Making a game isn’t just all about coding, making art and tormenting peons with inhumane experiments. A lot of time is spent developing the business as well – marketing, networking, planning, pitching etc;.
This week we were in the beautiful city of Groningen working out of the Indietopia Accelerator offices. The primary reason for this visit was an event being run by VentureLab North that allowed Fringe Planet to be pitched to a group of industry veterans, business educators and investors. Secondary to this were some excellent seminars being run by Indietopia during the week. And finally, it was a fantastic excuse to work from a nerf gun filled office.
After landing in a very cold Groningen (the UK has had a reasonably mild winter so far) – the beginning of the week was filled with meetings and a useful training session about how to apply for certain types of funding. Additionally, we got to meet some members of the other two teams who have been accepted into the accelerator – Tweetal Studios who are working on the very atmospheric side shooter Crimson Resonance, and Spaghetti Games who are not only working on a Unity Asset pack, but are producing a zen like terrarium simulator TerraGardens (which looks incredibly relaxing).
We also had our regularly scheduled mentoring session, which was incredibly fun to do in person – which involved a lot of discussions about some potentially very interesting changes to Fringe Planet as a product. More news will be following shortly.
Between all the meetings, development (keeping our head down as nerf bullets flew overhead) and networking – we got to meet some of the very talented artists and interns who work behind the scenes producing various things related to both the accelerator and games development in the Netherlands. It’s an incredibly fun office full of hard working people, so it was exceedingly pleasant to do game development from such a lively location. Additional the canteen serves some incredibly meatballs (which are literally the size of a fist!).
On Thursday, after spending a lot of time adding polish and practicing our pitch, we headed over to the Zernike campus of Groningen University. We met up with the other teams, and sat down to watch all three presentations. The format was relatively straight forward – a 15 minute pitch (which was filmed by an actual camera man, a first for us) and then a half hour question and answer section (as well as advice) from the business panel. The panel of judges gave their opinions and advice not only on the presentation but on the products and the businesses that we were presenting.
This was an incredibly exciting opportunity and the feedback from the panel was incredibly insightful and useful. They gave us a lot to think about! It is fantastic to see the excitement that Fringe Planet creates in people, and it was clear that there were a lot of very interested future players in the room. The presentation went down very well, and there was a lot of buzz on Twitter about all three presentations – it was nice to see how everyone and their companies had grown since the first set of presentations.
After some celebratory drinks, we made our way back to the airport to fly back home. It was an incredibly busy and long week – but not only was it a lot of fun, there has been some incredible moments of insight as well as a lot of networking done. We are really looking forward to going back there in the up and coming months.
There is a lot more to read about Fringe Planet… why not try: