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PostPosted: Fri Dec 23, 2016 2:14 pm 
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Sweet! Been looking forward to watching these. I must be blind though, which one is the keynote?

Keynotes are here: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=P ... yIEJ2Sj9AR

I think you'll get a lot out of Innes McKendrick from Hello Games' keynote, Luke. :P

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 28, 2016 7:11 pm 
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As 2016 winds down (some might say "thank goodness" but I have personally, had a great year overall- apart from not being able to go to PAX South), it's time to look ahead at what I am hoping to accomplish in 2017:

Symphony of the Machine will be launching in Q1, 2017.
D3BUG will be entering into its final stages of production once 2017 is done.
There is that other thing.... :lol:
We will have produced a steady run of serious games for our clients.
The major capital raise should be done by April/May. This will power Stirfire for at least three years of production, but of course success of the games should happen during that time too.
It's my aim that we will be exhibiting at GX Australia 2017, PAX AUS 2017, BitSummit (Japan) and GamesCom (Germany) this coming year.
We will be the largest game company in WA in terms of headcount by the end of 2017.
We will be working on the largest game projects to come out of WA by the end of 2017- and shipping them.

2017. BRING. IT.

Edit: Largest game company... in WA. This isn't saying a whole heap, but hey, employees are good. Also am important qualifying statement.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 2017 10:16 am 
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We're in the process of sorting out submission slot for Symphony of the Machine with Vendor XYZ.

"Submission" is the scariest word in the English language. And not for the reason you're thinking of :P . It's a nerve-wracking time in any developer's cycle, especially with so much personally and financially riding on it.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2017 10:04 am 
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The thrill ride of the submission process continues...

Lessons learned- submit early, particularly if you know what areas you're going to fail in. That way you fail in those areas and they are "knowns". The scary part is when you get something through as an "unknown". We have a fair idea about points of failure, but they're knowns. But that way you get the Unknowns early as well and can work on bug fixes etc.

We are still working through the process and although we have tested extensively, there is still that trepidation around finding any Unknowns. Despite your best inclinations, it all makes it something of a moving target, particularly when you're trying to get the game to market.

We are also working on the trailers in the background, which is its own challenge and balancing resources, particularly on the the technical side is one of our issues. While the programmers are working on the game, they are not working on the rather ambitious trailer production that we have set ourselves.

All the while this is going on I am working on the financing of the company for the short and longterms. Sometimes this is what it all looks like:

Image

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2017 11:26 am 
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UPDATE: We have pushed the button. WE ARE GO!


*Sits and waits nervously for the feedback to come through.*

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 11, 2017 11:22 am 
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Okay, so here's your chance if you would like to come try out Symphony of the Machine:

Tickets to our exclusive playtest sessions on Friday and Saturday are available here: https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/symphon ... 1055745571

Please be aware this game has not been released to public yet and will require you to sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement to play this version of the build (unless you have been to a previous playtest session).

I will be lurking around particularly on Friday but have a tonne of other things to get through so won't be supervising the playtests personally.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 20, 2017 6:45 pm 
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What a week...

So things are progressing from a development perspective and we really are on the final push with Symphony. The production team are now pretty much moving to crunch to get it done.

"Crunch" (Noun): Working long hours and weekends at the end of a project to finish a project (usually a long-standing one).

My business partner is disappointed because this will be the first time in four years that he will have to miss Global Game Jam. GGJ is a worldwide event where developers meet at site locations in each participating city and have to churn out some sort of a game in 48 hours. The original prototype for Symphony was developed at GGJ 2016. Normally game jam games of any sort are test beds for experimentation, which is absolutely true here. It just turned out the concept was really good and needed more attention.

Ironically, he can't attend GGJ 2017 because he's still working on GGJ 2016's game. :lol:

Some of the more commercial aspects of the game are being worked on as well. More on that later.

The trailer was filmed during the week and is heading into post production. The mixed-reality nature of it all when it is finished is going to be really cool. I can't wait to see the finished product.

All while this is going on, I am supporting my finance people through a short-term capital raise while working through the due diligence and audit processes for the major one. Basically 90% of my job is about finding money.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 20, 2017 6:48 pm 
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Also if you want to know what game I'm looking forward to seeing out soon, this is it: http://www.screwtape.net/

I played Damsel at Melbourne Games Week functions last year a couple of times and it totally feels like an updated version of the classic 90's platformers I used to play. And it's really pretty.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2017 2:54 pm 
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I had a conversation a short time ago with some nice people who live in very different worlds to me and I had to explain some aspects of what I do for a living and I'm going to finish that thought...

