Juan Uys

Week 10 — Industry Insight 2


During week 10 of GDD730, we look at some more industry insights.

Last week was a little bit busy again personally towards the end, as we packed, and moved again on Saturday (this time from the temporary flat in London, to a temporary AirBNB in lovely Stroud).

The law haunts me again

This week I learnt that Netflix was sued by ChooseCo over the “Choose Your Own Adventure” phrase being used in Bandersnatch (“Chooseco Llc v. Netflix, Inc.” 2020). I was reflecting on how fatal such a lawsuit can be for a small indie developer, and how careful one has to be in business. So, to re-iterate a previous post: involve good solicitors at key stages of your product’s lifecycle to protect you.

Worker collectives

It’s time to talk about worker collectives again. Phoebe Herring talks about freelancing and getting shafted, and moving off the work-trading platforms (like Upwork) so freelancers can get a bigger cut (Herring n.d.). The game industry is huge - why can’t everyone share in the pie? Why does sourcing artistic talent need to be a race to the bottom? A local/UK-based collective can be “best of Britain”, locally-sourced talent, who are paid good rates, and everyone is happy. It doesn’t always need to be a race to the bottom. Being a socialist “starts at home”. No-one is going to vote Jeremy Corbyn to be PM any time soon, but we can start at the grassroots level and let equality “start with yourself”, so to speak.

On the contrary, a friend of mine whom I’ve worked with a bunch before recommended I “be the boss” instead, and if I want to share the spoils of our labour, then “be a kind boss”. I guess his point is that in his experience, worker collectives are a bad idea, and it’s best to have a single leader with a singular vision at the helm, who can also ensure the money is spent purposefully on the single vision.

Case against worker collectives

I suppose being the boss fits in with the original mentality I had coming into this course, which was to do this indie journey all by myself (with the help of the odd freelancer). However, being part of teams all throughout my career has clearly had its benefits, and this teamwork module has really hit it home for me, as this was one of the projects where I had more sway on the outcome of the project (as opposed to projects where I only had a say in the code and technical architecture, and not so much the artistic vision, etc).

So, the plan for my career is to start our solo, but collaborate as much as possible, and once I gain some traction, find those individuals with whom I can tackle more longer-term projects.

UPDATE 2021-09-08: I had a catchup with my personal tutor today, and he said that he worked with collectives in the past: it would start out grand, with the 4 co-founders being very successful, but soon 3 of them would notice that one of them isn’t pulling all their weight, so they would oust the underperforming individual. Then, not before long, 2 of the remaining 3 would yet again notice a lack in performance in one of the individuals, and so on, until there is only one left. It sounds like being on par with 3 or 4 other individuals ALL THE TIME is difficult, as people have different rhythms, different “life events”, etc, so something like this is bound to happen. Perhaps it’s best, then, to apply “worker collective” systems to short-lived projects/collaborations.

Weekly development log

2021-08-01 Sunday

Worked some more on the “3-minute demo video”. iMovie doesn’t label the imports, so it’s a slow-ish process of playing a bit of every imported clip to know what it relates to, before dragging it into the edit area.

2021-03-02 Monday

We had the supervisor catch-up tonight again with Matty, and I did nothing else. (Had the kids all day, as my partner was away.)

2021-08-03 Tuesday

We had a planning meeting tonight, and went over the pitch deck, and highlighted anything that needed to be done or added. Josh took notes, and will then create tasks in our Pivotal, then assign accordingly.

I spent the rest of the evening catching up on week 10 content, and doing some blogging.

The rest of the week was a bit blocked on waiting for the rest of the team to bring some bits together for the 3-minute demo video.


  1. “Chooseco Llc v. Netflix, Inc.” 2020.
  2. HERRING, Phoebe. n.d. “Week 10: Phoebe Herring on Freelance: Co-Creative Design & Development Practice GDD730 20/21 Part-Time Study Block S3.” Available at: https://flex.falmouth.ac.uk/courses/913/pages/week-10-phoebe-herring-on-freelance?module_item_id=54820 [accessed 16 Aug 2021].

This post is part of my critical reflective journal and was written during week 10 of the module co-creative development.

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