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This topic contains 11 replies, has 8 voices, and was last updated by  SocksUp 6 years ago.

  • Author
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  • #8162

    aphra
    Keymaster

    Forfas etc. commissioned a piece of research last Spring on the Irish games industry and it looks like we will have an action plan for the Irish games industry in early Autumn.

    This will put forward policy proposals and suggestions that EI and IDA will run with, as well as other agencies.

    If you had a chance to suggest a policy measure what would you suggest??

    Aphra.

  • #47217

    RedXIV
    Participant

    I think I’d like to see more internship opportunities if not outright junior positions being offered from established companies.

    Very few of the jobs that go up would be friendly towards graduates and the age long cycle of
    no job -> get experience -> no experience? -> get job

    wouldn’t need much. My career kicked off from a 3 month placement organised through college. I’m not in games now but I had 3 other games jobs all thanks to that initial piece of experience.

    That and we really need a proper system for start up game dev companies. I know at least 20 companies (my own included) which started but just didn’t know how to keep going. Be it a workshop, a mentor, SOMETHING which can get them past the first set of hurdles

  • #47218

    payrad
    Participant

    Any sort of incentive to help more developers set up shop, be it AAA title developers or smaller indie guys. Anything that makes Ireland more appealing and makes it worth while setting up here.

    It would be great if some of the companies that have QA and Customer Service stuff going on here would consider setting up development here.
    i.e Bioware. I know theres probably a myriad of reasons why its difficult and other countries are more appealing but I think all it would take is 1 company to prove its "doable" and more would follow.

  • #47219

    ManE
    Participant

    Small investments for games-development startups, with medium to long term project plans (not necessarily business plans).

    The number of people currently involved in the most various facets of games production in Ireland is surprising, to me at least, and this is at all levels, not only casual/mobile: recently I’ve seen a post about creating "holographic" Unreal 3 shaders, there are a few modders, and we all know how good Ireland is at creating successful games middle-ware!

    The academia is also well structured, from fetac level 5 to BA, BSc, all the way up to MSc and MA’s. In both Design, Art and Technology related subjects, with sections of all these courses focusing on games.

    The big players are here (albeit only in name and support), and so are the amazing individuals churning games in their bedroom.

    What’s missing is a number of companies, maybe one in the Hub, one in a DIT/Trinity incubation center, trying their best to give 37 people each (to quote Tony’s magic number of employers needed to make a game) a chance at games development.

    Starting from small indie prototypes, maybe an app or two, a Kongregate game: a chance for people to get to know each other, and build a production pipeline; with the security of being able to pay employees some form of monetary retribution for the time it takes to make a finished game, that can be put on Steam or, perhaps with a bit of luck, on one of the online Console distribution channels.

    With some of the modern production tools available, and the Irish QA expertise, one could be in the position to do that in two years, from company inception that is, and there’s all the chances if not high probabilities that such an entity would generate some income before the big project is complete, from assets creation, and the smaller projects.

    Is the problem that the people with money want to be sure there’s a cake at the end of every investment? I guess that’s a business savvy approach, but all it takes is for one successful game to hit the giga downloads, and you’re making enough cash to keep more projects alive for another year or so, and once you’re there you need smaller entities specializing in jobs that the winners need to outsource, you’re attracting the attention of the existing academia and publishers, you’ve built a network of collaborations, spinoff companies, know-how; and in a few years you’ve created an industry!

    Always the dreamer…

  • #47220

    Sofox
    Participant

    I agree with most of what’s been said.
    We need more encouragement for the small stuff. College graduates getting game development experience with internships (even free ones) and seed funding for small startup games companies.
    Startups are vital, even if they fail (which they will most likely), you’ll be left with a group of Irish game developers who have gained a lot of experience in game development and business and who can then either get employed or start up new companies with what they’ve learned.
    And as for college graduates gaining experience, part of the reason Ireland is so strong on animation is because IDA encouraged a lot of major Animation companies to move here in the early 90s, such as one by Don Bluth http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sullivan_Bluth_Studios#Amblin_and_Spielberg_.2F_Sullivan_Bluth They contributed a lot to both giving students experience and developing college courses.

  • #47221

    aphra
    Keymaster

    I think the small funding provided by EI before Christmas and after is a great step towards helping small start ups. I would like to see that continue and I hope some of the funded projects do well.

    Internships also important…esp. since they can be planned…most courses send their students out for a certain amount of time each year.

