Funding your first, second and third indie games Dan da Rocha - Toxic Games
Dan da Rocha studied as part of a game design course at Newport university, and is now the managing director at Toxic Games. He worked on the well known indie game, Qube.
To get the funding he needed for Qube, his team sent a ten minute demo of the game plus budgets and schedules. It is possible to get funding with a lot less initial prep than this, but to get a spotlight would mean a lot more attention for the game. In this particular case, it did, and with that funding they were able to secure a premisis, pay salaries, lure new talent and attend game events around the world in order to promote their game. Competitions and events are great exposure.
On the other side of things, there are tough times in the indie game biz too: running out of money, crunching and stress and pushing back release dates are all added pressures. Qube got $90,000 from IndieFund and paid it back within only four days of release.
Another key point Dan made was that entering game jam competitions is a great way to get involved in the community and learn a lot in a condensed amount of time. The things he said were most important to take away from this when considering indie game making are:
- pro pitch - solid prototype - budget + schedule - cast a wide net, decide which funding is right for you - be confident - put your game out there!
Sound for Video Games Jory K. Prum
"There is no such thing as good sound design, it's constantly changing. It's a moving target, there's not one definition." Jory gave a really interesting talk about how sound in games should make you want to turn it on because it further immerses you in to a game.
We're really good at recognising patterns as humans. For this reason, we should never have repeated sounds be obvious. Two basic tricks to solving repeats are: randomising pitch, or having a few different sounds randomly repeated. This isn't much effort at all, but prevents things from sounding tiring. He then proceeded to demonstrate making sounds using samples to create different feels for different materials of a door. Wooden, stone and futuristic were the examples chosen and it was fascinating to see his extensive library of sounds he'd recorded himself.
"Building a Lego Hero" Piece by Piece Ralph Ferneyhough - Travellers Tales
Ralph has racked up twenty years experience in the industry, and has published thirty two games throughout his career, having previously been a senior games mechanics programmer.
"Making games isn't easy." The majority of Ralph's work has been on the Lego games, of which have very unique and specific challenges. We were talked through a number of specific mechanics from particular games, and how he went about incorporating these in to level designs.