Week 12 — Indie Startup Finale

2021-12-03

Welcome to week 12 of the module indie game startup.

By the end of this week, you will be able to:

  • Complete a game proof of concept with a team or individually.
  • Complete a personal portfolio showcasing your contribution to the proof of concept.
  • Prepare your assignments for final submission.

Here we are

To re-cap what we’ve done so far:

  • the first module was about development practice, and talked about ideation, creativity, communities of practice, and generally making stuff
  • the second module was about game development, and talked about game design, programming, narrative, art, animation, level design, sound design, playtesting and shipping. It was a super fun module, and for most of us, these were things we could do coming into this course.
  • the third module was about applying the previous two modules as part of a team, and talked about team dynamics, Tuckman’s forming/storming/norming/performing (and adjourning), pitching, IP, and ideating as a team.
  • the fourth module (this one!) was about indie game start-up, and talked about market research, marketing, promotion, funding, budgeting, pitching, other sources of income, store presence and trailers, and live-ops.

I have found this module immensely useful, and to me was probably the most important module of the entire course, as I’ve already done the first 3 modules in some form or another as part of my career and gamedev hobby.

Even as recently as June, I was questioning this whole marketing thing, and always felt “but I just want to make the game I want”. That’s fine if you’re making games as a hobby, but as I’m serious about doing it for a living, I needed to get serious about business.

Discourse

I fondly remember these words from the very first week of the course, probably written by the lovely Al (emphasis mine, as I’ll make a point after):

When you enroll on a course at Falmouth University, you become an integral part of a vibrant and diverse community of practitioners. Your voice and contribution are valued and together we can do great things. As with all new endeavors, it may seem like the end is a long way off. Let me assure you the time will fly by and graduation will be here faster than you could ever imagine. For this reason, it is vital you do not hold back and instead get involved at every opportunity. More specifically, engagement with weekly activities, webinars and discussion forums enhances your practice and helps to hone soft skills that are highly desirable in the industry. Do not be afraid to have your voice heard, engage in conversation, share your thoughts, give advice, and create connections with like-minded individuals. You get out exactly what you put in.

Please also recall that I’ve struggled with lack of discourse in the gamedev courses I did before embarking on my Falmouth journey:

I also really like the fact that Falmouth is one of the top schools in the world for this particular field, which means it will attract lots of like-minded students who can partake in the discourse - something I’ve found to be lacking in some other online learning environments.

Maybe this is just the nature of distance learning, or perhaps I’m just more of a conversationalist than others, but I would have liked to see more discourse.

There were a few students who chipped in frequently, but there was a majority who posted once or twice, and some never. The tutors chipped in often to keep the conversations going, but sometimes it felt like it was a conversation between them, me, and one or two others, mostly.

It’s no big loss on my part, though, as I’ve become aware of (and a part of) quite a few gamedev communities whom I actively talk to, also people who want to learn more, and challenge the current state of affairs.

What’s next?

The fifth module will be different, in that we each get a research supervisor (RS), over 6 months (twice the credits of any previous module). A little birdie told me that all content will be delivered in week 1, of which there is a lot. (Here’s the module structure for the curious.)

This is it, girls and boys - this module will be me introducing myself as “one of us” to the wider gamedev community. A big bang intro. I do hope I’ve learned enough to do this properly, so I don’t crash and burn spectacularly :-)

Meawhile, I’ll try and make a few more small games until January, to keep that gamedev gubbins well oiled.

This post is part of my critical reflective journal and was written during week 12 of the module indie game startup.

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