If you want to watch the actual episode of Shop Talk, make sure to tune into ANC, Thursday, 7PM, this July 24 2014.
Indie Game Devs Almost Never Say No To Free Publicity
Being an indie game startup is hard. Even if you’re a hybrid company like we are, toeing the line between products and services, you know you’re pouring so much time/cost into “the dream” and any free publicity is fortunate indeed.
We found out about the TV guesting on ANC’s Shop Talk literally, the day before it happened. We had a big meeting at our office at the same time, but we had the luck of the Irish and managed to scramble from that meeting to reach the TV station minutes after our call time.
Being game developers means hiding all your unfinished work before showing it on national TV, so the Face Mountain team scrambled to put together a stable build. The conversation went: “Is this going to crash on air?” “I don’t THINK so.”
I was hoping to be joined by my co-founder Allen Tan, who frankly is much more the game-head than I am, but I succumbed to peer pressure / the fact that the producer only wanted one interviewee for this segment.
The interview went well, and centred around Face Mountain. We announced on National TV that we’re scheduling our release for August now, on iOS, and September on Android. Like Douglas Adams said, “I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by.” If that doesn’t light a fire under our posteriors, I don’t know what else will.
Anyway here are some of the pre-interview questions and answers that didn’t make it on the show:
Q. As a Game Developer, how long does it take to hone this craft?
A. Tough question. There are people who just get it, where game development just clicks for them. If you hone your craft very early, you might be at the best age to absorb lots of information. I say it will probably take 2 years to get you moving you seriously with games, but there are always exceptions to the rule.
Q. What is the industry currently like in the Philippines?
A. The industry is still in infancy, but it is growing fast. We have a bigger outsourcing sector than a product sector in games and there’s a very big divide between game outsourcing companies and small independent groups. Game outsourcing companies focus on getting work from international clientele and generating jobs for graduates who want to go into game development. Smaller independent groups are self funded and work on their own smaller game products. Some of these games have had success worldwide. Streetfood Tycoon by Eric Garayblas, and Pretentious Game by Bari Silvestre, to name some.
Q. How do you predict this will grow in the future?
We will see more games made by Filipinos in the coming years. More companies will move to create their own products, and the product sector of game development will surge. This is both a prediction, and a goal for us.
Q. What are the necessary skills needed to become a game developer?
Patience, mathematics, a willingness to experiment. A good grasp of English so you can read documentation.
Q. Do you have any tips for those who would want to be game developers in the future?
Fail successfully. If you try to make a game and give up, you’ve failed badly. If you try to make a game, you release it, and maybe you don’t like it, you’ve still failed successfully. Learn from every failure.
What do you think about our answers? Would you offer the same advice? Let us know in the comments section below.