinda fizzled away.
    Now, with Rocket Pack, it’s month 4 without salaries for the founders.
  • Called Retrobot. A year or so ago.
    Great people, great ideas, unfortunately some felt that we needed an office etc. before we can get started.
    And it kinda fizzled away.
    Now, with Rocket Pack, it’s month 4 without salaries for the founders.
  • We’ve learned that people aren’t joking about getting used to the taste of ramen noodles.
    Entrepreneurship isn’t a “get rich quick” kinda thing.
    You’ll have to put in a lot of work first.
  • Anyway. So Retrobot never came to be, and some time passes.
    If this was a movie, this would be a montage of people sitting by the computer drinking coffee
    and surfing Facebook.
  • Cue 2010! Turns out that the idea of starting a new game company lives on,
    but this time people are going at it alone.
    At some point, we realize that actually we do need other people to make it happen.
    But this time, people get together only after very serious consideration. Forged in fire!
  • So, lesson 2 would be that people are founders in a company for a reason.
    And being really good buddies with someone talented isn’t a good enough reason.
    The founders must be crucial to making this happen.
  • So, the Nordic Game thing. We sent the “winning application” the same day we officially founded the company.
    Sounds like we got lucky. But getting lucky is easier when you know what you’re doing.
    And since we knew what we were doing, we invested in some pretty pictures for the application, and it paid off. ;)
  • So lesson 3 would be: pay your dues in the industry first.
    You’ll be making a lot of mistakes as a company founder and a lot of mistakes as a game developer
    It makes sense not to make all those mistakes at the same time
  • Also, it’s so much easier to explain things with pictures.
    Either get a founder who can make them, or pay someone to do it. You won’t regret it.
  • So now the application has been sent, let’s sit on our asses and wait. Right? Wrong.
    For reasons that made sense at the time, we started crunching heavily on a demo for a console game.
    The demo is excellent considering the time we spent on it, but. *click* This is what MS asked us, and for a reason.
  • Watch out for scope creep. Awesome ideas easily get out of hand and turn into monsters.
  • ...and monsters need to be killed.
    Startups don’t have the luxury of working on ever-expanding projects that don’t show significant promise.
    Stick to what sticks and be ruthless about cutting off everything that doesn’t.
  • Hiring people. We’ve recently hired some really awesome people, and let me tell you, it’s not easy.
    You can’t afford competitive salaries, so know what you’re offering. And if you can do it yourself, don’t hire anyone.
    If someone says they have 15 years of professional singing experience, this could mean that they once sang in the shower when they were 5. Having said that...


  • Startup Stories (IGDA Finland)

    1. 1. O HI! Jiri Kupiainen / Rocket Pack Ltd. IGDA Finland Presentation, “Startup Stories” June 8th 2010, Helsinki
    2. 2. Thanks for coming!
    3. 3. SORRY, EVERYONE!
    4. 4. ROCKET PACK LTD • Putting gaming into “social gaming” • Building a platform that other small casual / social devs can use • Cats vs. Dogs in beta later this year
    5. 5. ROCKET PACK LTD • Putting gaming into “social gaming” • Building a platform that other small casual / social devs can use • Cats vs. Dogs in beta later this year
    6. 6. R IS FOR FINLAND
    7. 7. R IS FOR FINLAND
    8. 8. FIRST TRY (RETROBOT) • Let’s start a game studio! • First we need an office, a receptionist, Lamborghinis and a booze fountain. • Solid plan! • Turns out you need to do some work first.
    9. 9. FIRST TRY (RETROBOT) Four • Let’s start a game studio! months without • First we need an office, a salary YAY! receptionist, Lamborghinis and a booze fountain. • Solid plan! • Turns out you need to do some work first.
    10. 10. LESSON 1: PEOPLE AREN’T JOKING ABOUT RAMEN.
    11. 11. SOME TIME PASSES...
    12. 12. LET’S EVERYONE START A COMPANY! • Several startup projects... • ...that merged into one project... • ...after a lot of consideration. • Endresult: a much stronger company.
    13. 13. LET’S EVERYONE START A COMPANY! • Several startup projects... • ...that merged into one project... • ...after a lot of consideration. • Endresult: a much stronger company.
    14. 14. LESSON 2: EVERY FOUNDER SHOULD PLAY A VITAL ROLE
    15. 15. THE NORDIC GAME APPLICATION THAT COULD • Some of it is luck. • But: • We know the market • We can write solid plans • We are known in the industry • Experience (and pretty pictures)
    16. 16. LESSON 3: PAY YOUR DUES IN THE INDUSTRY
    17. 17. LESSON 3.5: SERIOUSLY, PRETTY PICTURES.
    18. 18. WE CAN’T STOP HERE, THIS IS BAT COUNTRY • Aftersubmitting an application for a social MMO, start working... on a console game! • Crunch like crazy! • Show it to Microsoft!
    19. 19. WE CAN’T STOP HERE, THIS IS BAT COUNTRY • Aftersubmitting an application for a social Why MMO, start working... on a does it look console game! like a Flash game? • Crunch like crazy! • Show it to Microsoft!
    20. 20. LESSON 4: WATCH OUT FOR SCOPE CREEP
    21. 21. LESSON 5: KILL YOUR DARLINGS
    22. 22. GROWING PAINS • We’ve hired some awesome people • (The only kind startups can afford to hire) • It’s not easy: • There aren’t many awesome people out there • Most awesome people want awesome salaries • Be prepared for outright lies in applications
    23. 23. LESSON 6: ROCKET PACK IS LOOKING FOR AWESOME GAMEPLAY PROGRAMMERS
    24. 24. THANK YOU! http://rocketpack.fi/ jiri@rocketpack.fi

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