I work in game development, but I am not a programmer, designer, artist or producer. I do not make sound or music for games. I don't do QA. In short, directly, I have never personally produced content for a videogame in any form, ever.

What I do is about making sure the studio is funded in the short and long terms. Videogames are expensive things to make and can take years to build. It's my job to support our capital-raising people have the tools from us. It's my job to make sure the materials for audit and the due diligence is performed by the accounts we engage with. It's my job to make sure the legals are done and and the contracts are robust and the prospectus will be completed. It's my job to make sure the investors are educated about our industry so they will understand their decision and about why we make our decisions. It's my job to make sure there is money there to pay our staff. It's my job to make sure the games are marketed effectively.

It's also my job to make sure the third party work we get is able to get over the line and the clients are advised correctly and their expectations are managed.

In broader terms, It's my job to help build this industry up in WA and Australia. This is why I wrote a submission for the Senate enquiry, have talked at investor education nights and have spoken at student events, expos and panels. Getting people interested in the games industry is all about critical mass from an investment perspective, but also about building up the pool of skilled and motivated people we can hire from.

Why do I do it? Because it's my natural home. It's because I want the people who I work with to do the amazing things they do- despite the challenges and difficulties. It's because I want the people in other games-related ventures around the state succeed because success breeds success. It's easier to grow the pool of investors when there are success stories.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 31, 2017 9:33 pm 
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Hey all,

We are ready for the next round of playtesting of Symphony of the Machine. If you would like to book a slot, particularly if you haven't tried virtual reality yet, book here: https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/symphon ... 1534472456

I may be there, I may be in Sydney. Because reasons.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 08, 2017 2:32 pm 
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"Where are you today, V?"

Well Westgamer, I am currently sitting in the Virgin terminal at Perth Airport, bored, waiting to catch a flight to Sydney to go raise a bunch of capital and prepare the investment institutions for our upcoming major raise. I am also waiting for Vendor XYZ to give me my accreditation so I can launch my game.

"You sure live a glamorous life as a game developer, V with that business travel and all."

Going around to talking to stuffy aging blokes who will ask a bunch of boring questions not relating to the game isn't a whole buncha fun.

But hey, the capital at the end of it is! :lol:

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 16, 2017 1:58 pm 
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Well, today marks a happy day for me personally in my own workflow. While the production team have been furiously bug-fixing and polishing Symphony, I have been working on our major finance deal, which will sustain the studio for the next three years. As you can imagine, there is a significant body of work that is required for this and that I have been personally working on for the past two months or so.

It looks like our three year audit is done. What a relief. Seriously, what a pain in the @$$.

I just finished the Use of Funds document today. This constitutes one table in the investor document. ONE TABLE. But the information required to gather for it to generate the summary that table provides is staggering. I have spent weeks on and off gathering the info for it.

Now it's about getting the reviews of those documents done and I can get them through to the lawyers inclusion in the investor doc.

I don't make games. I shuffle spreadsheets.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 16, 2017 4:08 pm 
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I enjoyed this article by the amazing Brie Code (Assassins Creed 1&2, Child of Light) on building a production team: http://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/2 ... e-is-a-lie


I am actively building up a portfolio of prospective employees, am slowly hiring selected positions at the moment and once I have completed my major raise, I will be tapping a bunch of people on the shoulder. I currently employ a team of around fifteen people, counting casuals. Post major raise, I will be putting together a core team for my next game (D3BUG, playtested at PAX AUS 2016), a small pre-production team to do the tech and science behind a large project before I slowly build that one up. Plus I will have my auxiliaries and casuals which I will use to handle the third party work that comes through the door. Headcount-wise, we are already the biggest game studio in WA and it's my ambition to be running teams so as to be able to delivery one major project per year, plus DLCs and maybe the odd smaller one depending on what we have in our product portfolio at the time.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 24, 2017 8:10 am 
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https://uploadvr.com/symphony-machine-vr-puzzle/

So that was kinda cool, but we need to update the release information.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 09, 2017 8:06 pm 
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So I did a thing today. There was a senator involved.

https://www.facebook.com/SenatorLudlam/ ... 659759470/

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