    EI has a mentor programme but they are probably general business mentors… I guess you mean game specific mentors…I wonder are there any game mentors? see more info on mentors at http://bit.ly/nBGQni

    My understanding of the animation story is that when the US studios Left Ireland for the middle and then far east, what we were left with were some good college courses, some good lecturers and an understanding of the process. That was the foundation for our current crop of companies. It also helps that broadcasters and Film Boards provide seed and project funding.

    Aphra.

  • #47222

    TaxandLegal
    Participant

    I think all new businesses need 3 things:

    1. selling the product (sales & marketing)
    2. administration & management (accounts, raising funds etc)
    3. making/delivering the product/service

    While game developers may be great at producing games (No3), they may be lacking when it comes to the other two. I think assistance in these areas would be helpful.

    Separately, shared experiences can be helpful in that, if you have a problem that someone else has encountered before, they can give you the quick solution to it. Also, people in the same business tend to egg each other on. To achieve this, I’m not sure if people need to work together in a "hub" but more regular interaction between developers could be promoted.

  • #47224

    dillon
    Participant

    I think I’d like to see more internship opportunities if not outright junior positions being offered from established companies.

    Very few of the jobs that go up would be friendly towards graduates and the age long cycle of
    no job -> get experience -> no experience? -> get job

    wouldn’t need much. My career kicked off from a 3 month placement organised through college. I’m not in games now but I had 3 other games jobs all thanks to that initial piece of experience.
    [/quote:9c666cea8f]

    Well there are some chance available:
    http://www.demonware.net/jobs/internships/

  • #47225

    RedXIV
    Participant

    I think I’d like to see more internship opportunities if not outright junior positions being offered from established companies.

    Very few of the jobs that go up would be friendly towards graduates and the age long cycle of
    no job -> get experience -> no experience? -> get job

    wouldn’t need much. My career kicked off from a 3 month placement organised through college. I’m not in games now but I had 3 other games jobs all thanks to that initial piece of experience.
    [/quote:f9e3275428]

    Well there are some chance available:
    http://www.demonware.net/jobs/internships/[/quote:f9e3275428]

    Oh I agree there are a few places that offer internships, I benefited from one myself and it was a great boost. But with the amount of big names in the industry here, I can’t help but feel they could be offering more. Looking over Demonware’s offerings there, its very hard to find fault, so if we could push more to follow in their footsteps, that’d be great.

    I think all new businesses need 3 things:

    1. selling the product (sales & marketing)
    2. administration & management (accounts, raising funds etc)
    3. making/delivering the product/service

    While game developers may be great at producing games (No3), they may be lacking when it comes to the other two. I think assistance in these areas would be helpful.

    Separately, shared experiences can be helpful in that, if you have a problem that someone else has encountered before, they can give you the quick solution to it. Also, people in the same business tend to egg each other on. To achieve this, I’m not sure if people need to work together in a "hub" but more regular interaction between developers could be promoted.[/quote:f9e3275428]

    This is it. When we started out, we got bogged down with paperwork because we approached it all the wrong way. We unnecessarily opened up a full limited company and registered for VAT and then the onslaught of (probably basic) forms bewildered a team of development graduates with no business knowledge.

    I vaguely remember reading that a games course in Ireland had a business module in it and thinking it was a great idea after our flop and even still I think there should be a workshop or something that will help aspiring developers go out on their own and get their stuff noticed. Obviously a fully qualified partner in business or marketing would be more beneficial but even a basic understanding for developers would prevent start-ups dying before they get a chance to get going

  • #47226

    SocksUp
    Participant

    I have no doubt that we are and will create some great games and content here in Ireland. The most significant obstacle faced by both indie and AAA developers is digital games sales and marketing. Understanding different market segments and how to effectively reach them is the acid test for any game or developer. We effectively promote other sectors and their produce – a similar focus is required for our digital games sector. I have written a terms of reference for same if anyone is interested.

  • #47231

    RedXIV
    Participant

    I have no doubt that we are and will create some great games and content here in Ireland. The most significant obstacle faced by both indie and AAA developers is digital games sales and marketing. Understanding different market segments and how to effectively reach them is the acid test for any game or developer. We effectively promote other sectors and their produce – a similar focus is required for our digital games sector. I have written a terms of reference for same if anyone is interested.[/quote:10b02f0af6]

    I’d be interested if you wouldn’t mind sharing? :)

  • #47232

    SocksUp
    Participant

    @RedXIV Its written in the context of providing a shared service to digital game producers in an enterprise centre. PM your details and I will forward same – still a working document.

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