TAG | happy birthday
Happy birthday to The Voxel Agents – now one year old!
This is Agent Simon here. Recently we’ve been reflecting on our first year as an indie game studio, and at the April meetup of the IGDA Melbourne Chapter I presented a retrospective of the business side of running the studio. I’ve posted the slides (link at the bottom), but first I thought I’d give some context to the presentation.
Going indie is very rewarding and enjoyable. It is also extremely hard to make a living from it. We wanted to share our experiences to help others who are planning to start an indie studio. The retrospective covers our mistakes, our successes, the things we did that gave the most value and some harsh realities of the indie financial situation. To succeed as an indie, you need to be well organised and have a clear plan. We set out with some pretty outrageously unachievable goals, and although that blind optimism has certainly helped to get through some difficult times, I think we’ve mostly stuck to the goals and we’re now well on our way.
I like to think of running an indie studio as pushing a snow ball along. There isn’t any one single thing that you do that will make you successful, but each successive step forward helps to slowly build the snowball bigger, and hopefully one day it will be big enough to start feeding yourself from it (we’re not there yet).
There’s a very vibrant community of indie developers in Melbourne, and in the hope that we could help, we were really happy to share all the details. The presentation covers how much we invested, our income and expenses and a quick summary of our marketing and production approaches, as well as other tidbits.
The slides are available on slideshare and in PDF. There is a lot more detail I would have liked to add but couldn’t in a 30 minute presentation. I am now developing the retrospective into a full article and if there’s any aspect you’d like covered in particular just leave a comment. You can be notified when the full article is ready by following us on twitter, facebook or via RSS.
Good luck to those who applied for the Film Victoria funding round.
Assistance starting an indie studio in Australia:
- IGDA Melbourne Chapter – a bunch of friendly developers
- GDAA – Game Developer’s Association of Australia
- Multimedia Victoria – ICT industry support body
- Film Victoria – the Victorian funding body for game and film production
- Freeplay – Freeplay is an independent games festival that focuses on the creative and artistic side of making games
- New Enterprise Initiative Scheme – government income support for new enterprises
Simon Joslin, Matt Clark, and Tom Killen are pleased as punch to let everyone know that our company is now one year old! Just twelve quick months ago we (perhaps naively ) pledged to give up our day jobs and take the plunge. We decided to go indie.
We couldn’t have made it this far without fantastic support from our friends, the gaming community, and help from the Victorian Government and Industry, particularly Multimedia Victoria and the Game Developers Association of Australia.
To celebrate our birthday, we have taken the decision to go Green. We have calculated the amount of carbon we produced over the past year and we are offsetting that by purchasing carbon offsets from Greenfleet.
The Voxel Agents’ take our responsibility for the protection of the environment and the sustainability of its business very seriously. To help us in the fight against climate change we have partnered with Greenfleet. Greenfleet is the first not-for-profit forestry organisation in Australia to become an Approved Abatement Provider under the Australian Government’s Greenhouse Friendly™ initiative.
At the next Melbourne IGDA meetup (7pm Tuesday, 13th April at The Embassy), Agent Simon will be conducting a detailed discussion about our experience so far which will be of interest to everyone in the games industry, and particularly those who are contemplating going indie themselves. For those unable to attend the talk on 13th, we will make all the notes and slides available on our blog so that you don’t miss out.
Thanks for your support over the past year. A big thanks to Derek Pritchard, Logan Dowell, Jarrod Anderson, Joe Gatling, Joel Joslin, Sam Wong, Rob MacBride and of course, thank you Mr Steve Jobs.